Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.

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lounge Audio

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Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« on: 18 Jul 2011, 04:55 am »
Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono Preamp MK-II is up for tour.

The Lounge LCR is a bare bones approach to realizing LCR RIAA at an affordable price. The usage of transformer coupled tubes and expensive inductors kept the LCR topology in a price range that many just couldn’t afford. The use of off the shelf parts and some electronic gymnastics to compensate for less than perfect inductor performance allowed a design that is totally passive LCR RIAA phonograph correction. 

This preamp is the second incarnation of Lounge LCR. The MK-1 had an OP257 dual op-amp. After some time spent with this amplifier the wide-band LT1358 was chosen to launch LCR into the MK-II version. The LT1358 has a slew rate of 600v/us and lower DC offset error, so a DC correction capacitor could be removed from the audio path.  Also shunt regulation was added. I didn’t think this was a significant up-grade but after some break-in, a resolution and liquidity developed in the midrange that was very nice.

A scratch and dent unit is available for tour. Please PM Lounge Audio with shipping address and the tour will start. It will be a first come first served tour.

You must agree to pick up the Priority Mail (4.0lbs) shipping cost to the next in line for the tour. If you choose to buy the Lounge Audio LCR you will receive a refund your shipping costs. Audio Circle members price is $385.00 USA shipping only.   

Website coming soon but until then here are the details

Specifications
RIAA Equalization type: Passive LCR network
Gain: 40dB
Input impedance: 50k ohm
Input capacitance: 100pf
Full scale output level: 7.4vrms
Signal-to-noise ratio: 74db with1/f noise dominating (ref. to 0.775vrms output)
Distortion: 0.003% @5 VRMS output   3rd Harmonic Dominating
         0.01% @0.775 VRMS output   3rd Harmonic Dominating
AC Adaptor: 120VAC 60hz, 18VAC, 500ma Wall Cube type.
Amplification Type: Class A biased Op-amp
I/O’s: RCA jack
Dimensions: Height 3”, Width 6.3”, Length 6.75”
Weight: 1.75lb
Features
Hi-speed, video bandwidth op-amps for accurate transient response
Class A biasing on all op-amp stages
Separate voltage regulators for each channel to reduce L-R channel interaction.
Shunt regulation on DC power lines
Separate ground paths for audio and power supply circuits.
Hand matched capacitors for left /right channel accuracy.   
High quality low noise Dale resistors used in critical audio path positions.
Film capacitors used in most of audio path.
Bipolar electrolytic capacitors used where space prohibit audio film capacitors Polypropylene Foil capacitors used for cartridge loading
Hand crafted in the USA.
       

 

         







Nels Ferre

Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #1 on: 19 Jul 2011, 03:53 pm »
I can vouch for Robert and his phono stage.  Works great with transformers for all of you LOMC types (like me.)

woodsyi

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #2 on: 19 Jul 2011, 05:23 pm »
Put me on the list.  I am always up for listening to different Phono-stages.  I have a SUT I can use with my LOMC pickups. 

Lizard_King

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #3 on: 20 Jul 2011, 01:11 am »
I have the Mk2 version of this aweome phono stage. I was one of the early people who had the first version and now I use the Mk2 .

The sound in so musical and has caused me to rediscover vinyl!

My hats off the Rob for making such a great unit for a bargain price!

Liz :-)
« Last Edit: 20 Jul 2011, 04:49 am by Lizard_King »

woodsyi

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #4 on: 3 Aug 2011, 07:11 pm »
When I first tried the Lounge Audio LCR phono stage in my system, I got a hum.  It gave me an excuse to do a clean re wiring of the complete system which was probably due.  Unfortunately the hum did not go away.  I finally arrived at the conclusion that my unshielded cable going from the phono-stage to my SUT (custom made by Jeffrey Jackson with S & B Tx102 transformers to produce 100 ohm impedance to match my LOMC) may be the culprit.  Robert Morin at Lounge Audio offered to send me a short run of shielded coax so I wouldn’t have to buy a pair.  Problem solved.  It was time to listen.

On goes Chesky’s Rebecca Pidgeon Retrospective album.  I have used a cut from this album on many occasions because the instruments and vocals are very clear on the recording.  LCR does a good job of rendering clear vocals with tonal density.  Next is another Chesky record of Hector Berlioz’ Symphony Fantastique from the vaunted Kenneth Wilkinson Recordings from Walthamstow Town Hall.  The last movement, "Songe d'une nuit de sabbat" (Dreams of a Witches' Sabbath) will give any system a work out.  The LCR presented good spacing of instruments with crisp attack and proper decay.  It didn't have any problem with complexity of the symphony.  It actually did big symphonic orchestra well.   Then I put on a little vintage SRV guitar solo from the original 1984 Epic record of Couldn’t Stand the Weather.  LCR did a good job on attack and decay with guitar and drums.  All the twanging from SRV bending his Stratocaster strings on Tin Pan Alley was a pleasure to listen to.  Next came an Opera, Charpentier’s Louise.  Iliana Cotrubas  and Placido Domingo sing “Depuis le Jour” in act III.  LCR did a credible job with my favorite soprano.  Her voice was rendered a little darker but it’s not a bad thing since her treble is very brittle.  A bit of darkening could also be attributed to the SUT.  I also noticed a bit of darker tonality when the same SUT was used with another MM phono stage.

Throughout the listening session, I compared the LCR with my reference phono stage, Aesthetix IO Sig that has been upgraded to Eclipse level minus the new cases.  Conservatively estimating, I think it’s about 30:1 ratio on the price difference.  The only difference in the chain is that I used a Nordost balanced phono cable coming out of the tonearm for the Io phono stage and a Frutech Ag12 single end cable for the LCR phono stage.  Everything else remained the same.  How do they compare?  Clearly, the Io Eclipse is better -- more extension both top and bottom, clearer midrange and treble with more sparks.   But is it 30 times better? Who knows how to measure the steepness of this slippery slope but I would say no.  While it lacks some things LCR produces good balanced sound that lets you hear the music.  In a more commensurate analog system, I dare say that this phono stage would more than hold its own and you would be hard pressed to find any faults with it. 

Really, it's hard to justify what we pay for that nebulous last few degrees toward perfection knowing fully well that we can't get there. :duh: 
« Last Edit: 3 Aug 2011, 09:27 pm by woodsyi »

roscoeiii

Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #5 on: 3 Aug 2011, 08:41 pm »
Thanks for the great review and comparison. I have also found that unshielded cables don't work well with any of the phono stages I have tried.

lounge Audio

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #6 on: 4 Aug 2011, 04:20 am »
As a designer it is easy to default to the most expensive parts and make a cost is no object unit. I really tried to make choices with the MM LCR to maximize performance/cost ratio. And to keep focused I decided to make the preamp do one and only one thing with as much finesse as possible, give 40db of musical RIAA gain.  :) 

Lizard_King

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #7 on: 4 Aug 2011, 04:26 am »
I love my Lound Audio Mk2. The music is so organic!

S Clark

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #8 on: 4 Aug 2011, 04:29 am »
I'd like to sign up.  I've sent you a PM.
Scott

TheChairGuy

Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #9 on: 4 Aug 2011, 12:10 pm »
Robert/loungeaudio,

Hi, and welcome - technically, a product tour such as you are creating should be in this circle, Audio Industry : http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=122.0

But, I understand as a rather small niche still withing hi-fi'dom that takers may be few and Vinyl Circle may be a better place to run it.  However, as this is overtly a for-profit motive behind it, it technically should not be in the Vinyl Circle.

Really, this is a community so the community should decide. Personally, I have a tinge of issue with it being here...but, that may only be because I feel I am abdicating my role as a Facilitator at AC if I don't make mention of it. 

Is anyone here at Vinyl Circle offended that this product tour is being conducted here rather than the Industry Discussion circle?  You are well within your rights if you do and I will respect your input and move this topic to the Industry Discussion area if so.

I would further add that if anyone does pipe up...that no other member heckles them down (please)

Somehow I missed these initial posts nearly 2 weeks ago now :oops:

Thanks,

John / Facilitator

2gumby2

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #10 on: 4 Aug 2011, 12:34 pm »
Robert/loungeaudio,

Hi, and welcome - technically, a product tour such as you are creating should be in this circle, Audio Industry : http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=122.0

But, I understand as a rather small niche still withing hi-fi'dom that takers may be few and Vinyl Circle may be a better place to run it.  However, as this is overtly a for-profit motive behind it, it technically should not be in the Vinyl Circle.

Really, this is a community so the community should decide. Personally, I have a tinge of issue with it being here...but, that may only be because I feel I am abdicating my role as a Facilitator at AC if I don't make mention of it. 

Is anyone here at Vinyl Circle offended that this product tour is being conducted here rather than the Industry Discussion circle?  You are well within your rights if you do and I will respect your input and move this topic to the Industry Discussion area if so.

I would further add that if anyone does pipe up...that no other member heckles them down (please)

Somehow I missed these initial posts nearly 2 weeks ago now :oops:

Thanks,

John / Facilitator
I am not offended and glad that it was posted here. I am in line for the tour and if it had not been posted here I probably would not have known about it as I rarely go to the Industry Discussion.

Letitroll98

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #11 on: 4 Aug 2011, 01:29 pm »
Well, I'm offended by very little these days, and what I am offended by can't be discussed on this forum.  But I think your assessment of the thread is correct John, it should be in Industry Ads.  However there is a loophole, if the Facilitator, or Member with the Facilitator's blessing, sponsors a tour then it's just an audio lover sharing his find with others of his kind.  We do it all the time and have one going on now in the Cheap and Cheerful circle. 

It's not that the idea is offensive to Vinyl Circle participants, its that it is unfair to other manufacturers who have been forbidden to post similar offers in circles related to their products.  That's who would be offended.  Lastly, I commend you for asking for opinions, gives me a real warm and fuzzy feeling about Vinyl Circle.   :wink: 

TheChairGuy

Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #12 on: 4 Aug 2011, 05:55 pm »
Well, I'm offended by very little these days, and what I am offended by can't be discussed on this forum.  But I think your assessment of the thread is correct John, it should be in Industry Ads.  However there is a loophole, if the Facilitator, or Member with the Facilitator's blessing, sponsors a tour then it's just an audio lover sharing his find with others of his kind.  We do it all the time and have one going on now in the Cheap and Cheerful circle. 

It's not that the idea is offensive to Vinyl Circle participants, its that it is unfair to other manufacturers who have been forbidden to post similar offers in circles related to their products.  That's who would be offended.  Lastly, I commend you for asking for opinions, gives me a real warm and fuzzy feeling about Vinyl Circle.   :wink:

Underlined the point for emphasis...and a very good point you are making, as well, LetitRoll.

That may be more of the reason I feel ill at ease allowing it here than my prior note that I felt like I was abdicating my role as Fac here if I let it (roll :wink:).

So, I'm going to move this to the Industry Discussion area now that there is a following for the product and discussion.  if folks want to follow if they'll simply need to go there.

I'm sorry Robert - is surely is not personal and as a business owner myself I have empathy for you - but it's the fairest thing to do, overall.

Robert, btw, you can also have a topic running here in support of your products and efforts: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=155.0

John

Letitroll98

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #13 on: 5 Aug 2011, 02:10 am »
I just realized this prolly nixes me for the tour.  Why can't I keep my stupid opinions to myself.   :duh:

lounge Audio

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #14 on: 5 Aug 2011, 03:45 am »
I just realized this prolly nixes me for the tour.  Why can't I keep my stupid opinions to myself.   :duh:
  :lol: You are still in the tour if you want to be.

Scottdazzle

Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #15 on: 14 Aug 2011, 09:06 pm »
I just completed a short, but enjoyable, few days with the Lounge phono preamp.  My impressions are quite straightforward.  I found it to be quiet, musical, clean, and utterly without distinguishing characteristics.  That is to say it is neutral and allows the music to come through clearly and without any unwanted artifacts.

It is not as dead silent as the Sutherland battery operated phono pre, but it is darn close. It does not have the bloom of the EAR 834p, but the EAR is a very tubey phono pre.  The Lounge did not have the overly lean or sharp sound of many solid state preamps I have heard. This is a big plus for the Lounge.  It did recreate voices with accuracy, put instruments in proper locations in the soundfield (great imaging), and featured fast, tight bass with plenty of dynamic punch.

In conclusion, I could happily live with the Lounge and recommend anyone who's looking for a phono pre in this price range to give it a chance. I bet you will like it, too.

The records I listened to were:
Joni Mitchell - Wild Things Run Fast
Louis Armstrong - Satch Plays Fats
Richard Thompson - Amnesia
Beethoven - Symphony 4. Karajan/Berlin on DG (the 1963 version)
Bonnie Raitt - Luck of the Draw

The system was:
VPI Classic with VPI Soundstage Zephyr cart
Rogue Audio 99 Magnum preamp
Music Reference RM-200 amp
VMPS RM30M speakers

Congratulations to Robert on a fine piece of audio gear.

Scott

Gopher

Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #16 on: 14 Aug 2011, 10:35 pm »
I'd love to give this a listen if it would do well with a Bob's Devices SUT.  I'm trying to pull some money out of my analog rig and this looks interesting. 

Can I be added?

lounge Audio

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Re: Lounge Audio LCR MM Phono preamp tour.
« Reply #17 on: 17 Aug 2011, 04:30 am »
I'd love to give this a listen if it would do well with a Bob's Devices SUT.  I'm trying to pull some money out of my analog rig and this looks interesting. 

Can I be added?
Yes absolutely you can be on the list. This unit has been mated with SUT's twice as far as I know and it does well. The wait will be a bit long though the list grows faster than the unit can travel.

lounge Audio

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Lounge Audio Has a Website
« Reply #18 on: 23 Aug 2011, 02:33 pm »
www.loungeaudio.com

Best Regards
Robert
Lounge Audio

Scottdazzle

Re: Lounge Audio Has a Website
« Reply #19 on: 23 Aug 2011, 07:12 pm »
www.loungeaudio.com

Best Regards
Robert
Lounge Audio


Robert, your description makes several references to LCR.  What does LCR mean?