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Phono (tube) pre amp with tone controls to fix bass problem?

DutchJay

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Hi all,

My journey in short: stated out with avr 5.1, upgraded the system with an atoll in200 for 2 channel listing (streaming via my avr) and lately bought a turntable. (speakers were q acoustics > monitor audio silver and latest upgrade Arendal 1723 s towers, such a big step just LOVE them)

My room is not perfect but I ran room correction (Dirac live) so was not to bothered as I could corrected everything.

But with the turntable I obviously notice the big bass boost I corrected before and it ruins my listening. The room is a living room so I can't change the MPL and I already put the front speakers in the ideal position for imaging and center fill. Other than the bass I have a great open soundstage with very good imaging and depth.

The IN200 is a great amp but it does not have tone controls, so in order to fix the bass I was thinking about a phono pre amp with tone controls.

2 questions:

1. Do you agree and any advice on a good one which does not break the bank. Would like to have a model that does not degrade the sound of the IN200 [1.6 k Euro, duel mono design], but not to expensive as I not not use the turn table as my daily driver.

2. Is a tube pre-amp going to increase the holographic imaging and sound stage like a tube amp does? In that case I would be interested in that as well...

Thanks a lot for your input!

Jeroen.
 

MaxwellsEq

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But with the turntable I obviously notice the big bass boost I corrected before and it ruins my listening.
I think you need to explain this? A turntable should have roughly the same frequency response response as a digital source. Turntables are very susceptible to feedback, so this may be an issue.
 
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DutchJay

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I use dirac live (room correction or form of dsp) to correct the bass of the digital signal.

If I switch that off I get the same mega boomy bass, so I know for sure that its the room gain.

That why I'm looking for a way to control the bass output of the turntable
 

DVDdoug

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Tone controls will probably help.

But you may not want to limit them to the phono stage. Sometimes, it's convenient to tweak the bass or treble on certain recordings.

But with the turntable I obviously notice the big bass boost
Not "obviously". The frequency response of most cartridges and phono preamps (after accounting for RIAA equalization) are flat within a couple of dB (but not as good as digital). The high frequency variations are usually worse. And older records vary a LOT... I don't know anything about modern records, except that they are subject to the same-old limitations.

The deepest bass is normally rolled-off on records so the stylus can track the groove but most recordings (analog or digital) don't contain a lot of deep bass anyway. The high frequency variations are usually worse.

Feedback is a possibility (usually mechanical through the floor, or if you set the turntable on top of a speaker), But it shouldn't happen at low volume/gain, or if you turn-up the gain it will feedback out-of-control and be obvious. If you do get feedback it's usually is at low frequencies because the RIAA EQ boosts the bass, and because it's usually more of a mechanical vibration.

Is a tube pre-amp going to increase the holographic imaging and sound stage like a tube amp does?
Amplifiers (tube or solid state) are supposed to simply "amplify" and any good amplifier will do that. "Holographic imaging" is probably somebody's imagination. ;) "Audiophiles" often have big imaginations! :p There is no advantage to 1950s technology, but it is more expensive to build a good tube amp.
 

Bob from Florida

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I use dirac live (room correction or form of dsp) to correct the bass of the digital signal.

If I switch that off I get the same mega boomy bass, so I know for sure that its the room gain.

That why I'm looking for a way to control the bass output of the turntable
Get a Parks Audio Waxwing phono preamp. It digitizes the cartridge signal then applies the RIAA corrections in the digital domain. From there you have some choices. You can fix the boomy bass with the Waxwing app controls or you can use the digital out of the Waxwing to feed your Dirac device. Either way, it should solve your problem.
 

mhardy6647

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Other than adjusting capacitance (for MM or MI cartridges) or resistance (MM, MI, and MC cartridges) I don't think you'll find much in the way of tone control on dedicated phono preamp/equalizers, if that is what you are asking.
Changing the slope of the (reverse) RIAA EQ to make the line-level output of a phono preamp more or less "flat" can be done -- indeed, there do exist phono preamps with multiple EQ curves to accommodate pre-RIAA equalization "standards" for really vintage record collectors ('vintage' records, not necessarily vintage collectors! ;)).
EDIT: OK, the above-mentioned Parks Audio preamp/EQ, posted while I was hammering away at the keyboard ;), is one option.
There is at least one reasonably priced analog option -- danged if I can remember the brand. It does look like Graham Slee might have one (or more?) reasonably inexpensive preamps with different EQ curves built in(?).

As, I think, has already been suggested, the best solution is line-level tone control in one's preamp (or integrated amp).
An attractive dedicated tone control product for you, @DutchJay might be Schiit's Loki or Lokius equalizers. You'll need to insert them between preamp and power amp, or you'll need a "processor loop" (or "tape loop") in an integrated amp or receiver (i.e., a line level "out" and a corresponding line level "in" that is always "in the circuit").

PS are you sure your "mega boomy bass" isn't due to acoustic feedback? It can be a problem with record playback, which may be exacerbated by poor isolation of the record player and/or unfavorable resonance behavior (frequency and/or "Q") of the arm/cartridge combination being used. Such issues will be playback volume-dependent. EDIT: Just saw that @DVDdoug mentioned acoustic feedback earlier: 1) sorry, @DVDdoug and 2) +1 (as they say)!
 
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DSJR

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Holographic *perceived* imaging is to me, ringing in the valves (I have a tale about this) and in some planar type headphones, ringing in the diaphragm... Vinyl adds its own 'halo' quite often to the recordings being played (one of things missing in accurate analogue or digital playback).

Nonetheless, I hope you get things sorted.
 

mhardy6647

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Holographic *perceived* imaging is to me, ringing in the valves (I have a tale about this) and in some planar type headphones, ringing in the diaphragm... Vinyl adds its own 'halo' quite often to the recordings being played (one of things missing in accurate analogue or digital playback).

Nonetheless, I hope you get things sorted.
Yeah, I wouldn't expect adding a high gain vacuum tube device is likely to help much of anything for @DutchJay :p
I am a vacuum tube kind of guy, but I use a solid state phono preamp. :eek:
 

MaxwellsEq

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I use dirac live (room correction or form of dsp) to correct the bass of the digital signal.

If I switch that off I get the same mega boomy bass, so I know for sure that its the room gain.

That why I'm looking for a way to control the bass output of the turntable
OK I understand. Your room correction fixes the bass to sound OK when using digital sources, but when you use a turntable, you go through a different part of the chain which doesn't have room correction built-in.

This can not be fixed by changing the phono preamplifier. The problem is the room.

Any good phono preamplifier will measure pretty much the same as any other. None of them have room correction abilities. Most don't have tone controls. The Waxwing is your best choice for a wide range of tuning.

Unless you can reroute the phono signal inside your amplifier there seems to be three alternatives: 1) digitise your LPs and use the digital files through your digital chain with room correction; 2) buy an analogue tone control system; 3) use an ADC in real time to create an S/PDIF or USB feed from the output of a phono preamplifier that goes into your digital chain with its room correction (you might find you can use a laptop for this).
 
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DutchJay

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Hi all, thanks a lot for all the input!!

I'm sure its not mechanica as I tried the table in diff positions and even holding it down/pressing down on it, but did not change the bomminess. Next to this I can even recreate it in the digital domain by switching of the room correction. That the proof it is the room rather than the table.


you'll need a "processor loop" (or "tape loop") in an integrated amp or receiver (i.e., a line level "out" and a corresponding line level "in" that is always "in the circuit").
Trying to process all of the above and don't understand this. I have an integrated amp with many rca inputs (aux, dvd, etc) it also has a very good phone stage in it (you purchase it separately so it's not a cheap included one). Current setup is table to input, but the pre amp is integrated. So is the loop possible?
 

Mnyb

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Can you connect the analog out from the phono to an analog in on the AVR and still use the room correction ? There is no problem having room correction with analog sources with most AVR’s ?

Or are you physically switching amps ? When listening to records .
 
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DutchJay

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I could do that but it is a denon 3800h, which has a great measuring digital section, but I think the phono pre amp Is an afterthought and not very good.

I tried it that way when I bought the table but I really don't like the sound. Thats why I bought the pre amp module for the atoll... which sounds great apart from the bass......
 
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DutchJay

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Get a Parks Audio Waxwing phono preamp. It digitizes the cartridge signal then applies the RIAA corrections in the digital domain. From there you have some choices. You can fix the boomy bass with the Waxwing app controls or you can use the digital out of the Waxwing to feed your Dirac device. Either way, it should solve your problem.
Sounds like a solid option, although not the cheapest
 

Mnyb

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I could do that but it is a denon 3800h, which has a great measuring digital section, but I think the phono pre amp Is an afterthought and not very good.

I tried it that way when I bought the table but I really don't like the sound. Thats why I bought the pre amp module for the atoll... which sounds great apart from the bass......
I meant using an external phono pre to the aux or line in not the phono input :)
 
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DutchJay

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Oh, sorry didn't understand. Interesting....

I just found a possible solution, the ifi phono zen air. It has a subsonic filter for rumble and subsonic bass and its only 100 euro. Going to try this on its own and If no sufficient via the denon!
 

MaxwellsEq

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Oh, sorry didn't understand. Interesting....

I just found a possible solution, the ifi phono zen air. It has a subsonic filter for rumble and subsonic bass and its only 100 euro. Going to try this on its own and If no sufficient via the denon!
Many phono preamplifiers have a fixed or switchable subsonic filter because there is nothing of any value below 30Hz. If your room nodes are higher in frequency than that a rumble or subsonic filter will be ineffective.
I could do that but it is a denon 3800h, which has a great measuring digital section, but I think the phono pre amp Is an afterthought and not very good.

I tried it that way when I bought the table but I really don't like the sound. Thats why I bought the pre amp module for the atoll
So you DO have a working solution, you just think you can get a better phono sound AND room correction by flipping preamplifiers. You might get close, but phono preamplifiers don't normally do room correction, so you will have to use tone controls or digitise.
which sounds great apart from the bass......
What's it doing better that the built-in phono preamplifier doesn't achieve, since that is the actual problem here - you believe the room-correctable solution lacks something.
 
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DutchJay

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So you DO have a working solution, you just think you can get a better phono sound AND room correction by flipping preamplifiers. You might get close, but phono preamplifiers don't normally do room correction, so you will have to use tone controls or digitise.
No sadly I don't, it sounds so bad vs the phono pre amp module that I don't even consider using it.
 

Bob from Florida

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Oh, sorry didn't understand. Interesting....

I just found a possible solution, the ifi phono zen air. It has a subsonic filter for rumble and subsonic bass and its only 100 euro. Going to try this on its own and If no sufficient via the denon!
The Air might have less noise and more accurate RIAA, however, the subsonic filter won't help with boom in the room. You need to get some equalization into the output of your phono preamp to compensate the same way you do for your digital source. I own a Zen - next version up and while it is a great phono stage, the Waxwing's feature set blows it away. Download the Waxwing app to your smart phone or tablet and check out what settings are available. The unit has an optical and coax digital output that could be directly connected to your processor to allow your Dirac corrections to be applied.
 

MaxwellsEq

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Amir measured the Waxwing's predecessor the Puffin.

 
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