Author Topic: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp  (Read 4329 times)

Offline Magnaryder

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Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« on: March 27, 2014, 06:19:42 AM »


Specifications:
Gain: 42.5dB MM, 60.5dB MC
Resistive Loading: 100Ω, 300Ω, 500Ω, 1kΩ, 47kΩ, 100kΩ (Selectable)
Tube compliment:
2 - 6DJ8
2 - 12AX7
2 - 12AT7
1 - 12X4
Dimensions:13 3/16" W x 10 3/4" D x 5 5/8" H

Associated Equipment:

Ariston RD-40/Linn Basik LSV tonearn/Stanton RS500DJ cartridge/Cardas Silver wire service to Cardas wire block.
CarverAudio Interconnects
Fosgate Signature Phono Preamp
E.A.R. Yoshino V20 Integrated Amplifier
Audio Note AN-9 speakers cables
Dahlquist DQ-8/Alesis Monitor One Loudspeakers

Considerations:
Room 24 1/2 X 16ft, ceiling is a bit over 7ft/no room treatments
bookcases behind and beside loudspeakers, carpeted floor/drapes

Observations:

Like the EAR V20, the Fosgate Signature is a feast for the eyes. Blue LEDs that match the power lamp light under the front 3 tubes when the tubes reach operating temp and voltage has stabilized. A pair of small switches on the top panel control the selection of Cartridge type(MM/MC) and a rotating selector on the rear panel allows control over resistive cartridge loading. The build quality is excellent!

The tubes complement is
2 - 6DJ8
2 - 12AX7
2 - 12AT7
1 - 12X4

I've installed a very nice 6X4 George Daniel sent me, a pair of DPS(Tim deParavicini) EI 7DJ8s, Telefunken 12AX7s and some JAN 12AT7s the PO sent along with the unit. The first day of listening went OK, but as I listened longer I noticed the music sounded a little flat. Now nothing is more disconcerting than paying big bucks for something and having it sound like ass. I played around with cartridge loading and gain setting which yielded a small gain in dynamics and resolution but not at all what I was hoping for. It was then my Shure cartridge took a powder. I replaced it with the Stanton RS500DJ and pressed on with my listening. I wonder if the Stanton is 'voiced' for DJ work. It has suspiciously good tonal balance, the kind I like. Makes me wonder if the frequency balance has been messed with. We'll see when I get a new cartridge.

The cartridge change made all the difference, dynamics and bloom were back!! Hot DAMN!!!! Comparing this to the Sunfire VTCC that it replaced brought some things into bold relief. The VTCC has a very good phono section. If you have one keep it and roll some great tubes in it.

That said, as it sits right now the Fosgate/Ariston is the best front end I've had in my system, even running a $50 cart. I put on FleetwoodMac's Rumour's, Mick's drums were 5ft wide as I mentioned before, but as he went from drums to cymbals there was a change in percieved elevation of at least a foot/freeking amazing. It was east placing Stevie, Christine and Lindsey. Next, I played a copy of Boston's Walk-On LP. Tom Sholtz has said he is very proud of this LP. Analogue processes were used throughout it's recording. Nothing digital! Ribbon mikes, a tube board, Tim deParavicini RTRs and cutting heads. Playing it back through the Fosgate was nothing short of incredible. The bloom!!!! WOW!! I can almost taste the mid-range.

I'm a huge fan of TheChairman. No one phrases a song like Francis, no one. I have a favorite of his on 'September of my Years' . It starts out with the words, "when I was seventeen' as that played it was almost like he was there in the room with us. I saw Frank at the Sands several times in the 70s, this recording took me back to those shows. I can hear the room it was recorded in, someone putting out a cigarette in an ash tray/ guitars picked with fingers/no picks. A muted 'Bone played sliding the mute around the end of the bell.

I'm also a huge fan of Edward Van Halen. I put on my rarely played copy of 'Balance' I was curious to see what I could hear of the hammer runs in the beginning of 'Big Fat Money'. Again, I am wowed! The Fosgate Signature pulls all of this unheard until now detail out of the recordings but never does it get harsh or unforgiving. My litmus test is Grand Funk Railroad's ' We're an American Band', most of this album sounds like ass. It's easy to spot it was recorded by different people in different places using different recording techniques. IT SUCKS!!!! as a recording. All in all, not too bad...now. I can enjoy it again. 'Bout time!

I'll post more later after I get a suitable cartridge, but if this is any indication of what I can expect...I can't wait.

I need better speaks and a better cart, although it's easy enough to see how good a bit of gear the Fosgate is. It remains very engaging, doesn't grate on my ears and creates a very believable soundscape. Between the Fosgate and the V20 the bar in my rig has been raised...really high. Now to find some affordable pieces to match.

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline Reverend

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 01:05:58 PM »
Very cool Ray, great review.  I hope you're bringing this stuff down to CF this year.  I'd love to hear it.

Offline Dicky

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 02:40:43 PM »
Not only all that, but it looks good too.
Emotiva XSP-1 pre
Emotiva XPA-2 amp
Technics SL-1200mk2 turntable
BSR EQ3000
Denon DNP-720AE network tuner
Fourier 6 speakers
Bose 601 speakers
Paradigm Studio 60 v2 speakers
Columbia Masterwork 944 Console

Offline schwarcw

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 08:45:26 PM »
I love the look!  Great review!  I want one but it looks a little pricey.
Carl

Offline schwarcw

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 08:48:54 PM »
Ray,

It looks like the phono preamp has step up transformers.  Can you confirm?
Carl

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 11:06:34 PM »
Not at this time as I will have not taken it apart. It's funny, I don't feel compelled to tear into the EAR or Fosgate....yet. Screwing up gear that is THIS expensive troubles me. Nothing I've read 'til now suggests SUTs. I will see wehat I can find out though.

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline schwarcw

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2014, 03:32:07 PM »
Ray,

Those two silver cylinders at the rear of your phono preamp screams of SUTs.  What we are seeing is the shielding.  It's not uncommon to see SUTs built into the phono pre.
Carl

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2014, 04:03:47 PM »
Carl, yeah or they could be power supply caps. One of these days I'll grow a set big enough to take it apart and let you know. If nothing else maybe TomZ can lift her skirt and get a look at the 'Fest.

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2014, 09:48:08 PM »
Great review, and a beautiful pre you have there - one of those " keep forever pieces".  As Carl, I am curious as to how this pre handles MC gain.  Are those SUTs in the back or is the gain all via the tubes?  At any rate,  enjoy it - looks like you can have plenty of fun rolling tubes to make it sound exactly how you want it to.

Pepe

Spkr: Harbeth 30.1 on Sound Anchor 4 post stands
Pre: Rogue 99 Magnum
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo 203
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub:

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2014, 10:48:46 PM »
First let me say thanks to Dan (Chauss) for the loan of the K&K and the Supex 900 MKIV and to George Daniel for the invaluable insight.

All of the gain is managed by tubes.

My good buddy Dan(Chauss) was kind enough to loan me a K&K SUT and Supex MCLO cartridge that I get to return at CarverFest '14. It took a bit of finangling to get everything to work properly. First off the cart wires are much smaller on the Supex cart meaning I had to find a new set in the vicinity of Sunny Bucyrus. That intailed an hour drive to Wooster. There I found Vintage HiFi of Wooster. This place is beyond cool!!! An entire showroom of pristine vintage hifi gear. I cannot wait to go back when I'm not working and have time to spend looking around.

Once I got the wire issue managed I sat down for some serious listening. First to spin was the Eagles 'Desperado' an LP I'd picked up a while back from a record store in Ashland. The first thing I noticed was the vocals had receded in the soundfield and had a halo of echo around them. Odd that, I didn't remember this record sounding anything like that. On goes Eurythmics...Annie Lennnox faded back also. Now I know something is up...problem is I have no idea what. Shit!!! Nothing worse that spending big $$ on an 'upgrade' only to have it go south.

So I called George Daniel for advice. I thought it might be the tubes I rolled in when the Fosgate first came to me. George didn't think it would be that, he suggested it might be the K&K SUT. What I didn't know about the gear Dan loaned to me was when it belonged to Jerry he'd loaned it to George before Dan acquired it from Jerry. George was familiar with the SUT. A little futzing around and I found a solution. While a piece might act one way in another system it might not behave the same way in yours. What I found out was I was running too much gain in the Fosgate, even with the 0.2mv Supex. I'd heard 0.4mv cartridge output was the lower end for the Fosgate, that didn't end up being true in mine. I dialed back the gain and was in business.

Annie and the Eagles came back to where they belong. HOTT DAMN!!!! we in bidness. Right now I'm spinning Be Bop Deluxe's Axe Victim. Earlier I had Tull's 'Songs from the Wood'. Both sounded better than I remember.

Now if I can get Dan to part with that cart....hmmmmm.

ray

more to come
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline MacGeek

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2014, 11:24:42 PM »
Be careful at Vintage HiFi in Wooster.  I have dealt with Brian and he is a nice guy; however, the gear is typically sold as is and not checked first (it may operate, but not always to spec).  If you sell anything, get cash.  It took months for the check I received to be made good (it was made good, just took forever).

All that being said, he does have some beautiful pieces.
MAC C-46 pre, MQ 108 eq, MC 352 amps (2), MR 78 tuner, MCD 500 CD, MPI-4 scope, LS 352 speakers, Sony HDR-F1HD AM/FM/HD tuner, Denon DRS 810 cassette, Denon CDR-W1500 CD recorder, Music Hall MMF-9 w/B&O MMC2, Revox A-77 R to R.

Offline schwarcw

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2014, 11:29:38 PM »
Greetings Ray!

I'm glad to hear that we have a mutual friend in George Daniel.  I think he is still running the Hagrman phono pre that I sold him.

Anyways, if I read your post correctly.  The Fosgate could handle a LOMC of 0.4 Mv or higher.  So you put an SUT in the signal path before the phono preamp, but had to dial back the gain settings on the phono pre?

Do I understand you correctly?  I apologize, it's past my bedtime.  LOL!
Carl

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2014, 03:07:28 PM »
The good news is the Fosgate sounds GREAT. One the down side one of the deParavicini tubes failed and the pre sounded like ass. I ran down the problem and installed another DPS tube and I'm back in business.

The halo around the voices remains, so IF think it is supposed to be there. Tonal balance is just fine, and dynamics are outstanding. Listening to Boz Scaggs...very cool. Bass is deep and tight, mids are surprisingly smooth and lush, highs clear and dealt..they almost shimmer. Damn, I really like this rig.

 Got my new speaker stands today. $67 done, ready for paint. Gonna have some cool stuff done for the 'Fest.

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

IsidroErickt

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2014, 07:45:06 AM »


Specifications:
Gain: 42.5dB MM, 60.5dB MC
Resistive Loading: 100Ω, 300Ω, 500Ω, 1kΩ, 47kΩ, 100kΩ (Selectable)
Tube compliment:
2 - 6DJ8
2 - 12AX7
2 - 12AT7
1 - 12X4
Dimensions:13 3/16" W x 10 3/4" D x 5 5/8" H

Associated Equipment:

Ariston RD-40/Linn Basik LSV tonearn/Stanton RS500DJ cartridge/Cardas Silver wire service to Cardas wire block.
CarverAudio Interconnects
Fosgate Signature Phono Preamp
E.A.R. Yoshino V20 Integrated Amplifier
Audio Note AN-9 speakers cables
Dahlquist DQ-8/Alesis Monitor One Loudspeakers

Considerations:
Room 24 1/2 X 16ft, ceiling is a bit over 7ft/no room treatments
bookcases behind and beside loudspeakers, carpeted floor/drapes

Observations:

Like the EAR V20, the Fosgate Signature is a feast for the eyes. Blue LEDs that match the power lamp light under the front 3 tubes when the tubes reach operating temp and voltage has stabilized. A pair of small switches on the top panel control the selection of Cartridge type(MM/MC) and a rotating selector on the rear panel allows control over resistive cartridge loading. The build quality is excellent!

The tubes complement is
2 - 6DJ8
2 - 12AX7
2 - 12AT7
1 - 12X4

I've installed a very nice 6X4 George Daniel sent me, a pair of DPS(Tim deParavicini) EI 7DJ8s, Telefunken 12AX7s and some JAN 12AT7s the PO sent along with the unit. The first day of listening went OK, but as I listened longer I noticed the music sounded a little flat. Now nothing is more disconcerting than paying big bucks for something and having it sound like ass. I played around with cartridge loading and gain setting which yielded a small gain in dynamics and resolution but not at all what I was hoping for. It was then my Shure cartridge took a powder. I replaced it with the Stanton RS500DJ and pressed on with my listening. I wonder if the Stanton is 'voiced' for DJ work. It has suspiciously good tonal balance, the kind I like. Makes me wonder if the frequency balance has been messed with. We'll see when I get a new cartridge.

The cartridge change made all the difference, dynamics and bloom were back!! Hot DAMN!!!! Comparing this to the Sunfire VTCC that it replaced brought some things into bold relief. The VTCC has a very good phono section. If you have one keep it and roll some great tubes in it.

That said, as it sits right now the Fosgate/Ariston is the best front end I've had in my system, even running a $50 cart. I put on FleetwoodMac's Rumour's, Mick's drums were 5ft wide as I mentioned before, but as he went from drums to cymbals there was a change in percieved elevation of at least a foot/freeking amazing. It was east placing Stevie, Christine and Lindsey. Next, I played a copy of Boston's Walk-On LP. Tom Sholtz has said he is very proud of this LP. Analogue processes were used throughout it's recording. Nothing digital! Ribbon mikes, a tube board, Tim deParavicini RTRs and cutting heads. Playing it back through the Fosgate was nothing short of incredible. The bloom!!!! WOW!! I can almost taste the mid-range.

I'm a huge fan of TheChairman. No one phrases a song like Francis, no one. I have a favorite of his on 'September of my Years' . It starts out with the words, "when I was seventeen' as that played it was almost like he was there in the room with us. I saw Frank at the Sands several times in the 70s, this recording took me back to those shows. I can hear the room it was recorded in, someone putting out a cigarette in an ash tray/ guitars picked with fingers/no picks. A muted 'Bone played sliding the mute around the end of the bell.

I'm also a huge fan of Edward Van Halen. I put on my rarely played copy of 'Balance' I was curious to see what I could hear of the hammer runs in the beginning of 'Big Fat Money'. Again, I am wowed! The Fosgate Signature pulls all of this unheard until now detail out of the recordings but never does it get harsh or unforgiving. My litmus test is Grand Funk Railroad's ' We're an American Band', most of this album sounds like ass. It's easy to spot it was recorded by different people in different places using different recording techniques. IT SUCKS!!!! as a recording. All in all, not too bad...now. I can enjoy it again. 'Bout time!

I'll post more later after I get a suitable cartridge, but if this is any indication of what I can expect...I can't wait.

I need better speaks and a better cart, although it's easy enough to see how good a bit of gear the Fosgate is. It remains very engaging, doesn't grate on my ears and creates a very believable soundscape. Between the Fosgate and the V20 the bar in my rig has been raised...really high. Now to find some affordable pieces to match.

ray
Certainly its looks fantastic..I will try to gather some more details before getting the product..

IsidroErickt

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Re: Fosgate Signature Phono preamp
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2014, 04:02:31 AM »


Specifications:
Gain: 42.5dB MM, 60.5dB MC
Resistive Loading: 100Ω, 300Ω, 500Ω, 1kΩ, 47kΩ, 100kΩ (Selectable)
Tube compliment:
2 - 6DJ8
2 - 12AX7
2 - 12AT7
1 - 12X4
Dimensions:13 3/16" W x 10 3/4" D x 5 5/8" H

Associated Equipment:

Ariston RD-40/Linn Basik LSV tonearn/Stanton RS500DJ cartridge/Cardas Silver wire service to Cardas wire block.
CarverAudio Interconnects
Fosgate Signature Phono Preamp
E.A.R. Yoshino V20 Integrated Amplifier
Audio Note AN-9 speakers cables
Dahlquist DQ-8/Alesis Monitor One Loudspeakers

Considerations:
Room 24 1/2 X 16ft, ceiling is a bit over 7ft/no room treatments
bookcases behind and beside loudspeakers, carpeted floor/drapes

Observations:

Like the EAR V20, the Fosgate Signature is a feast for the eyes. Blue LEDs that match the power lamp light under the front 3 tubes when the tubes reach operating temp and voltage has stabilized. A pair of small switches on the top panel control the selection of Cartridge type(MM/MC) and a rotating selector on the rear panel allows control over resistive cartridge loading. The build quality is excellent!

The tubes complement is
2 - 6DJ8
2 - 12AX7
2 - 12AT7
1 - 12X4

I've installed a very nice 6X4 George Daniel sent me, a pair of DPS(Tim deParavicini) EI 7DJ8s, Telefunken 12AX7s and some JAN 12AT7s the PO sent along with the unit. The first day of listening went OK, but as I listened longer I noticed the music sounded a little flat. Now nothing is more disconcerting than paying big bucks for something and having it sound like ass. I played around with cartridge loading and gain setting which yielded a small gain in dynamics and resolution but not at all what I was hoping for. It was then my Shure cartridge took a powder. I replaced it with the Stanton RS500DJ and pressed on with my listening. I wonder if the Stanton is 'voiced' for DJ work. It has suspiciously good tonal balance, the kind I like. Makes me wonder if the frequency balance has been messed with. We'll see when I get a new cartridge.

The cartridge change made all the difference, dynamics and bloom were back!! Hot DAMN!!!! Comparing this to the Sunfire VTCC that it replaced brought some things into bold relief. The VTCC has a very good phono section. If you have one keep it and roll some great tubes in it.

That said, as it sits right now the Fosgate/Ariston is the best front end I've had in my system, even running a $50 cart. I put on FleetwoodMac's Rumour's, Mick's drums were 5ft wide as I mentioned before, but as he went from drums to cymbals there was a change in percieved elevation of at least a foot/freeking amazing. It was east placing Stevie, Christine and Lindsey. Next, I played a copy of Boston's Walk-On LP. Tom Sholtz has said he is very proud of this LP. Analogue processes were used throughout it's recording. Nothing digital! Ribbon mikes, a tube board, Tim deParavicini RTRs and cutting heads. Playing it back through the Fosgate was nothing short of incredible. The bloom!!!! WOW!! I can almost taste the mid-range.

I'm a huge fan of TheChairman. No one phrases a song like Francis, no one. I have a favorite of his on 'September of my Years' . It starts out with the words, "when I was seventeen' as that played it was almost like he was there in the room with us. I saw Frank at the Sands several times in the 70s, this recording took me back to those shows. I can hear the room it was recorded in, someone putting out a cigarette available at
ecigfiend in an ash tray/ guitars picked with fingers/no picks. A muted 'Bone played sliding the mute around the end of the bell.

I'm also a huge fan of Edward Van Halen. I put on my rarely played copy of 'Balance' I was curious to see what I could hear of the hammer runs in the beginning of 'Big Fat Money'. Again, I am wowed! The Fosgate Signature pulls all of this unheard until now detail out of the recordings but never does it get harsh or unforgiving. My litmus test is Grand Funk Railroad's ' We're an American Band', most of this album sounds like ass. It's easy to spot it was recorded by different people in different places using different recording techniques. IT SUCKS!!!! as a recording. All in all, not too bad...now. I can enjoy it again. 'Bout time!

I'll post more later after I get a suitable cartridge, but if this is any indication of what I can expect...I can't wait.

I need better speaks and a better cart, although it's easy enough to see how good a bit of gear the Fosgate is. It remains very engaging, doesn't grate on my ears and creates a very believable soundscape. Between the Fosgate and the V20 the bar in my rig has been raised...really high. Now to find some affordable pieces to match.

ray

Certainly its looks fantastic..I will try to gather some more details before getting the product..