New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!

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dminches

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #40 on: 28 Jul 2018, 12:27 am »
Looks great!

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #41 on: 28 Jul 2018, 12:35 am »
Thanks!

Dan

Drew769

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  • Posts: 37
Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #42 on: 28 Jul 2018, 01:32 am »
Looks great!

Are the balanced outs shown in the photos optional, or will all units be equipped with them standard?

Bob Stark

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #43 on: 28 Jul 2018, 01:42 am »
Nice work, Dan.

With the big transformer on the power supply, it would be great to hear it with Star Sound's Audio Point trans mod.  I've done this to your 5400, an Edge M6 amp, the 2 trans on my TRL DUDE preamp, and both Core Power Technologies 150's I have.  The amount of improvement in the sound varies from significant to upping the SQ by 50% on some of them by doing it.  I heard the early version of your phono pre at 2018 Axpona and it was already very nice sounding.  Of course, nothing in your system resembles mine so it is tough to tell what is affecting the sound and how much.  It should be another winner for sure.

Bob

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #44 on: 28 Jul 2018, 07:29 pm »
Balanced outs are optional and will cost between $300 and $750 extra, depending on the quality of the output transformers used.  I am still evaluating the sonic differences between options. The best way to achieve this is with transformer coupling.

Regarding the Start Points Audio Point trans mod, I would need to know more about it.  Certainly all tube products benefit from vibration isolation.  I will not be offering such an upgrade at retail because it would drive our coset up too high.

Thanks,

Dan

Bob Stark

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #45 on: 28 Jul 2018, 08:26 pm »
Hey Dan,

The Star Sound trans mod consists of taking off the nut from the trans and lifting the trans off the bolt.  Then you remove the rubber gasket.  You will have to buy three .2AP.7 Audio Points from SS.  These are very flat points about a nickel in width and .2" in height.  You replace the trans on the bolt and screw the nut on loosely.  Using your finger or a small object, place each point so the flat portion is against the bottom of the trans and the point is facing the chassis--spread these so they are under the fat portion of the donut-like trans and roughly equally apart around the trans.  When in place, tighten the nut down to hold them in place securely. 

When you listen, you will hear much better clarity, dynamics at all frequencies.  There will be NO drawbacks other than the cost to do this.  Very easy to do--about 10 minutes counting taking off the cover and replacing it.  The points are $25.00 each.  This is a significant tweak to any transformer based power supply.  Robert Maicks at SS can tell you about the technology involved if you want to know.

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #46 on: 28 Jul 2018, 10:38 pm »
Thanks for the suggestion.  It sounds like something that our customers may want to try, but I really don't recommend opening up our high voltage supply.

Dan

GregC

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #47 on: 3 Aug 2018, 08:36 pm »
Hi Dan,

Any updates on the first 25 units?

Greg

Joe Frances

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  • Posts: 133
Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #48 on: 3 Aug 2018, 10:31 pm »
Dan

With the phono stage and the new integrated, where do you get the time to do all this?  I hope you have a lot of eager beaver helpers on all these fab projects.

Joe

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #49 on: 3 Aug 2018, 11:37 pm »
The first unit has shipped to HK.  Everything else in in hand, as far as chassis and metalwork and the rest of the units are in production. The first Beta customer units will begin shipping by about the 10th of August.

Thanks,

Dan

jtsnead

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  • Everybody jumpin' out of they mind
Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #50 on: 16 Aug 2018, 07:01 pm »
Anyone get one yet?

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #51 on: 16 Aug 2018, 07:18 pm »
Sorry guys, dragging my feet a bit because I am being a perfectionist.  I am niggling out one last little detail before I start shipping.  I have about seven mostly built but I want to finalize this one detail first.

While these are sold to Beta Customers and all Beta Customers will be able to return them all for future updates, based on Beta feedback, I still want these to be as good as possible!

Thanks for your patience!

Dan

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #52 on: 17 Aug 2018, 08:05 pm »
OK, the final kink is worked out!

I designed the PH 9.0 with the same switching logic as the PH 150, for MM-Mute-MC input. Well, one or two components in the circuit were different and I found that due to some variation in one part, there was a pop when switching from MM-Mute and Mute-MM, on some units, but not all. I have spent the week beating my head against the wall trying to find the reason and solution.

Well, it turns out that this particular component is simply different than the other previously used.  It is also quieter and offers better performance, but the one difference does require a revised switching logic. So, the PH 9.0 will have a four position selector switch.  Despite the face plate indicating MM - Mute - MC, it will actually be MC -Mute - Mute - MC. This way, when switching from MM or MC to mute, there is no possibility of any pop or tick at all.

Now that this is resolved, I have also gone over other operating parameters and optimized other parts of the circuit that I am now ready to start shipping units next week.

Thank you all for your patience!

I know that many mfrs. would never share an 'issue' much less how it is resolved.  I would rather just be open with you all about it. The new part offers better performance and if this requires a four position switch, then so be it!

It is my goal for this to be the BEST < $3K tube phono on the market! I would like to think that it will be the best < $3K phono on the market PERIOD, but the tube/SS debate will always rage on.  Suffice to say, it is QUIET, and sounds amazing!

Thanks,

Dan

GregC

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #53 on: 17 Aug 2018, 08:26 pm »
Despite the face plate indicating MM - Mute - MC, it will actually be MC -Mute - Mute - MC.

Hi Dan,

Did you mean MM-Mute-Mute-MC?  Does that mean the MC position will be one position past the MC on the face plate and the MC on the face plate will be a mute?

Thanks,
Greg

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #54 on: 17 Aug 2018, 09:23 pm »
Nope.  The way it works, there will be two mutes in positions 2 and 3.

The reason for this, is as follows:

When switching from MM - Mute, the MM-MC relay does not switch.
When switching from Mute - Mute, the MM/MC relay does open, while the unit is in mute.
The final switch position then, from Mute to MC, unmutes, but the MM/MC relay is already activated.

As a result, the phono is always muted when the MM/MC relay switches.

So, you can easily go from MM - Mute, or MC - Mute, depending on if you are using MM or MC.
To go from MM to Mute, you will turn the dial from MM - Mute1 - Mute2 - MC.

So when the knob is far left, it will be just past the MM indicator. Position Mute 1 and Mute 2 will have the indicator just to the left and right of 'Mute' and when in MC position, the indicator will just be to the right of MC. In each case, the indicator will be off by exactly 18 degrees.

I hope this makes sense.

Thanks,

Dan

GregC

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #55 on: 17 Aug 2018, 09:48 pm »
Hi Dan,

Thanks, your explanation makes perfect sense and is also a clever solution to work with the face plate that had already been made.

Greg

dminches

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #56 on: 17 Aug 2018, 09:59 pm »
Dan, thanks for the detailed explanation.

Looking forward to getting my unit in a couple weeks.


modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #57 on: 17 Aug 2018, 10:02 pm »
You know, REAL engineering is not design, but PROBLEM RESOLUTION!

I was telling my lead tech today that the design process is actually a small part of the engineering process.  A good engineer learns how to work out unexpected problems and find efficient ways to resolve them. Life does not fit in boxes and is not all 1's and 0's.

This is an exciting design and I am really pleased with how it turned out!  The PH 9.0 is all about taking the best of our Reference products and distilling it down to a product at a fraction of the price that offers the same (over VERY close) to the same performance in a smaller form factor and less exotic enclosure.  This is the way of the future I believe. High Value and high performance!

This is the beginning of a quest into more diverse and lesser cost phono designs to come, both tube and SS. Vinyl is here to stay and I see it as the ideal way to attract the next generation of music lovers!

You just can't beat the overall experience of vinyl analog playback!

Dan

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #58 on: 17 Aug 2018, 10:02 pm »
Dminches, you are one of the first to ship early next week!  I look forward to your feedback!

Dan

dminches

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #59 on: 29 Aug 2018, 01:22 pm »
I received the PH 9.0 yesterday and fired it up.  I am using the stock tubes for now. 

The unit sounds great right out of the box.  I am using a 0.28 mV Dynavector LOMC cartridge.  There is no issue with the output level even with this cartridge.

I will post more impressions after a full week of listening.  I plan on rolling in a pair of Amperex 6922s once the unit has some time on it.  I don't think there are many options for the 6C45s.

What are others hearing?

Dan, great job on this.