tubehifi
Well I really did it this time.  I have developed a new type of preamp that has a variable gain function.  It has zero feedback and has a phono stage included.  I'm calling it The Slider.  The cost is only $549 without tubes.  This is a truly new design.  Read all about here.  Now shipping.

https://www.transcendentsound.com/slider.html
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Anonymous
Well, intrigued. I mostly listen to Cd's and DAC, but have recently pulled out the turntable, although I am using PAS3x for phono preamp. I just built the Fixer and I enjoyed it. Also like the idea of tube rectification as I  found the rectifier circuit in the kit tricky. Any comment on sound, I understand they are different, when compared to the fixer?
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Achim
At 130 Euros the compressor tube is quite costly, but surely you get every penny's worth - and more. I think it's a great idea to use it. A better solution than resistor volume control plus enhancement of the signal by the expansion of dynamics.

Chapeau!

I am tempted.
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Anonymous
A very interesting concept for home HiFi.  So obviously the exponential transfer characteristics of the 6386 can be used for variable gain control. The most interesting present gear with the variable MU /compressor function is the Pendulum 6386 and the Manley Variable MU Limiter Compressor.
I wonder how "clean" the output signal will be compared  to digital volume control with fixed gain tube buffers (not lower than -25dB for a 24bit signal) as it is after all a compressor/limiter functionality which is used  or at least based on it in my understanding. Or what would be the main difference between those compressor/limiters and the TS Slider?

Here are some excerpts from the above mentioned products:
"..the input attenuator adjusts the signal level to the input transformer; maximum position is nominal operating level; threshold control determines the amount of gain reduction applied to the source material; and the output control adjusts the signal output after gain reduction. Up to +20 dB of gain make up is available. The output controls on the unit I tested are 10 K linear taper. This gives better selectivity in the 0 to +12 dB range of gain makeup. The unit is optionally available with audio taper pots. "

"...The MANLEY VARIABLE MU® LIMITER COMPRESSOR has been our best selling product for many years. It is one of the very few compressors that has become a real standard in Mastering studios and contributed to most hit records over the last decade and probably the next. "Mu" is tube-speak for gain, and Variable Mu® is our registered trademark for this limiter compressor. It works by using the "remote cut-off" or re-biasing of a vacuum tube to achieve compression. "
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Carson
Very interesting!  Great price as well.  I always love to simplify.  Zero gain for DACs, that use digital volume, and adjustable gain for records sounds like a dream set-up; in this scenario could the volume pot be eliminated?

I'm curious to see side by side charts with the legacy TS phono stage.
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Anonymous
I'm excited about this new product - having been thinking to get phono for quite a while.

How does this work with o(totally totally replace) the Masterpiece?
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Anonymous
I'm excited about this new product - having been thinking to get phono for quite a while.

How does this work with ( or totally replace) the Masterpiece?
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tubehifi
This replaces the Masterpiece unless you want to drive headphones.
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Anonymous
Very cool. It should work flawlessly with the Fixer's unity gain, right? I'm envisioning a new system with Beast Jr, Slider and Fixer.. very ready to pull the trigger. 
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Would this design eliminate the need for a step up  transformer with LOMC cartridges? And, the soft start of the 6386. Is that comparable to what the time delay circuit add on to the grounded grid did for solid state amplifiers? My venerable gg. Serving faithfully for so long, I have a sentimentality with it, having cobbled it together from Audio Reality. Is there any delay circuits still laying around that I could finally add to it? This new preamp seems to be the answer to the conundrum of adding the now discontinued phono pre that had so much gain.
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tubehifi
The soft start and the time delay are two different things.  The soft start is applied to all the tubes in The Slider.  There is also an included time delay that mutes the outputs until the preamp warms up.  For a low output MC cartridge, a step up transformer should be used.    
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heianshodan
Great news about that new preamp.
But now I'm quite confused. Which one would sound better - the Masterpiece (maybe together with The Fixer) or the new Slider? I don't need a Phono section.
Thank you!
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tubehifi
Well,
They have different sounds.  The Masterpiece is smoother because it has the 300B sound.  The Slider is very smooth, smoother than the Fixer and Grounded Grid, but it is more open and has more breath than either because of no feedback.  Making a Slider with 300B outputs would double the price with tubes and be much more complicated to build, too complicated.  That's the way audio is. There is never a perfect solution.  I think The Slider yields the best combination of all and also provides a phono stage, which is an important consideration for many.  If you want to drive headphones, the Masterpiece is the way to go.  If you want to spin vinyl, the Slider is the way to go.  If you want only digital and need tone controls, the Fixer is the way to go.      
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heianshodan
Thank you for your quick and detailed reply!
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Anonymous
Does the preamp phono input include RIAA equalization? If not, why not?
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