Stage from diyhifisupply, Hong Kong
I bought this line stage
kit out of pure curiosity. I like it simple and can we really get a
good line stage from this simple board with a single tube? One
board, one tube, one mains transformer, a potentiometer and a selector
+ a bunch of phono sockets, that's all. And it comes at around 500 USD.
My thought was to find a high-performance line stage supplementing the JungSon Duro power amp, which also comes for 500 USD at Cattylink. A total of 1000 USD for a high-performance amplifier combo. I've had the opportunity to compared my Jungson JA88D-09 with the Duro and I didn't find any difference in performance. The Duro is the JA88D-09 without MC stage, attenuator and line stage.
There could be a
whole range of reasons not to buy this product, but one reason we
After this grumpy intro, let's talk sound.
Obbligato coupling cap does well and I'm again puzzled by the sonic
quality of these caps because you can listen to a range of music and
feel it really doesn't get much better than this. Then comes another
piece of music suggesting this doesn't come with the level of
resolution it could be. So, in went some tin foil/PP caps and they are
seriously close to the best. If budget is an issue buy 2 x 2.2 uF
tin-foil/PPs. Next I tried tin-foil/PTFE and we're there. From here on
it's a matter of taste. Finally I inserted 2 x 1 uF Mundorf
silver/gold/oil and these are likely to stay in place. They may not be
as smooth as the tin/PTFE but they may have an edge in resolution.
Mind you, tin/PTFE caps do not come with inter-wound series coupled
windings like the super caps do. I wonder how this would perform.
Getting it all for 1000 USD (EZ + Duro) may not be quite possible. We have to add ~200 USD for two good coupling caps - and we have to add shipping. Let's say 12-1400 USD all done and we have a basic amplifier system than can run high-efficiency speakers as well as the usual standard-HIFI low-efficiency systems, maybe except the very large/low-efficiency speakers that really do best when power is unlimited. You could buy the minimum 300 USD EZ kit and use the residual 200 USD on two caps. The supplied potentiometer may do as well at the attenuator.
FYI: I have no
connection to any of the manufacturers of the components used here.
Click images to view large
This is the line stage upside down. I suggest adding an alu panel to mount board, input selector and attenuator. The torque of this attenuator is so high that the knobs provided are too smooth for proper operation. When you turn the attenuator is like starting an engine with a broken crankshaft. I added a strip of non-slide tape to have a firm grip. And add a bitumen pad to the alu panel (underneath) to further dampen the sound of the attenuator.
New Mundorfs in place.
To the right the infamous Chinese attenuator. The input selector
The Low-Cost Version
Duro power amp. 2 x 80
watts class A.
More pics from my EZ line stage, click images to view large