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Monday, June 10, 2013

Silver LCR RIAA EQ Unit


After the positive results with silver wound MC step up and line input transformers, silver coils are the logical next step for the ultimate phono preamplifier.

This is a stand alone 600 Ohm LCR unit which will be used with a DHT phono gain stage. The gain stage will be done with silver wound LL1660Ag transformers.

A close up of the RIAA coils with silver windings:

Also all the wiring between the components is done in silver. The completely assembled LCR circuit for two channels:

The LCR assembly mounted to the front plate:

The assembly then slides into the walnut chassis:

Inputs and outputs wired with silver to the RCA jacks on the backside:

Then the lid can be closed:

The completed unit:

The LCR RIAA together with a silver MC step up in matching chassis:

To assess the impact of the silver coils on the sound, I compared this unit against a stand a lone LCR RIAA with the Tango EQ600P modules. Comparisons were done with the modular E55L Phono gain stages which allow easy swapping of the LCR unit. And also with the DHT gain stage.

The first tracks played through the E55L phono with this silver LCR sounded very natural and pleasant. After listening to a few records, I started the comparison between the LCR units. A surprising difference, but not in the same way as with copper and silver MC step ups. The silver LCR RIAA clearly sounds better, giving voices somehow more life. Tone colors are the same between the two. The silver coils seem to improve transparency and body.

A comparison between the two LCR EQs on the DHT gain stage revealed the same differences. Again the voices are the most surprising through the silver RIAA. They seem to have much more blood now. Not that either of these phonostages sounds in any kind lifeless with copper RIAAs. With the silver coils the voices go under the skin much faster and the goose bumps are more immediate.

Albeit very noticeable the difference is not as big as between the indirectly heated and directly heated phono stage. A well implemented LCR phono will be sonic bliss also with copper coils. The silver coils are just a step closer to Nirvana.

This silver LCR unit is another exciting step towards the all silver phono stage.

Best regards


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