Clearaudio presents a highly interesting Phonostage with volume control and headphone jack balance +. Whether this diminishes the sound, reveals the following test.
- Phono preamplifier Clearaudio balance + & ACCU power supply +.
- Data sheet
Phono stages played the analog Clearaudio specialists has always been a great role. Logical: Without good phono stage, also the best pickup little benefits. Equal to seven of these special stages cause the Erlanger in the program, and the latest among them, the balance +, is almost the most interesting thanks to the extensive equipment package. Which jewelry box that has a volume control (directly output stages control can), has a headphone jack and for 550 euros subsequently with a battery disconnect preparing to charge costs 1600 euro. Phonofan, what more do you want?
That but a wide range of equipment is only half the battle, white also companies senior Peter Suchy. Therefore the name following laid out symmetrically the balance +. So also XLR jacks for balanced operation can be found next to the unbalanced inputs and outputs. Combine can not these kinds of work, so you need a phono cables with XLR connectors to the benefit of the balanced circuitry.
Both MC and MM pickup but find connection. For this the balance + at the bottom can be switched to, which simultaneously input resistance, as well as gain be changed. On the other hand, there is no one way to change the capacity for MM or the input impedance for MC, further.
Both in the MC – as well as in MM mode the signal goes through the entire circuit, only the gain of the first stage high used for the smaller MC voltages. The RIIA equalization is a combination of a passive version with a capacitor between the first and second stage of the amplifier as to Clearaudio usual and prevents an active version in the feedback of the second Verstärkerstufe.Eine DC servo control then that no other capacitors in the signal path is needed. The volume control is what changed the low output impedance, making the purist stage so the balance + upstream, driver stage.
She left a very good impression in the stereoplay measuring laboratory, is characterised by extremely low distortion and low noise. A small point of criticism, however, was the somewhat high input capacitance in MM mode.
This became noticeable also in the stereoplay listening room. Because when the reference turntable Linn Sondek LP 12 SE (3/07) carried the stereoplay highlight reson Reca in his EKOS SE tonearm, like the balance + although with pressure full and direct sound, but minimally to superficially presented the heights. Coherent was combined with the high-output MC and stereoplay highlight Benz micro ACE H 2 (10/05). Now she could spice up their powerful and dynamic reproduction with balanced tones.
However, this passage was only the warm up lap. With the reference pickup Lyra Titan i was serious (6/06). Already asymmetrical wired the balance + left balance (1/01), even if this was connected with balanced cables with the prepress reference of Thorens TEP 3800 (5/08), no chance of its predecessor. Although dabbled with fine details and harmonious tones to fight back the balance, but the Balanace + brought their advantages with clearly accouterment gameplay and more robust representation of space. Also came with tutti places of less distress, and more precisely formed from single instruments. Because she showed it also voices articulated two sound points came together more the bottom line.
The balance + completely symmetrical was wired to same cables, increased the detail view which strings comprehensive swung out and stresses more clearly came to days. Again better it sounded as the tester the ACCU power supply + joined: the panorama of sound came again more stable and at the same time further and deeper. won the bass contour, cymbals sounded out longer.
The icing is kept the testers for the final and tied directly to the Thorens TEM 3200 (1/06) reference power amplifiers the balance +. Talk: How high is the sound loss, if you just leave out expensive preamp such as the Thorens TEP 3800 for 15_000 reference euro? The result will allow triumph every Phonofreund: there were only negligibly less to hear fine details.
Clearaudio balance + & ACCU power supply +.
Technical data and test results
|Mass||B-18, 0 x H 6, 0 x T 22.0 cm|
|N ratio MM 5 mV, 1 kohms||85 dB|
|MM (standard system)||76 dB|
|MC (0.5 mV, 20 ohm)||76 dB|
|Reinforcement MM / MC||43.7 / 63.9 dB|
|Headroom MM / MC||75 / 7.0 mV|
|Input impedance, MM||47 kOhm + 355 pF|
|Output resistance||75 Ohm|
|Power consumption standby||5.0 W|
|Short conclusion||The upgrading of the balance + with the ACCU power supply + leads to a still more stable soundstage, whose panorama wins both in width and in depth. Also, the location of individual instruments gets sharper.|
|Sound points MM / MC
(maximum 70 points)
|57 / 58|
(maximum 10 points)
(maximum 10 points)
(maximum 10 points)
|Overall rating (max. 120 points)||very good 85 points|
|Price / performance||Very good|
|tested in issue:||12 / 08|