Question Would this work - T-Table to Phono Stage to Power Amp

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by MSW, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. MSW

    MSW
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    As an indulgence I am going to buy a turntable and I would like the most basic set up possible. I have no need for numerous inputs or other functionality other than being able to play records.

    I am some want confused by

    Integrated Amp
    Pre Amp
    Power Amp
    Phono stage

    However, after reading numerous articles I think I now understand what I need -Would anyone be able to confirm that the following work.

    Aside from speakers and turntable all I need (to avoid having to pay for functionality I don’t want) is;

    Connect the TT to a Pre Amp -something like this Duo

    Then connect the Pre Amp to something like this
    Azur 851W

    and the above connects to my speakers.

    Thanks a lot
    Mark

    NB I do understand (I think)the the above is quite limited in terms of connectivity/ functionality but, as all I want to do is listen to a record player connectivity / functionality is irrelevant hence, I would like to know if that above components will work how I want them to.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  2. RBZ5416

    RBZ5416
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    It's not obvious from the specs or the manual exactly what the volume on the Duo controls. It's possible that it only controls the headphone volume while the phono output remains fixed, which would be unsuitable for your use. You'd need to confirm with the manufacturer unless anyone here has one.
     
  3. MSW

    MSW
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    Just checked myself and it does look as though the volume control is indeed for headphones only.

    I quick check (I will keep looking) seams to show the power amplifiers do not have a volume dial.

    Thing is, if I need to put an integrated amplifier in between the turntable and the power amplifier (for volume control) I don’t really understand the point of the power amplifier in the set up.
     
  4. RBZ5416

    RBZ5416
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    I understand that you want minimalist but in reality, power amps aren't significantly cheaper than an equivalent integrated due to lesser demand. So although you don't need the extra inputs you may as well just buy a decent integrated with phono stage.

    If you really must go for a power amp then pro audio models like the Behringer A500 have volume controls. But they're not pretty & have no remote. Likewise a DJ mixer would give you volume control in a phono pre-amp.
     
  5. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Integrated Amp - an Amp with both Pre-Amp and Power Amp built into one box.

    Pre-Amp
    - This is the front panel control section of the system - Tone Control, Source Selector, Volume Control, etc...

    Power-Amp -
    this is strictly the Power Section of a system and is connected directly to the speakers. While Pre-Amp/Power-Amp systems can be nice, they tend to be more expensive. As an example, the Rotel RA-1572 Integrated amp is £1395, to duplicate is in a Pre-Amp/Power-Amp is £1800. There is some additional flexibility in a Pre-Amp/Power-Amp system, but kind of a waste of money if you don't need that additional flexibility.

    PHONO Pre-Amp
    - a small pre-amp that has Special Equalization and additional Amplification to bring a Phono Cartridge up to more Standard Line Level. Many Pre-Amp and Integrated Amps have PHONO Stages built into them eliminating the need for an external PHONO Pre-Amp.

    Note there are two types of Cartridges - MM (moving magnet) and MC (moving coil) - with MM being the most common and supported by most Amps. MC tends to only be found on higher end Turntables, and MC inputs only on higher end Amp/Phono-Pre-Amps. Unless your system is very high end, you will probably never encounter an MC Cartridge. MM dominate the market by 90% or more.

    But the most important aspect is BUDGET?

    Give us your working budget, and the list of equipment included in that budget, and we will do our best to find a good balance of equipment and feature requirements in that price range.

    Also what equipment do you currently have that would continue to be used in this system?

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  6. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Regarding the Cambridge DUO (£250) with MM/MC inputs and a Volume Control. It is hard to determine if that volume control is just for the Headphone out, or if it also controls the General RCA Outputs on the back.

    Cambridge Audio - Duo MM/MC Phono Pre-Amp

    While it does say Pre-Amplifier, it is not clear what the Volume Control does. Certainly it controls the volume of the headphones, but beyond that, it is not really clear that it has the ability to funcation as a normal Audi Pre-Amp. Perhaps it does, but it is not clear from the Website.

    Again, give us a budget, and we can probably solve the problem.

    For example the Cambridge DUO is £250.

    But you can get this full Pre-Amp with Digital Inputs and Network Streaming for the same £250 -

    Yamaha WXC-50 Network Pre-Amp - £250 -

    Yamaha MusicCast WXC50 Networked Pre Amplifier - Superfi

    True you get a slightly less versatile Phono Pre-Amp, but you get a DAC and Network Streaming worth about £300 each.

    True, while it has a analog AUX input, it does not have a PHONO input. But depending on what the rest of your equipment and speakers are, a good Phono Stage for MM for less than £100 -

    Cambridge Audio CP1 MM Phono Pre Amp

    Project Phono Box MM Turntable Pre-Amplifier - Superfi

    Project Phono Box Mk2 Turntable Pre-Amplifier - Superfi

    Or why fiddle with a minimal pre-amp and some power amp, when you can get an Integrated Amp with DAC and 85w/ch -

    Yamaha AS501 Integrated Amp with DAC, 85w/ch, MM Phono In, ... - £270 -

    Yamaha AS501 Amplifier with DAC - Superfi

    Why go to such an outlandish degree and get the £1700 Cambridge 851 Power Amp, only to skimp on the Pre-Amp?

    You can get the full featured Rotel RA-1572 (120w/ch, DAC, Network Streaming, Bluetooth, etc...) - for £1395 -

    Rotel RA-1572 Integrated Amplifier

    That's £300 in your pocket.

    Even the Cambridge Audio 851A integrated Amp seems to make more sense, though it would still need a Phono Pre-Amp, but you save more than enough money to offset that cost -

    Cambridge Audio 851A Integrated Amp with 120w/ch - £1400 -

    Cambridge Audio 851A Stereo Amplifier

    Cambridge Audio - Azur 851A Integrated Amp

    Cambridge Audio CP1 MM Phono Stage - £99 -


    Cambridge Audio CP1 MM Phono Pre Amp

    Cambirdge Audio - CP1 MM Phono Pre-Amp

    There are many options other than this unusual combination you have conceived. Now you may have your reasons, but without knowing those reasons, it seem like there are many other better options available to you.

    We can't say the path you are on is wrong, only that it doesn't make much sense without an explanation.


    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  7. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    For a very minimal component Desktop system with bookshelf speaker consider this -

    Yamaha WXC-50 Network Pre-Amp - £250 -


    Yamaha MusicCast WXC50 Networked Pre Amplifier - Superfi

    WXC-50 - Overview - Wireless Streaming Amplifiers - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

    On top of giving you a nice Pre-Amplifier and DAC, the Yamaha also gives you Network Streaming capability.

    Cambridge Audio CP1 MM Phono Pre-Amp - £99 -

    Cambridge Audio MM Phono Pre Amp

    Though in reality, the Project MM Pre-Amp for £69 would work just fine -

    Project Phono Box MM Turntable Pre-Amplifier - Superfi

    Edifier S2000 Pro Active Speaker with Optical, Coaxial, AUX, Bluetooth - £430/pr -


    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edifier-S2000-Pro-Active-Speakers/dp/B01MTJ0FEY/

    Notice in addition to everything else, the Edifier Speakers have a Remote Control for volume.

    These are pretty fantastic speakers with good powerful built in amps -

    Z Review - Edifier S2000Pro [SOUND DEMO]


    As this video will demonstrate.

    Perhaps I was taking your example too literally. Perhaps you were illustrating a point rather than using references to equipment you actually intended to buy. But I can only know what you tell us.

    But the above system is two small boxes, a Turntable, and very nice looking and sounding speakers. All for a very modest £780.

    Here is a link to full specs on the Edifier Speakers. These are Studio Grade Speakers -

    Edifier - S2000 Pro Active Monitors -
    • Full wooden side panel finish achieves an elegant and luxurious look
    • Four EQ Modes: Vocal, Monitor, Classic, and Dynamic
    • Included wireless remote for audio input, volume adjustment and mode switching
    • Inputs supported: coaxial, optical, RCA, AUX, and Bluetooth
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    ALSO, you can buy Turntables that have a PHONO Stage built in, saving you one box in the collection.

    We really can't know anything until you give us a working Budget.

    To the Best that I can determine, the Cambridge DUO only has a volume control for the headphone out. Though you could feed the Headphone out to the Pre-Amp. Not ideal, but workable. So, while a bit of a kludge, what you originally speculated is possible, but there are so many better was to spend £2000 on Audio Equipment.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  8. MSW

    MSW
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    Hi and thanks very very much for posting.

    Budget wise I am at

    £600 for the TT - I like the project 3 carbon in white
    £1200 for the speakers - I have the DALI Opticin 6 in mind

    Amp and other associate equipment (cables, phono stage) = £1,200

    I am now looking at the Arcam FMJ 39 Integrated Amp (old model but cheaper than the newer SA20).

    As with any budget there is always scope to change

    It is not my intention to use any other equipment with the above. The room the turntable will be in has a Sonos 5.1 system. At an absolute push I might connect a Sonos connect AMP to the speakers.

    Room dimensions are 6.3m x 4.2m with a variable ceiling height of between 2.4m and 3.5m.

    Not that I know what I am on about but, speakers is very hard to choose

    I am significantly more interested in clarity rather than bass. I have been told that for singer / songwriter music bookshelf speakers would be better but, in order to fill the room with sound floorstanders are better. Given that space is not an issue my leaning is very much towards floorstabders and, in this instance there is a convenience issue in that floor stander do not need a shelf to be made and hiding speaker cable is easier around the edges of the carpet
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  9. RBZ5416

    RBZ5416
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    I'd be inclined to start a new thread along the lines of the one below asking for recommendations for a £1500 budget, but with your £3k-ish. Or change the title of this one.

    Don't know if you've heard the speakers & even so, I'm guessing not with the Arcam or in your room, both of which will be essential before purchase.

    You don't need to put bookshelf speakers on a shelf, indeed you shouldn't! You buy dedicated stands. But then you have a footprint little different to a floorstander.

    I would suggest that at your budget & level of experience, you really need the involvement of a decent dealer. That's not meant to sound condescending but you need guidance on components that work well together in your budget & you need to be able to demo at home before parting with the cash. It would be worth setting aside the time & travelling if you don't have anyone local.

    It may even be that a system like you originally suggested is possible with lesser known kit. But you've already introduced the possibility of a Sonos Connect, which would need an additional input. Maybe David @the little audio company has some input?
     
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  10. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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  11. MSW

    MSW
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    Gosh, that Amp looks amazing, I really like the display panel with the needles and lights - very nice indeed

    Also, I think the record player is something special as well.

    I had looked at those speakers but dismissed them based on the spike being black rather than white

    What an amazing set up you have

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  12. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    So, £3000 total budget.

    Room 6.3m x 4.2m (20.7ft x 13.8ft).

    Can we assume that the Speakers will be on the 13.8ft wall playing into the 20.7ft space? If not, if the speakers will be on the 20.7ft wall playing into the 13.8ft space, then I'm not sure Floorstanding speakers are the best choice.

    Again, at £1395 consider the Rotel RA-1572, good amp with lots of features including a Phono stage plus 120w/ch.

    Rotel RA-1572 Integrated Amplifier

    I'm not sure what turntable you are referring to, but here are Pro-Ject Tuntables in the roughly £600 range -

    https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/...bles/project-debut-carbon-esprit-sb-turntable

    Pro-Ject Debut Carbon RecordMaster HiRes Turntable - Superfi

    Project 1 Xpression Carbon Turntable with Ortofon 2M Silver Cartridge - Superfi

    https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/...-turntables/project-debut-record-master-hires

    I would expect the Project 1 Xpression with a upgraded cartridge to be pretty good and right on budget.

    And here is a similar REGA Planar 3 Turntable with a Cartridge Upgrade -

    https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/.../rega-planar-3-turntable-inc-elys-2-cartridge

    I would suspect if you like the DALI Opticon 6 (£1199/pr), they would indeed be good speakers -

    https://www.superfi.co.uk/p-18006-dali-opticon-6-speakers.aspx

    Other similar speakers at a similar price -

    https://www.hifix.co.uk/speakers/hi-fi-speakers/floor-standing-speakers/kef-q-series-q750-speakers

    https://www.hifix.co.uk/speakers/hi-fi-speakers/floor-standing-speakers/quad-s-4-speakers

    https://www.hifix.co.uk/speakers/hi...nding-speakers/wharfedale-reva-4-loudspeakers

    https://www.hifix.co.uk/speakers/hi...eakers/monitor-audio-silver-300-speakers-pair

    https://www.superfi.co.uk/p-11732-kef-r500-floor-standing-speakers-pair.aspx

    https://www.superfi.co.uk/p-20543-kef-r700-floorstanding-speakers-limited-edition-black.aspx

    Still, nothing wrong with the Dali Opticon 6, assuming they are on the narrow wall.

    If your speakers are on the broad wall playing across the narrow space, then I think you might want to look at Bookshelf Speakers.

    Someone suggested Yamaha Amps, in the higher end Audiophile Amp, the quality is pretty impressive, and the price seem pretty reasonable. Though the power is not high, it is certainly workable at 90w/ch.

    https://petertyson.co.uk/index.php/yamaha-as1100-amplifier

    https://petertyson.co.uk/index.php/yamaha-as2100-amplifier

    The AS1100 is just under your budget, and the AS2100 is just over your budget. By all accounts and from the direct experience of several forum members, these are pretty great sounding Amps.

    https://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/audio_visual/hifi_components/a-s1100_g/index.html

    https://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/audio_visual/hifi_components/a-s2100/index.html

    Again, most amps will have an MM Phono Stage build in. Though Cambridge amps will not.

    There are plenty of nice amp in your general price range, but focus on the specific features you need. Amp like the ARCAM tend to be minimalist amp, that is, the are basically a Volume Control and Selector Switch, where as something like the Yamaha or the Rotel will at least have Tone Controls. That may or may not matter to you, but take it into consideration. Understand the features you need, and understand the feature you are getting from any one given amp.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  13. MSW

    MSW
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    Hi and once again thank you for your post and help. I really appreciate your time and effort.

    This is the turntable I am looking at

    Pro-Ject RPM 3 Carbon Turntable

    As for amp I had not really considered Treble and Bass. Having thought about it this type of control is very important to me although I’d just want 3 dials (treble, bass and volume) that I just turn left and right. I don’t want an amp with multi functional buttons. The Yamaha seems to do this easily where as the Rotel looks as if you have to first select treble or bass and the press a different button for up or down.

    So, almost there, it’s definitely and integrated Amp, probably a silver Yamaha although I do like the idea of owning a Rotel.

    Speakers will be DALI Opticion 6, I understand they are ideal for clarity. I am not that bothered about bass in favour of vocal and background sounds on tracks.

    Just leaves me with the record player to choose, I did like the Thorens Turntable mentioned earlier but the RPM 3 design is also appealing.

    As mentioned in post above re speaker placement, one of the 13.8ft walls is all glass and the speakers will be placed in each corner of this wall.

    Thanks again for all the help / opinions provided

    Rdgs
    Mark
     
  14. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Cool looking turntable ...but... how do you cover it? A rectangular turntable will come with a Plexiglas Dust Cover.

    Yes, the Yamaha have analog dial type Tone Controls.

    And Yes, the Rotel have Digital Tone Control, you have to go through the menus to adjust them.

    Again, down to taste. I assume you are talking about the Yamaha AS1100 or the AS2100. Both good amps. They Yamaha AS2100 add XLR inputs. Despite only being 90w/ch, these amps have excellent built and component quality. And, realistically, 90w/ch is fine.

    Again, you want to give some thought to buying a Round turntable. It could come with a plastic dust cover, but it will not be hinged. You will have to lift it off and find some place to put it. Myself, I would go for a rectangular Turntable with a hinged dust cover, but that's just me. Take it into consideration.

    As to the Thorens, there are Thorens turntable that I like, but today they are on the obscure side. You don't see them commonly for sale. And Thorens still makes models that have Tonearm Auto-Return, which I like.

    THORENS Turntables

    This is the Thorens turntable that appeals to me.

    THORENS TD 295 MK IV

    I like the Tonearm, and I like the woodgrain bass, don't like the Felt Mat, but that can be changed.

    I'm not too fond of the Tonearm on the TD-203 though, but that's personal preference.

    THORENS TD 203

    At a lower price point the Thorens TD-190-2 is probably fine -

    THORENS TD 190-2

    In between those two would be the Thorens TD-240-2 -

    THORENS TD 240-2

    Again, the only one that appeals to me at even a bearable price is the Thorens TD-295 MKVI.

    Using USA price because they came up first in the search -

    TD-295 = US$1299
    TD-240-2 = US$1050
    TD-190 = US$750
    TD-203 = US$1000


    But, while it appeals to me, there are many other turntables I would be more likely to buy. But ... that's just me.

    Just one man's opinion.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018

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