Its always inspiring when the new company rings a bell for test and review of their proudly creations. With the healthy amount of new high-end audio brands every year our beloved, niche industry is far from status quo - stale mode. The mechanics are not stopping…
Its true, that you never know what exactly to expect, but corespondency with George Loutridis of Echo-Diastasis was very insightful. I’ve got a positive impression, confirmed the review and George proposed their new phono preamplifier for the test.
Innovations in the high-end audio industry always encompass things, that pushes the evolution further and its fueled by continuing research in the high fidelity. Innovative ideas, as a part of this evolution are almost as a rule coming from both scientific knowledge and inspiration hard coded with the factuality.
With such spirit Echo-Diastasis is designing their products. For them their beloved creations reflect the all key elements of handmade musical instruments.
All the Echo-Diastasis products are hand assembled with continuous and individual control over all parts, up to the last production steps. The choice of materials and electronic parts is up to the highest standards and everything is thoroughly tested before the product reaches the end customer. All Echo-Diastasis products carry specially designed E-core transformers, that ensure the maximum possible RF noise rejection from the mains power feed.
There is no doubt… Designing a phono preamplifier has always been one of the most difficult tasks for any audio engineer. From all points of view, the phono stage is simultaneously trying to solve a number of emerging problems, where improvement in one area is usually not bringing the actual benefit to the rest of the electronic design sets.
With that in mind Echo-Diastasis spent numerous hours with the designing and refining of their phono preamplifier.
MEET THE PH-79
Under the hood Echo-Diastasis’ PH-79 hides few interesting and propriety circuits Additional noise rejection stabilizer, unique topology that ensure noise free signal path for the audio signal coming from fragile and delicate low voltage phono cartridge signal (MM, MC) are two of them.
By implementation of the active equalization, zero feedback, separation of high and low frequency poles and matching materials Echo-Diastasis PH-79 addresses RIAA equalization with one strict goal in mind - the absolute precision.
The separation is performed whit the help of two consequent active circuits in the RIAA stage. This allows far better and more strictly controlled RIAA accuracy, but calls for more painstaking procedure, that includes the process of vigorous selection and matching of the electronic parts.
Refined selection of the parts and refined tuning lets Echo Diastasis PH-70 to act from 20-100Khz with accuracy within 0,05 dB (or less). It much more easy to nail the 0,1 dB accuracy, but this usually comes with the hidden price tag - instantly noticeable sound degradation…
Echo Diastasis PH-79 phono stage uses a single ended dual mono pure class A circuits with no global feedback loop. All the gain stages are ultra linear with active RIAA equalization. All this contributes to the better sound quality despite the absence of the feedback. Surprisingly low noise is the result of no feedback noise rejection stabilizer and a special power supply filter circuit.
Echo Diastasis PH-79 also doesn’t use any subsonic filter. George feels how there is great deal of musical information hidden “down there” and how filter would simply mask them.
Gershwin Porgy & Bess - Decca Stereo Set 609-11
Porgy & Bess had it first public premiere at the Alvin Theatre in New York on October 10, 1935. This iconic opera by George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin is probably recognized by music lovers as most successful American opera.
“The Summertime” was carved into the music history by timeless renditions of Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin and many others. It became a popular jazz standard over the years.
But not only Summertime. All of the songs can quickly get stuck in in one’s mind for prolonged time as the core is most sublime and lyrical.
Porgy & Bess radiate with intriguing sensual gravitas, that calls for the right design strokes in the phono stage.
For letting the music flow with feather like lightens, phono preamplifier needs hefty level of gestalt. Echo Diastasis PH-79 inner workings allowed for the movement of the musical core to establish and reform the drama with needed density. PH-79 had ability to open up to ambiguity with a grander scope. Quite a feature!
One more thing, that sets this particular Decca release apart from the others is the sense and allocation of musical momentum in the sonic space. Its not all about sniper like precision detail locking, but more closely connected with the sense of being there and highly believable illusion of the real life atmosphere.
Echo Diastasis PH-79 allowed Porgy & Bess to expand beyond typical ellipse like sound projection, that comes almost as a rule with the entry level phono stages. PH-79 rendered an audiophile’s norm pin point zoom in the musical landscape with projective fervent dedication.
Belafonte At Carnegie Hall - LSO 6006
If the conversation leads to Belafonte At Carnegie Hall, I’m always curiously waiting for the reaction. Some hard core audiophiles will instantly put you into the “soft handed” labeled drawer for not only mentioning this records, but for even more heretical acton - the actual liking part.
I’ve grew up with great vinyl record library, that was given to me by my father and in the collection Harry Belafonte, Perry Como, Glen Miller etc. were no strange. So, from my early age I was infused with certain affection among other genres.
Anyhow, some will like it some not at all, but in any case Belafonte At Carnegie Hall sound darn good and it can really show what either phono stage, cartridge or complete system is capable of.
One of the most vibrant attributes of this particular record is the mood of the real happening. Sort of a time machine effect in action.
When things are at proper plane, certain emotional interaction can take place and Echo Diastasis PH-79 managed to established enriched emotional bound, that was frankly not expected.
Harry Belafonte performance will either put you under his spell or won’t. Nevertheless, the sparking emotional energy might soften even the hard coded minds with album’s sheer positive energy, when phono preamplifier uses the right designing choices. PH-79 hides more then few “right” solutions under the hood, that could brought an involving and emotionally engaging experience.
Muddy Waters - Folk Singer
For sure an iconic and timeless albums, that capture a certain era of blues at its finest. Even more importantly is the sound that this record can produce. It rivals many of the best acoustical blues records and it set the standard for what analog record releases should strive for.
When Muddy’s roaring vocal starts to intensify with the momentum of his physical presence (he was a big man), phono preamplifier needs all the “mojo” to convey the sheer energy.
Folk Singer offered a rare combination of micro and macro details, that could instantly shift from the most subtle nuances of the acoustic guitar playing to the Thor like straight forward thunderous strike.
Echo Diastasis PH-79 was able to render sudden attack changes with surprising ease without loosing the pace and focus. With Folk Singer, the atmosphere and given acoustic environment traits plays a huge role in the complete album experience. PH-79 high grace acoustical focus points density factor revealed a grand lurking into this phenomenal record without reaching to the strenuous operations.
Sam Cooke - Night Beat (AAPP 2709-45)
I’ve been often asked to recommend a single vinyl record, that shows exemplary studio and mastering at their best. This is the album, that can proudly carry the golden throne. It was recored just right and with Night Beat you’re also witnessing to the reference level vocal tracks.
The particular Acoustic Sounds’ 45 RPM Vinyl release is something unique an worthy of any music lovers and audiophile collection. Original album was recorded back in 1963. As far back as it might seems, the Night Beat still radiate with the genuine vibrancy, that touches the heart and the mind.
One of the mandatory “audiophile” attributes, that is rarely talked about is the believability factor. Experiencing the phenomena/sense of person being in the room is to often kitten with some magical proportioned mambo jambo. No such thing needed. Sound engineers simply knew their tools of trade and had better sense of how things should sound.
Both opening Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen and Lost and Lookin' encapsulate the pure vocal formation, that sits so well in the listening space. The sense of three dimensionally and palpable real size proportionality actually works and can materialize as onerous process.
Sam Cook’s vocals are coming from the likes of Anish Kapoor blackest’s black and the reproduction creates one of the most involving vocal experiences on the vinyl. The utmost purists among us might want to single out a slight murkiness. Well nothing is perfect right? Still… The Night Beat embraces such great portion of the Sam’s vocal natural density, that translates into the one of the grander and objectified aural vocal illusions.
Echo Diastasis PH-79 phono preamplifier was quickly on track with the Night Beat’s pace. It clearly didn’t compete with the six digit phono stages, but it has managed to form an impressive amount of real life drama, that makes this record so special.
PH-79 brought Sam Cook’s vocal to the lively plane with potent harmonic tails, that triggered the needed psychoacoustic mechanisms in charge of believability scaling.
Its not easy to bring any event closer to the lifelike facsimile. Any phono stage, regardless of the price tag is challenged by this utmost hard task.
PH-79 ability to work beyond usual pale shading is alone worthy of positive remarks. The fully toned and well phrased rendition of Sam Cook’s vocals only adds to the already accomplished and balanced performance.
From the unpacking and playing of the first track Echo Diastasis PH-79 phono preamplifier offered an instant lock and load. Well, this is how high-end audio device should operate!
What surprised the most from the beginning was the low level of noise, that is usually never associated with phono stages at these price point. What thrilled me even more was the Echo Diastasis PH-79’s sonic output. In the line of few contemporary phono stages, PH-79 doesn’t sacrifice music with the lowering of the noise floor. This was the biggest problem in the past and still is. Yet, PH-79 positively continues newly 21st century audio path, that sets it apart…
Echo Diastasis PH-79 is my first encounter with this Greek high-end audio and I was positively surprised with the performance it can bring. Especially considering the price point.
Simple, straight forward front panel adjustments are easy to use and no brainer to operate. Echo Diastasis PH-79 doesn’t pretend to be anything else, that it is; well designed phono stage. But the understated appearance might fool you. The real awakening slap comes when the music starts flowing through the PH-79 veins.
This is properly designed and potently sounding phono stage, that convay the music in an open, transparent and musically involving way.
Echo Diastasis phono stage performed with great involving factor and more then just memorable sonic reproduction.
While many phono stages operate in the fictitious realms, PH-79 clearly follows the path of balanced and musical sounding device, that actually calls you back for the repetitive sensual, sonic balsam.
Thumbs up for PH-79 and hats off to George!
Zero negative Feedback
Audiophile Dual-Mono Circuit Design
Gold plated Connectors, Teflon insulated
Output impedance 20Ω
Input impedance 47,100,220,470 / 1 kOhms and 47 kOhms
Max output:>12 V (1kHz)
Gain (Selectable): MM 41dB, MC (high) 60dB, MC (low) 65dB
Inputs: 1 pair RCA (L%R)
Outputs: 1 pair RCA (L%R)
THD: MM: 0,009 / MC: 0,011%
MM: -90dB (A weighted with 5mV input)
MC: -79dB (A weighted with 0,5mV input)
RIAA-equalization curve accuracy: <0 20hz-100khz="" db="" i="">0>
Dimensions (WxDxH)440x340x147 mm
31 Avgoustou 67 Str
41 221 Larisa
Tel: +30 2410 552 802