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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:19 pm 
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I recently read that some CAM members have bought phono stages from Douk Audio sold on ebay. I've been looking at the Little Bear. The Little Bear is $47. U.S. and ships free from China. Should I look at their more expensive offerings $62. to $150. or take a chance on Little Bear? I'll be using it with a Grant Fidelity A34.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:02 am 
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I've never heard a Douk unit, however I have used a couple Pro-Ject models, a few onboard phono stages, and now use a Parks Audio Phono Pre.

In the 6 variations of phono stage I've used I see one common denominator......you get what you pay for. A used rega fono, cambridge unit, ifi, or clearaudio will cost more, but I'm sure (I've not personally used every one of those mentioned) out perform the Douk preamp.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:52 am 
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Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

Don't know the phono pre-amp you are considering, but you mention you have a Grant A34 and as that is one of the better EL34 push-pull designs out there, you might want to ensure that the phono pre is of similar quality to the amp. At the budget end, a used Musical Fidelity or Cambridge Audio phono pre for moving magnets can be had for around $100 and will retain resale value.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:57 am 
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I use 2 of the Douk Phono preamps with my Gyrodec and Transcriptors. I have owned the Pro-ject (very disappointing) the Rega (marginally better) and the Douk betters both, the Proj-ject by some margin. I sold a Graham Slee Communicator and bought the Douks - not quite as good but close imho.
"triathleteman" Do not dismiss this preamp out of hand - especially if you have not heard it.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:49 am 
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magman888 wrote:
I use 2 of the Douk Phono preamps with my Gyrodec and Transcriptors. I have owned the Pro-ject (very disappointing) the Rega (marginally better) and the Douk betters both, the Proj-ject by some margin. I sold a Graham Slee Communicator and bought the Douks - not quite as good but close imho.
"triathleteman" Do not dismiss this preamp out of hand - especially if you have not heard it.
Attachment:
17795.jpg



I only mentioned that I've noticed that you tend to get what you pay for......if the Douk preamps were giant killers everyone and their brother would have one. I'm glad you are happy with your two.

to the OP - I ran 4 pairs of tubes through my phono pre before I found ones I liked, as you have a Grant Fidelity I'm sure tube rolling is not lost on you. Let us know what you decide and how it works out!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:20 am 
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Oh and for what its worth, I ordered the unit pictured above......not sure what tubes to toss into it as the reviews I've read leave me with the impression that the tubes they ship with aren't that good....

anyone have any tube suggestions?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:27 am 
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triathleteman wrote:
Oh and for what its worth, I ordered the unit pictured above......not sure what tubes to toss into it as the reviews I've read leave me with the impression that the tubes they ship with aren't that good....

anyone have any tube suggestions?


I've had success with both Philips EF95 MINIWATT's & Voshkod 6JIP-EV's in my Nobsound phono pre:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:41 am 
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I firmly believe that in this hobby - "you don"t get what you pay for" so many thing in the Audio world are over priced and over rated.
Don't believe the myths, believe your ears. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:23 am 
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Old Rusty wrote:
triathleteman wrote:
Oh and for what its worth, I ordered the unit pictured above......not sure what tubes to toss into it as the reviews I've read leave me with the impression that the tubes they ship with aren't that good....

anyone have any tube suggestions?


I've had success with both Philips EF95 MINIWATT's & Voshkod 6JIP-EV's in my Nobsound phono pre:



If you had the chance would you try the Mullard EF95? I have Siemen vintage 6992 tubes in my pre now, love them...didn't love the EH, Amperex, and some green writing ones.....I have had old telefunken ones and loved those too. the Gold pin Tung-sol are pretty good, but bright with my speakers.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:31 am 
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triathleteman wrote:
Old Rusty wrote:
triathleteman wrote:
Oh and for what its worth, I ordered the unit pictured above......not sure what tubes to toss into it as the reviews I've read leave me with the impression that the tubes they ship with aren't that good....

anyone have any tube suggestions?


I've had success with both Philips EF95 MINIWATT's & Voshkod 6JIP-EV's in my Nobsound phono pre:



If you had the chance would you try the Mullard EF95? I have Siemen vintage 6992 tubes in my pre now, love them...didn't love the EH, Amperex, and some green writing ones.....I have had old telefunken ones and loved those too. the Gold pin Tung-sol are pretty good, but bright with my speakers.


I've used the Mullard EF95's before to great effect. They have terrific low-end & seem to tame harsh nasties in the higher-end. They weren't as open & spacious as some variants I have used, but who knows.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:54 am 
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Now that we seem to be seeing members using tube phono preamps,would there be any advantage in using my spare Yaqin tube buffer between my PRO-JECT phono preamp and integrated amp?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:20 pm 
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mikehar20 wrote:
Now that we seem to be seeing members using tube phono preamps,would there be any advantage in using my spare Yaqin tube buffer between my PRO-JECT phono preamp and integrated amp?


I've done that with varying degrees of success, depending on the preamp/linestage/integrated amp it's patched into. Give it a whirl, ya never know.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:12 pm 
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mikehar20 wrote:
Now that we seem to be seeing members using tube phono preamps,would there be any advantage in using my spare Yaqin tube buffer between my PRO-JECT phono preamp and integrated amp?



My existing tube phono preamp has an astronomically high output impedence at 600ohm, typically from what I understand that matching output impedence and input impedence is good. I ordered this little preamp to "hear" the difference that it makes having a closely matched input/output.

I would guess, that if you run a tube buffer between units you would want to make sure things are matched? Like the previous post said, why not give it a try.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:33 pm 
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magman888 wrote:
I use 2 of the Douk Phono preamps with my Gyrodec and Transcriptors. I have owned the Pro-ject (very disappointing) the Rega (marginally better) and the Douk betters both, the Proj-ject by some margin. I sold a Graham Slee Communicator and bought the Douks - not quite as good but close imho.
"triathleteman" Do not dismiss this preamp out of hand - especially if you have not heard it.
Attachment:
17795.jpg

Great looking set-up Magman...
I was dissapointed with the Pro-Ject Tube Box II.

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Yes get what you want cuz you can get anything..."


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:35 pm 
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Thanks for all the responses. I'm going to take a chance and order one. I've had good luck ordering sight unseen. After talking to Ian and Rachel I bought the EL34 without auditioning it. As a mater of fact I had only owned solid state gear over the last 35 years. The EL34 opened a whole new world in regards to music and hi fi. Tube gear just sounded so right and I also changed my opinion on price vs. quality. While I still believe you get what you pay for, sometimes you're just being fleeced. Case in point, recently I was talking to the manager of an audio store and mentioned a very popular turntable that I considered a total rip off regarding it's price. I was not knocking it's sound quaity only it's price. I told him that a plastic pully, sub platter, glass platter and a presswood/mdf base should not cost anywhere near a table that is built with real wood, or plexiglass, and quality metal parts. He started to go on a tear about how the table with plastic, glass, etc. has been researched and the R&D is constantly ongoing hence the cost.

-- 13 Sep 2016 20:36 --

Thanks for all the responses. I'm going to take a chance and order one. I've had good luck ordering sight unseen. After talking to Ian and Rachel I bought the EL34 without auditioning it. As a mater of fact I had only owned solid state gear over the last 35 years. The EL34 opened a whole new world in regards to music and hi fi. Tube gear just sounded so right and I also changed my opinion on price vs. quality. While I still believe you get what you pay for, sometimes you're just being fleeced. Case in point, recently I was talking to the manager of an audio store and mentioned a very popular turntable that I considered a total rip off regarding it's price. I was not knocking it's sound quaity only it's price. I told him that a plastic pully, sub platter, glass platter and a presswood/mdf base should not cost anywhere near a table that is built with real wood, or plexiglass, and quality metal parts. He started to go on a tear about how the table with plastic, glass, etc. has been researched and the R&D is constantly ongoing hence the cost.


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