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[WTD] EAR 834P Phono Stage.

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

  1. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    That’s interesting! Glad you’re happy with yours. What did you change in it? Which parts?. Caps etc I presume. What brands did you use?

    Agreed that with MM it might fair better anyway. You might get a more dynamic sound. My Technics DD deck also worked a lot better with it than the LP12. The more dynamic and punchy nature of the Technics helped. Perhaps the LP12 isn’t the right turntable for it (even using the Kandid).
  2. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    One big leap, but just assume for a moment that the basic sounds of the EAR MM stage and the Croft are very similar.

    I use a Croft pre' (older vintage, push-pull (2 x 12BH7) output, 2 x ECC83 MM stage). Cart's have been primarily Delos and DV 20X2.

    I have used 4-5 different phono stages, at least as many SUTs and as many again head amp's. Prices have been to something like around £500 each, all s/h.

    I changed from a phono stage to using the Croft MM stage due to a very firm recommendation here.

    The stages had nothing much between them, although I did compare the Arkless stage to a head amp', and was very impressed. The SUTs were very variable in sound, but avergaed better than the standalone stages. All head amp's have been better again.

    All in my opinion, of course. Power amp's are Avondale NCC200 and 300, mostly into large Tannoys.

    I have chopped and changed all valves in the Croft, numerous brands and vintages excepting Telefunken - I am with just one or two others here - I hear almost no difference - I can kid myself that one or other just "feel" right or not, on longer listening, but is it real??????
    Colin131 likes this.
  3. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    i changed to a Brinkmann Fein and it was so much better in every single way. It’s seen me through active speakers and using Avondale/Naim power amps. Now with my ATC SCM40A’s and it’s just superb. Using a DV20XL2 in a Naim Aro.

    I know some have had good results with Linn/Naim kit but that was certainly not my experience.
  4. Mike P

    Mike P Trade: Pickwell Audio

    As far as I remember I done the following:

    • I've removed the transformer from the main unit and this now lives in a separate box and is connected via umbilical cord.
    • The fake Chinese 'Alps blue' potentiometer was replaced with a 23 position stepped attenuator.
    • MM/MC switch removed and bypassed.
    • The small value capacitors in the RIAA filter (110pF and 300pF IIRC) were replaced with close tolerance extended film/foil polystyrene parts. I first tried some very expensive boutique Charcroft silver mica caps but didn't like them at all.
    • The cartridge loading was optimised for my cartridge, which meant changing the loading resistors down from 51K to 47K and adding an extra 220pF of capacitance (polystyrenes).
    • The cathode bypass caps were changed from Tantalum to Elna Silmic.
    • The metalised polyester film caps were all changed to Wima MKP10 polypropylene.
    • The rectifier diodes were swapped to fancier types.
    • The smoothing capacitors were all replaced (moderately increased value and better quality).
    • The chassis was safely grounded!
    • The now redundant power switch on the main unit was repurposed as a switchable ground lift (thanks for the tip @Arkless Electronics).
    • The factory fitted JJ ECC83S valves were swapped to nicer ones (I'm currently running vintage long smooth plate Telefunkens).
    • I removed the horrible badge and copper plating from the front panel so that it matches the aesthetics of the rest of my kit better.
    • I put some nicer feet on it (nanocamp audio isolation feet).
    I did also try changing to an ECC82 in the buffer position, complete with different bias resistors but ended up going back to an ECC83 and original value resistors. I might reinvestigate this now that I'm happy with the overall sound.
    Colin131 likes this.
  5. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Removing the mains transformer to a separate box and adding a proper safety earth are the biggies. The ground lift was just asking to be put in to use the old switch... and 'cos it's useful. I wouldn't bother with the rest personally.

    Beware that some of these Chi fi ones have a dubious head amp built in to a small round metal can intended to look like an SUT and even need a PP3 installed to power it!
    Colin131 likes this.
  6. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    Sorry was too busy to reply in the last few days. This sounds like loads of upgrades! Congrats on doing all that. I’d probably want to get an original 834p rather than a clone. Sometimes
    you can get a cheap one. I’ll bear in mind all these upgrades when I do.
  7. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    The head amp that looks like an SUT is a bit cheeky! The real original SUTs are probably not so cheap now after all the recent materials increases. Can’t remember what brand they are.

    I’ll probably go for an original 834p if I can find one for an OK price.
  8. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    I’ve always wanted to try a Croft phono stage, and also their pre and power amps (the power amps use no negative feedback, which is unusual for a SS design)

    I’ll keep an eye out for a Croft phono, although they might be harder to find than a 834P.
  9. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Bear in mind, the standard version does not suit many ss pre's. Glenn usually charges very little for simple mod's if you can't find one already adapted to better suit ss.

    These things are like buses - never around when you want one, but eventually arrive in droves, often too late.
    Colin131 likes this.
  10. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    Sorry no time to reply earlier, thanks for the info on the Croft. I wonder what the mod involves. Will try to find out.

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