Parks Audio Puffin DSP Phono Pre

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

  1. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Hyperactive!

    Location:
    Ohio
  2. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Hyperactive!

    Location:
    Ohio
    I just went through all the settings and functions. It’s pretty amazing. First of all, I raised the gain just a bit and it really brought it to life, possibly just as good as the M1.

    There are so many adjustments this thing can get dialed in to any system. I’m an admitted tone control hater but using them will match this little box with any system or cart you want to connect it to. There is a “tube” setting, the type of thing I generally hate. Really more of a “mud” button any time I’ve seen one before. I really didn’t care for it in this case either but it was with a fisher 400 and ls3/5’s, with a bright and powerful SS amp, it might be a nice setting.

    As far as DSP, at no point did I feel like there was a digital glare or a loss of a romantic analog tone. But again, this system has that kind of tone in spades. It would tame a glare on its own pretty good.

    Bottom line, it get’s better if you use it’s features, not a plug and play device if you want it to do its best.
     
  3. hfarrior3

    hfarrior3 I see you rolled your way into the semis.

    Location:
    Southern USA
    I'll second this. He was very helpful in responding to several of my emails and giving me this thoughts on which Budgie I needed in regards to my current setup. I'm sure he got sick of my emails but he was always cordial and very responsive.
     
    riknbkr330 likes this.
  4. hfarrior3

    hfarrior3 I see you rolled your way into the semis.

    Location:
    Southern USA
    Can you compare it the the Budgie, or is that too difficult seeing as they are apples and oranges.
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  5. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Hyperactive!

    Location:
    Ohio
    I’d like to but I’ve not heard the budgie.
     
    ccarty likes this.
  6. Dr Jackson

    Dr Jackson Forum Resident

    Good point, this should have a default setting for Budgie tube owners that have "upgraded" to the Puffin. Wonder how hard that'd be to do, maybe that's the intent of the tube setting and a few others.
     
    hfarrior3 and H8SLKC like this.
  7. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Hyperactive!

    Location:
    Ohio
    [​IMG]

    This is just about as opposition from the Fisher 400 system as you can get.

    Paradigm studio 100 v.5 with a BAT vk-30 preamp w/ a phono section, a $500 option back when it was new in 1999. The amp is a B&K that pushes 220 wpc when I last had it on the bench to be measured. Cart is a 2m Black. Detail for days in this system and it can really move some air in the room if called on to do so.

    I can more clearly hear the adjustments when I make them and it does again help but it is a bit like putting a blanket over the speakers. Even with adjusting the gain on the puffin, I’m using way more of the volume knob than I ever have before and it’s not much more than 90db of volume. Generally with the volume up to 104, I’m pushing 110db.

    A better comparison might be to pull the M1 and do a side by some in this system. I’ve run the M1 in this system and the internal in the BAT is quite a bit better, more revealing as they say.
     
  8. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Hyperactive!

    Location:
    Ohio
    [​IMG]

    I’m digging it more as my ears get used to what’s there rather than focusing on what’s not compared to what I’m accustomed to in this system.

    Aesthetically, it looks like a rats nest of bull schiit.
     
  9. Dr Jackson

    Dr Jackson Forum Resident

    That's hilariously accurate, especially since you can't clean it up 10% by running ground straight back because it'd run straight into the power adapter cable. And the Budgie has some curb appeal thanks to the glowing tubes but the same, uh, challenges with cables.

    Still, my opinion of course, I like this function over form design under a shelf, because when it's time to mess with cables or switching I'm not doing super awkward things to get behind a piece of hardware that's close to the wall. It's all there up top, easy to get to anytime. The price you pay for that convenience, unless you're some kind of wizard with 90 degree RCA cables, is a rat's nest appearance.
     
  10. vinylsolution

    vinylsolution Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO, USA
    Comparison is the thief of joy... - Theodore Roosevelt
     
    AidanB, RDriftwood, Kristofa and 4 others like this.
  11. Kristofa

    Kristofa former member

    Location:
    usa
    Does the screen turn off?
     
    Strat-Mangler likes this.
  12. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Hyperactive!

    Location:
    Ohio
    Not that I’ve seen. The button on the left is power , the wheel scrolls through 16 settings and the button on the right is the adjustment on each setting.
     
    RDriftwood likes this.
  13. Davey

    Davey NP: Fenella ~ The Metallic Index (2022)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Another one for $300, may be gone by the time I post :)

    Parks Budgie Phono Pre
     
  14. hfarrior3

    hfarrior3 I see you rolled your way into the semis.

    Location:
    Southern USA
  15. Davey

    Davey NP: Fenella ~ The Metallic Index (2022)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Lasted 45 minutes this time, probably not worth posting about any more of them, happy hunting :)
     
    SandAndGlass and Kristofa like this.
  16. hfarrior3

    hfarrior3 I see you rolled your way into the semis.

    Location:
    Southern USA
    I have the Budgie Hybrid so I'm good. Just interested to see what happens with them now that they are discontinued.
     
  17. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    If we were going to convert analog to digital, then why don't we simply listen to a digital file that has already been converted by professionals?

    Which is what most of the world has been doing for all these years.
     
    mike catucci, Eigenvector and SirMarc like this.
  18. There is a lot of vinyl stuff that is not on digital formats. If you take spoken word and world music from the 50’s and 60’s for example, you will find a huge body of releases on LP only.
     
    sunspot42 and SandAndGlass like this.
  19. Mainaman

    Mainaman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    Been done and discussed to death already,but for many people vinyl,even when converted to digital,sounds better than the digital releases,flat transfers from the master tapes included.
     
  20. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Hyperactive!

    Location:
    Ohio
    Without delving into a side of the issue I’d say there is a large segment of the phonostage buying public that would prefer to keep all things digital out of their analog chain. It’s a matter of principal and not open to challenge. There are also those that think anything that has a tube is better, also a matter of principle. Listening to equipment that challenges those principles isn’t very common.

    These issues seem to have escaped Shannon of parks audio. Apparently he has no sence of marketing and is only designing equipment for performance and function. If this venture fails (and I fear that it might) it will be due to the fact that he misread his customer base. As you can see from this thread, people want tubes, want to pay less than $500 and want nothing to do with a digital step.

    Tone controls might be another sacred cow that’s getting slaughtered. Changing a tone by rolling a tube makes you super cool but doing that with a knob is pretty lo-fi. These are preconceived notions you need to feed into if you want to sell some phonostages.
     
  21. Seafinch

    Seafinch Preferred Patron Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    Well said. That's my impression too - whether the product is great or not, I think he missed the mark as it relates to the market.
     
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  22. SirMarc

    SirMarc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    I'm in the keep the analog stage analog camp, but if this got overwhelmingly positive praise from both sides, I'd check it out. Its seems to be a very versatile piece
     
    RC2257, bajaed and juno6000 like this.
  23. hfarrior3

    hfarrior3 I see you rolled your way into the semis.

    Location:
    Southern USA
    Exactly. I have a feeling that if those who are scrambling for a Budgie right now will have some patience; he'll start producing them again in a couple of years.
     
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  24. Otlset

    Otlset She bought a stylus.

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Full review coming?
     
  25. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Hyperactive!

    Location:
    Ohio
    Honestly, I may not be the best guy for the job. I had the revelation of what a $500 phonostage can do a few years ago and I've moved up the ladder quite a bit. (and I realize that makes me sound like a douche) I'm a fool for a phonostage and willing to spend at that spot. When you cross that $1,000 and $2,000 price point some very impressive things start to happen, especially where tubes are involved.

    In the world of the lounge, Schiit mani or U-turn Pluto, it's right there and possibly better but you have to want to work with it. It did find the EQ curve setting to be very interesting. I would only ever use the RIAA but I kind of want to find some records from the 40's to experiment. The differences in those curves is not subtle, if you have records that are not RIAA, this would be the best phono you could buy.

    Just for fun I will at some point compare it to the internal on a Sansui 9090 and run it with my LOMC if anyone is interested in my thoughts on that. But the bottom line is that it's a fairly priced unit for the performance it offers and its unrivaled for its flexibility. You can however spend more and get more. The real question is how it compares to the Budgie and I have no idea.
     

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