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What's On This Page? A Phono Preamp Is The Gateway From Your Turntable To The Rest Of The Audio World!
Thank You for Choosing KAB
FAQ INFO HELP

Audiophile Preamps
Do I Need?
Vintage EQ Curves?
A Simple Preamp?
Moving Coil Booster?
To Connect To A SoundCard?
A LF Rumble Filter
Interconnect Cables

Basic Hi Fi Phono Preamps
Related Links
-Special Deals
- Gain Computer
- RIAA Computer
-Interconnects

Basic Phono Preamps
Rolls VP29
MM Preamp
Rolls GCi404
MM Preamp, Line, Mic, Instrument Mixer
Rolls VP-29 Only
$49.95
Click To Buy Now
ROLLS GCI404Only
$84.95
Click To Buy Now
MC MM         :MM
AC POWERED    :YES
GAIN          :35dB
ADJUSTABLE    :NO 
# TURNTABLES  :1
LOAD          :47K Ohm
NOISE FIGURE  :-80dB
HEADPHONE OUT :NO
Higher quality preamp for critical listening and transferring to CD etc.
Small and compact. Can be located anywhere.
MC MM         :MM
AC POWERED    :YES
GAIN          :38dB
ADJUSTABLE    :YES 
# Inputs      :3
LOAD          :47K Ohm
NOISE FIGURE  :-80dB
HEADPHONE OUT :YES
1 Phono, 1 Line, 1 Microphone, and 1 Istrument with mixing capability. Use independantly or installs in PC drive bay. Very, very cool!
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Hi Quality MM Phono Preamps
Creek OBH-15 MK2
MM/MC Preamp
Bellari VP-130
MM Preamp W/ Headphone Amp
Bellari VP530
Computer Audio Interface
Creek OBH-15 MK2 Only $595
Click To Buy Now

Or Click Here For A Special Offer
Bellari VP-129 Only
$225
Click To Buy Now
Spare Tube $15.00
Click To Buy Now
Bellari VP530 Phono Preamp Only
$325
Click To Buy Now
MC MM         :MM/MC
AC POWERED    :YES
GAIN          :40-70dB
ADJUSTABLE    :YES 
# TURNTABLES  :1
LOAD          :47K/500
NOISE FIGURE  :-76dB
HEADPHONE OUT :NO
Actual Front Panel Color is Black.
Discrete transistor circuitry offers very quiet hiss free sound with lots of detail.
Adjustable gain and loading Read More...
MC MM         :MM
AC POWERED    :YES
GAIN          :39dB Max
ADJUSTABLE    :Gain/Headphone 
# TURNTABLES  :1
LOAD          :47K Ohm
NOISE FIGURE  :-75dB
HEADPHONE OUT :YES
Tube phono stage offers warmth and harmonic detail not found in other designs. Headphone output is a nice addition. This reminds us alot of the NYAL Super IT! Anyone remember that?
The New VP-130 features a lower noise power supply. In Stock Now.

AC POWERED    :YES
GAIN          :39dB Max
ADJUSTABLE    :Gain/Headphone 
EQ            :RIAA/FLAT
OUTPUT        :Analog, USB
# TURNTABLES  :1
LOAD          :47K Ohm
NOISE FIGURE  :-75dB
HEADPHONE OUT :YES
Essentially a hi end archival phono stage. Features analog and USB outputs. Allows for RIAA and flat eq transfers. Built in switchable rumble filter. Tube phono stage offers warmth and harmonic detail not found in other designs.
Level controls for main out and headphones.
Analog and USB
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Hi Quality MM/MC Phono Preamps
Music Hall PA1.2
MM/MC Preamp
Grado PH-1
MM / MC Preamp
Music Hall PA1.2 Music Hall PA1.2 $150.00
Click To Buy Now
Grado PH-1 Phono Preamp
Grado PH-1 Phono Preamp
$500.00
No Longer Available
See Creek OBH15MK2
MC MM         :BOTH
AC POWERED    :YES
GAIN          :40/60dB
ADJUSTABLE    :NO 
# TURNTABLES  :1
LOAD          :47K // 120pF
NOISE FIGURE  :-86/75dB
HEADPHONE OUT :NO
Another great performance value from Music Hall.
Read More...
MC MM         :BOTH
AC POWERED    :YES
GAIN          :40dB/60dB
ADJUSTABLE    :NO 
# TURNTABLES  :1
LOAD          :47K Ohm
NOISE FIGURE  :N/A
HEADPHONE OUT :NO
What is so significant about the PH-1 is the fact that the technical superiority claims absolutely correlate to an unprecedented improvement in openness, greater depth of field and increased definition to the sound of each musical instrument. The PH-1 offers a true freedom from past sonic problems along with Grado's usual warm, smooth, full bodied, non-fatiguing and rich sound qualities that everyone has embraced.Read More...
   
MC Step-Ups , Rumble Filters & Cables
Bellari MT502
MC Step Up Transformer
KAB RF-1
Transparent Rumble Filter
ART Mogami Cables
Bellari MT502 Only
$399.95
Click To Buy Now
KAB GSE RF-1 Rumble Filter Only
$179.95
Click To Buy Now
Click On The Cables To See Our Selection Of CablesDon't Forget Cables
MC MM         :MC
AC POWERED    :Not Required
GAIN          :20/30dB
ADJUSTABLE    :LOAD SETTINGS/GROUND 
# TURNTABLES  :1
INPUT LOAD    :50/100 OHM
OUTPUT LOAD   :50K
THD           :0.02%
TURNS RATIO   :22:1 or 32:1
Superb step up tranformer offer practically noise free gain allowing the use of low output MC cartridges with standard MM phono preamp
Read More...
MC MM         :NA
AC POWERED    :YES
GAIN          :UNITY
ADJUSTABLE    :NO 
# TURNTABLES  :1
LOAD          :10kOhm
NOISE FIGURE  :-85dB
HEADPHONE OUT :NA
The KAB RF-1 effectively suppresses lateral rumble below 20Hz and vertical rumble below 200Hz. Effectively supresses acoustic feedback and woofer pumping.
Read More...
 
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Audiophile Phono Preamps
KAB EQS MK12
Disc Remastering Phono Preamp
KAB EQS MK12 Temporarily Unavailable
MC MM         :MM/MC
AC POWERED    :YES
GAIN          :Front End: 36dB/56dB. Line stage: -12 +15dB  
ADJUSTABLE    :Gain. Load Resistance. Mono Mix. 12 Response Curves
# TURNTABLES  :2
LOAD          :10 - 1000 Ohm MC // 600pF.  10K - 100K Ohm MM // 100pF.
NOISE FIGURE  :-85dB MM, -75dB MC
HEADPHONE OUT :NO
Hybrid transistor/ IC circuitry offers low noise sound with lots of detail.
Full Resistive loading especially for MM's offers greater control over cartridge sound.
Rumble filter, Mono function with Mono Mix control, Line stage with additional -12 to +15dB of gain.

Read More...
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Archival Phono Preamps
KAB VSP MK2
Vintage Signal Processor / Preamp
Only
$600
Click To Buy Now
With Inverse RIAA Line Input
$675

Click To Buy Now
MC MM         :MM
AC POWERED    :YES
GAIN          :36dB  
ADJUSTABLE    :Mono Mix. EQ. Hi cut Filters.
# TURNTABLES  :1 with hardwire phono bypass
LOAD          :47kOhm MM // 100pF.
NOISE FIGURE  :-80dB
HEADPHONE OUT :NO
Designed primarily for 78 rpm and other mono era recordings.
Here is a customer supplied link using the VSP MK2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JCLm2ouDg0
These are built to order, and typical build time is 2-3 weeks. You can reserve one now by using the custom order option at checkout. No prepayment neccessary.
Read more.
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What's On This Page? FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
PHONO PREAMPS
Thank You For Choosing KAB
TOP INFO HELP
  • What is a phono preamp or phono stage?
    Your new record player features a magnetic phono cartridge and stylus. The phono cartridge converts the mechanical movement of the stylus into electrical signals, very small electrical signals. In order for your stereo to make use of these tiny signals, they must first be amplified- that is the job of the phono preamp. It boosts the tiny cartridge signals to a usable level that can then go on to an AUX input in your stereo or a soundcard in your computer.
  • How do I know if I need a phono preamp?
    You will need a phono preamp if:
    -Your stereo is lacking phono inputs; many new stereo's leave this connection out.
    -The input selector on your stereo has no phono position.
    -You want to connect your turntable to a computer sound card .
    -You are replacing a record player that had a flip over style needle.
  • Do the more expensive models sound better?
    Yes. In audio, the choice of parts and design have a great impact on overall sound quality. Designs which use discrete devices will be the most expensive because they usually involve tedious device testing and selection. Discrete designs produce more lifelike fidelity with lower noise and better soundstage presentation than IC designs. This is most likely due to the selection process which lets a designer optimize every aspect of the design. IC's, by their very nature, don't allow this degree of optimization.
  • Is a phono stage also an equalizer?
    Yes. One of the most important jobs of the phono preamp is to provide the RIAA equalization. When a record is made, the bass sounds are attenuated and the treble sounds are boosted. This is done in a precise manner according to the RIAA response curve. Upon playback, the phono preamp reverses this process, boosting the bass sounds and attenuating the treble sounds precisely. The result is accurate reproduction.
  • Why is equalization required?
    Mostly an outcome of history, the EQ process reduces surface noise just like Dolby NR works in tape playback. This was a boon for the 78 RPM medium and early vinyl. Todays vinyl is a pretty quiet medium and over the years it has been suggested to eliminate the treble part of the EQ curve, but it never happened. The Bass EQ has the very useful effect of getting more music on the record. The number of grooves per inch is related to the groove width and bass sounds if unattenuated, make huge grooves!
  • Is RIAA the only EQ curve?
    No. The progress of disc recording can actually be measured by the advance of the EQ curve. It started with very gentle curves in the early 30's climaxing with a very steep curve in the 40's favored by broadcasters for it's noise reduction quality, and then settled back a little finalizing with what we know as the RIAA curve. Our Souvenir EQS MK12 exploits this historical perspective with 12 selectable EQ curves.
  • Why do my speakers jump in and out when I play records?
    You are seeing what is commonly called "rumble". This is very low frequency energy much of which is cut in the groove by the disc cutting process.
    This can and should be removed carefully so the bass is not affected. The device that does this is called a rumble filter. This filter will have a very steep cut-off around 20 Hz and may use advanced canceleing techniques to supress both lateral and vertical rumble. Done properly, fidelity will improve because there will be less IM distortion from the speakers, and reduced affects of acoustic feedback.
    KAB has a very hi performance rumble filter model RF-1.
  • What about Moving Coil cartridges?
    Low output moving coil phono cartridges require either a dedicated phono stage or a pre preamp that boosts the MC signal up to the level of a moving magnet cartridge. Our PRE-MC can do that. Our EQS MK2, and 12 can accommodate most any cartridge.
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What's On This Page? INFORMATION
PHONO PREAMPS
Thank You For Choosing KAB
FAQ TOP HELP
The phono preamp is a very important part of your stereo system. If records are a major part of your music library, then this should be of interest to you. We often lose sight of the degree of technology represented by the LP record. As we learn more about this technology, it becomes even more amazing that it is capable of the fidelity we cherish so much.

Todays vinyl is a very quiet carrier for music. The phono preamp must not produce noise or hiss that covers over the quietest sounds in the recording. Noise is one of the most important parameters in preamp design. The better designs feature discrete devices in their circuits. These devices can be hand selected for low noise parameters. In IC designs, there is always compromise. With that said though , todays modern IC's are capable of very good noise performance.

Accurate equalization is also very important. It is often said that the main culprit responsible for two preamps sounding different is the accuracy of the RIAA response. The math used to compute these networks is very straight forward and frankly, there is no excuse for accuracy outside a 1 dB window. And most hi quality preamps should beat that easily. (Click for KAB RIAA Computer.)

The gain of the preamp is usually determined by the kind of phono cartridge you have. Moving Magnet cartridges will work well with about 37dB of gain. Low output moving coils need 55- 60dB. High output moving coils will usually work with a MM preamp but with some increase in overall system noise. If you have a wide variety of different cartridge technologies, then a preamp with variable gain might be a good choice.



OUTPUT LEVEL CONSIDERATIONS
  To Maintain the best signal to noise ratio your phono preamp gain should compliment the output of your phono cartridge. The table below is a good guide to follow. Higher gains than necessary will reduce the overload margin and increase hiss.

  Try our gain computer below. Look up your cartridge output and type it into the space provided. The optimum gain of your phono stage will be calculated.


  The optimum gain is based on achieving 325mV rms output at 5 cm/s. For the current crop of CD recorders, 300mV is required for 0dB recording level with the recorder's level control set at max. Aiming for 325mV gives a little margin.

  If you want to know the gain of your existing preamp and all you have is a Sensitivity specification, type that into the second line and the dB gain of your preamp will be computed. The Sensitivity calculation is based on an output of 250 mV. That is still the standard for this specification though it really doesn't reflect the real world requirements when it comes to digital recording.


  If you know the gain and the maximum output, you can compute the maximum input overload. This is the maximum output generated by the phono cartridge, that the preamp can properly amplify without distortion.

  The Gain Factor is the maximum amplification produced by the preamp at the lowest RIAA frequency 25 Hz. It is an impressive figure to behold. It should give you a greater appreciation of your record player's sensitivity to seismic energy and the importance of vibration isolation.
KAB PHONO PREAMP PARAMETER CALCULATOR
 
 OUTPUT(@5CM/S)
  mV
 SENSITIVITY
  mV
 GAIN            MAX OUT
  dB           Vrms






 
OPTIMUM GAIN
 dB
GAIN       
 dB  
OVERLOAD
 mV@1kHz

GAIN FACTOR
X @ 25hZ

Get Your Own Copy Of The KAB Phono Preamp Parameter Computer

Copyright © 2001 KAB All Rights Reserved.
http://www.kabusa.com

Chart of Typical Gain Values
Output                  Gain
3 - 6 mV                36dB
1 - 3 mV                43dB
0.3 - 1.0 mV            53dB
0.15 - 0.3 mV           60DB

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What's On This Page? HELP USING THIS PAGE
PHONO PREAMPS
Thank You For Choosing KAB
FAQ INFO TOP
The Index Pages have three main attributes:
  • The Control Bar which features the Subject and click on points for Page, Frequently Asked Questions, Additional Subject Information and the Help page your viewing now. Use the Control Bar to navigate through the Index.

  • The MORE Button takes you to a full detailed page on that model.

  • The Shopping Cart Buttons
    SPACE Quantity, Buy and View control your ordering activity. Select the Quantity and left click the Buy Now button to place the item in your cart. Left click the Show Cart button to see what you have purchased so far.

  • Java Script Errors
    The cart program uses very basic JavaScript 1.0 programming so most browsers(IE3 or newer) should perform well with it. If you should have trouble or receive error messages. Let us know about it. And for the time being, click here for the Manual Order Form.
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