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AVM’s PH 8.3 Phono Stage Can Handle 4 Cartridges: AXPONA 2023

Do you currently run 4 different phono cartridges but wish there was a single phono preamp that could handle all of them in one box? Meet the AVM PH 8.3 Phono Preamp.

AVM PH 8.3 Phono Stage Front and Rear

Yes. You read that correctly. The AVM PH 8.3 Phono Stage can handle 4 separate cartridges; which makes it one of the most versatile $14,000 USD phono preamplifiers in the world.

Bluebird Music, a distributor of high-performance audio products since 2000, is announcing the North American availability of the AVM (Audio Video Manufaktur) PH 8.3 External Phono Stage (aka Phono Preamp).

To kick things off, Bluebird Music is showing the AVM PH 8.3 at the 2023 Axpona (Audio Expo North America) from April 14th-16th which is being held just outside of Chicago.

AVM PH 8.3 Phono Stage Silver Front

Features

The PH 8.3 is AVM’s new reference tube phono stage. This external phono preamp is designed to provide vinyl record lovers with world-class sound quality. 

Tip: The tubes used are dual triode AVM 803 T’s. 

The PH 8.3 combines the musicality of AVM’s exclusive with cutting-edge flexibility and control. 

The PH 8.3 incorporates DC-coupled circuitry, paired with five separate power supplies and all-passive equalization. This supports operational stability with very low distortion.

The PH 8.3 allows three types of inputs: (MC XLR, MC RCA, and MM RCA) that are installed modules. Up to 4 inputs can be installed as desired, so any combination can be selected from the types listed.

Tip: MC stands for Moving Coil and MM stands for Moving Magnet. This refers to the type of phono cartridge that sends the signal from a turntable to the phono preamp.

On the plug-in input modules, the incoming signals are amplified immediately after the input at line level (approx. to 150mV), with MM by 40dB, with MC by 60dB. All equalization or adjustments are then made with these enlarged signals, so the distortion issues of all subsequent stages become less important in comparison. 

The PH 8.3 automatically recognizes which modules are plugged into which slots or as combinations and adapts all functions such as the menu structures. The inputs can also be named individually. Inputs are galvanically isolated from each other.

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Gain and cartridge loading is adjustable via remote control. 

Inputs can be named individually and are isolated from each other.

The PH 8.3 has a set of both XLR and RCA analog outputs for connection to a compatible amplifier or AVR.

AVM PH 8.3 Aluminium Remote Control

Technology

Users can remotely select from RIAA or four other equalization curves, maximizing performance from vintage records. 

The PH 8.3 equalizes the phono signals passively and analogously and not in an amplifier stage. This has the advantage that each of the three time constants can be set individually.

This makes it possible to use 5 other common LP equalizations (RIAA, TELDEC, NARTB, EMI, COLUMBIA, DECCA) in addition to the RIAA curve that is widespread today. These curves differ in the corner frequencies & time constants used when cutting the record. 

These separation characteristics are inverted by the PH 8.3 with better than +/- 0.1 dB accuracy. This is done through a complex matching procedure of the built-in resistors (matched to 0.1%) and the film capacitors (matched to 0.5%).

A  switchable subsonic filter is used to dampen rumbling noises down to 30Hz/12dB/octave.

The level (gain) can be adjusted in 5dB steps to measure different pick-up systems. Mono/stereo and the phase can also be inverted to optimize sound measurement which is desirable for older recordings. All adjustments can be  made from the listening position using the remote control supplied 

5 independent power supply units supply all stages of the PH 8.3 individually and effectively exclude unwanted mutual interference of the amplifier stages by other assemblies. 

The silent switching power supplies deliver high-precision supply voltages, practically independent of the mains voltage. In contrast to large transformer power supplies, no acoustically negative magnetic fields are generated with these power supplies.

Price and Availability 

The retail price of the PH 8.3 is $13,995 (US) and $17,995 (Canadian). and is available through the Bluebird Music dealer network in both black and silver finishes. For more information, visit avm.audio.

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