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Help for pre amp (Nobsound ns 08p or Audiphonics PRE 01) for Hypex NCore (my new home set-up)

Smislov

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After 15 years it's time to change my hi-fi set-up. I've been looking for practical solutions for some time. I've come down to two possible solutions which I'd like to hear your opinion on. My main concern was to be not to pricey yet practical, in other words cost-effective :). I'm moving from class A amp to class D Hypex NCore.
This is my current set-up
audiosetup-03.jpg

My two possible solutions:

Solution 1:

audiosetup-01.jpg



Solution 2:

audiosetup-02.jpg


My questions are in relation to the pre amp - Which is the better set-up of these two?
What would you change? What do you think about nobsound ns-08p or audiophonics pre-01 (which seem to be the same only rebranded)
The preamp has to be with volume control to control the volume of the turntable.
It would be nice to have remote volume control.
Thanks
 

somebodyelse

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Another option - instead of the Thorens RIAA headamp use something like the Parks Audio Puffin that has a digital output, and use the DAC for input selection and volume control.
 
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Smislov

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Another option - instead of the Thorens RIAA headamp use something like the Parks Audio Puffin that has a digital output, and use the DAC for input selection and volume control.
But I have Thorens mm 002 :) So the only economy value Pre-amp is Nobsound or Audiphonics. For them I can't find any test or user experience. Only in ASR Nobsound 3-IN-1-OUT XLR Audio Switch Review
 

somebodyelse

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The Pre-01 internals look very similar to the Weiliang Volume Control which also uses the PGA2310. If it's an updated version they might have addressed some of the measured performance issues.
The Little Bear MC2 is (I think) a passive design, so if well implemented it should measure very well, as we've seen with things like the Schiit Sys, within the limitations of a passive attenuator. I'm not sure how they're doing the single ended in to balanced out part so don't know if that might cause any issues.
If you don't need the convenience of the remote, or the potential extra gain of an active preamp, and the preamp will be close to the power amps, a passive should perform well. Being close is about avoiding the combination of the attenuator and the cable capacitance forming a filter that rolls off the top end. I wouldn't expect you to need extra gain for the DAC, but I'm not sure about the turntable. It depends on how much gain the Thorens has, and the output level of your cartridge.
 
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Smislov

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@somebodyelse tnx
Can u suggest me in your opinion good pre amp for my set up, pls :) I like small practical economy value pre amp, no more than 200euro/usd.

I have ortofon om 20 stylus
Frequency response - 20-20.000 Hz + 2 / - 3 dB
Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force *) - 70 µm *) Typical value
Compliance, dynamic, lateral - 25 µm/mN
Stylus type - Nude Elliptical
Stylus tip radius - r/R 8/18 µm
Tracking force range - 1.25-1.75 g (12.5-17.5 mN)
Tracking force, recommended - 1.5 g (15 mN)
Tracking angle - 20°
Stylus colour - Black

Thorens MM 002

Specifications
Mode Moving Magnet (MM)
Gain at 1 kHz 40 dB
Cartridge matching (input impedance) 47 kOhms + 220 pF fixed
Frequency response 10 Hz - 50 kHz (-3 dB)
RIAA curve accuracy 0.3 dB max.
THD+N <0.015%
Signal-to-noise-ratio >86 dB
Crosstalk ≧40 dB
Input sensitivity 3.14 mVrms for -10 dBV output (316 mVrms)
Max. output voltage 498 mVrms at 5 mVrms input (1 kHz)
Output impedance 47 Ohms
Input connections 1 pair of RCA sockets (left/right)
Output connections 1 pair of RCA sockets (left/right)
Power supply 24 V DC / 630 mA
Power consumption 3.3 W / 15 mA
Weight 292 g (not including power supply)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 100 x 45 x 93 mm
 

somebodyelse

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According to this sensitivity calculation for a Buckeye amp using the stereo version of the hypex module, it needs 1.7V rms input to reach full output. The EX5 can easily meed this, but it's more than the maximum output of the MM 002, so if you need to reach full output from the turntable you'll need a preamp with some gain. I'm not familiar enough with what's on the market to make any preamp recommendations beyond looking in the review index here.
 

Zutroye

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I'd like to bump this post. I have a similar situation. I'm looking at putting together a second system and I'd like to give the class D, hypex ncore a shot. I've only used integrated amps to this point, and I'm not sure what to do for a decent preamp. It will be used for 2 channel with a turntable. I have an Emotiva XPS-1 phono pre. I may want to plug in a CD player or streaming device at a later date. I feel like I should be able to find something good for under $3K. I'll be driving Monitor Audio Silver 500s. Apologies to the OP if I'm hijacking, but very smilar setup.
 

MarcosCh

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I was in a similar situation until recently. Everything is so much cheap and easy if you stay all digital... But i wanted to keep my turntable at all cost.
After months of research, came to the conclusion that i needed to digitalize the turntable signal.
The result: turntable > phono stage > soundcard > raspberry pi with LMS > stream over wifi
To the other end i have the usual streamer > d30pro DAC (doing preamp function as well) > Boxem Hypex
Added benefit: the turntable rig is now physically independent of the DAC/amp that are somewhere else in the room.
Hope it helps, i am super happy with this solution, really.
 

stemfencer

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I was in a similar situation until recently. Everything is so much cheap and easy if you stay all digital... But i wanted to keep my turntable at all cost.
After months of research, came to the conclusion that i needed to digitalize the turntable signal.
The result: turntable > phono stage > soundcard > raspberry pi with LMS > stream over wifi
To the other end i have the usual streamer > d30pro DAC (doing preamp function as well) > Boxem Hypex
Added benefit: the turntable rig is now physically independent of the DAC/amp that are somewhere else in the room.
Hope it helps, i am super happy with this solution, really.
Hi Marcos - would you be able share any more thoughts/reviews on your set-up and happy with it? My research is converging on a similar approach (RPi > Topping DAC acting as pre-amp > Hypex) however would like to get a turntable in the future, perhaps those integrated AB amps might still have a place.
 

MarcosCh

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Hi Stemfencer,
Actually I ended up with that setup to overcome a few limitations I have at home... My living room is quite long and my records and the vinyl rig are to one side, and the dac-amp-speaker setup to the other, and I didn't want to run cables all over the place.
Additionally, and this is what I was referring to in my post, there aren't many good small dacs with analog input. There is RME, matrix audio mini i3 pro, some minidsp and some others, but all those are around 1000eur or more...

Considering all this, I thought to give a try to digitalize and stream the vinyl rig signal, and I am quite happy with the result. Additionally the signal goes through the same room correction eq than the rest of the system, don't have any audible hum or noise.... There is a significant delay of 5 seconds or so, and this can be annoying if you sit too close to the turntable, as you can hear the actual music coming from the stylus a few seconds before, but if you are say 3 or more meters apart, it is not a problem.
I don't know, probably not a solution for everybody, but for my use case it is perfect.
Hope it helps, is this the sort of feedback you were looking for?
 

bloomdido

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I'd just choose between Audiophonics and Nobsound based on what is needed more: XLR support or Bluetooth and postpone researching more expensive options to the future if it's even needed because both are dirt cheap and quite likely to do the job. The star of the show is going to be the new Hypex amp anyway and I suspect people at Audiophonics designed their preamp exactly for those new Hypex and Purifi power amps they sell.
 
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Smislov

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New preamp of Audiphonics and maybe is same with Nobsound-NS-08P Pro


 

stemfencer

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I don't know, probably not a solution for everybody, but for my use case it is perfect.
Hope it helps, is this the sort of feedback you were looking for?

That is perfect, thank you. In my head there is something wrong going analogue to digital to analogue again, but with good converters it's inaudible and works well. Vinyl will be a secondary source for me so building option around digital streaming, just want to ensure pathway is there and 5 second delay is fine.

I agree with what you said small dacs with analogue inputs, that is what had me reach out to ask the question. Same can be said for preamps that accept balanced (again without spending $1k). Perhaps we have identified a gap in the market here?

Final question what was the soundcard that you used for the ADC and then stream?
 

MarcosCh

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Final question what was the soundcard that you used for the ADC and then stream?
I have a temporary solution while i don't identify an affordable phono stage with usb out that measures well and is available in europe, but i am quite happy with it and might become permanent.
I use a Sound blaster x-fi HD. There are plenty in the used marked at very low prices.i think i paid 20 euros for mine.
Please note that the HD has both line in and phono stage, while i am happy with the line in, the phono stage is crap, and very noisy. My recommendation with this soundcard is to use a separate phono stage and the sound blaster in line in mode.
 

bloomdido

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I wonder why Hypex doesn't sell some basic pre+gain+DAC+Bluetooth board, they could contract it from some Chinese manifacturer like Aiyima and sell it for $100 (just a board with no wiring and chassis) with "authorized for nCore" label so that companies like Audiophonics could integrate it for $100 more making integrated amps. With $200 added price the amps would still be a bargain and Hypex would have some additional revenue.
 
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