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Dallas, Texas, United States
Cline Analog

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Austin Vintage Audio Phono Preamp


I had been thinking for some time that the Dynaco PAS2 I was using - particularly the phono stage - was the weak link in my audio system.  My setup includes the Maple Thorens TD-316 that I built last year, which has been upgraded to include an Origin Live Onyx tonearm with a Dynavector 20x (HOMC) cartridge.  I had also improved the Dynaco by adding new, original circuit pcb's, upgraded i/o and selector switch, and an Alps Blue Velvet volume control.  I then performed Curcio Audio's RIAA correction to the phono stage and bypassed the tone controls to clean up the signal, but I was just not satisfied.  So I commissioned my buddy Andrew Draper of Austin Vintage Audio to build a new custom phono preamp for me. 

He had already built my power amp based on an old RCA 6V6 console amp, and we talk about speakers and other components on a regular basis, so he was familiar enough with my system to be able to build just the right phono pre.

"This pre features (2) 6DJ8, (2) 12 AT7, and a 6by5 rectifier tubes. All stages are
actively loaded using current sources. A passive, feedback free RIAA filter fed 
by a 
cathode follower is used for equalization. The power supply is tube rectified
and choke filtered. Output impedance is low enough to drive any power amp.
What does all this mean? Beautifully detailed, accurate, warm, non fatiguing
music from sweet vinyl records.

I picked up the AVA Pre about 3 weeks ago and hooked it up between the Thorens and my amp and, after a good listening and break in period, I am immensely pleased with the richness and dynamics of what I hear.  Finally I have a matched system that delivers the kind of musical listening experience that I have been searching for.

The Guts!

Andrew kept it simple for me on this pre, but he tells me he could easily add additional
inputs and a selector switch, along with a slight modification to the circuit to make this a
full-functioning preamp capable of handling multiple input sources.
Take a look at the Austin Vintage Audio Facebook page for some information on their other projects.

My 6V6 power amp built by Andrew Draper.

The schematic for the 6V6.

Thanks for taking some time to check out Austin Vintage Audio.  I am a huge fan, as you can probably tell.

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