Hello to all forum members. I received yesterday a new tube Phono preamp which is a clone of the EAR 834. It came without tubes as I got a deal with the Ebay seller to do a discount for meby not sending me the three 12AX7 it includes as I have around 12 of them or so. I opened the Phono pre, insert the 3 tubes, closed it and connected to my TT and Pioneer A/V receiver. First thing I noticed was some hiss-like noise on the left channel and intermitent crackling noise on the same channel. First thing I did was swap tubes, I tried all the different combination possible with the 16 tubes I have both NOS and new production. No luck, same noise and crackling was there. Then I cleaned the pins of ALL my tubes with alcohol and also the tube sockets with a cotton swab with alcohol and a very thin brush. Put the tubes in again trying with different combinations, and no luck again, noise and crackling was there. Then I removed the tubes and with a very thin and flat screwdriver I tighten the contacts of the tubes sockets, but no luck, noise and crackling was still there. With the top cover off I softly tapped the three tubes with the rubber of a pen (wearing headphones to monitor the resulting sound), and I could only hear ticking on the left channel along with the hiss-like noise and crackling. Using a microfiber cloth I touched some of the components of the audio board (I didn't touch the power supply board or the toroidal) including the tubes, not touching anything with my bare fingers, and sometimes a loud hum was heard, but only on the left channel. Three things to keep in mind: 1- The Phono preamp is brand new, I received it yesterday and has been on for around 5 hours. 2- When listenning some records using my usual Goldring GR-1 TT with a Denon DL-110 cart, at normal listenning levels sound is great in both channels, it's just that the left channel has the hiss-like noise and crackling. 3- This Phono preamp doesn't use one tube per channel, it haskind of a peculiar arrangement. Tube one, on the right, does the amp. Tube two, at the center, does RIAA de-eq and does some more amp. Tube three, on the left, is used as a buffer to keep impedance low. What may be the problem with this Phono preamp? It's obviously defective but if the problem is easy to solve it may be better to take it to the local electronics technician than to ship it back to China, wait for the seller (best case scenario) to ship a new one, get it home and pay import fees again, around 60 $. I'd appreciate your help. Thanks in advance.