Parks Audio Puffin DSP Phono Pre

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Seafinch, May 5, 2018.

  1. Otlset

    Otlset Forum Resident

    Location:
    Showlow
    I read this last week and realized I have that very album original pressing in great condition. So I got it out and played it again after a number of years. It is an amazing recording! The three performers standing there singing and joking, moving around. You can tell when they move their heads, which direction they're looking (almost), front to back relationships changing as they move. Really special in that with eyes closed you can almost visualize the stage and the performers in action.

    Of course purchasing a Sugar Cube isn't in my plans, so I can't verify if the SC process flattens and diminishes those subtle spatial cues in the recording. But it would be a shame if it did.
     
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  2. Amazing isn't it! I have heard a copy that was used as a Frisbee. Even with all the damage that vinyl had suffered I could hear all those spacial cues too. I have to get a near mint copy of this. Discogs here I come!
     
  3. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    Maybe it's just me, but when I look at it, it reminds me of a guitar effects pedal.
     
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  4. Davey

    Davey define a transparent dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  5. Kristofa

    Kristofa I dream of wires

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  6. Davey

    Davey define a transparent dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Marked sold in one hour, people are gonna have be quick if they want a Budgie, no time to dilly dally :)
     
  7. That guy could have asked for a $100 more easily.
     
    mike catucci and DanBNash like this.
  8. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Eh, just happy to get back what I had into it.
     
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  9. Davey

    Davey define a transparent dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Nicely done and good for you, cool you can turn them around so fast now, probably gonna lead to a bunch of Budgie flippers on ebay, though :)
     
  10. You are a great and honorable man :)
     
    Kristofa likes this.
  11. rbmitch2

    rbmitch2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tucson
    I'll second that sentiment, especially since I'm lucky enough to have bought it! I've been watching for one for a couple of weeks. No Ebay flipping for me.
     
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  12. JFSebastion

    JFSebastion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maricopa Arizona
    I am glad I grabbed a Budgie when I did. Although I applaud Shannon Parks branching out. I am hoping he will return to a tube phono preamp at some future point. The Price point, the quality of the workmanship and the Tube aspect were what brought me to the Budgie in the first place.
     
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  13. PBo

    PBo Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    Does that apply to phono preamps?
     
  14. Davey

    Davey define a transparent dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Presumably he is talking about input transformers for low output moving coil cartridges, but who knows. Most MC phono preamps sound best with good transformers on the input, passive usually beats active.
     
    PBo likes this.
  15. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Not generally, no.

    Most tube phono pre have no use for and make no use of transformers in the signal path. You don't need an output transformer like you do with a tube amp (though you might need some kind of buffer circuit on the output to lower impedance). And unless you're using a SUT for MC gain (a design choice, you could also use active gain), you don't need a transformer at the input .

    Sure, you'll need a power transformer, but you'll need that with a solid state device too.

    Also, even if you are using a SUT, a very good phono SUT need not be hugely expensive -- we're talking about transformers for low voltage signals here, not big iron with big cores, lots of windings, and high shipping costs because of weight.

    So transformer cost to manufacturer isn't generally relevant to the retail price of a tube phono pre the way it is with a tube amp.
     
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  16. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Now I tend to agree with that. Common sense would suggest that you would not even have to give the matter much consideration.

    That is until you see something like this in the Equipment For Sale classified section.

    "AN-S9L: 3 ohms input impedance (suitable for the Audio Note Io range).
    This is their top of the line Step up transformer. I am selling, because I move out of this hobby. I got some seller feedback on other forums, Audiomarkt.de, discogs.com and more.

    If you need a suitable cartridge, I also have an AN Gold pickup for sale.

    Sale price including shipping is: $9'000 / new $18000.

    no original box, will pack well."

    Well, $9k for a SUT, AND no original box, that, for me, would definitely be a deal breaker! WTF? How do you get an $18k DAC in the first place, talk about audio insanity?
     
  17. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Well, I wasn't opining on the sound quality or the price of one phono SUT or another. I'm just saying the price of transformers, which are a major factor in the cost of tube amps, are not a major factor in the cost of most tube phono pres. In fact, they're not generally a factor at all -- most tube phono pres have no transformers in them other than a power transformer.

    @PBo was asking about a comment someone made to the effect that "Tube gear only sounds as good as the transformers," (with the implication that cheap transformers don't sound good) and wondering whether that was relevant for phono pres.

    And the answer is generally, no. MM tube phono pres pretty much universally have no signal path transformers in them, and plenty of others that can handle MCs have sufficient gain out of tube circuits or have SS extra gain stages for MC, so again, no transformers. So the cost of transformers is really irrelevant with most tube phono pres.

    I do agree, though, that there's no reason a great sounding SUT to handle a tiny signal voltage has to cost anywhere close to $9K never mind $18K -- I don't care what it's made out of.
     
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  18. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
  19. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
  20. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
  21. Madness

    Madness Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    For those of us lucky enough to have a Budgie...bidding war? :-popcorn:
     
  22. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    [​IMG]

    First up, Puffin vs. Musical Fidelity M1 (new retail was $450).

    The cart is a 2m blue.
     
  23. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    Right out of the box and running at the the default settings, it’s not better than the MF M1. It might be 75% of the way to being as good. Very clean and neutral but lacking some size, bloom and presence. Not as much gain but there is an adjustment for that.

    I’m not sure how motivated I am to read the instructions and twist the knob. Perhaps a coffee and I’ll feel differently.
     
  24. Madness

    Madness Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    :laughup:

    My wife would totally call me out on that lol
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  25. Brian308GTS

    Brian308GTS Active Member

    Location:
    Rye, New York
    I'm sure many of you already know about this site, and it's interesting to see the various tube amps and pre-amp kits he's created in the past.

    diytube.com • Index page

    Best customer service I've ever experienced was with Shannon; I sent him my Budgie for repair (000039), and he sent it back to me 2 days later and wouldn't even allow me to pay for the shipping.

    Incredible! He also sent me one of the best cartridge alignment gauges I've ever used!
     
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