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"Tengu" - extreme MC phono stage
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Author:  mwhouston [ 22 Sep 2015, 06:20 ]
Post subject:  "Tengu" - extreme MC phono stage

After building the Boozhound Labs MM and dedicated MC stage featuring the Russian PIO caps, I was inspired to build an extreme version of the MC stage. I was very impressed with the performance of the MC stage built from a kit. Having at hand some ultra expensive Audio Note (AN) caps, I thought what better use.

The AN are silver foil, paper and oil clad in a pure copper outer. The leads are fine silver wire and the caps currently sell for AU$427 each! To further ensure this was going to be a "killer" build I added Vishay resistor, Nichion electrolytic caps, solid copper high-end RCAs and a Hammond enclosure. All hook-up wire is silver plated fine copper and solder is WBT silver solder.

Construction is on Veri-board, there is a battery test point at the front and a soft blue "ON" led. On an initial listen the bottom end appears a little richer and the sound stage more defined. But early days. The cost of parts is over AU$1000! "Tengu" are Japanese mystical creatures let's hope this has a mystical sound to compliment the price.

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Author:  mwhouston [ 22 Sep 2015, 09:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: "Tengu" - extreme MC phono stage

Forgot to mention; the sliding lid is lined with bituminised heavy Al foil to control resonance and vibration.

Author:  Felix [ 23 Sep 2015, 01:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: "Tengu" - extreme MC phono stage

G'day mate, nice! How easy is it to get those 2SK170 FET's? Regards, Felix.

Author:  mwhouston [ 23 Sep 2015, 05:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: "Tengu" - extreme MC phono stage

Felix wrote:
G'day mate, nice! How easy is it to get those 2SK170 FET's? Regards, Felix.

I think Jaycar may sell them but get them from RS and get some other thinngs like Vishay resistors and they post for free. Get 50 jfets. I did years ago and now only have a few left.

Author:  mwhouston [ 27 Sep 2015, 04:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: "Tengu" - extreme MC phono stage

I finally got to listen to Tengu in my home system. It is an improvement over the basic Booz kit but at the cost of parts it should be. I could not AB the two as the the original Boozhound is packaged up and sold. I particularly noticed on solo piano music there was a lot more piano from LPs I know quite well. Definitely greater depth to each instrument.

Author:  mwhouston [ 30 Sep 2015, 21:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: "Tengu" - extreme MC phono stage

If subjective banter offends avoid this post.

I posted, a few days back, my new super expensive DIY MC stage inspired by Boozhound Labs MC kit. This one featured over $800 of Audio Note caps. I was very pleased with the sound right off the bat and was particularly impressed with the dynamics and detail of sound. I was not prepared for how well this stage would sound 12 hours later. I believe in component burn it and especially with caps and even more especially when they are big expensive and exotic audio caps.

The whole sound of my system, with this new MC stage in place, has lifted to a level I have never heard before. I should have known something great was coming when I heard how good the original Boozhound MC kit was and with the addition of a high-end caps, as the only caps in the audio path, it had to improve.

I'm not going to talk of bass and depth of field etc. but just to say the overall dynamics of my vinyl setup, which includes the new tube MM stage, is off the planet. Yes a $AU1k+ MC stage which runs on batteries, should sound good and thankfully it is a lot better than good. I'm going to build another using copper or tin AN caps. Cheaper than the AU$427 silver puppies.

Author:  Felix [ 01 Oct 2015, 03:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: "Tengu" - extreme MC phono stage

G'day mate, all very interesting. I have to admit that component (especially capacitors) break in is a rather complex thing and I'll frankly admit that it does happen, even when there is no logical rationale for it. It goes beyond capacitance value and such.

However I often wonder about the difference between component break in and break down, where components fail, and I've certainly seen good quality (non electrolytic) coupling capacitors fail and become terribly electrically leaky with the passage of the years. It is a complex subject. Regards, Felix.

Author:  mwhouston [ 23 Oct 2015, 08:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: "Tengu" - extreme MC phono stage

Tengu now has a brother - Salix. Salix is another Boozhound Labs inspired MC stage but instead of the crazy expensive Audio Note Silver foil caps I used the Audio Note Tin foil caps. The rest is the same.
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Author:  mwhouston [ 04 Feb 2016, 18:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: "Tengu" - extreme MC phono stage

As posted else where I just bought four of these for a PS for the two MC stages. Ultra low noise discrete fixed regs.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/141709044329 ... xe,ext=ext

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