Neuphono – MC/MM Tube Phono Stage

There has always been a tendency to impeccability, to perfection: it is an abstract concept, a continuous search for improved goals.

We often forget, however, that we are imperfect and we continue to seek perfection outside of us: today’s technology offers many opportunities to achieve to these targets and, as perfect imperfects, we apply new knowledge to devices otherwise not comparable to their “heirs” now available.

This constant commitment has made us rediscover the pleasure of listening to a vinyl record: while on one hand the analog sources are quite improved, especially in the choice of new materials, on the other the preamplifiers for analog cartridges are designed to obtain more details from the smooth information received.

Audiozen has an analog heart, the first product presented was a phono preamplifier, and since then Audiozen has never stopped investing in the design of increasingly accurate creations.

Neuphono is the result of this commitment, it’s the proof of search for perfection in each stage of which it is composed: six FETs and a pair of fine NOS vacuum tubes, Mundorf MCap EVO Aluminum Oil polypropylene capacitors in series with the audio signal.
FETs and tubes are also “matched”, they are selected in pairs to have identical electrical characteristics for left and right channel.

The excellent RIAA stage, defined according to the parameters of Audio Engineering Society, is the result of calculations and consequent laboratory tests and it exceeds the specifications on all frequencies.

NEUPHONO SPECIFICATIONS
Type
MC/MM tube phono preamplifier
semiconductors
6 x FET
NOS tubes
2 x ECC88
MC/MM input impedance
manageable trough “LOAD” RCA sockets
output impedance
< 600 Ω
MC stage gain
69dB
MM stage gain
56dB
unbalanced outputs
2
available finishes
silver & black
main unit dimensions
240 x 95 x 295mm (WxHxD)
main unit weight
2,6 kg
PSU dimensions
240 x 95 x 295mm (WxHxD)
PSU weight
5 Kg

Neuphono is equipped, like all Audiozen products (except Mono) with a separate power supply unit: inside it there are three oversized toroidal transformers and a multistage power supply circuit, in order to drastically reduce the “hum” and improve the signal to noise ratio.

The elegant aluminum knob on the front panel allows you to choose the circuit to be switched, for Moving Coil (MC) or Moving Magnet (MM) cartridges.
Another knob is located on the front panel of the separate power supply unit, to make it easier to turn on/off the appliance.

The input impedance of the two MC and MM stages is managed by two RCA sockets (one per channel) located on the rear panel of the Neuphono: two pairs of RCA connectors are supplied, one 47 KOhms pair (average load for MM cartridges) and a 100 Ohms pair for MC cartridges; other values can be requested.

Neuphono has a characteristic sound: it is fast and transparent like a solid state preamplifier and it is also deep and enveloping as the best tube sound can be. Bass frequencies are controlled and present, with the correct immanence, and then proverbial silence, such as to make you forget that inside it there are three NOS vacuum tubes of the best worldwide production.

Paraphrasing the writer Karl Kraus, Neuphono lacks some flaws to be perfect.