New plan for PS Audio phono preamp?


#1

Does anyone know the future plan for a PS Audio phono preamplifier since now the NuWave phono preamplifier is being closed out?


#2

About four months ago when the discontinuance of the NPC was announced Paul made some guarded remarks on a replacement. I thought he gave more detail in a later post but I could not find it. My understanding is Bascom King is designing the new phono stage and it will be analog only. Not sure of the chassis, but it will probably be full size, e.g. same as DS and the preamp. No idea of the price, but for sure it will be more than the NPC, maybe much more.


#3

Indeed, Bascom is hard at work on a new tube/MOSFET phono stage and it will be in a full chassis and not cheap. How much will depend on his final circuit and what it costs us to build it. But definitely far more than the NPC.

I haven’t anymore info on it than that - though I have seen the circuit proposal and it’s, well, amazing in its concept. His use of the tubes in the initial RIAA circuit is novel and should sound pretty amazing.

No clue when it might become a reality.


#4

Bump.

Looking forward to a new BHK phono preamp.

My BHK monos are wonderful, my upcoming BHK preamp should be amazing too. Can’t wait for the BHK phono.


#5
Paul McGowan said

No clue when it might become a reality.


How about the new speaker, anything new ?

#6

Not much. It’s a very slow process - one that drives me bananas.

Currently were are arguing over the cabinet infrastructure. I want a large metal plate on the rear of the speaker that allows access to the crossover inside. The company making the cabinets refuses to slot one in until the crossover is designed. We can’t design the crossover until we get the cabinet samples to start work on them.

Meanwhile, the drivers we have engineered are all custom. Carbon fiber front with kevlar foam backing. The driver manufacturer has never made this exotic formulation that Arnie has requested. Arnie says “it should be easy”, the driver manufacturer is scratching their head and sending us bills for new tooling.

Meanwhile, each and every communication takes 24 hours and is only done by email.

Once all these details are sorted and vendors find their footing, we can actually get finished prototypes going and start the fricking design process which is the fun. Once that’s done there’s a whole new round of arguing and debating going back and forth. Tooling changes, exotic component procurement (Arnie loves his special caps and coils), etc. Then, and only then, do we order yet another round of “finished” prototypes to play with and, if we did our homework right, we can actually put our stamp on it and order production quantities. Once that’s done, then we wait 4 months to get actual beta units…

You can see how it takes a long time.

I am looking gray and tired in the last video we shot.sorry-smiley-emoticon_gif


#7

Well I’m 82 and my mom lived to 97 so maybe if my ears are still working…wink


#8
Paul McGowan said Indeed, Bascom is hard at work on a new tube/MOSFET phono stage and it will be in a full chassis and not cheap. How much will depend on his final circuit and what it costs us to build it. But definitely far more than the NPC.

I haven’t anymore info on it than that - though I have seen the circuit proposal and it’s, well, amazing in its concept. His use of the tubes in the initial RIAA circuit is novel and should sound pretty amazing.

No clue when it might become a reality.


Sounds awesome, Paul. Looking forward to it. Is it true that this will be full analog? If so, and no other Phono converter is in the works, how are people to rip their vinyl into DSD? I would have to keep my NPC were I to get the new phono stage since I absolutely love the ability to rip my vinyl and save it wear and tear (100+ double DSD vinyl rips and counting at last tally). I realize there are non-PS Audio solutions out there for those without the Phono Converter. I just don’t want to think about them! They shouldn’t have to resort to those extreme measures, however. That’s just mean. doh_gif

#9

It is fully analog and without a digital converter. The question you ask is a good one. What will people do? I suppose if there’s demand enough we can keep the NPC going, or remove its phono stage, keep its excellent A/D converter and maybe lower its price. Definitely some options if there’s a strong need.


#10

By keeping the NPC in production, PSA would have a phono stage in between the Sprout, with its built-in phono, and what I assume will be a much more expensive, state of the art phono stage. At the same time it would meet the needs of those who want to rip vinyl. Having a range of products available is good thing, as PSA seems to have recognized by offering the NuWave DAC and the DS Jr alongside the full DS DAC.


#11

I’d be a customer who wouldn’t want to pay for any ripping support when looking for a great phono stage instead of aspects that to my knowledge could further optimize pure phono performance like a separated power supply etc.

Same with preamps. I’d favor a pure optimized design with headphone and phono sections etc. as optional add on.


#12
magister said By keeping the NPC in production, PSA would have a phono stage in between the Sprout, with its built-in phono, and what I assume will be a much more expensive, state of the art phono stage. At the same time it would meet the needs of those who want to rip vinyl. Having a range of products available is good thing, as PSA seems to have recognized by offering the NuWave DAC and the DS Jr alongside the full DS DAC.
I totally agree with magister. I, for one. was introduced to PS Audio by auditioning the NPC. I loved the sound of the phono stage and it's awesome A/D DSD converter. Soon after that came the excellent NuWave DAC and the P10, etc. Directstream Jr is next! Without the NPC, I don't think I would have taken such a large leap into the more pricey items that PS Audio offers. The NPC is the perfect gateway into the brand, IMO!

#13

An excellent point.


#14

Thanks guys, point well taken. The NPC will be around for some time. I assume we will also have a transition phono stage in a lower price package too.

And, speaking of transition products, the skunk works has been grinding away for more than a year on just such an affordable product line, one I will likely write about near year’s end.devil_gif


#15
Paul McGowan said ... and it will be in a full chassis ...
Paul, no chance for two small chassis with one as a separate power supply?

Besides the technical advantage (and to avoid irradiation) I’m not a “stacker” but place components side by side, so it would be nice to be able to put a small phono amp close to the record player and power supply on the floor :slight_smile:

P.S.: perhaps someone can fix the subject of this thread


#16

Yes that would be a cool product but that’s not what we’re contemplating at the moment.


#17

Hi Paul

Any update available on the new phono stage?


#18

It sounds like the ‘transition’ products Paul referred to in October are the Stellar range. I wonder if the ‘lower price’ phono stage will be a Stellar phone preamp. Since phono cartridges are inherently balanced, it would be great to have a fully balanced matching preamp to take advantage of the one balanced input in the Gain Cell Dac (hint, hint).


#19

65_gifhappy-048_gif


#20

So that’s how it’s gonna be! 47_gif