I think this is freakin’ genius and a complete Godsend for “little guy” manufacturers. Want to offer a high-quality product at market-competitive prices, but can’t afford the upfront outlay necessary to make that happen? Sign up your prospective customers before committing to manufacturing! Ta da!
Which brings us to the latest from Hagerman. Jim is offering an introductory priced offer for his new Cornet3 phono preamplifier. It’s a tube-based moving-magnet phono (43dB of gain, with all the loading options) and it’s a little different.
How did I get the cost so low? By thinking outside the box, I was able to eliminate the two most expensive components in a tube preamp – the power transformer and metal chassis. The critical high voltage supply is now created using a boost converter running at 44kHz. And this is not a cut-rate design where tubes are starved by running them at low voltage. No, the Cornet3 B+ supply feeds the tubes properly with a +200V rail, the way they are meant to be operated. The result is a robust, powerful, wide-band, low distortion sound with superb bass. The other benefit of such a compact design is that it could fit into a small plastic enclosure. Basically, these two tricks cut the cost in half without any loss of sonic performance.
Moving magnet, eh? But you’re a moving coil kinda vinyl lover! Well, guess what? There’s a step-up available, too. I’m thinking that this isn’t much of a surprise offer, but whatever. Anyway, the Piccolo2 is an update to the Piccolo, and while not an SUT (there’s no transformer), it works the same.
Jim is offering the Cornet3 and Piccolo2 in two flavors, DIY or assembled+tested. FYI, there doesn’t seem to be a cap on the number of units he’s offering. Prices for the units start at $200 and range to $650, depending on what you order.
Check out the Kickstarter campaign here!