here
User Manual for
PHAB - tube microphone preamp'
PHAME - tube instrument preamp'
&
PHI - tube DI box
This manual is also available as a pdf download, Go to: www.phaedrus-audio.com
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Preface – About Phædrus Audio
Phædrus Audio was formed to design, manufacture and sell high-quali ty produc ts for the
professional and semi-prof essional audio market. Phædrus Audio's founders remain inspired by the
music and the recording prac tices of the fifties and six ties, and are motiva ted to re-establish the
values of the grea t audio-tec hnology legends of the pa st with their ideals of transparency, handbuilt quality, and serviceability. Using modern manufac turing techniques and the benefi ts of
mod ern component tec hnology, Phædrus Audio's ai m is to reproduce the quality and charac ter of
classic equipment but in a modern, highly reliable, and cost-effec tive way.
Chapter 1 - Background
The Phædrus Audio PHAB, PHAME and PHI products ca me about because two, recording musicians
wanted to own a "classic" console from the nineteen-six ties. Ideally a famous EMI, REDD, all valve
(vacuum tube) mixer used to record The Bea tles.
But those d esks make a collec tion of
hen's teeth look posi tively prosaic as well as cheap! So, we set about
researching with the idea of
producing a replica console.
In order to do thi s, first i t was
necessa ry to have a design for the
amplifier modules around which the
mixers of this vintage are organised.
In the fa mous EMI REDD mix ers,
these a mplifiers were ei ther the
German manufac tured V72(S)
amplifiers or the, very ra re, EMI
built, REDD.47 a mplifiers.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
V72 and REDD.47 modular amplifiers
Ironically, despite the fac t tha t many more V72 a mplifiers exist than do REDD.47s, the EF804
valves which the German a mplifiers use are no longer in current produc tion and are becoming very
expensive: wherea s the EF86 and ECC88 (E88CC) valves employed in the REDD a mplifiers remain in
production and are widely available. So, a new amplifier, designed from the common source of
Mullard's ref erence audio designs, and thereby sharing a common heri tage with the REDD
amplifiers, was developed. We called this a mplifier the Phaedrus "PHILHARMONIC" (literally,
music loving). Thi s PHILHARMONIC a mplifier forms the hea rt of the Phædrus Audio LONDON
Mark II console. The PHILHARMONIC a mplifier circui t is described in detail below in section
Circuit descriptions .
Mullard published many reference designs which were used by EMI in developing the REDD
amplifiers. Phædrus Audio went back to these same references to develop the PHAB, PHAME
and PHI products.
The prototype London Console (Mark II)
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
PHAB
The Phædrus Audio PHAB mic rophone prea mplifier is essentially the front-end of a single-c hannel
of the LONDON console, in which PHILHARMONIC modular-a mplifier is combined with a rotary
attenua tor, switc hable pad, high-pass filter and gain-swi tching circui try si milar to tha t employed in
the fa mous six ties consoles.
PHAB microphone preamp’ and PHAME instrument preamp’
PHAME
The Phædrus Audio PHAME is a development of the PHAB in which the very high input i mpedance
of the input pentode valve is exploi ted to provide a very high quali ty instrumental prea mplifier.
PHI
The Phædrus Audio PHI DI-Box is a produc t designed for a
wide range of applications; from live use to the recording
studio. Partnered with the PHAB i t provides a solution for
almost any instrumental or vocal prea mp' applica tion.
Construction - or star earths (grounds) and
curly tracks
PHI DI-Box
Given their vintage, the V72 a mplifiers and the REDD.47 a mplifiers were buil t on a metal cha ssis,
with the components hardwired onto tag-strips. Al though Phædrus Audio equipment uses printed
circuit boards to ensure consi stent performance and reliability, the equipment follows "classic"
prac tices suc h as star ea rths and "na tural contour" tracking, just like hook-up wire.
Every Phæd rus Audio PHAB, PHAME and PHI produc t is hand assembled and individually tested. A
test pro-forma is provided with every uni t. Phædrus Audio offer comprehensive service for
products both inside and outside of their warranty period.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Chapter 2 - Warranty and Service
Please regi ster your purc hase wi th Phaedrus Audio at www.phaedrus-audio/registra tion.htm . This
will simplify service & repair should you need this service. Your na me will be placed on our mailing
list (unless otherwise requested) for future upda tes and new product announcements.
Service
If you experience a problem with a Phædrus Audio Ltd. produc t, contac t:
[email protected]
TELEPHONE: +44 207 193 4609
Skype ID: phaedrusaudio
We will diagnose the problem remotely and advise you of the warranty sta tus. If a repair or
replacement i s required, we will issue a Return Merc handise Authoriza tion (RMA) number and tell
you where to send the uni t to be repaired . You MUST have an RMA number before you return the
equipment to Phædrus Audio Ltd .'s support service. Be sure to write RMA number on outside of
shipping box and to include your name, address, phone number, a copy of original sales invoice and a
detailed desc ription of the problem. Phædrus Audio Ltd. will not accept responsibility for loss or
damage in shipping or for equipment returned without valid paperwork and/or a valid RMA number.
Remember, warranty is void if product serial numbers have been removed or al tered, or if the
product has been da maged by abuse, accident or unauthorized modification and/or repair (see
Phædrus Audio Ltd . Li mi ted Warranty for details). There are no user serviceable parts inside.
PLEASE RETAIN Y OUR SALES RECEIPT. IT IS YOU R PROOF OF PURCHASE COVERING YOUR
LIMITED WARRANTY. LIMITED WARRANTY IS VOID WITHOUT SUCH PROOF OF
PURCHASE.
Phædrus Audio Ltd.'s Limited Warranty
This limited warranty is valid only if you purchased the product from Phædrus Audio Ltd. of from a Phædrus Audio
authorized dealer in the country of purchase: a list of authorized dealers can be found on Phædrus Audio website
www.phaedrus-audio.com, or by contacting [email protected] Phædrus Audio Ltd. warrants tha t the equipment it
manufactures shall be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of one (1) year from the original date of
purchase; unless a longer minimum warranty period is mandated by applicable local laws. If equipment fails due to such
defects within this period, Phædrus Audio will, at its option, repair or provide a replacement for the defective part or
product. Valves (vacuum tubes) are excluded from the one-year warranty, but are warranted for 90 days from day of
purchase. This warranty does not extend to any Phædrus Audio Ltd. product that has been damaged or rendered defective
as a result of: accident, misuse, or abuse; or by the use of parts not manufactured or supplied by Phædrus Audio Ltd.; or by
unauthorized modification or attempted repair to the product; or by acts of God/Nature (accident, fire, flood, etc) or any
other condition that is beyond the control of Phædrus Audio Ltd. There are no user serviceable parts inside. This limited
warranty is invalid if the factory-applied serial number has been altered or removed from the product. This limited
warranty is extended exclusively to the original buyer (customer of Phædrus Audio Ltd., or authorized retail dealer) and is
not transferable to anyone who may subsequently purchase the product. No other person (retail dealer, etc.) shall be
entitled to give any warranty promise on behalf of Phædrus Audio Ltd. Phædrus Audio Ltd. makes no other warranties,
expressed or implied, of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or otherwise. Phædrus Audio Ltd. liability is
limited to repair or replacement by Phædrus Audio Ltd., at its sole discretion and, in no event, will Phædrus Audio Ltd. be
liable for any direct, indirect, special, incremental or consequential damages resulting from any defect in the product,
including lost profits, damage to property and, to the extent permitted by law, damage for personal injury, even if Phædrus
Audio Ltd. has been advised of the possibilities of such damages.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Shipping Charges
For any hardware defects experienced by the customer while the product is under warranty, Phædrus Audio Ltd. will incur
the shipping cost to the customer and the customer is responsible for the shipping costs to Phædrus Audio Ltd's
designated after-sales service office. For defective products that are out of warranty the customer is responsible for all
shipping costs to and from Phædrus Audio Ltd’s designated after-sales service office.
Extended warranty and out-of-warranty services
Various services are available from Phæd rus Audio Ltd. These include repair services for
equipment once the warranty period ha s expired, and the ability to ex tend the warranty period.
These are:
PHAB-REP - Repair of a defec tive PHAB prea mp', cha rged a t a flat-ra te
PHAME-REP - Repair of a defec tive PHAME prea mp', charged a t a fla t-ra te
PHI-REP - Repair of a defec tive PHI DI box, charged a t a flat-ra te
PHAB-MISEAJ OUR - Mise à jour for PHAB prea mp'*
PHAME-MISEAJOU R - Mise à jour for PHAME prea mp'*
PHI-MISEAJ OUR - Mi se à jour for PHI DI box*
PHAE-EXTWARR - Ex tends standard warranty (see above) by a further year**
* A mise à jour service includes a complete inspec tion, re-valve (re-tube) and the i mplementa tion
of any engineering updates a s well as a re-test to performance specification.
** If ex tended warranty is ordered af ter the ini tial warranty ha s expired then the intervening
period is charged without exception.
Please contac t your dealer or Phæd rus Audio Ltd. for current prices.
Warranty service conditions are subject to change without notice. For the latest warranty terms and conditions and
additional information regarding Phædrus Audio Ltd. limited warranty, please see complete details online at
www.phaedrus-audio.com .
Chapter 3 - Safety
General
Before using any piece of equipment manufac tured by Phædrus Audio Ltd., be sure carefully to
read the applicable items of these opera ting instruc tions and the safety suggestions. Keep them
for future referenc e. Follow the warnings indicated on the uni t, as well as in the opera ting
instruc tions.
Selection of PSU
Suitable PSUs for the Phædrus Audio Ltd. PHAB and PHAME prea mplifiers and the PHI DI-Box
are available as line items from Phæd rus Audio.
They are:
PHAE-PSU(110) - 110V mains plugtop PSU: plug is North American type.
PHAE-PSU(220Euro) - 220V mains plugtop PSU; plug is European type
PHAE-PSU(220UK) - 220V mains plugtop PSU; plug is 3 pin 13 AMP, British type
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
A 12V AC supply is required for the Phædrus Audio PHAB, PHAME and PHI uni ts. A direc t current
(DC) supply is NOT sui table and will damage the uni t. If a supply is sourced el sewhere than from
Phædrus Audio, it must ha ve the following specifications:
•
•
•
•
•
12V AC, 12 Wa tt supply or grea ter (> or = 1000mA supply current)
Must be sui table for connec tion to the appropria te mains vol tage
Must be Class-II, double-insula ted
Must have 30% regula tion or better
Must contain one-shot thermal fuses, resettable fuses, or Polyswitches for over-current
protec tion.
UK and Euro units should comply with EN 60950-1 and CE requirements and only PSUs with UL
and CSA approvals should be provided on North American units. Uni ts supplied to other countries
should be verified to comply with the relevant standards which obtain in those terri tories.
User Access & Servicing
Phædrus Audio equipment employs thermionic valve (vacuumtube) technology and employs haza rdous vol tages for the hightension supplies. THE USER SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO
SERVICE THE UNIT. ALL SERVICING SHOULD BE REFERRED
TO QU ALIFIED SERVICE PERSONNEL OR FACTORY ONLY.
The PHAB and PHAME prea mplifiers and the PHI DI-Box should
NEVER be connec ted to the ex ternal power supply or in any
other way energised when the ca se is opened and/or the circui t board is accessible.
PHI – Exposed valve (vacuum tube) safety
The Phædrus Audio PHI DI-Box has an exposed 12AU7 (ECC82) valve (tube). In order to ensure
safety, in all circumstances - even if the glass envelope of the valve (tube) were sma shed, the
exposed vol tages ensure touch-current is li mi ted to a safe value. Nevertheless keep thi s produc t
away from babies, c hildren and pets. DISCONNECT THE EXTERNAL PSU AND ALL OTHER
CONNECTED EQUIPMENT WHEN REPLACING THE VALVE (TU BE).
Ground (earth) issues
Phædrus Audio Ltd .'s PHAB, PHAME and PHI produc ts a re all powered by external (12V AC) power
supplies which should be double insulated, class-II types (see above). It should therefore be
apprecia ted tha t,
A CONNECTION TO EITHER THE PHAB, the PHAME of the PHI produc t CAN NEVER
BE RELIED UPON PROVIDE A PROTECTIVE OR SAFETY EARTH (GROU ND). This
advice obtains IRRESPECTIVE OF THE SETTINGS OF ANY "EARTH OR GROUND
LIFT" SWITCHES.
General Safety Instructions
•
•
•
Do not opera te Phædrus Audio equipment near any source of water or in excessi vely moist
environments.
Keep your Phædrus Audio equipment away from babies, c hildren and pets.
Do not let objec ts do not fall, or liquids be spilled, into the enclosure.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
•
•
•
•
Situa te the Phædrus Audio equipment away from hea t sources or other equipment tha t
produce hea t.
Ensure Phæd rus Audio equipment has adequa te ventila tion. Improper ventila tion will cause
overhea ting, and can damage the equipment.
When cleaning Phædrus Audio equipment, remove all connections to the uni t; including
power and gently wipe with a clean lint-free cloth; if necessary, gently moi stened with
lukewarm or distilled water. Use a dry lint-free cloth to remove any remaining moisture.
NEVER use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives on Phædrus Audio equipment.
Phædrus Audio equipment should be serviced by qualified service personnel or returned to
Phædrus Audio Ltd . when: an objec t (or ob jec ts) ha ve fallen into the enclosure; or liquid
has fallen into, or been spilled into the uni t; or the unit has been exposed to rain or high
humidi ty; or the uni t does not opera te normally or exhibi ts a marked change in
performance; or the uni t has been dropped, or the enclosure ha s been da maged.
Chapter 4 - About Valves (Vacuum Tubes)
Valve (tube) types
The Phædrus Audio PHAB and PHAME prea mplifiers
employ an EF86 pentode input valve (tube) and an ECC88,
or E88CC, valve (tube) as the output device. Posi tions for
the valves are very clearly marked on the PCB silkscreen
as indicated in the illustra tion. The valves (tubes) tha t
are installed in Phædrus Audio’s produc ts during
assembly are selec ted to give the best possible
performance. We offer versions of all products with NOS (ra ther than current produc tion) valves.
But these must be c hosen carefully, and be pre-screened. Replacing the supplied valves (tubes)
with different, collec tible, or “high-end” valves (tubes) types may not affec t any i mprovement and
might cause deteriora tion of performance.
EF86
The EF86 is a low noise pentode, originally manufac tured by many different fac tories and
branded by Philips, Mullard, Telefunken, Valvo, and GEC, TESLA and Siemens/RFT. Many
NOS valves are still available. Equivalents include the CV2901 (the UK service designa tion
for the EF86) and the CV4085; a special quality version for mili tary use. The EF86 tube is
still being produced in Russia and in the Slovak Republic under JJ Electronics brand na me
(formerly Tesla). Chinese close equi valents are also still being manufactured.
ECC88
The ECC88 is a fra me-grid, sharp cut-off, twin (dual) triode with an internal,
separa ting screen. The valve was originally designed for service in the f ront ends of
VHF radio receivers. The ECC88 (E88CC) tube type is equivalent to the North
American 6DJ8 tubes and the (rare) milita ry branded CV2492. The transposi tion of
the figures from ECC88 to E88CC was Mullard's way of denoting a special quality
build and is equivalent to the US 6922. Russian 6N1P tubes and the Chinese 6N1
tube a re NOT equivalent. NEVER install a 6N1(P) in the Phædrus Audio PHAB or
PHAME product. The ECC88 valve i s sill being manufac tured in China and in the
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Slovak Republic under JJ Elec tronics brand na me (formerly Tesla).
12AU7 or ECC82
The 12AU7 is a popular, minia ture 9-pin medium-gain dual triode valve
(tube) and is used in many instrument and hi-fi a mplifiers. Both
triodes are used, in cascade, in the Phædrus Audio PHI produc t. The
12AU7 is also known in Europe under i ts Mullard-Philips tube
designa tion ECC82. This tube is widely available both new and NOS
and a number of special quality equivalents a re available. Current
production of 12AU7 takes place in Russia, Slovakia, and China.
Phædrus Audio selec ts and recommend s the long anode (plate) version
of the ECC82 (ECC802S) or 12AU7 valve for application in the PHI
DI-Box.
Valve (tube) lifetime
You should replace the valves in the tubes in the Phædrus Audio produc ts only when you start to
notice c hanges in the sound quality. If the gain of the prea mplifier decreases noticeably, then thi s
is certainly evidence of the onset of valve (vacuum tube) failure. Before thi s, the tone may become
"dull" and transients may be become "blunted".
Tha t said, the lifeti me of a valve (tube) is largely determined by the lifeti me of i ts ca thode
emission and the small-signal valves (tubes) used in the PHAB, PHAME and PHI use oxide cathodes,
which can provide adequa te ca thode emi ssion for 100,000 hours or more. Tha t's over eleven year’s
continuous use. So do not replace valves (tubes) just because they have seen a few years service.
Phædrus Audio Ltd . can provide sui table valves (tubes) as spares which, af ter a burn-in period, are
screened for best performance in your Phædrus Audio produc t. These a re available as line items:
PHAE-12AU7 – Selected 12AU7/ECC82 type valve
PHAE-ECC88 - Selected ECC88 type valve
PHAE-EF86 - Selected EF86 type valve
Please contac t your dealer or Phæd rus Audio Ltd. for current prices.
Chapter 5 - Instructions for use
Phædrus Audio’s PHAB, PHAME and PHI produc ts employ valves (vacuum tubes) as the ONLY
ACTIVE DEVICES in the audio path. Valves (vacuum tubes) and their associated circuitry need
ti me to reach an elec tronic equilibrium before they will operate a t opti mal specifications. Please
therefore allow these produc ts to warm up for, a t least, 5 to 10 minutes before using them in your
signal chain. To prolong the life of your valves (tubes), i t is recommended tha t you turn off these
units when not in use.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Typical connection set-up for the PHAB
PHAB
Application and connections
Mixer and computer interface manufacturers opera te in a very competi tive environment. Even a
small mixer must (by definition) contain 8, 16 or perhaps 32 microphone a mplifiers. Si milarly, a
computer interface designer has to "shoe-horn" a microphone a mplifier into a box with a host of
other fea tures and a noisy, semi -digital environment. Unsurpri singly, these a mplifiers are designed
on a careful budget and contain some compromi ses. Henc e, the use of a few dedicated, stand -alone
microphone prea mplifiers, solely designed with sound -quality in mind, can transform the quality of
your recorded signals. Tha t is the ai m of the Phædrus Audio PHAB tube microphone prea mplifier:
to offer just suc h a no compromi se microphone a mplifier in a produc t which incorpora tes the
standards and qualities adopted in classic recording gea r. A block diagram of the PHAB is given
below. The unit i s connec ted as shown in the accompanying diagrams.
Archi tecture of the PHAB preamp'
Controls
Input rotary attenuator, Pad and Gain switch
The PHAB microphone prea mplifier opera tes wi th a constant-gain a mplifier and a ttenua tes the
signal reaching the a mplifier for level control. This is NOT common with modern equipment; in
which the gain is adjusted by modifications to the feedback network. Yet this approach was
completely standard in the 1950s and 1960s.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
The Phædrus Audio PHAB tube prea mplifier is built around a modular a mplifier with a fixed gain of
+40dB (with a switc h available to raise this to approxi ma tely +46dB). This a mplifier is preceded by
a rotary, switc hed a ttenua tor control, offering a ttenua tion of 0 to -30d B in steps of 6dB. A
further pad (opera ted by a front panel switc h) is available, to increa se the a ttenua tion to -40dB;
thereby ma tc hing the gain of the modular a mplifier and reducing the overall unit gain of the
equipment to uni ty. These controls (the input a ttenua tor, pad and the gain switc h) are used to set
the overall prea mplification level of the uni t and feed a sui table elec trical level to your
downstrea m equipment. (see Operating level sec tion for more informa tion).
Normal opera tion should be to opera te WITHOUT the -10dB pad engaged and with the
prea mplifier gain set to 40dB. Only opera te the pad switch when the signal from the mic rophone is
too grea t for a ttenua tion via the rotary a ttenua tor control: and only opera te the +46dB gain
switch when the signal from the mic rophone is too low, even when the rotary a ttenua tor is set to
0dB.
HPF (rumble filter)
By virtue of its very high quali ty input and output transformers and i ts mini malist, wideband, valve
circuitry, the pa ss-band of the Phædrus Audio PHAB prea mplifier is ex tended in both the bass and
extra-high f requency ranges. Due to thi s, unwanted, very low frequencies, due to traffic or airconditioning "rumble" may be picked up by the microphones and a mplified. The high-pass filter
(HPF) filters out these frequencies and prevents them from ei ther, intermodulating with the
wanted signals with in the microphone prea mp' i tself, or, being fed to downstrea m equipment. This
filter sec tion is engaged by depressing the HPF switc h.
+48V "Phantom" supply
An internal phantom supply is provided to power the microphone connec ted to the input. This
supply is engaged by depressing the "+48V" switc h on the front panel of the uni t. Al though this
supply is designed to "ra mp-up" slowly, it is NEVER a good idea to swi tch phantom power onto a
microphone on a channel with an open fader because i t can crea te "pops and bangs" which can
damage elec tronic equipment, speakers and fray nerves! Always mute any following circuit before
switching on the phantom (+48V) supply. To a void loud transients, always make sure phantom power
is off when connecting or disconnec ting microphones.This supply is designed to support the
hungriest of microphones.
NOTE: Some microphones may be damaged by having phantom-power applied to them: ribbon microphones are especially
delicate in this regard. ALWAYS check what type of microphone is connected, and that it is suitable for phantom-powering
BEFORE operating the front-panel switch.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
PHAME
Application and connections
Archi tecture of the PHAME preamp'
The uni t is connec ted as shown in the accompanying diagra ms.
Direc t injec tion (DI) provides a clean way of applying instruments to your mixer or computer
interface. This is especially interesting today, now tha t there a re so many plug-in effec ts and
amplifier emulations which run as sof tware on the computer host. All tha t is required, when
working this way, is to get a na tural signal into the computer's analogue to digi tal conversion
circuits. The sof tware will then " take i t from there".
How to connect the PHAME preamp'
But if only things were tha t si mple! The problem is tha t a normal passive DI-box, or a solid-sta te
input stage can rarely offer the benefi ts of a valve prea mplifier. (See Voicing and the valve (tube)
amplifier box.)
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Voicing and the valve (tube) amplifier
Guitar pickups are made by winding about 8000 turns of wire on a former or bobbin which surrounds several permanent
magnets. The resistance of the wire is relatively low, but the inductance is high and the device therefore has a rising
output impedance. The guitar connects to the amplifier by means of a coaxial cable with the inner, signal wire surrounded
by the earthy "screen". The construction of this type of cable is not a million miles away from the construction of a
capacitor and, unsurprisingly, the coaxial cable displays a significant capacitance at audio frequencies. When the inductive
pickup is connected via a capacitive cable, a resonant circuit is formed and we can model this and confirm tha t this creates
a musically-significant resonant-circuit well within the audio band. (Left trace below.)
This resonant mechanism is one of the principal voicings for the electric guitarist. Three factors affect the resonant
circuit: the inductance of the pickup; the capacitance of the cable; and the input impedance of the amplifier: essentially
the greater the capacitance and the greater the inductance, the lower the formant frequency. This is why expensive
"Custom Wound" pickups and Humbuckers (which have more turns and therefore greater inductance) sound considerably
more "chunky" or "fatter" than standard pick-ups. It's the major reason why cables really do sound different; fatter
cables (because of their lower capacitance) "singing" better than cheap, thin cables.
The effect of the amplifier input resistance is to damp the resonant circuit. Valve preamplifiers do not do this because of
the common value of 1MΩ for the bias resistor of the first valve. Solid state circuits on the other hand – due to their
higher bias currents and lower circuit impedances – can have a major damping effect on the input signal, destroying so much
of the character imparted by the resonant circuit (see right-hand trace above). In short, the formant frequency is
absolutely crushed and the character of the voice destroyed. Amongst many other reasons, this, so many solid-state guitar
preamplifier designs fail to have the "spring" and "life" of a good valve amplifier: the precious signal is choked before it
reaches (literally and metaphorically) first base!
Controls
Input attenuator
The input a ttenua tor i s a good quality, high-value potentiometer; just like the volume control on an
amp’. Set this control so as to d rive the appropria te level to the downstrea m equipment; see
Operating Levels sec tion.
Gain select (low/ high)
The gain selec t switc h should normally be set to the low posi tion. In the high posi tion i t is possible
to overdrive the tube prea mplifier circui try from a gui ta r. This setting is for low output
instruments and/ or crea tive effec ts only.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Ground (earth) lift
Hums and buzzes are the bane of an audio engineer’s life. Unfortuna tely, it is the na ture of a highimpedance, unbalanced instruments like an elec tric gui tar to be highly susceptible to the AC
electromagnetic fields thrown off by all mains-powered equipment. Of ten all tha t is required to
solve the problem and reduce the hum (and/or buzz) to a manageable level is to orient the
instrument differently so tha t the pickups no longer intercept so much c hanging flux. But
someti mes hums and buzzes prove to be pa rticularly stubborn and intrac table, regardless of the
guitari st’s pirouetting! When this happens, i t is usually because of a ground-loop (or earth-loop).
A ground -loop forms when an unbalanced, audio signal flows in a circuit in which the signal-return
(usually the cable braid), provides a current pa th which is in parallel with the installation earth.
This is a problem because "all earths are not equal". Tha t's to say, the installation ea rth will be
carrying certain leakage currents. These currents set up a potential across the installa tion wiring
which drives a circula ting current in the braid of the audio cable. The resul t is a “hum” vol tage
superi mposed upon the audio signal.
The adoption of balanced signals, and especially audio transformers should ensure tha t groundloops (or earth-loops) should NEVER occur. Certainly the Phæd rus Audio PHAME, by being both
double-insulated and incorpora ting an ea rth-free, transformer-balanced output stage can never
crea te a ground -loop in a correc tly wired studio. However, connec tion to an earthed (or grounded)
guitar a mplifier can cause a circulating current should pin 1 of the output XLR be earthed
(grounded) elsewhere in the installa tion.
This is the role of the GROUND-LIFT switc h. It interrupts the connec tion of pin 1 of the output
XLR to the c hassi s of the PHAME and to the sleeve and screen of the guita r wiring. Adjust the
posi tion of this switc h to eli mina te any ground -loop “hums”.
Please note, as explained in the Chapter 4, tha t, because the Phædrus Audio produc ts
are double-insula ted, they CAN NEVER BE RELIED UPON PROVIDE A PROTECTIVE
OR SAFETY EARTH (GROUND). This advice obtains IRRESPECTIVE OF THE
SETTINGS OF ANY "EARTH OR GROU ND LIFT" SWITCHES.
Buzz?
The PHAME preamplifier, like a lot of modern audio gear, is designed to operate from a double-insulated power supply. If
the rest of the equipment in your recording set-up is double-insulated too (for instance, you might be using the PHAME
with a laptop computer), it is possible for your entire audio installation to operate without a mains earth. This represents no
problems from a safety point of view. However it can cause the unbalanced, high-impedance input of the PHAME to be very
susceptible to electrosta tically induced mains-interference. The tell-tale signs here are a high level audio “buzz” rather
than a “hum” on the outpu t signal, and the phenomenon that the instrument (particularly electric- and bass-guitar) is very
“live” so that simply touching the strings may worsen or improve the buzz.
In this situation, it is recommended tha t pin 1 of the output connector of the PHAME be connected to mains-earth (ground)
or a technical-earth, and the “LIFT” switch be left in the out position.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Operating levels
Because of the vintage of the PHAB and PHAME
prea mplifier designs and their origin in German
manufac tured
broadcast
television and
radio equipment,
the envisaged
opera ting level for
this equipment is
slightly lower than
mod ern recording
industry
standards. When
feeding downstrea m equipment, the output level should be set to a nominal 0dBu (0.775V RMS).
This means tha t if moni toring the output on a standard VU instrument, the input a ttenua tor should
be set so tha t the output level reads around -4VU, with occasional peaks to 0VU on progra mme. On
a digital meter, thi s is equivalent to signal peaks reading +6dB above recording industry standard
+4dBu alignment level. Thi s is equivalent to +10dBu (or -8d BFS on equipment aligned to EBU EBU
R64-1992 standard and -14d BFS on equipment aligned to SMPTE RP155 as illustra ted). On a
broadcast standard PPM, peaks should be set to read 6 on the BBC scale, or +8 on the European
EBU scale. Output level is sufficient easily to modula te semi -pro' equipment (mixers, DAT, solidsta te recorders and many sound card s) to 0dBFS.
Tha t said, the headroom on the
PHAB and PHAME is
considerable, and no noticeable
distortion is evident when
opera ting the equipment a t
standard recording industry
levels of +4dBu=0VU, or even
higher. There is thus considerable scope for
experi menta tion with over driving this vintage circui try to
explore i ts c harac ter in gradual overload. For exa mple,
peaks may be allowed to reach +18dB above alignment level
without clipping. The Phædrus Audio PHAB and the PHAME
prea mplifiers may thus be used direc tly to feed mod ern A
to D conversion equipment aligned to EBU or SMPTE
standards following the recommenda tions illustra ted
(right).
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
PHI
Application and connections
Simple DI uni ts utilise a transformer to balance the unbalanced signal and
feed it to the microphone input of your mixer or microphone prea mplifier.
This technique
provides a
reasonably highimpedance as
presented to the instrument; typically a
few tens of thousand s of ohms. Adequa te
for a keyboard, for exa mple: a t a push,
sufficient for a bass gui tar. But the tone
of an electric gui tar is completely destroyed, unless i t drives an i mpedance hundreds of ti mes
grea ter than can ever be provided by a transformer. The only answer is to present the instrument
with the very high input i mpedance, suc h as i t "sees" when plugged into a valve a mp' (see Voicing
and the valve amplifier sec tion above). This is the role of the Phædrus Audio PHI DI-Box. The dual
valve (tube) stage ac ts a s an i mpedance-converter, presenting the instrument input with an
impedance of approxi ma tely 1MΩ. The output of the uni t then f eeds the microphone input of your
mixer, computer interface, or your PHAB prea mplifier.
The Phædrus Audio PHI DI-Box is connec ted as shown in the diagra ms above. Ensure tha t the
"LOUDSPEAKER/INSTRUMENT" swi tch is in the "INSTRUMENT" posi tion. However, note tha t
feeding the output of the PHI into the studio console will negate some of the benefi ts of the
PHI’s unique charac ter. Use a premium-quali ty microphone prea mplifier (suc h as Phædrus Audio’s
PHAB) for the very best resul ts a s shown below.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Controls
Instrument/ Loudspeaker switch – LOUDSPEAKER MODE
As a general rule, gui tar and bass gui tar and certain elec tric pianos and organs rely on the
distortions in their a mplifiers and loudspeaker-cabinets for the c harac ter of their sound. Ideally
of course, these instruments need to be captured with mic rophones, ra ther than applying a linelevel signal to the mixer. However, thi s is not always possible for a host of reasons including:
unacceptable "spill" from other sources; feedback problems; room resonance issues; cabinet
"buzz", inadequate microphone response and so on.
In this si tua tion, it i s useful to be able to DI, not the output from the instrument, but the signal
which drives the loudspeaker. This signal is not modified by the cabinet, but i t does have - a t lea st
- the cha rac ter of the a mplifier, its tonal modifications and distortion c harac teristics, i mprinted
upon it. The Phæd rus Audio PHI is able to provide this func tionality. However, this loudspea ker
signal is of a very muc h larger a mplitude
than this signal which leaves the instrument
- i t ha s been amplified after all! It is
therefore necessary to a ttenua te thi s
signal before presenting to the DI circuitry
and this is exac tly wha t is done when the
"LOUDSPEAKER/INSTRUMENT" swi tch is
moved to the "LOU DSPEAKER" posi tion.
The a ttenua tion is -32dB.
YOU MUST SELECT THE “LOU DSPEAKER” POSITION OF THE LOUDSPEAKER/INSTRU MENT
SWITCH WHEN CONNECTING THE Phædrus Audio PHI TO THE LOU DSPEAKER CIRCUIT OF
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
AN AMPLIFIER. NOT SO DOING WILL DAMAGE YOUR Phædrus Audio PHI. FU RTHERMORE
YOU MUST OBSERVE THE WARNING GIVEN BELOW, AS FAILURE TO DO THIS COULD
DAMAMGE YOUR AMPLIFIER.
When the Phædrus Audio PHI is used in LOUDSPEAKER mode, it is important to observe the correct polarity of the signal
fed from the amplifier to the PHI. To avoid short-circuiting the output of the amplifier, the earthy side of the loudspeaker
signal MUST be connected to the sleeve of the input jack. In addition, as a precaution, ALWAYS operate with the Ground
lift switch in the “LIFT” position when operating the PHI in this way.
Furthermore, the Phædrus Audio PHI is NOT a dummy load and a loudspeaker MUST be attached to the THRU output so as
to provide the correct load for the power amplifier. Valve amplifiers especially may be damaged without the correct
speaker-load connected.
Flat/ Cabinet switch
The problem with the signal from the a mplifier is tha t i t of ten contains many high frequencies
which are not reproduced by instrumental loudspeaker cabinet. The resul t is a “fizzy”, over-bright
signal; very different from tha t heard from the
loudspeaker. The rea son for this is tha t the
loudspeaker and cabinet ac t together to form an
asymmetrical band-pass fil ter; steeply attenua ting
the
treble above about 4kHz, and gently rolling off the
bass.
The signal from the a mplifier may therefore be
very
grea tly i mproved by the incorpora tion of an
electrical filter which reproduces the elec tro acoustic band-pa ss of the loudspeaker cabinet. To
this end, the Phædrus Audio PHI - DI uni t, is enhanced by the inclusion within the uni t of a
loudspeaker-emula tion filter which i mprints the response of a typical, closed-back, guitar cab'
onto the signal. The general response of this fil ter is illustra ted above. Essentially the response
falls away gently in the ba ss, peaks in the mid-treble and falls away rapidly above about 4kHz as
shown in the figure.
Ground (earth) lift
A ground -loop (earth-loop) forms when an unbalanced, audio signal flows in a circuit in which the
signal-return (usually the cable braid), provides a current pa th in parallel with the installation
earth (ground). Small potentials in the installation earth (ground) wiring, drive a circulating current
in the braid of the audio cable. The resul t is a “hum” vol tage superi mposed upon the audio signal.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
The adoption of balanced signals, and especially audio transformers should ensure tha t groundloops (or earth-loops) should NEVER occur. Certainly the Phæd rus Audio PHI, by being both
double-insulated and incorpora ting an ea rth-free, transformer-balanced output stage can never
crea te a ground -loop in a correc tly wired studio. However, connec tion to an earthed (or grounded)
guitar a mplifier can cause a circulating current should pin 1 of the output XLR be earthed
(grounded) elsewhere in the installa tion.
This is the role of the GROUND-LIFT switc h. It interrupts the connec tion of pin 1 of the output
XLR to the c hassi s of the PHI and to the sleeve and screen of the gui tar wiring. Adjust the
posi tion of this switc h to eli mina te any ground -loop “hums”.
Please note, as explained in the Chapter 3, tha t, because the Phædrus Audio produc ts
are double-insula ted, they CAN NEVER BE RELIED UPON PROVIDE A PROTECTIVE
OR SAFETY EARTH (GROUND). This advice obtains IRRESPECTIVE OF THE
SETTINGS OF ANY "EARTH OR GROU ND LIFT" SWITCHES.
Buzz?
The PHI DI-Box, like a lot of modern audio gear, is designed to operate from a double-insulated power supply. If the rest
of the equipment in your recording set-up is double-insulated too (for instance, you might be using the PHI with a laptop
computer and USB interface), it is possible for your entire audio installation to operate without a mains earth. This
represents no problems from a safety point of view. However it can cause the unbalanced, high-impedance input of the PHI
to be very susceptible to electrosta tically induced mains-interference. The tell-tale signs here are a high level audio “buzz”
rather than a “hum” on the outpu t signal, and the phenomenon that the instrument (particularly electric- and bass-guitar) is
very “live” so that simply touching the strings may worsen or improve the buzz.
In this situation, it is recommended tha t pin 1 of the output connector of the PHI be connected to mains-earth (ground) or
a technical-earth, and the “LIFT” switch be left in the down position.
Chapter 6 - Circuit descriptions
PHAB & PHAME
The Phædrus Audio PHAB and the PHAME prea mplifiers share roughly the sa me prea mplifier
circuit which is illustra ted in general form below. The differences mainly lie in the input circui try
and attenua tor controls. Both devices opera te wi th a constant-gain a mplifier and a ttenua te the
signal reaching the a mplifier for level control. In the case of the PHAB, the valve prea mplifier has
a fixed gain of +40dB (with a switch a vailable to raise this to approxi ma tely +46d B). The a mplifier
is preceded by a switc hed a ttenua tor control offering a ttenua tion of 0 to -30dB in steps of 6dB. A
further pad (opera ted by a front panel switc h) is available, to increa se the a ttenua tion to -40dB;
thereby ma tc hing the gain of the a mplifier and reducing the overall unit gain to uni ty.
In the case of the Phædrus Audio PHAME, the prea mplifier does not incorpora te an input,
balance-to-unbalance transformer. Instead the instrument feeds to grid of the EF86 pentode via a
continuous a ttenua tor (pot') to ensure a very high input i mpedance. This i s vi tal to ensure the best
tone from all elec tric instruments, and especially elec tric and bass gui tars. The fixed gain of the
amplifier is +24dB (>30d B with the high-gain switch depressed).
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
The a mplifier block is a two-stage design incorpora ting an EF86 low-noise pentode in the first
stage and a paralleled ECC88 high mutual-conduc tance double-triode as the output stage. All the
landmark a mplifier designs from Mullard's applica tion laboratories specified the EF86. In fac t,
Mullard described the EF86 as a low noise pentode intended for use as a RC coupled AF vol tage
amplifiers; particularly in the early stages of high gain audio amplifiers, microphone preamplifiers
and magnetic tape recorders.
The output stage compri ses a dual triode valve in which the two devices a re wired in parallel. This
paralleling of the two triodes has the beneficial effects of doubling the mutual conductance and
halving the anode resistance. The la tter charac teristic is pa rticularly valuable in ensuring a low
impedance drive to the output transformer.
The output stage direc tly feeds the output step-down transformer. The output is balanced and
earth free. A modest degree of nega tive feedback is taken from the anode of the output valve(s)
to the ca thode circui t of the input stage to stabilise gain, ex tend frequency-response and lower
distortion. A change to this feedback network i s employed to effec t the gain switc hing (from
40dB to 46dB in the PHAB and from 24dB to >30dB in the PHAME), less feedback being applied to
achieve higher gain.
In the case of the Phædrus Audio PHAB mic rophone prea mplifier, the grid of the input pentode i s
driven from the input transformer. In the case of the PHAME, this transformer is not fi tted .
Performance
At recording industry line-up (0VV=+4d Bu) the magni tude of all distortion components on a 1kHz
sine wave input a re less then -55dB below fundamental. This, and the A-weighted noise response
relati ve to maxi mum output, is illustra ted below.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
High Pass or Rumble filter (HPF)
The input stage in the PHAB i s fed by a 1:7
transformer. When a capaci tor is included in series
with the transformer pri mary (i t is usually shortcircuited out of circui t), the capacitor forms a
half-sec tion fil ter with the pri mary induc tance of
the transformer pri mary; resulting in a sharp cutoff, high-pass filter. The response of the PHAB
with and without the rumble fil ter is illustra ted
(right).
PHI circuit description
The system diagra m for the Phæd rus Audio PHI-DI Box is shown. In effec t, before the signal
from the instrument is applied to the transformer, i t is buffered by a dual cathode-follower
circuit. The first sta ge runs a t very low current and is biased by a sepa ra tely derived bias supply.
This ensures a high and consistent input i mpedance. The second stage is DC-coupled to the first
and runs in a higher quiescent current; consistent with having sufficient drive to overcome the
excita tion current in the transformer a t low frequencies.
Loudspeaker input
In this configura tion, i t is necessa ry to a ttenua te the loudspeaker d rive signal before presenting
to the DI circui try and this i s exac tly what i s done when the "LOUDSPEAKER/INSTRUMENT"
switch is moved to the "LOUDSPEAKER" posi tion. The a ttenua tion is -32dB. In the Phædrus Audio
PHI - DI uni t, this fea ture is enhanced by the inclusion within the uni t of a loudspeaker-emula tion
filter. The general response of this fil ter was illustra ted above. The LF roll-off is accomplished
with a single-pole, RC response. The upper skirt of the pa ssband is i mplemented by means of a
single-termina ted LC filter.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Specifications
Electrical connections
Input:
Unbalanced: 3 pin XLR Connector
Pin 1 – Ground
Pin 2 – (+) Signal
Pin 3 – Connect to Pin 1
Balanced: 3 pin XLR Connector
Pin 1 – Ground
Pin 2 – (+) Signal
Pin 3 – (-) Signal
Output:
Unbalanced: 3 pin XLR Connector
Pin 1 – Ground
Pin 2 – (+) Signal
Pin 3 – Connect to Pin 1
Balanced: 3 pin XLR Connector
Pin 1 – Ground
Pin 2 – (+) Signal
Pin 3 – (-) Signal
PHAB Specification
Circuit configuration: 3 valve (vacuum tube) design
Output: Balanced, transformer coupled
Maximum output level: +18dBu @ 1kHz
Input: Balanced, transformer coupled
Maximum input level: +8dBu (without PAD), +18dBu (with PAD) at 1kHz
Gain: +40dB (± 1dB) - normal setting, approximately +46dB - high setting
Attenuation: -30dB to 0dB in steps of 6dB; minus a further 10dB, by engaging PAD
Frequency response: 40Hz to 15kHz, ±1dB: 15Hz to 30kHz ±3dB
Distortion: <0.2%, 1kHz @ -4VU (0dBu), gain 40dB : <1%, 40Hz @ -4VU (0dBu), gain 40dB
Noise: <-120dB referred to input
Power supply: 12V AC
Power consumption: 8 Watts
Phantom Supply: +48V DC, up to 5mA
PHAME Specification
Circuit configuration: 3 valve (vacuum tube) design
Output: Balanced, transformer coupled
Maximum output level: +18dBu @ 1kHz
Input: Unbalanced, high-impedance
Maximum input level: Effectively infinite. Signals >2V RMS not recommended.
Gain: 24dB – low-gain setting, >30dB – high-gain setting
Attenuation: Continuous. Max > -60dB
Frequency response: 40Hz to 15kHz, ±1dB: 15Hz to 30kHz ±3dB
Distortion: <0.2%, 1kHz @ -4VU (0dBu), gain 40dB: <1%, 40Hz @ -4VU (0dBu), gain 40dB
Noise: <-120dB referred to input
Power supply: 12V AC
Power consumption: 8 Watts
PHI Specification
Circuit configuration: 2 valve (vacuum tube) design
Output: Balanced, transformer coupled
Maximum output level: XX, just prior to waveform clipping @ 1kHz
Input: Unbalanced, high-impedance
Maximum input level (INSTRUMENT): 2V RMS
Maximum input level (LOUDSPEAKER): 100V RMS
Gain: -18dB
Power supply: 12V AC
Power consumption: 2 Watts
Phaedrus Audio Ltd. reserves the right to alter these specifications without notice.
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Declaration of Conformity
The Manufacturer of the Products covered by this Declaration is
Phædrus Audio Ltd.
head office address
The directives covered by this declaration are:
89/336/EEC El ectromagnetic Compatibility directi ve
73/23/EEC Low Voltage Equipment directive
The products covered by this declaration are:
Phædrus Audio PHAB – microphone preamplifier; Phædrus Audio PHAME – instrument
preamplifier; Phædrus Audio PHI – DI-Box.
The basis on which conformity is being declared:
The manufac turer hereby declares tha t the produc ts identified above comply with the protec tion
requirements of the EMC direc tive and with the principal elements of the safety ob jec tives of the
Low Voltage Equipment direc tive, and tha t the following standards have been applied:
IEC INTERNATIONAL STANDA RD 60065 - Audio, video and similar electronic apparatus –
Safety requirements
The technical documenta tion required to demonstra te tha t the produc ts meet the requirements of
the Low Voltage Equipment direc tive ha s been compiled and is available for inspec tion by the
relevant enforcement authori ties. The CE ma rk was first applied in 2011.
Signed:
Date:
Richard Brice, Technical Director
January 2011
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Appendix - TEST PRO-FORMA
Product: PHAB / PHAME
Serial Number: ________________
Tested by: ________________
V1 vol ts: ___________
Vol ts TP1: ___________
Vol ts TP2: ___________
Gain set: ______dB (40dB or LOW GAIN posi tion)
High ain test
Pass / Fail
Distortion test:
Pass / Fail
PAD test:
Pass / Fail
Frequency response test: HF (-3dB) ex tension:
Pass / Fail
Frequency response test: LF (-3dB) ex tension:
Pass / Fail
Phantom (+48) supply test:
Pass / Fail
/ N/A
Listening test: Pass / Fail
Product: PHI
Serial Number: ________________
Tested by: ________________
Gain test
Pass / Fail
Distortion test:
Pass / Fail
Frequency response test: HF (-3dB) ex tension:
Pass / Fail
Frequency response test: LF (-3dB) ex tension:
Pass / Fail
Listening test: Pass / Fail
Ver. 1.1 - ©Phædrus Audio Ltd. 2011 All rights reserved.
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement