Vacuum Tube Audio PH16 phono preamp

<10-5-20 update>
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PH16 phono preamp


PH-16 premium phono preamp KIT

This is a premium grade phono preamp with several enhancements in the circuit design and power supply.  
This product is for someone that wants the ultimate tube phono preamp, but doesn't want to pay $2500 or more for an Audio Research PH6 or PH8. 
The 1st gain stage is our proven super-low noise JFET current source driving a 6922 amplification stage with the 50Hz and 500Hz poles of the RIAA filter. 
The 2nd gain stage drives the 2122Hz RIAA pole of the RIAA filter. Both of these stages are supplied with a regulated B+ voltage, one for each channel.
The 3rd and final stage is comprised of an AIKIDO style output buffer, with it's built in PSRR circuitry,
and this is also supplied with a regulated B+ voltage, one for each channel.
This stage gives a low output impedance of around 450 ohms and isolates the phono amp from interconnects and further amplification.
The B+ regulators also reduce PSRR by about 60db, with near zero ripple current from the power supply
Overall, this design delivers the sonic goods. It offers high amplification, super accurate RIAA EQ, low distortion, low output impedance, 
a great PSRR figure, and feedback-free amplification.   All resistors are low noise mil-spec RN55 type or better.
This board has DIP switches to set the correct load (resistance and capacitance) for the input cartridge.
Resistance 68K, 47K, 33K, 1K, 470, 330, 220, 100      Capacitance  100pF  68pF  33pF

Info for the SPEC nerds
gain: 42db . . . freq response: 10Hz to 50Khz +/- 0.3db
SNR: 76dB, A-weighted, inputs shorted . . . Sensitivity: 3.0mV for 400mV output


Here is a recent build link and review from a customer . . .
http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/vinyl/messages/113/1135210.html


Here is a review from Don Sachs who now sells a premium version

Here are 8 more reviews from customers:

"I finally found some time to put the PH16 into my dedicated vinyl system and listen to some of my favorite Lp's, 
and I must say it is a just a wonderful sounding phono preamp, I would have to say the best I have heard to date. 
I have been on a quest for the best affordable phono preamp I can find. I grew up with vinyl. 
I have listened to or owned Roy's PH6, PH12, PH14, PH15, and now the PH16. I have also built my own LCR type phono stage with Hashimoto transformers 
and Acoustic Dimension LCR modules. Cartridges I own include the Shure M97, a Shure V15 type 4 with JICO SAS stylus (my favorite), 
Ortofon 2M Blue and Black, Benz Glider SM, and Audio Technica ATN-150MLX. 
So what makes the PH16 so special? First, you have the ability to properly load your cartridge. 
This is very important, for example, the ATN-150MLX has a 7-8db peak at the high end if loaded with the recommended 47K. 
By loading it with 19K and 200pF, the high end smooths out substantially, it becomes much more listenable. 
The Shure V15 sounds great with a standard 47K load. The Benz Glider requires a 200 ohm load. 
I can bring out the best of all these carts with the PH16. Next, you need a first stage with a lot of gain and as little noise as possible, 
for this Roy uses a FET/6922 cascode stage, an excellent solution. The next stage utilizes another 6922, loaded with a constant current source. 
This is ideal, the CCS maximizes gain, minimizes distortion, and as a bonus, eliminates power supply noise
The last stage is an Aikido style cathode follower, which also gives very low distortion, eliminates noise, and, provides low output impedance. 
So what does it sound like? Well, I'm hearing more detail and ambiance, incredible bass authority, clean effortless highs, and freedom from overload. 
I'm hearing deeper into the recording than with any of the other phono preamps I have tried, with greater realism and fantastic dynamics. 
It's just a excellent sounding phono pre, at a down to earth price. Thanks Roy, you have done it again!"   - Troy M.
"The PH16 is quite remarkable, very smooth and clean, no brittleness or harshness in the high frequencies. 
I have it hooked up to a few different cartridges, low output moving coils(Ortofon Jubilee, Denon 103, Van Den Hul MC10 Special), 
using a Hashimoto HM-3 step up device. I might try and change the settings, but for now I am very impressed. Soundstage is BIG!!. 
I also have a Bottlehead and a Hagerman Cornet with a lot of expensive boutique parts, etc. But the PH-16 betters it, no question, more detail. 
It does so much more for the musicOpera vocals come through like never before and it can do complex orchestral like I've never heard it. 
The small nuances of concert hall ambiance takes me back... I can't think of any Phono preamps in this price range that can do what this can do."
 Thomas P.
"Well, I have to say this is one fine phono preamp indeed. I made a Tubelab SE 300B last year, and had been listening to vinyl on a Rega P3 
with an old Ortofon OM5E,  preamped through an Arcam A75 solid state integrated receiver. Now a Denon DL-301ii MC cartridge begins the signal chain, 
with Sowter 9570z step up transformers wired right into the PH16 input. The PH16 is connected directly to the TSE (which has a volume control) 
and provides more than enough gain to drive it to concert volume.  In fact, this is the loudest the TSE has gotten by far.
The PH16 setup extracts way more detail out of the vinyl, resulting in an effortless, more airy sound, with gorgeous tones and lively transients. 
The music has more presence and is more involving than before. The unit is still breaking in, so I'll reserve final judgment until it's done, 
but in just the first couple of hours I'm a very happy customer.  Thank you for designing such a superb unit and for all the help you've given 
over the past few weeks.  I'm looking forward to doing more and more listening over the coming months."  Jeff D. 

Roy, I just wanna say that I am completely overwhelmed & very happy with your unit Wow The sound is huge.  
There is detail and finesse, it was instantly noticeable.  I have had a couple of my "audiophile" friends over to listen and they were bowled over!
Thanks, 
Chris

The PH-16 Phono Preamp is making outstanding sound the best phono preamp so far and I have several for  comparison.  The PH-16 has now made it to my main system.
Garrard 301 with brass platter and SME 312s.  Auditorium 23 and Dynavector SUTs.  2A3, 300B and KT 88 amps.  Quad-57, 63 and 988 speakers.
Thank you very much,  Terry

The PH16 continues to open up.  The treble extension is some of the best that I have heard from any phono stage Imaging and timbre are very realistic.  
Full and complex orchestral passages are very fluent.  All performers are located quite accurately within the soundstage.  
Bass is quite taut and continues to improve.  A very good offering at a ridiculous low price.  To upgrade will cost $3-4K and may not give that much more definition.  
I feel very comfortable using a $2000 cartridge with this unit and have no fear of missing anything Thanks for the great design Roy!
Deb in Buffalo

The phono provided better clarity with higher dynamic contrast. It seemed as though an additional octave at either end of the scale (bass and treble) 
had been added without being bright or boomy. If fact the bass took on a much more incisive, tauter and articulate presentation similar to what I’m used to 
with the very best SS gear. Nuances and harmonic structure rose to the occasion in ways I had not heard before. Perhaps the real surprise though was the growth 
in the sound stage which grew by one and a half to two fold both in width and depth. I don’t think I’m exaggerating on this either. The entire musical presentation 
became more exciting and immersive, while providing a snappier rhythm and pace. 
Rob O.

I absolutely can not say enough great things about this preamp and I hope it generates some business for you.  I sold off my Modwright gear and am far happier with this.  
I just hooked up with the "cheap and cheerful" blog at Audio Circle and am convinced that gear like yours is being missed by the vast majority of audiophiles on the planet.   
Good God, where is the sanity in this market and who are the folks that are buying uber-expensive gear and then selling it on Audiogon?  
Hats off to you, Roy, for your brilliant creations and your work at keeping the venerable magic going.  My quest for an excellent home audio system has ended.  
Mark W.


detailed assembly instructions click here


DIYaudio tube forum, PH16 build thread


PH-16 PCB with parts kit - no tubes or power transformer
$279 plus $12 USA shipping
 
PH-16 bare PCB set (no parts)
includes documentation, parts list, scheamtic
$99 includes USA shipping
 
PH-16 toroid power transformer
$39 plus $14 shipping (inside USA)
 

PH-16 phono preamp with 16" wide chassis KIT (includes all parts and all tubes) ,
custom machined front & rear panels
$690 plus $30 shipping in USA
 
tube set for PH16 is 4 - 6922 low-noise tested
and one 12X4 rectifier tube $115
 


standard PH-16 phono preamp assembled and tested, ready to plug & play
$990 plus $40 shipping inside USA

 


upgrade 6 signal path capacitors to Mundorf EVO type for $60

 


PH16-X style version


full kit is $630 + $25 shipping - this is in a 12"x10" black steel chassis
 

new style PH16-X phono preamp assembled and tested, ready to plug & play
$880 + $40 shipping

 

check out these photos of a PH16-X build done in mid-2016

check out these photos of a PH16-X build done in early-2018




new reverse RIAA filter

for testing & evaluation of phono preamps, plug your CD player or sig gen into this,
it does 40 to 60 db (selectable) attenuation,
and filters the frequency response in exact reverse of the RIAA EQ,
so going thru the filter
and then thru your phono section give flat freq output!


reverse RIAA filter kit $30 includes shipping (inside USA only)

 
reverse RIAA filter assembled, tested, ready to use
$40 includes shipping(inside USA only)
 

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 tubes 4 hifi
 "the path of least resistance is through a vacuum"