The Valab LCR-1 Phono Stage Arrived Today.

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Mister Pig, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,701
    Location:
    Olympia Washington
    I just got it into the system, and am in the process of breaking it in. Have it set at 62 dB of gain, and 76 ohm load. The table/cartridge feeding it is the Technics SP 10 MK II and a Koetsu Urushi Vermillion. Have only a stock power cord coming off the PS Audio P 10 AC Regenerator.

    The overall build quality is very nice. The chassis are larger than I thought they would be. I have not popped the top, but the pictures of the units on the neat show it being neat as a pin.

    Too early to discuss sound quality. I am breaking in a new set of Analysis Plus Crystal Oval interconnects with it. The noise floor is non existent, this phono stage is dead quiet. No odd noises from the power supply, no buzzes, its just an unobtrusive piece of electronics.

    On my second record now. Going to play it all evening, let it stay powered up, and see what we got in the morning.

    Regards
    Mister Pig
     
    guiller, mjw21a, Athalwolf and 5 others like this.
  2. Sandstrom

    Sandstrom Hazlewoodism Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,510
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Nice acquisition :thumbsup:, please do let us know what your assessment is once you have had a chance to do some more critical listening. Which arm are you using with this setup? Can't remember what stage you were using before? Enjoy! :)
     
  3. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye AK Subscriber Subscriber

    This is one I'm really looking forward hearing your impressions on.
     
  4. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,701
    Location:
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    Component break in is such a weird thing. I have experienced different levels of it over the years, and heard it enough times that I wonder how others do not. The Valabs phono stage definitely goes through this process.

    First couple of hours of listening, this phono stag is stark, clinical, almost bordering on bright. To be honest it was somewhat hard to listen to. If it stayed like this, I was going to be disappointed. Well in the evening I went off to watch a few episodes of Gotham with the wife, we are towards the end of Season 3. Ok, after the third one I decided to come back to the living room and spin a few more albums.

    Dropped the needle on the same album I was listening to before dinner, and this sounds different. The sound is darker, a bit more distant, smoother, but has this razor sharp focus. Now I would prefer a more immediate sound, and this has veered farther off the path than I want to be. But i can hear the potential, and mind you this is only a handful of hours. So now I have to grind through the rest of the break in process, and bide my time. How long its going to take I am not really sure, but I figure a good 100 hours should get me close. I have a standard Belden shielded cord on it for the moment, but I do plan on taking the time to trial a few power cords that I have and see what happens. My Liberty Audio B2B-1 phono stage benefits from a good cord, it would not surprise me if this one does also.

    It will be an interesting couple of weeks.

    Regards
    Mister Pig
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  5. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,701
    Location:
    Olympia Washington
    My other phono stage is a Liberty B2B-1 (factory direct offering from PBN Audio), and I also have the internal Musical Fidelity phono stage with a Boozehound active step up

    The arm I am using is a SAEX 407/23 with a Zupreme head shell and a Koetsu Urushi Vermilion cartridge. Eventually I will move it over to the Denon DP 75 in VPI plinth/Acos GST 801 arm/Ortofon Winfeld combo. I like the Winfeld cartridge an awful lot.

    Regards
    Mister Pig
     
  6. Sandstrom

    Sandstrom Hazlewoodism Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,510
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    The Valab is in some pretty good company then, I still am amazed at what a value the LCR-1 appears to be from what I've read.
     
  7. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    Looking forward to your reports as it breaks in more.

    By the way, I've heard pretty widespread rumors Miss Piggy from the Muppets has serious hots for you. Any truth in that? To be blunt, are you porking her? Be careful, she's very high maintence — and remember, she's a puppet, not a real Suidae Suinae Sus such as yourself.
     
  8. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,358
    Location:
    West Hartford, CT
    Thanks for making us aware of this phono stage. It looks unbelievable for the price.
     
  9. richamor

    richamor Blue Collar Subscriber

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    1,925
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    Piedmont SC
    So?????? What say ye monsieur Pig??
     
  10. Myrdhinn

    Myrdhinn Active Member

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    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  11. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,701
    Location:
    Olympia Washington
    Havent had a chance to get a lot of listening in. Its been powered up but not lots of music put through it. So have not made my mind up yet.

    Regards
    Mister Pig
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018 at 5:59 PM
  12. richamor

    richamor Blue Collar Subscriber

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  13. bang4buck

    bang4buck Active Member

    Messages:
    363
    Location:
    New England
    The Köln Concert is not what I would have picked. Surely not side 1 with the terrible groove echo. Are European pressings better?

    More on-topic, what an impressive bit of gear for 700 bucks. I'm a notorious bottom-feeder but this does get my attention.
     
  14. Cadillac Kid

    Cadillac Kid Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,660
    Not to start the old debate about burn-in, but if the difference is that dramatic why wouldn't a manufacturer run their gear for a few hours as part of the QC process. Maybe some do this?
     
  15. Chubba

    Chubba Active Member

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    382
    Location:
    StCatharines Ont Canada
    Some do.Just do not ask me wich.Cheers
     
  16. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Olympia Washington
    Apparently you do. Or you would not have posted this.

    Regards
    Mister Pig
     
  17. Cadillac Kid

    Cadillac Kid Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,660
    It was a serious question, but I guess I hit a nerve. Anyway, enjoy your toy. bye.
     
  18. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

    Messages:
    2,375
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    I found just leaving the LCR-1 on for a week or so made a real difference. Actually, mine has been left on ever since I recieved it. I did find that I preferred it with my Fidelity Research FRT-4 SUT to just it's own higher gain settings.... Filled out the sound of my MC's more. It definitely benefits from a better power cable. I'm using some inexpensive ($23) cables which claim 99.99% purity shielded copper, and filters in the chunky plugs. Seemed to benefit, preventing pops coming through when I adjust the speeds of my ceiling fans. I don't know about other differences as I've had an ear infection this past week :(
     
    fiddlefye likes this.
  19. Dot Heton

    Dot Heton Active Member

    Messages:
    288
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Mister Pig, have you heard the Lounge Audio LCR MK III? I’m looking at it seriously and hope to buy it soon. I don’t think it compares to the Valeb but I’m wondering about the inductor capacitor resistor sound.
     
  20. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

    Messages:
    2,375
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    A few of the blokes on Stereonet have run and resold them citing rolled off highs. There's also another fellow on there owns the very Valab LCR-1 in the shoot out though he's never posted a review on it himself.

    I believe there are at least 3x Stereonet members running the Valab LCR-1 though I'm one of the three.
     

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