The Genesis Phonostage

carolkoh

[Industry Expert] Member Sponsor
Sep 17, 2010
764
17
18
Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#1
Many, many moons ago, Gary embarked upon an epic journey with electronics design. Along the way, he put a phonostage in the Pre-Amp he was designing and people (dealers & audiophile friends) noticed. Since we love the sound of vinyl, he began to think of it as a separate product, but I made him focus on his monoblock amps. I said he could let it cook in that agile brain of his until the amps were complete and ready. Well, it kinda exploded out after he was finished with the Reference Amps and the design and prototyping of the Genesis Phono PreAmp proceeded like Schubert's Marche Militaire played in the original four-hand, in double time, con vivo, con brio.

You've been reading Gary wax lyrical about partnering designer’s gear and the LPs we are bringing to CES 2017, but he did not blow his own trumpet about the Genesis Phono PreAmp - a vital component in that music reproduction chain.

Here's the first mention of the Genesis Phono in the press - buried on the third page of a review of the Nagra VPS phonostage.

http://6moons.com/audioreviews2/nagra3/1.html

TLDR (Too long, didn't read): Better than the tube phono in the high and the low-frequencies, no difference on vocals.

Mr. Beudot outed me - I kept selling the Phonos from under him. I think I did that at least twice (apologies!). ;) We showed it as a Prototype in January 2016 at CES in Las Vegas and I started an order queue (paid orders moved up the queue).

Gary: We need to send the Gold Phono to...
Me: I sold it.

Gary: That Gold Phono that's playing in? Don't forget that we promised a review unit to...
Me: I sold it.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,350
295
83
Manila, Philippines
#2
"I sold it"

LOL Carol! You're a good sister! :D
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
5,438
28
48
Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#4
Before anyone thinks that we are selling a *LOT* of these phono stages..... we are not. It's just that the precision and tolerance it takes to make this "simple as possible but no simpler" component is a major drain on time. Some of the most critical capacitors we use are only available in +/-20%. I specify <1% tolerance match between left and right channel for the Gold phono. Since the capacitors can take up to 30 seconds to settle down to measure, and we may have to measure 20 to 50 to find two that match....... you do the math.

Some capacitors require accuracy as well as precision matching, and we may have to measure 200 of them to find a pair.
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
5,438
28
48
Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#5
My sister keeps saying that I don't blow my own trumpet often enough....... so, here goes.

I am particularly proud and honored to get this award - for an "ultra-transparent phonostage". To many audiophiles, a "transparent" component usually turns out to be clinical and analytical. I don't define transparency in that way. To me, a transparent component just gets out of the way between the music and the listener. A transparent component must first and foremost get away from hiding the emotions of the musicians and the music, and allow the emotions to flow - goosebumps and all. We sometimes overly focus on the sound of the system, and as a result, totally lose the emotional connection of the music - you have lost the joy of being in the presence of live musicians which some superb recordings can re-create.

As Frederic Beudot the reviewer put it, "Reviewers often talk about windows onto the music which are more or less transparent or opaque. Now and then you run into a component that removes the window and sticks your head into the performance, raw and unfiltered."

Thank you, Frederic for letting the Genesis Gold Phono give you goosebumps in ways you had not experienced before.

Full review:
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/genesis/1.html

Phono Blue Moon.jpg
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,634
239
63
Boston, MA
#7
Excellent Gary! Your discussion on loading and the reasons for designing a variable gain amplifier is brilliant!
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
5,438
28
48
Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#11
It is designed to treat the cartridge as a pure voltage reference. That way, coil resistance is not a factor for the sound.

The torture test was the Transfiguration Proteus Diamond - 1 ohm moving coil resistance. Almost a dead short. Higher coil resistance is actually easier to drive. But, I am trying to find out more about the Colibri Platinum, but I doubt that it would have an internal resistance of 500ohm. That could indicate that it has a lot of coils, which would be very bad for transparency. Is 500 ohms the recommended load impedance?
 
May 30, 2010
15,499
710
113
Portugal
#13
No the VDH does not have a lot of coils, the problem is the material. Platin. I am working with 47k.
Platinum has a resistivity around six times higher than copper - typical MC vdH cartidges have around 30 ohms resistance. I have seen a review recommending between 400 and 4700 ohm loading for the Colibri Platinum.
 

jpetek

New Member
Feb 12, 2013
122
0
0
#14
For my taste 47k is the best. 400 doesnt work.

Platinum has a resistivity around six times higher than copper - typical MC vdH cartidges have around 30 ohms resistance. I have seen a review recommending between 400 and 4700 ohm loading for the Colibri Platinum.
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
5,438
28
48
Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#15
As I mentioned to Frederic Beudot (and he put in the review), I think that loading is a band-aid and deducts from the music. As a result, the Genesis Phonostage runs "wide open". If you are currently using 47k as your loading, the Genesis will definitely work with your cartridge. With an internal impedance of 500ohms, loading it at 400ohms will make it sound dull and boring.
 

DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
3,620
43
48
Monument, CO
#16
A comment: loading impacts the frequency response of the cartridge (it's an LCR tank) so I would not say it is a "band-aid". Some carts will exhibit significant peaking without proper loading, and may have higher noise. Sorry if I misunderstood you, Gary.
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
5,438
28
48
Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#17
The combination of the cartridge, plus internal tonearm wiring, plus tonearm cable makes up a LCR tank which results in a high frequency resonant peak.

I still haven't found a cartridge alone to simulate to a resonant peak at a low enough frequency to really need loading - hence the rationale for the design of my phono stage. As I don't think I can reasonably cover every single cartridge design that I don't know about, I have provide RCA jacks which can accommodate RCA plugs with loading resistors.

I do agree with you that some cartridges do sound peaky.... but I attributed that to the sonic characteristics of the cartridge itself as the parameters I have of some of those cartridges don't point to a problem.
 

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