Mar 8, 2017

E80CC SRPP line preamplifier Part 3

Power supply

Unlike the 6J5 line preamp I used a CLC filtered supply. I usually prefer the LC for its very smooth ripple behind choke but listening tests demonstrated better dynamic with SRPP. A good calculation of ripple rejection and time constant helps to achieve a fast recovery supply with a minimum of cells. To minimize intermodulation the supply is splited in two after the second capacitor

Ripple calculation

On C1 the ripple is estimated by formula     VC1~ = 10 I/C     where I is the current through circuit (in mA, here 7mA) and C the filtering capacitor (in µF).
VC1~ about 2.2Vpp or 0.77VRMS with a time constant of about 7 millisecond.

On C2 the ripple is calculated by the voltage divider formula    Vout = Vin Z2/Z2+Z1    where ZL1 is 37.6K @ 100 hz and ZC2 50 ohm at the same frequency.
VC2~ is about 1.05 mVRMS with a time constant of 24 millisecond. Thanks to the 60H choke that smooths out the ripple with great efficiency. A 20H one would have been enough but I had this one on hand.

The same applies on C3 with R = 2.7K and ZC3 133 ohm. It leaves a 0.05mVRMS ripple which represent a -130dB attenuation at a time constant of 33 millisecond.


Good sounding Philips/RTC EZ81 rectifier along with old Tango Hirata choke and some Siemens MP/JS and F&T capacitors are the parts of choice for this power supply.

Tube choice and tests

Not a long or tedious quest for different brands of tubes to be tested, just two makers for this fine tube; Philips (can bear Valvo, TFK, Siemens and so on names) and Tungsram. I attentively auditioned these two competitors and the result is disconcerting. In this setup the Philips that bears a reputation of excellence is not the winner of the test. The musical rendering appears fuzzy despite some great qualities in terms of tone and speed. It gives a blurry image that leaves the observer perplexed. On the other hand, the Tungsram brings music to a level of clarity and enjoyment seldom heard. It has incredible precision and gives a density to the sound that makes it perfect on any kind of material. Very detailed, not to say clinical sound but on the good side of absolute neutrality. You like it or not but it never leaves indifferent and if you are after audio perfection you get very close to it. Furthermore this tube gives an almost holographic image of the sound stage. Great, great tube !
As expected distortion is very low. I get 0.9% @ 1KHz and 2VRMS output, mainly second order. Noise floor is also very low and hard to measure on my FFT analyzer, thanks to the very good CMRR (or PSRR, it's the same) of this circuit. In facts we have the same power supply ripple rejection qualities than in parafeed setup and some will consider the SRPP a parafeed cousin with an active load in place of the cumbersome anode choke.

SRPP line preamp completed its vintage blue gray and black look. This one is now étude numéro 3, the E140 amplifier was étude numéro 2 and 6J5 line preamp étude numéro 1

same connecting organization than the 6J5 line preamp. Outputs are doubled by Lemo 0 coax outlets and this feature will certainly disapear in future works. The little male plug is a nightmare to solder considering the 0.6 mm central pin !

Last minute update...

I made a transformer connection mod. Although I did not notice any sound change, it is intellectually more interesting not to have the C1 electrolytic decoupling cap in the signal path.

some CD's and LP's I appreciated a lot, and there are many others ...