Thoeress Phono Equalizer/Enhancer.

Thoeress Phono Equalizer/Enhancer.

For any vinyl aficionado out there, the role of a phono preamplifier is more or less well-known, whether it exists as a separate device or as a part of another preamplifier or integrated amplifier. The device should offer the best possible interface between the cartridge and the electronics (both in load and noise performance terms), apply the necessary gain (with adequate dynamic headroom) and finally implement -with the utmost precision- the appropriate de-emphasis, i.e a reverse equalization in relation to that used when the disc was cut, following, most often than not, an RIAA defined curve. Problems arise when the experienced user -someone who feels more intimate with his vinyl record collection than the casual listener- discovers, primarily, that not all the records were cut following the same equalization norm (a fact most probable if the collection includes old and/or collectible records) and, secondly, that not all of his records sound, well, "correct" through his system. It is no coincidence, therefore that, besides the classic "standard" phono preamps, there are devices that give the user some choice between de-emphasis curves in an attempt to adapt them to operate correctly in a variety of different equalization norms. This solves, obviously, only the first problem. It remains to be defined, however, the course of action in the case when the user needs just a small correction, a fine tuning if you prefer, and not a different de-emphasis curve. In such a case, Reinhard Thoeress' phono preamplifier offers a solution.

The device reviewed in the following pages does not offer a choice between de-emphasis curves (although, as we shall see, there is a version that offers this feature, too) but allows the user to alter the shape of the curve with enough flexibility to introduce small but potentially important corrections to the final result. Beyond this fundamental feature, of course, the Thoeress phono preamplifier includes some other interesting aspects too: A quite large number of inputs (six in total!), a hybrid circuitry including NOS tubes and, if these are not enough for you, a 50s-era studio equipment user interface design with plain lettering, large, easy to handle, switches and a clear-cut modus operandi!

Dimitris Stamatakos

Text Data
Original Publilcation: 2015/11/17 Last Follow Up: 2015/11/17 Original Language: Greek (Translated)

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