Best phono stage in C-xx series?

Discussion in 'Yamaha' started by stoutblock, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it must be right... Subscriber

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    A local AK'er and friend is exploring an economic solution for getting a phono stage for his system. He needs it to have LOMC capability so some gain is required. He has looked some of the new options out there. He owns the cheaper Cambridge unit but feels it is lacking. I talked him into trying out just the phono section of my rebuilt and upgraded C-2. Using a Benz ACE L into the 100 ohm MC input on the C-2 and the tape out into his existing system, damn it sounded good! Certainly better than anything he had to compare it to.

    This got me to thinking. Of the C-2, C-2a, C-2x, C-4, C-80, C-85 etc, which one actually has the best phono stage? Please disregard the line stage performance as that is not relevant. I have owned all of these except the C-2a but have not compared just the phono stage directly with each other. My guess is the C-2x is probably the best if not for the simple fact the phono stage has it's own power supply? Those of you that have torn into these, are the phono circuits similar in design, different in component quality etc? Has anyone compared the sound quality of just the phono stage in these Yamahas?

    I have always been impressed with all of these preamplifiers, but with the price of a phono stage of any quality, I'm curious if these Yamaha phono stages are a superior option at this price range even if you aren't using the linestage?
     
  2. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    C-1 hands down..
     
  3. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    My personal favorite today.:biggrin: C-70 with DISC Direct.
     
  4. 808_state

    808_state Active Member

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    For the money, a C-70 or C-4 are probably the best bang for the buck for vinyl playback. Assuming your friend can find a unit he likes, he could spend some money getting them freshened up and still have money leftover when compared to the cost of a good C-2x. C-2x's take time to pop up and when they do they don't go for cheap. I guess it comes down to what your friend considers to be "economical".

    The guy who works on my stuff has a design mod that allows you to adjust the lomc load on a C-2 with a switch but I haven't heard it yet. I have an HA-1 head amp/step up and I'm wondering if he could do the same with that as it sounds better for lomc than the C-4's mc input (more open sound) but currently gives me some ground hum. If I could tweak the load and have quiet playback with it, the HA-1 would be pretty killer. I recently purchased a CX-1 but haven't listened to it yet (still sitting in Japan). I would like a C-85 as well but the ones that come up for sale seem to have all been abused and are hardly worth the asking price.
     
  5. 808_state

    808_state Active Member

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    I wonder if the C-1/B-1/B-2/B-3 guys ever considered crowd funding someone to make them a pile of V-FET's? It would probably require sending a Japanese guy (with his private stash) to China to oversee their cloning and manufacture but would make for quite a story.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  6. amr2

    amr2 Active Member

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    I own a C70 and a C80, and both have good phono sections.
     
  7. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    Non-VFET
     
  8. 808_state

    808_state Active Member

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    Ah, amended! Maybe I will consider a pair in the future then. Have you ever heard a B-3?
     
  9. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it must be right... Subscriber

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    The C-1 is probably a bit of an overkill just for a phono stage?

    So the C-70 is better than the C-80?
     
  10. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    No. Not really. Basically the same design Just less circuit interference from phono in to pre-amp out. My Denon DL160 likes it..---> (C-70)
     
  11. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    Its not uncommon to have damaged fets in the phono amp of the C-1 And scare supply of replacements.
     
  12. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    All but the C-2x.
     
  13. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it must be right... Subscriber

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    So you would pick the C-70? Why is it's phono better?
     
  14. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    Add C-6,C-40/45,C-50/70,C60/65 have also been across my bench.
     
  15. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    For my app the C-70 works for me. I'm also using a C-80 to drive my B-6's and using a MM Shure V15 type V for phono.That sounds excellent as well.
     
  16. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    I sold my C-2a a while back. I have a C-2/M-2 combo that works very well with the Shure and the Denon.
     
  17. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    As does the C-4 or C-6 /M-4 combo.
     
  18. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    I can't really say of the non-vfet pre-amps which is better sound wise or not. Other than the C-80/85 MC phono pre-amp circuit can be finicky and misbehaves ( Hi DC offset and over heated finals)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  19. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it must be right... Subscriber

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    how do you think the C-2 phono stage compares with the C-4 phono stage. Both in design and sound?
     
  20. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it must be right... Subscriber

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    So of these older preamps, which ones have vfets?
     

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