Phono Technology

Phono preamplifiers require extra care in the implementation of the design to ensure that no noise is added to the signal.  With gains of 10,000 or more, amplified noise can degrade the audio quality.

Swan Song Audio has worked with Step Up Transformers, I to V, Balanced, and Single Ended phono designs.

  • Step Up Transformers make the amplification process simpler but in exchange for the infusion of transformer coloration into the audio signal.
  • I to V works well with Moving Coil cartridges but not Moving Magnets.
  • Balanced designs work well when the rest of the audio system is grounded properly.
  • Single Ended is a good “all around” design that works well for MC and MM cartridges.  A properly designed SE can provide gain levels in excess of 30,000 times with moderate care in connecting the phono to the rest of the audio system.

SE MM/MC
SE MM/MC Phono Preamplifier

Single Ended MM / MC Phono Preamplifier - $1000

Phono Back
Phono Preamplifier Back

When the Single Ended MM/MC Phono Preamplifier was conceived there were three design requirements:

  • Small size
  • Low noise
  • No step up transformers

Years of power supply research have been applied to designing an extremely low noise phono power supply.  The low noise power supply combined with advanced dual mono circuitry  allows this phono to handle all the gain with active gain stages.  Handling all the gain with active gain stages results in shorter signal paths which in turn means less noise and more detail.  

Click the links to hear the sample clips from the SE Phono and using a Sumiko Pearl MM cartridge.

Sample1.wav

Sample2.wav

Specifications

1 kHz “Wien Bridge” test signal 0.0025% distortion used for testing.  This sets the base level noise floor at -96dB.  See digital tech for 5 kHz range viewpoint.
1 kHz “Wien Bridge” test signal 0.0025% distortion used for testing. This sets the base level noise floor at -96dB. See digital tech for 5 kHz range viewpoint.
  • MC and MM cartridges
  • Gains of  49, 55, 58, 62, and 65dB
  • .2dB accuracy at the RIAA points
  • Distortion less than .02%
  • Loading options of 25, 33, 77, 83, 100, 194, 330, 470, 2K, 47K, 100pf
  • 2.5”h 4”w 5.5”d
SE in MC mode with 0.5mv input.  Noise floor is increased by 5 dB. -78dB harmonic at 2 kHz.
SE Phono Preamplifier in MC mode with 0.5mv input. Noise floor is increased by 5 dB. -78dB harmonic at 2 kHz.