Stevens and Billington TX102

Discussion in 'DIY Discussion' started by Dom_, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Dom_

    Dom_ --->

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    Have any of you made a pre amp out of these or have experience with them?

    Seems pretty simple to me and would be saving me the cost of buying the music first audio unit off them for £1000.
     
    Dom_, Feb 22, 2006
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  2. Dom_

    Tenson Moderator

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    I will be making a 4 channel pre-amp using these soon.

    The Music First uses custom S&B transformers. Not quite the TX102. Still I'm sure the TX102 is very good. You can also look at the Amorphous core transformers as per the Django pre-amp.
     
    Tenson, Feb 22, 2006
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  3. Dom_

    Dom_ --->

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    Django rings a bell, who makes that preamp?
     
    Dom_, Feb 22, 2006
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  4. Dom_

    Markus S Trade

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    I'm currently using an extremely simple home-made pre with the S&B txes. First impressions are highly favourable.
     
    Markus S, Feb 22, 2006
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  5. Dom_

    bottleneck talks a load of rubbish

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    dom

    you can get the ''music first'' pre-amp, or the django in a kit. The django is from www.diyhifisupply.com

    I'd strongly suggest you try one before you buy.

    I did, and prefered a valve pre-amp - I think its going to be different for everybody.
     
    bottleneck, Feb 22, 2006
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  6. Dom_

    Tenson Moderator

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    Indeed, I switched from a valve preamp to the Django!
     
    Tenson, Feb 22, 2006
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  7. Dom_

    Dom_ --->

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    Cheers for the help guys!
    Will check those out.
     
    Dom_, Feb 22, 2006
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  8. Dom_

    EZ_Angus

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    It doesn't have to be either / or does it? what about a valve preamp using TVCs instead of a pot or stepped attenuator? That's what I'd like to try.

    cheers, Kevin
     
    EZ_Angus, Feb 23, 2006
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  9. Dom_

    Anex Thermionic

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    You could do that if you wanted, use the tx's as attenuators (i.e. don't use the gain tap), into a tube gain stage, or you could just have the tubes in as a buffer stage after the transformers, like tube output CD players. Personally, with a valve power amp I wouldn't bother but if you have SS power amp then it might work. I'm not totally sure its worth the bother of getting a good pre AND the txs, though its simple enough to try. IMO sticking things into the circuit with the txs is missing the point, to me the point of them is no active dealies in the pre circuit, so in theory a very quiet and clean attenuation without all the problems of impedance mismatches in passive pre's but depends on what your trying to do. You can get a similar effect using 1:1 transformers and a good volume pot which is what I have in my pre on the CD input. Tx's mean you don't have to match the impedances of source and amplifier, then signal into a well matched shunted pot, then off to the tubes. Cheaper than buying Tx vol and a pre.
    I do want to give these txs a go sometime, get rid of my pre.
     
    Anex, Feb 23, 2006
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  10. Dom_

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    If you must have a "tube" somewhere, when using a TVC, consider making a White Follower with servo so you can buffer the signal going into the TVC and present a very high load impedance to the source and drive the TVC from a very low and fixed source impedance. If you absolutely MUST have gain (which in 99% of all cases is counterproductive), stick a gainstage ahead of it.

    Something I have been recommending before was a 6AS7 or 2A3 as gainstage, choke loaded and driving the TVC via 2.2uF coupling capacitor, this gives a gain of 2 or 4 (6 or 12db) respectively and very low drive impedance to the TVC.

    But whatever you do, in practically all cases the TVC should be last.

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Feb 23, 2006
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  11. Dom_

    Tenson Moderator

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    If you have a decent amount of gain before the transformers, would you not ideally want a more 'heavyweight' transformer? Otherwise the signal wouldn't be within the transformers optimal level?
     
    Tenson, Feb 23, 2006
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  12. Dom_

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    The transformers handle +20dbu @ 20Hz and in music usually there not much level that far down, even if you overload the transformers they will overload gradually. Most sources have average outputs of -8dbu with the highest peaks +8dbu, so there is plenty of headroom.

    But as said, in very few situations can I percieve the need for extra gain, past the +6db passive stepup build in anyway.

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Feb 23, 2006
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  13. Dom_

    Tenson Moderator

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    Just a thought, would any of you be interested in a TX102 group buy?
     
    Tenson, Feb 23, 2006
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  14. Dom_

    dcathro

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    I could well be tempted!
     
    dcathro, Feb 24, 2006
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  15. Dom_

    grivois

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    Gain

    Agreed, I've got plenty of gain from my sources, even driving 7.5Ms of balanced cable!

    I've now got a month on my S&B TX102 Django TVC, and love the increase in resolution without harshness, and its still improving! During the first week, I could actually smell the TXs burning in.

    The amazing thing I find about TXs is their ability to preserve dynamics and detail at low volumes (due to their inherent I/V conversion perhaps?). I can now listen to music late into the night without upsetting the neighbours.
     
    grivois, Feb 24, 2006
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  16. Dom_

    avanzato

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    How much are the S&B?

    I was thinking of doing a pre using Sowter attenuators and a Dantimax remote volume kit but plans aren't finalised yet.
     
    avanzato, Feb 24, 2006
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  17. Dom_

    Tenson Moderator

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    S&B wanted £150+ VAT for a small order or said if I can order 20 the price can go down to £94 + VAT.

    From what I have heard about them, the S&B are far superior to the Sowter xformers.

    Otherwise, anyone interested in a group buy of the Amorphous core xformers? I had these in my Django and know they are very, very good. Only I heard the S&B are slightly better, but at that price…
     
    Tenson, Feb 24, 2006
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  18. Dom_

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    Just a note, I would not call the S&B's "slightly better" but rather drastically different (I have both here). To my personal preferences the S&B are much preferable, not surprising perhaps, since I had a good deal to do with their design so the "S&B" sound reflects largely my sonic vision....

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Feb 24, 2006
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  19. Dom_

    Dom_ --->

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    I would be extremely interested in a group buy!
     
    Dom_, Feb 24, 2006
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  20. Dom_

    Tenson Moderator

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    avanzato, would you be intersted at a price of £94+vat each?

    If so thenthat makes 4 people who who are interested. I want 4 and I presume others want 2?

    This would total 10 alreaddy so maybe we can get to the 20 mark!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2006
    Tenson, Feb 24, 2006
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