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

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modwright

Photo of Proto/Concept PH 9.0 Tube Phono Stage, MM/MC 48dB/68dB. Price TBD (<$3K)



At Axpona Chicago (April 13-15), the PH 9.0 can be seen and heard in Room 604 with Studio Electric, ModWright and Zu Audio.

Features include MM and MC inputs, on-the-fly resistive loading for MC (MM = fixed 47K load), mono/Stereo and mute. Gain is currently set at 48dB MM and 68dB MC.  I may also offer a -6dB/-12dB attenuator switch to allow greater flexibility for different MM/MC cartridges.

I am also seriously considering as an add-cost option, transformer coupled XLR outputs for fully balanced drive. I have not determined the add cost for this option yet.

Some have also asked about a MM gain version only, to be used with separate step-up transformer.  I am also taking this into consideration.  This would be a lesser cost option of course, but I have not set a price.

This is merely a concept/proto.  It was built as a two box design, but I am considering making it a one-box design with aesthetics similar to our SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp.



Feedback and input about all of the above is certainly welcome.

Thanks,

Dan W.

Bob Stark

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #1 on: 12 Apr 2018, 12:57 am »
Hey Dan,

I really like the one box look if you can make it sound about a good as the one with separate power supply.  It also saves space of my rack, which would be a problem otherwise. 

How quiet is this or how quiet do you think it ill be?

Could use another MW product to go with my awesome MW 5400 you made for me.

Bob

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #2 on: 12 Apr 2018, 01:03 am »
Hi Bob, I am confident that if I lay things out properly, transformer orientation, shielding, separation, etc., it will be as quiet as the PH 150. Most importantly, the family sonic resemblance to the PH 150 ($7900 Reference Phono) is QUITE obvious in this < $3K design!

As it is made in the two box design, when put side by side, it is noisy.  Separate the two boxes by 12" or more and it is quiet.  However, and again this has to do with transformer orientation, when I put the two boxes face to face, close, there is VERY little noise at all!  So, I am confident that with the correct orientation, shielding and layout, the one box design will be just as quiet as the two box when separated.

It is for the reason of space and ease of installation in this regard that I believe the one box solution to be ideal.

Thanks,

Dan

ArthurDent

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Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #3 on: 12 Apr 2018, 04:10 am »
Looks good Dan. Definitely keep some flexibility for different MM (or moving iron, ie Grado) in the mix. I need to pop the hood on the LS 100 to swap the front tube to decrease gain as recommended for my vintage Grado G1+.

JD

JMosch

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Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #4 on: 12 Apr 2018, 11:30 pm »
Hi Dan,

First off, thanks for taking the time to ask some customers.

I absolutely love the phono stage in the LS-100. I can change gain/sound via rolling tubes. It's a great thing.

So I vote for flexibility within the given constraints.

So a base unit that is MM only with fixed gain. This would be lower cost. Then you can have an upgraded unit with basically the same stage, but with built in SUTs. The SUTs can have optional winding engagements for different gains etc.

As far as the one or two box design goes, two boxes gives you the option of upgrade paths for the PSU, or even the umbilical. So I would vote for that.

Thanks,
John


modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #5 on: 13 Apr 2018, 01:24 pm »
Thank you all.  I have already pretty much decided to go with two boxes.  I believe the phono enclosure will also be of a smaller width at least, i.e. not full 17" wide, but closer to 1/2 width plus.

I agree about the flexibility idea and will be sure that there is good flexibility with regards to gain and the use of step-ups.

Last night at Axpona Chicago (show), we had finished setup and were listening to records through the PH 9.0. Dave Macpherson (Studio Electric speakers) and I played all kinds of records from a Reggae album that he engineered to some great jazz and 80's rock. It was thoroughly enjoyable to just relax and enjoy the music!

The PH 9.0 is very quiet! It is being used here with a Fern and Roby TT and the cart I need to ask about.  I think it is a Hana(?).  I need to ask the guys who mounted it on their table, because it REALLY sings!

In this case, because of lack of space, we literally put the supply on the floor behind the setup. I like this flexibility and have decided that the supply will be as basic as possible (in terms of the enclosure) and will house the transformer, choke and only the most basic parts of the power supply.  The regulation circuitry, etc. can all reside in the phono box.

I am very happy with this product and excited to release it! I have to have the chassis made of course and there are some final R&D details, but I will be putting together a Beta Tester list and the first units will be sent to the Beta team for feedback.

Thanks,

Dan W.

dminches

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #6 on: 14 Apr 2018, 02:48 am »
I had the pleasure of hearing the PH 9.0 today and it sounded great.  This is going to be a great addition to the MW product line.

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #7 on: 14 Apr 2018, 03:05 pm »
I am quite pleased with the sound that we are getting with Studio Electric M4 Monitors and the new PH 9.0 phono prototype! TT by Fern and Roby and Hana SL cart. Photos to follow!

Dan W.

GregC

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #8 on: 15 Apr 2018, 05:10 pm »
Dan is the man with a plan.  :)

Thanks for valuing the opinions of all of us to help in your design decisions.  I have no doubts that you will produce an outstanding phono stage, and the prototype's positive reception at the show gives you further validation.   

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #9 on: 17 Apr 2018, 06:16 pm »
Thank you!  It is our customers that make us great! We will continue to strive to produce the best value and performance products we can, to meet the needs of our customers!

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #10 on: 17 Apr 2018, 07:02 pm »
The PH 9.0 phono prototype was VERY well received in our system with Studio Electric, Zu Cables and Fern & Roby TT with Hana SL cart!

The sytem consisted of:

KWA 150SE amp ($8995)
SWL 9.0 Ann Ed. premp ($2900)
PH 9.0 Phono proto (final design to be ~$2900 or less)
Studio Electric M4 monitors ($3100 in special finish and metal grills)
Fern & Roby Montrose TT ($5750)
ModWright modified Oppo UDP-205 ($3800)
Zu Mission signal cables and two power cords.

Power conditioning: None.
Vibration Isolation: None.
Rack: Wood shipping crates used as table.
Majority of power cables: Generic.

In total then, the system cost was < $25K (with analog or digital source) and we had no tweaks at all!

The room was busy nearly all the time and we received fantastic feedback! We played A LOT of vinyl in that room because it sounded so good!

I decided that the final PH 9.0 phono stage will be configured as follows:

1/2 width or so, PH 9.0 chassis.
External supply in simple steel enclosure to be located anywhere away from the phono stage.
6ft. XLR (4-5 pin) umbilical to allow flexible placement of the external supply.
Controls as shown in prototype photo, plus mute and stereo/mono.
Final faceplate and layout of phono unit still to be finalized.
All controls, including power will be on the phono box itself. This allows for the power supply to be located out of the way.

Options to include:
XLR transformer balanced outputs.

More to come, but that is where I am now, based on feedback from the show.

Axpona 2018 was a huge sucess for MWI! We had fantastic sound with Studio Electric in the room described above and also in our High End room with Daedalus Audio, WyWires and VPI TT.  That system topped out at over $75K.

Thanks,

Dan W.

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #11 on: 26 Apr 2018, 09:22 pm »
Design updates for PH 9.0 Phono Supply with external supply:

Projected retail price is still TBD, but will be < $3K for base model.

Chassis: Two box with external supply to be located away from the phono enclosure on a 5ft. umbilical. Main enclosure to be 8"-10" x 12"-14"D x 3"-4"H.
Step Up Transformers: Lundahl step-ups will be used for MC gain.
Gain: 50dB MM; 66dB MC (Gain adjustment: 0, -6dB, -12dB via toggle).
Functions: Mute, MM/MC, Mono/Stereo, MC loading (6-positions on-the-fly), Gain adjust (3 levels of attenuation).
Inputs: (1) RCA pair MM, (1) RCA pair MC, switchable on-the-fly.
Outputs: (1) pair RCA main outs; Optional pair transformer coupled XLR outs (add cost option).
Tube complement: (2)6C45, (2)6922.

Measurements:
Noise = -90dB MM, -76dB MC (unweighted)
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 50Khz (+/-.2dB)

In the end, the final design is very close to that of our Reference PH 150 ($7900). Enclosures are smaller and simplified. Some exotic parts are excluded and some aspects of the control and circuit design have been simplified. Sonically, the family resemblance is VERY STRONG!

Upgrade options anticipated (add cost):
Transformer coupled XLR fully balanced outputs.
Upgraded Umbilical.
Potential for power supply upgrades.


I will be finalizing and order the enclosures next and will be putting together our Beta tester list.  If you are interested in the new PH 9.0, please contact us right away!

Thank you,

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.
360.247.6688

nature boy

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #12 on: 26 Apr 2018, 11:11 pm »
 :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

NB

dminches

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #13 on: 2 May 2018, 03:52 pm »
Dan, is the design final? 

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #14 on: 2 May 2018, 04:21 pm »
Yes, the design is final and I am just working out the final chassis design now. Looks like the enclosure may be 10"W to accommodate the larger knobs used on the PH 150.

Finalizing PCBs now based on final circuit.

Lundahl step-ups are in and final gain is: 50dB MM (max); 66dB MC (max); Atttenuation toggle: 0, -6dB, -12dB. So MM ranges from 38dB-50dB and MC from 54dB-66dB.




PWR and Gain are mini toggles. Stereo/Mono toggle will be on rear of phono.

As you can see, the functionality (and schematic) are actually very similar to the PH 150! Gain is a bit less and some aspects of the design have been simplified by necessity, but the sound is remarkably close!

Increasing enclosure width to 10" allows for the use of larger knobs and better looking scale overall. It also allows for optional fully balanced, transformer coupled XLR outs (add cost option).

Thoughts and feedback welcome!

Thanks,

Dan

woodsyi

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Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #15 on: 2 May 2018, 05:01 pm »
Looking good.  I would love to be a beta tester.

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #16 on: 2 May 2018, 05:09 pm »
All those interested in Beta testing will need to email us at kristin.modwright@yahoo.com or modwright@yahoo.com and I will be sure that Kristin adds your name to the list.

Thanks,

Dan

jtsnead

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Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #17 on: 7 May 2018, 01:10 pm »
Hope I am on the list - Thanks Dan

modwright

Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #18 on: 8 May 2018, 06:55 pm »
If you have emailed, you are on the list. jtsnead, you are on the list.

I am finalizing the main PCB now and coordinating all with the final chassis design. Exciting times!

Thanks!

Dan

JMosch

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Re: New Phono stage: PH 9.0 MM/MC with on-the-fly loading!
« Reply #19 on: 9 May 2018, 08:56 pm »
Is this designed to be used with the PS 9.0 power supply?