The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
The $100 preamp
Old 3rd October 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 

Post PGA2500 chip

Since it has saved me lots of money I want to share this also in the budget section, although it's better classified as High-end.You are looking for a really high-definition sound? The PGA2500 is one of the best preamp chips avaible in the market today. Discrete designs just can't keep up with the ever evolving semiconductors. If implemented well with a decent power-supply, it will outperform some of the biggest name pre-amps (we have tried). It's a very clean pre-amp, so no coloration here, but isn't it far more core convenient to color the sound with the precision of software (exactly to your own wishes)?

It's also used in the Apogee Duet, but here the lack of decent power supplies, the inferior clocking and budget convertor chip limit its performance.

Compared to the John Hardy M-1, by many regarded as the world's best pre-amp, it was like pulling earplugs out of your ears. The difference was never so clear. The spatial dimensions of the sound were much more vibrent.

Learn what the pro's think of this chip:
ProSound News-Sound Related Articles

and: Prodigy Professional :: View topic - PGA2500
Attached Thumbnails
The 0 preamp-100_0060.jpg  
Old 3rd October 2008
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Would you call it "The AKG C4141 B-XLII of preamps?"
Old 3rd October 2008
  #3
Gear Addict
 
rolo95's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurentboutonnat View Post
Since it has saved me lots of money I want to share this also in the budget section, although it's better classified as High-end.You are looking for a really high-definition sound? The PGA2500 is the best pre-amp avaible at the market today, no doubt about it. Discrete designs just can't keep up with the ever evolving semiconductors. If implemented well with a decent power-supply, it will outperform even the biggest name pre-amps (we HAVE tried).

It's also used in the Apogee Duet, but here the lack of decent power supplies, the inferior clocking and budget convertor chip limit its performance.

Compared to the John Hardy M-1, by many regarded as the world's best pre-amp, it was like pulling earplugs out of your ears. The difference was never so clear. The spatial dimensions of the sound were much more vibrent.

Learn what the pro's (Meitner et al.) think of this chip:
ProSound News-Sound Related Articles I quote:"the designers at places like TI and Analog Devices really know what they're doing, and very often their $5 chips can give much better results than an elaborate, organically-grown discrete design. But wait, what am I saying? May the Lord forgive me... In the mean time, take a walk around the PGA2500 (TI again) if you haven't already. It puts a lot of well-respected discrete mic pre front-ends in the shade. On the other hand, I remain unconvinced by the latest line driver/receiver offerings; for some reason, their dynamic performance still falls short of a decent discrete solution"

Menu:
1. Buy PGA2500 EVM $100
2. Buy a case $10
3. Power supply $20


Audio demo (PGA2500evm used on vocals/guitars/drums):
RapidShare: Easy Filehosting *PLEASE: FAIR USE ONLY*
Very nice
hey can you post some more audio samples ?
and where did you get your parts to build your pre ?
I found this link EVALUATION MODULE FOR PGA2500 - PGA2500EVM

looks very very nice man
ROlo.
Old 3rd October 2008
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Mike Derrick's Avatar
 

laurent,

I'm kind-of confused about why you provided the ProSoundNew link (beyond the small quote you quoted) since it is an interview of various people from various companies discussing their parts sourcing issues, not necessarily an article discussing this preamp, as far as I can tell.

You quoted Ian Dennis from Prism Sound who does mention the PGA2500, however, it seems the rest of the answers and participants are talking about other things,...no? (maybe I read it wrong.)

re: preamp.
Looks interesting. I haven't had the time to download yet.

cheers,
Old 3rd October 2008
  #5
Lives for gear
 

It's an evaluation module ?
The chocblock and tape on the photo examples are not confidence inspiring .
Old 3rd October 2008
  #6
Gear Addict
 

I don't know, the max rail to rail voltage is only 11V total- that's not much in the headroom department. Maybe as the input stage for a ribbon mic......
Old 3rd October 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 

Neat, any links to a step-by-step DIY plan and/or kits?

Edit: What's the Digikey part actually?
Old 4th October 2008
  #8
Gear Addict
 
rolo95's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran View Post
Neat, any links to a step-by-step DIY plan and/or kits?

Edit: What's the Digikey part actually?
Digikey part#
Digi-Key Part Number 296-18514-ND

Extended Price
101.00
Manufacturer Part NumberPGA2500EVM DescriptionEVALUATION MODULE FOR PGA2500


The evaluation board have the related discrete components so you can run the pre amp chip... that is digitally controlled... you cant pop up one of those in to for say a art blue tube pre amp....

So.. the evaluation board have the XLR´s connectors also , you just need a case and a power supply.... speaking of that need to be a clean one..

Lets see if our fellow gearslut member that post the thread share what case he use and what PS... and what are the noise floor figure

Looks promising

btw, anyone have tried the $5 preamp ??
R.
Old 4th October 2008
  #9
Gear Addict
 
svart's Avatar
 

Get the THAT1512. it's easier to use, has full headroom and works great for the price. Other than that, there are a ton of reasons that this IC could sound better in certain situations, one of which is current drive slewing the input of that A/D chip he has it connected to in the picture..

If you want more information, come visit myself and the rest of the uber-geeks over at Prodigy Professional :: Index.
Old 4th October 2008
  #10
Gear Addict
 
rolo95's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by svart View Post
Get the THAT1512. it's easier to use, has full headroom and works great for the price. Other than that, there are a ton of reasons that this IC could sound better in certain situations, one of which is current drive slewing the input of that A/D chip he has it connected to in the picture..

If you want more information, come visit myself and the rest of the uber-geeks over at Prodigy Professional :: Index.
Hey man
got any DIY projects for the THAT1512, also what PS to use...
i research but there is so many and dont know what are good ones for audio projects

R.
Old 4th October 2008
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

guys, sorry that must be an alpha prototype or proof of concept because that looks like a mess. The idea of XLR connections going on inside the chassis is a serious no no to me... not to offend...

I don't know of a good $100 preamp but the Tube Pre at $99 will outperform by far the Behringer and ART alternatives. Spend about $300 more and get yourself into an FMR RNP that will outperform most anything at that price range.
CK
Old 5th October 2008
  #12
Lives for gear
 
BOWIE's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdkelly View Post
guys, sorry that must be an alpha prototype or proof of concept because that looks like a mess. The idea of XLR connections going on inside the chassis is a serious no no to me... not to offend...

I don't know of a good $100 preamp but the Tube Pre at $99 will outperform by far the Behringer and ART alternatives. Spend about $300 more and get yourself into an FMR RNP that will outperform most anything at that price range.
CK
Oh, but this is supposedly the best preamp in the world! Oh ye of little faith tutt


heh
Old 5th October 2008
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdkelly View Post
guys, sorry that must be an alpha prototype or proof of concept because that looks like a mess. The idea of XLR connections going on inside the chassis is a serious no no to me... not to offend...
Why a no no?


/Peter
Old 6th October 2008
  #14
Gear Addict
 
rolo95's Avatar
 

svart

ru there ??
Old 18th October 2008
  #15
Here for the gear
 
Fiasse's Avatar
 

Hi Laurent,


If you want my opinion :

- 1 module / cabinet / main power.
- main trafo more far possible of the module.
- a "schaffner" IEC filter
- Wires more short than possible and not much neutrik connector "in" and "out" between your instruments.
- Plastic On/Off button !
- A better system for isolation of your printboard

ps : sorry for my poor english
Old 29th October 2008
  #16
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdkelly View Post
guys, sorry that must be an alpha prototype or proof of concept because that looks like a mess. The idea of XLR connections going on inside the chassis is a serious no no to me... not to offend...

I don't know of a good $100 preamp but the Tube Pre at $99 will outperform by far the Behringer and ART alternatives. Spend about $300 more and get yourself into an FMR RNP that will outperform most anything at that price range.
CK
What brand is the Tube Pre you are speaking of?
Old 29th October 2008
  #17
I would Like to build one too!
More Info PLEASE
where can i get the parts like the 19" enclosure and the board to put the chip on
wich PS should i use
Old 2nd January 2009
  #18
Here for the gear
 

sounds interesting! anyone else tried this?

I'd also like to know exactly what other parts (power supply, etc) to buy, and where.
Old 3rd January 2009
  #19
Gear Head
 

This is kinda like the Fivefish thing... hah?
Old 3rd January 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 
iomegaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurentboutonnat View Post
Since it has saved me lots of money I want to share this also in the budget section, although it's better classified as High-end.You are looking for a really high-definition sound? The PGA2500 is one of the best preamp chips avaible in the market today. Discrete designs just can't keep up with the ever evolving semiconductors. If implemented well with a decent power-supply, it will outperform some of the biggest name pre-amps (we have tried). It's a very clean pre-amp, so no coloration here, but isn't it far more core convenient to color the sound with the precision of software (exactly to your own wishes)?

It's also used in the Apogee Duet, but here the lack of decent power supplies, the inferior clocking and budget convertor chip limit its performance.

Compared to the John Hardy M-1, by many regarded as the world's best pre-amp, it was like pulling earplugs out of your ears. The difference was never so clear. The spatial dimensions of the sound were much more vibrent.

Learn what the pro's think of this chip:
ProSound News-Sound Related Articles

and: Prodigy Professional :: View topic - PGA2500
I'm a little confused here, if I understand the manual this is a "digitally" controlled unit...how are you controlling the gain? I see no controller card/bus/interface...not saying it isn't a good pre, just wondering how you are controlling the logic chip which controls the gain...?????

Where's your logic controller? I've seen good reviews on this chip, I think its whats in the Prism stuff, but I'm not sure this is an easy DIY project for anyone who lacks code expereince...I'm just saying...is there something I've missed?
Old 5th January 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
 
iomegaman's Avatar
 

Just a bump here because I think we are being misled a little bit...someone wanna pipe in how you control a digital preamp with no digital interface?
Old 5th January 2009
  #22
Old 5th January 2009
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by iomegaman View Post
someone wanna pipe in how you control a digital preamp with no digital interface?
Set it and forget it!
Old 5th January 2009
  #24
Lives for gear
 
iomegaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundsundergroun View Post
Set it and forget it!
Not sure that's an option...reading the manual you have the option of jumper setting the device to be at unity gain/or being controlled via software.

At unity the device wouldn't really be much of a pre-"amp"...and not having the device myself I can't say for sure, some input from someone who actually set up the software control might be helpful, again I'm not saying I know because I don't its just been my expereince with EVM boards that require soft control and or hard control that it is a continuous feed situation, ie: if its soft, its always soft and resets everytime the board powers up, if its hard, then you set it and forget it.
Old 5th January 2009
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
reading the manual you have the option of jumper setting the device to be at unity gain/or being controlled via software.
That is correct. The jumper can be hardcoded to be ALWAYS at unity, ignoring the serial input.

Once you power down, it defaults to unity gain when you power back up.

But at unity gain, it doesn't function much as a preamp. Of course, you can always hook it up via LPT to a Windows PC and do software control.


I just started playing with this particular PGA chip on New Year's day, and at the same time, learning how to program microcontrollers.

Here's my first basic prototype.

Old 6th January 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
 
iomegaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by owel View Post
That is correct. The jumper can be hardcoded to be ALWAYS at unity, ignoring the serial input.

Once you power down, it defaults to unity gain when you power back up.

But at unity gain, it doesn't function much as a preamp. Of course, you can always hook it up via LPT to a Windows PC and do software control.


I just started playing with this particular PGA chip on New Year's day, and at the same time, learning how to program microcontrollers.

Here's my first basic prototype.

Have you had a chance to listen to the pre, how does it rate?
Old 9th January 2009
  #27
Lives for gear
 
theblotted's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurentboutonnat View Post
but isn't it far more core convenient to color the sound with the precision of software (exactly to your own wishes)?
Old 9th November 2018
  #28
Gear Maniac
Resurrecting this discussion

Found this thread from ages ago and am properly triggered by it.

My feeling is that the PGA2500 is a scourge. 5 volt mic preamps with no headroom and are found in 90% of the USB interfaces people buy. Sure - they are "clean", boring ICs that you can plop down on any product and be done with your analogue stages. How nice if you only care about making USB-powered cheap interfaces.

But OP saying this:
"Discrete designs just can't keep up with the ever evolving semiconductors. "

10 years after his post - our Camden 500 is a completely discrete analogue circuit that absolutely trounces any IC-based preamp - especially the PGA2500.
Old 10th May 2019
  #29
Gear Addict
 
CharlesCola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karpmentalise View Post
Found this thread from ages ago and am properly triggered by it.

My feeling is that the PGA2500 is a scourge. 5 volt mic preamps with no headroom and are found in 90% of the USB interfaces people buy. Sure - they are "clean", boring ICs that you can plop down on any product and be done with your analogue stages. How nice if you only care about making USB-powered cheap interfaces.

But OP saying this:
"Discrete designs just can't keep up with the ever evolving semiconductors. "

10 years after his post - our Camden 500 is a completely discrete analogue circuit that absolutely trounces any IC-based preamp - especially the PGA2500.
Have you actually heard a properly implemented PGA2500 (e.g. in Lavry AD11)? I think if you did, your opinion would change completely. When done properly by a good designer with good PSU etc... in front of a quality AD chip it forms a pretty formidable recording chain. It is very clean though, basically wire gain clean so maybe not ideal for mojo but for accurate, faithful capture it's really in the top tier.
Old 10th May 2019
  #30
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCola View Post
Have you actually heard a properly implemented PGA2500 (e.g. in Lavry AD11)? I think if you did, your opinion would change completely. When done properly by a good designer with good PSU etc... in front of a quality AD chip it forms a pretty formidable recording chain. It is very clean though, basically wire gain clean so maybe not ideal for mojo but for accurate, faithful capture it's really in the top tier.
Hi CharlesCola,

The reason I know about the PGA2500 is because it was used in products that I worked on.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump