Added DJLE phono preamp to system

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Lenny99, Jun 23, 2022.

  1. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV
    I just added the above phono preamp to my system. It's definitely a budget component priced about $65. However, the improvement was noticeable.

    I played two albums: "After the Gold Rush" Neil Young, and "Quadraphenia" by The Who.

    It's too early to make a definite statement, but I can make a few observations.

    First, it feels well made and it looks cool. The initial hookup was easy as the line connections, ground, and power line inputs are well placed. The front panel has several lighted push buttons. One for choosing input capacitance at 100 or 200f, and another to engage a low bass filter. Also included is a gain control knob, a lighted clipping signal, and a blue power on indicator.

    So far I can say there is an obvious improvement in sound. The result is a fuller, wider sound with a more defined high end. The music has more detail and the bass seemed more controlled.

    There are several glaring problem. From the above photo, its obvious the blue power indicator light is too bright. I might cover it with a clear piece of tape. Also, the absence of an on/off switch. I can leave it on all the time, or unplug the small power cord when finished. Not a deal breaker, but still a nuisance.

    In all, first indications are favorable.

    I'll provide further reports as I use the preamp.

    Later
     
  2. Stanton56

    Stanton56 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho
    Are you talking about the ART DJ phono pre- amp? If you are, i have used that preamp for 5 years and it punches above it price point. Works great with my ATLPW50PB with the AT100e cart and ATLP140XP with tha ATVM95 c cart. Also use the TC 750 LC preamp. Not as good as the ART but still good for the price. Cover the lights with tape, crude but works.
     
  3. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV

    Yes. I just rechecked the manual and it's from ART. I believe its the same except mine was titled the DJpreLE phono preamp. I talked to the tech who said they were the same product. The specs were the same.

    Sorry I neglected to add the ART info. I don't know how I missed that important info exept it was late and I was tired. You are correct.
     
    Stanton56 likes this.
  4. 33na3rd

    33na3rd Forum Resident

    Location:
    SW Washington, USA
    Hi Lenny,

    There are some pre made solutions to bright LED problem.
    https://www.amazon.com/LightDims-Or...1_5?keywords=LIGHT+DIMS&qid=1656010316&sr=8-5

    They're available in different levels of opaqueness, some letting a bit of light through & others totally blocking the light.

    I wouldn't worry about the absence of a power switch on that unit. Many of us leave smaller solid state audio devices powered up continuously, even if they have a power switch.

    The ART DJ has a loyal following, enjoy!
     
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  5. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV

    I usually leave my amp and receiver on standby. I unplugged the ART DJ at the preamp. I'll check on that dimming material.

    Thanks.
     
    33na3rd likes this.
  6. aorecords

    aorecords Forum Resident

    I forget, were you previously using the internal phonostage of your turntable?
     
  7. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Or replace the LED's current-limiting resistor R9 with a higher value, as I am showing here:
    [​IMG]
     
    MCM_Fan likes this.
  8. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV
    That's cool.
     
  9. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV
    I used my S501 Yamaha's interior phono preamp. I had experimented with my TT, the LP 7'S internal preamp.
     
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  10. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV
    Hi:

    As I wrote in an eariler post, I'm attempting to provide an update concerning this phono preamp. When reading what follows please remember, I'm not claiming to be an expert.

    I have listened to several albums since I added this preamp to my system. I can say this is a noticeable upgrade. In fact, it's a much better improvement than I expected.

    The albums include: After the Goldrush and Comes a Time by Neil Young, Quadraphenia by The Who, I Robot by Alan Parson, Gentile on My Mind album sung by Dean Martin, ans Madman Across the Water by Elton John.

    I'm using a VM540ML cart with an AT LP7 TT, Klipsch RP160M speakers, Yamaha S501 integrated amp.

    In every case the sound was much more expressive. The imaging and soundstage had improved as I heard various instruments like never before. Right and left channels had a clear yet connected sound, while the center image was stunning.

    I'm trying not to be overly expressive, but it's difficult. Some of this enthusiasm is from the excitement of newness, but not to this extent.

    I'll try to send further updates.
     
  11. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Oy!
     
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  12. bluemooze

    bluemooze Senior Member

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    This.
     
  13. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan Senior Member

    Location:
    Oregon
    Hey @Lenny99, congrats on your new Art DJ phono preamp. I am a big believer in external phono stages. They have made a big difference in the sound quality of my system. I had the Art DJ for a while and think it's the best value for the money in inexpensive external phono stages. I have upgraded a few times since, to more expensive external phono stages (currently running a Darlington Labs MP-7), but enjoyed the Art DJ when I had it. Just be careful, the inexpensive Art DJ Pre is like a gateway drug. It gets you hooked on external phono stages, which can lead to more expensive cartridges, step up transformers, and then even more expensive phono stages.

    You've done a good job of assembling a very nice system within a very reasonable budget. You've made great choices and I bet is sounds great
     
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  14. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV
    Thanks. I'm aware of the upgrade bug. Lol.
     
    MCM_Fan likes this.
  15. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV

    I've made various upgrades since I started back in this hobby in 4/2018. I started out with the cheapest components I could find. After a bit I wanted to improve the sound.

    I upgraded speakers several times and added stands. I did the same with turntables, carts, stylus, amps, and cables.

    After I brought my ATLP7 turntable I thought I was done. About 6 months later I decided to buy a CD player as I has a good bit of CDs laying around. Than I went with the phono preamp.

    Of all those upgrades with the exception of going to the Klipsch speakers, the phono preamp is the most noticeable. I was using the phono preamp in my Yamaha S501 amp and I tried the preamp in the lp7. Though I was satisfied with the Yamaha's preamp I kept reading threads which praised the phono preamp as making a big difference.

    I began to explore the possibility of a phono preamp. When I came across the ART DJpreLE phono preamp I was intrigued. I did some research, found it was well received and was a bargain. I made the purchase.

    I didn't expect this much of an improvement. It was well worth the cost.
     
  16. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan Senior Member

    Location:
    Oregon
    My own journey back to vinyl began on February 4, 2017 at my local Goodwill store. Fortune smiled upon me that day as I became the proud owner of a vintage Signet TK10ML cartridge (microline stylus on a boron cantilever - pretty high end cart for 1985). It was a freebie that was thrown in to close the deal on an MCS 6601 turntable I was considering purchasing.

    I knew the MCS 6601 was basically a semi-auto version of the Technics SL2000 and considered a fairly decent table. The 6601 had the original Shure 2215 cartridge (OEM version of the Shure M93E) with a 2225 stylus installed. As I was waffling about whether or not to pull the trigger on the 6601 for $24.99, the guy who stocks the electronics section at that particular Goodwill said, "I have an extra needle I'll throw in for free". Sounded good to me. Never hurts to have a spare stylus.

    He stepped into the other room and came back with the TK10ML. I have to admit, that other than the fact that I was getting an entire extra cartridge for free, I didn't really know what I was getting. Until then, I'd owned one turntable in my entire life, a Bang & Olufsen Beogram 3400 that I bought in 1979. But, I did recognize the Signet name from back in the day, and figured what the heck and bought the MCS 6601, with it's original Shure cartridge and the free "extra needle".

    As soon as I got home, I googled the Signet TK10ML and was very pleasantly surprised that it was a pretty high end cartridge back in the 1980s and is still considered highly desirable. Once I realized I had something potentially special, I headed to Audio Specialties in NE Portland to have the owner check out the condition of the stylus under his microscope. He proclaimed it to be in great shape.

    I can't even remember all the turntables and cartridges (and speakers and amps) I've had since then. Most of them initially came from Goodwill. I serviced and repaired them and resold them as I was constantly moving up the food chain. I finally settled on a two turntable system. I run a VPI HW-19 Mk3 with a Dynavector 20x2L through a Darlington labs SU-7 and MP-7 as my main table an a Harman Kardon T60 with a variety of high compliance cartridges (including that Signet TK10ML) through a Parks Audio Puffin as my secondary table.

    It's been a fun and rewarding journey and I'm very pleased with where I'm at. I would have never been able to pay full retail for most of the items in my system, but by being a bargain shopper and being able to repair and restore turntables and speakers, I have a better sounding system than I'd ever imagined.
     
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  17. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV

    That's a great story. I think it's extremely cool the way u worked up the chain.

    Our locale second hand thrift shops seldom have high end electronics. That maybe due to the fact that West Virginia is not a densely populated state. I don't know of anyone who lives nearby that enjoys this hobby.

    I don't live out of the way. I'm a few hours from Pittsburgh PA and just 35 minutes from Morgantown WV. My home, Clarksburg is a small town of about 15 to 20,000 population.

    When I was a teenager the population was about 30,000 but most industry has moved. I rememberb back then there was a Lafayette electronics store which sold hifi equipment located on main st. Also, there were three Radio Shacks at several Malls, and a department store on a strip which sold Pioneer, Technics, Sony, and Sansui equipment. Primarily they focused on Pioneer and Technics.

    Morgantown being a college town had various stores which sold hifi equipment. I think one sold Marantz and Fisher products amoung others. I don't think any are still in operation. Even the local Sears sold a small amount of decent hifi equipment such as Technics. Of course that was years ago. I'd probably have to travel to Pittsburgh or Charleston WV to find a good hifi store.

    However, there are several places in thr area where one may find used and vintage albums.

    Alas, the internet serves me well when it comes to shopping.
     
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  18. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    My experience with the Art DJ Pre II is somewhat different, although not unfavourable.
    I originally bought one because the phono stage in my secondary system is very noisy. The preamp remedied that problem.
    I then tried it with my Yamaha AS-301 integrated amplifier and Pro-ject turntable with an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge. To be sure, there was a noticeable difference in sound. The highs were not as prominent. It sounded duller. The Art DJ may well be more faithful to the source. This could be due to the the lower loading capacitance of the preamp compared with the amplifier's phono stage. However my (age-impaired) hearing prefers the Yamaha.
    Funnily enough in my secondary system, using a Rotel RA-820AX and a Technics turntable with AT-VM95E and Goldring E3 cartridges, I don't notice as much of a difference between the amp's phono stage and the Art DJ Pre II preamp. Again, this may very well be due to similar loading capacitances. I think I prefer the Rotel's phono stage slightly but the decreased noise of the Art DJ makes it much preferable.
     
  19. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Go Padres!!

    Location:
    San Diego
    I'm assuming you selected 100pf on the ART. That alone can account for a major improvement with the 540ml. Built in phono stages on the Yamaha and turntables can have far too high capacitance for AT 4 coil carts like the 540 which need 200pf or lower including cable capacitance.
     
  20. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV
    Yes, I choose the 100pf. I fooled around with the 200, but the 100 seemed to sound best.
     
  21. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I use the 100pf too as AT cartridges need the low capacitance.
     

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