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[WTD] EAR 834P Phono Stage.

Discussion in 'classifieds' started by Colin131, Sep 19, 2022.

  1. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    Looking for an EAR 834P MC/MM phonon stage. Doesn’t matter if it has the volume control or not.
  2. Ianp

    Ianp pfm Member

    Elite Audio have one, though a bit pricey for me.
    Colin131 likes this.
  3. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    If you are looking for the MM capability, the circuit is essentially the same as a Croft, although the standard Croft RIAA has an output suited for a valve rather than SS pre. The Croft can be modded to suit a SS pre and there was one here for sale a short while ago, maybe still available.

    If you are looking for the MC capability, the SUT in the EAR gets variable reviews, which is no surprise as different SUTs suit some cart's far better than others.
    Colin131 likes this.
  4. florette69

    florette69 pfm Member

    I have a Chinese 834P clone if that's of interest
    Colin131 likes this.
  5. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied Me in another jacket

    Or you can buy the parts yourself from China as a kit. I'm not sure tho' whether the finalized quality is as good as the real thing since it does not use genuine parts.
    Colin131 likes this.
  6. florette69

    florette69 pfm Member

    Yes, that's a fair point. Although there aren't many parts, and the EAR uses pretty generic ones as far as I remember. I actually had a genuine 834P for a few years which I sold here in 2014. Instantly regretted the sale, especially as the buyer was never able to use it. Some years later I bought the Douk clone and to my ears it sounded as good as the original.
    Colin131 likes this.
  7. Mike P

    Mike P Trade: Pickwell Audio

    If anyone here has the Douk EAR834P clone they need to be aware that the chassis is not safely grounded and this should be fixed before you use it.

    I have one, which I've done quite a few upgrades and modification to. I expect it'd outperform an original.
  8. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    Sorry for the delay in replying these message. Was busy yesterday.
    I’ll hold out for a while to see if I can find an original. Sometimes they go for a decent price.
  9. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    Thanks for this info. Wasn’t aware of this. What is the feature on the output of the 834p that makes it suitable for solid state? Is it a cathode follower? I’ve got bltn valve and solid state pres (and also passives)
  10. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    I am unsure what the "going rate" is for one, but there is this -

    EAR 834P MM/MC Phono Preamplifier - Tim de Paravicini | eBay

    Best wait for a comment from someone like @Arkless Electronics or @Mike P, but I am betting output impedance - my memory only stretches as far as the fact that the Croft in standard form does not work well with SS.
    The Croft was essentially designed to plug into a Croft pre (Micro of whatever flavour).
    Both the EAR and the majority of Croft RIAA stages (standalone or as part of a pre'), use two off ECC83
  11. Gaius

    Gaius pfm Member

    ^^^ They use 3 ECC83 tubes, mine was good with Mullards, sold for £495.
  12. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Only two for the actual stage, I suspect, the third would be the output valve, I suspect.

    Checking HiFi Shark, sold listings, £7-800 would seem to be the going rate.
    Gaius likes this.
  13. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

  14. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    There are many issues with these!! Either avoid like the plague or be willing to do much modification.
    Mike P likes this.
  15. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    That one on eBay is definitely overpriced.

    I didn’t like mine at all, too soft and it felt like music had lost its drive. I was using it with an Avondale/Naim power amp though.
    Colin131 likes this.
  16. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    MM or MC?

    If MC, it could have been a MC-SUT "mismatch".
    Colin131 likes this.
  17. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    MC and an AT33PTG. I ditched both!
  18. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    I think it depends on system matching. I agree with you in general. This is indeed a full sounding dark and somewhat bloated phono stage that lacks drive, even compared to some other valve items- such as ones I’ve had before (AI P2 and the Art Audio vinyl one - which I’d say are the polar opposite - the P2 in particular had tons of grip and drive, and maybe a slightly lightweight tone).

    I had a 834p before (bought on here very cheaply for £500 2 years ago)
    With my LP12/Ittok/Troika it sounded way to dark and soft, lacked drive etc. However right now I’ve got hold of a Linn Kandid cartridge which is a somewhat bright sounding cartridge IMO. I suspect the 834P might balance it out a bit to give something neutral. All the solid state phono stages I’ve tried haven’t helped. I’m not going to buy a Linn Uphoric or Urika for it!

    Despite its faults the 834P is absolutely grain free, and I can’t say that completely about any solid state phono stage I’ve heard before.

    I used to change one of the tubes (can’t remember which, maybe the front one) to a bright sounding Brimar ECC83. Most Brimars are quite neutral but they did a late version that sounded too bright, but that quality works well to make the 834p sound more neutral.
  19. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    Yes using MC, with the wrong cartridge the problems were worse. Some cartridges demand very good step ups, better than the internal ones in the 834p. Higher impedance carts are more of a problem I’ve got a Denon DL304 40 ohms impedance MC that is hard to match with Stepups and it sounded very poor with the 834p and Mc mode, terrible top end with no detail and some ringing from the transformers. The 40 ohms DL103 sounded similarly poor too.

    Ortofons and Linns are better. You need to stick to cartridges with low internal impedance of 5 ohms or less IMO. That’s easier for the internal step up to handle. The AT33PTG is 12 ohms IIRC, which is not as bad as the Denon but still a bit too high.

    Regardless, even with better matched cartridges it’s still a bit of a dark, overly full and slow sounding phono stage, but a very grain free one. You can tune it more neutral by replacing that front 12AX7 tube with the brightest one you can get your hands on.

    i do have a Yaqin MS12B phono stage that has similar tone and to the 834P but the 834P sounds quite a bit better in many regards.
  20. Mike P

    Mike P Trade: Pickwell Audio

    It's interesting to read peoples listening impressions of the EAR834P here.

    The EAR834P often seems to get described as smooth and non fatiguing but a bit 'pipe and slippers'.

    It's not how I'd describe the sound of mine at all though! Mine is impressively dynamic, fast and agile. I do agree about the grain free bit though.

    However, mine isn't an original, it's a Chinese clone based on the same circuit. I've also done quite a bit of tinkering with it I'm also using an MM cartridge, so it's not a like for like comparison by any means.

    Anyway, FWIW it's now the best phono stage I've used by a comfortable margin and I'm very happy with it.
    freefallrob likes this.

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