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Art DJ Pre II Upgrade? Current setup AT540ML > Technics Sl-1700mkii > DJ Pre II > Denon X1500H

SnowGoose

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Hello ASR,

So I've been using my Art DJ Pre II for over 10 years now. It has definitely served me well, but the Gain pot has gotten scratchy/jumpy, and I feel like it has lost volume (though I could be wrong).

I have a few options:

  1. Live with it: It still works well and I can get enough volume out of it if I turn the Gain way up.
  2. Use the Phono Input on the X1500H: Right now, my Turntable is too far from the receiver for this option. But that will change soon, once I mount my TV.
  3. Replace with a new DJ Pre II: They're so cheap, I wouldn't mind grabbing another and giving away the old scratchy one.
  4. Upgrade to a Higher End Preamp: Open to opinions... would the DJ Pre II be a bottleneck on my system? Any other options I can look into?
My setup is:
AT540ML Stylus > Technics Sl-1700mkii Turntable > DJ Pre II Phono > Denon AVR-X1500H Receiver (Sometimes with Audyssey Room EQ on) > Energy E:XL 26 Floorstanding Speakers (and a crappy Energy Sub... will be replaced in a few months)

Any insights? Recommendations? Is the Phono Preamp (or anything else) bottlenecking my system?

Thank you in advance!
 
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P_M

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I wouldn't use the phono input on any avr. Your TT + Cart + Stylus combo deserves better.
Did you see the review amir posted today of the new version of the art pre ? It has much better headroom, better thd performance and still only $80. You can give it a try.
When I had the original art dj pre ii I used to run it on batteries. To my (and many others) ears it made a difference. You could try that if you are up for it on the new version as the only thing looks like may be improved is the ps noise, not to suggest that is a problem or anything.

If you want to venture out of the art brand, Schiit Mani 2 and Cambridge Audio Solo should be the top choices in your list. Followed by Emotiva XPS-1 but its higher priced.
edit: correction, the Emotiva is now only $120 on their website, that is a huge price drop from a long time ago when I was considering it!
 

DVDdoug

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the Gain pot has gotten scratchy/jumpy

You could try some control cleaner. You'd have to take the cover off of the preamp, then there are usually holes in the potentiometer. You spray-in some cleaner and rotate the pot back-and-forth several times, and usually that will repair it.
 

KR500

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You could replace the potentiometer or buy the newer version Amir just reviewed.
I own the same version you have of the ART phone preamp and it punches way above others in the price range.
Upgrading to the Bellari tube phone preamp netted excellent results but it is over double the cost.
Tube rolling found that the recommended manufacturer Sovtek 12ax7 lps tube had the best sound
 

Chrispy

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Is the version Amir tested actually in the same line as the DJ Pre II or the Phono Plus or stand-alone or ?
 

P_M

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well on the front it says project series for this and the phono plus. not sure what that means or how that line of products is different from the dj pre ii.
 

Chrispy

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well on the front it says project series for this and the phono plus. not sure what that means or how that line of products is different from the dj pre ii.
Well I have a Phono Plus I don't use, maybe I should send it up to Amir?
 
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