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QHW Audio - The Vinyl
The Vinyl is a high quality phono preamplifier wich features an active and discrete RIAA stage and is suitable for MC and MM cartridges. Input impedance for MC and capacitance for MM is selectable by user, along with MC gain. Even has a position for high input impedance for MC cartridges which is useful with some fancy MM low level cartridges, like low level Grado's, whose need the gain of an MC but with a high input impedance. Many preamps don't cover this scenario. A set of features and sound quality that is hard (if not impossible) to find at this price level or even in some devices costing some times more.
Product page: https://www.qhwaudio.com/product/the-vinyl
“Both the QHW The Vinyl and the Gold Note PH-10 are a big step up from entry level products and neither disappoint. Both remained in the reference system while judging cartridges and loudspeakers, without reservation. […] The QHW The Vinyl is a highly competent and well executed design at under 1k€.”
TNT – Audio UK. December 2018. Mark Wheeler.
"The Vinyl will meet the need of many music lovers, even for extended listening sessions without undue fatigue, with ease of use, flexibility, and quiet quality service. I've enjoyed my time with this product, even though it has sat quietly and unassuming, just doing it's job really well. Of course, great records sound great, yet even some I played reluctantly were far from disappointing. A strong contender for a serious short-list."
TNT – Audio NZ. October 2018. Richard Varey.
Discrete components design
The Vinyls is based on QHWAudio’s AE2270 amplifier we featured in The Box. Is a whole discrete small signal amplifier with high output current capacity and very low distortion.
The Vinyl features two units of AE2270 per channel: one for RIAA curve amplification and one for an aditional gain stage at the output that brings same benefits that an unit of The Box would do. Therefore, RIAA amplification is totally discrete and, as we can’t conceive in other way, although there are another thoughts regarding to this, using an active network.
MC input stage, for moving coil cartridges, uses a discreet frontend, with BJT (Bipolar Juntion Transistor), since they are the ones that offer the lowest noise with low impedance sources, combined with integrated electronics, also bipolar, in a way that we can get a low noise and low distortion MC stage without compromising cost and offering an affordable product.
Adjustable MC cartridge impedance and gain
Impedance “seen” by the MC cartridge at the phono preamplifier input, also known as load, is very important for an adequate frequency response. Theorically, ideal input impedance may be equal to cartridge coil impedance but, actually, things depends of personal taste. The Vinyl allows to choose between six impedance values that will provide an adjust for most (if not all) cartridges in market. Even it has a high impedance posiotion specifically thought for low level MM cartridges, whose need the MC preamplifier gain amount and a high load and they have trouble with many MC preamplifiers.
The Vinyls also features two gain levels (64 dB and 71 dB) to make it compatible even with cartridges with extremely low output level.
Adjustable MM cartridge capacitance
Same way that happens with MC cartridges and impedance, MM cartridges capacitance, also known as load in this case, is very important for frequency response. The Vinyl allows you to combine five basic values of capacitance, whose go adding, to find that what fits better your needs and personal taste.
The Vinyl is designed and handcrafted in Spain.