Some phono enthusiasts prefer audio equipment with vacuum tubes. I’m also fascinated by these “old” equipment, but did not build a tube amplifier or preamplifier by myself. While the circuits usually are quiet simple, most of the performance of tube amplifiers come from the realisation. The grounding concept or the placement of transformers can make the difference between a great and a bad amplifier – even with exactly the same circuit.
If you still think, that you want to build your own phono preamplifier based on tubes and even want to use it for very low MC signals, check out this project: MC/MM phono preamp. Even if you can’t understand the german text, the pictures of the mechanical construction are worth a look
This is a clone of the circuit used in the 47 Labs phono stage. The circuit was published by RJM audio.
It is simple and cheap and works well with many low-output MC systems. However the system itself (inductance and resistance) has a big impact on the sound. Therefore it might not work well with some MC systems.
The VSPS was a project built years ago. It was based on a design of RJM audio. The biggest issue of the VSPS is it’s limitation to MM system. But if you use an MM system, the VSPS is worth a test. It is a very inexpensive phono stage.
The new dual-mono platINA boards arrived today. You can order it in the online shop. Free shipping!
The web page for the platINA MM/MC phone stage is now online.
This project is based on the circuit published by RJM Audio. Compared to the costs, this is a really excellent RIAA preamp.