With thanks to
Dilvpoetry MM Phono Preamplifier could not be brought to you without the help of aoshida-audio.com. They supplied me with the preamp in return for an honest review. I did not get any payment for this review. It is in my own words and is not subject to any editing on the part of Aoshida. The link for purchase is as below : https://aoshida-audio.com/products/dilvpoetry-phono-box
The phono preamp comes in at $45.99, putting it firmly in the budget category. I approached Aoshida with a view to putting this phono preamp under scrutiny. So why was I interested in such a product? I have a relatively inexpensive Rega Planar 2 Turntable. It purchased it in 1985 as part of my first Hi-Fi system. It has been through a lot, but I still have it. I have a £1700 streamer, the Nova Fidelity X35, reviewed here. This is 1 of a few streamers that also caters for the vinyl enthusiast. The X35 has a built in moving magnet phono preamp. It works reasonably well. I was wondering whether a $45.99 external preamp could bring a noticeable difference to the sound quality produced from an old record, resplendent with cracks and pops and all that other surface noise we know about. I hope to tread on no toes when I say that I think there are many facets to the final sound that comes from a record than there would be to a digital source. From the condition of the record, to the cleanliness of the grooves, to when it was mastered, the stylus, the cartridge, the turntable, the cabling, the preamp, the amp and then the speakers. It is a minefield and there are a whole load of things that can go wrong. The preamp is an important part of this chain of audio survival. There is much noise contained or constrained in the abilities of a phono preamp to amplify and tiny signal to an audible level. And what of the noise that is sent to the amplifier? That sound quality is partially provided by the preamp.
Greetings to you all from here at subjective land. There is a horse for every course. There is music for every mood. There is some good in every bad thing. Are you getting my drift? There will always be room for the old, the nostalgic, the heart of which therein lies the thing that started recorded music – records. People – listen to me! Thomas Edison may not have been 100% responsible for inventing recorded sound, tht is another debate. But he got the wax cylinders into people’s homes. Those wax cylinders made way for shellac 78 rpm records and then came the vinyl record. Vinyl records are 91 years old. They are still made in pretty much the same way as they were back then. If you have a collection of old records you don’t need convincing about the feeling there is when you drop the needle onto the surface of the record. Yes, it’s more time consuming. Yes, there is more surface noise. No, you can’t (generally) put your music into endless shuffle mode. But I ask you this; does making all this extra effort encourage you to listen to your music with more concentration, or with less? Are you losing your relationship with your music? Is it becoming more and more background as we have more and more demands made of our time? Perhaps it might be time to refocus…..
The audio test was performed under the following conditions. It was a back to back test. In other words, I did the 2 recordings 1 after the other with only enough pause in between to restart the record and press record. The audio from the record has been recorded using a semi professional Olympus PCR recorder which has stereo microphones. It was listening to a room with a set of JM Labs/Focal Chorus 725 Floorstanding Speakers. The Amplification was from my Nova Fidelity X35 Streamer. This has a 100 WPC peak rating. The source was the Rega Planar 2 Turntable , circa 1985, with upgraded Shure VIII Super Tracker Cartridge and stylus. The belt has been replaced and the arm has undergone reparation. All of the above was done by my talented brother, Graham. He had the Rega for a period of its life. I got it back, with many of my old records and some new old ones. This was 2 years ago and I have so many records to get reacquainted with. I have yet more still that I have never listened to. Some of these are 60 years old. Rega are a proud British company who still make the 1, 2 & 3 and have since added the 6, 8 & 10 models to their line. Let me not also forget the record itself. This piece of vinyl is not just a stream on a phone; soon forgotten. It is a 41 year old recording of a 200 year old composition. It has been cleaned painstakingly. I captured the results of that first play for you below.
Hear for yourself the changes in phono preamp from built in to the Dilvpoetry and decide for yourself whether there is much, if any, difference in the result obtained. My opinion? I’m just sat back and listening to the music! Honestly; I want you to have a listen without my opinion brainwashing you and depriving you from free thought.
Although I have, (as of yet) refused to give you my opinion on the winner of the built-in v external phono preamp contest, what I will say is this; the Dilvpoetry made it a tough contest. That in itself is a nod of approval to the quality contained in that little box, for that little price. Phono preamps can fetch a lot of money. Phono can become a very expensive habit. If this has whetted your appetite to try Vinyl, start from where I am with a source like the Rega Planar 2. The Dilvpoetry is a good bet for aligning to your amp, which I’m betting for the majority of you hasn’t got a phono stage. If you’re building a hi-fi system from scratch, you don’t need to restrict yourself to amps with built in phono stages when you’ve got phono preamps like the Dilvpoetry knocking about. If you’ve left your turntable and record collection in the loft and have read this article from start to finish, you know what to do. Loft ladder out please: brush off those cobwebs and listen yourself happier! Get some vinyl back into your soul!