is it ok for me put a phono preamp on top of a CD player?

pglbook Posts: 2,142
edited September 5 in Electronics
I recently bought an Eastern Electric Avant preamp to replace my Eastern Electric Minimax preamp. I just received the Avant today and will have to wait until the weekend to set it up. The Avant is a lot larger (and heavier) than the Minimax and will take up one whole shelf in my Salamander stereo cabinet.

Since the Minimax is fairly compact I currently have the Minimax and phono preamp on one shelf: the MiniMax in front and the phono pre in back of it. However, this won't work due to the larger size of the Avant.

The easiest thing for me to do when I set up the Avant on its own shelf would be to then place the phono preamp (Musical Surroundings Phonomena II+, approx. 8" x 6" x 2") on top of my Rotel RCC 1055 CD player, which is on the upper shelf, (i.e., the shelf immediately above the shelf with the preamp). Would it be ok for me to place the phono preamp on top of the CD player? Or would this result in vibration and/or interference of any kind?



  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 49,197
    Since I doubt you will use the phono pre amp and the CDP at the same time I don't see a problem.
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  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,316
    I'd worry (far) less about vibration than I would about two different modes of, as you say, interference. The phono preamp could pick up all sorts of noise from the CD player (power supply and also broad spectrum and high-frequency "hash" from the digital circuits in the CDP). If the CD player is really and truly OFF when it is turned OFF, that shouldn't be a problem. Most CDPs, unfortunately, aren't OFF but rather just ASLEEP. If the CDP can be awakened from the remote, or by pushing a key on the front (e.g., the "load" button) OR if it has a red "Standby" pilot light when "OFF" -- it may be a problem.

    You can try it, though! No harm should be done to any component, just to the signal! ;) Re-orienting the phono preamp (e.g., turning it 90 degrees) or just moving it (e.g., from one side of the CDP to the other) may be enough to decrease or eliminate hum or any other noise induced from the CDP to the phono preamp.

  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,316
    edited September 5
    Of course, the converse applies, too. The phono preamp's power supply may induce hum into the CDP when the latter is playing and the former is "ON". If so, turning the phono preamp OFF should stop it (with the caveat that if OFF is not truly OFF but only STANDBY on the phono preamp, you could have the same "always noisy" problem as described above). :| The "moving things around" technique mentioned above is a valid thing to try for this case, too! B)

    As our friends in the UK would say, "Suck it and see."
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,240
    From the manual, placement options are flexible within reason. If you can identify where the power supply is on the CD changer, try to avoid placement right over that. It should already be pretty well shielded though. Try moving it to different spots on top and have the CD player on and running to see if there is interference.

    The Phonomena II+ may be placed under your turntable if space allows, on a
    separate shelf in your audio rack, or on top of another source or line-level
    component. Please make sure that ventilation to the unit is not restricted,
    and that the unit is away from magnetic fields or noise from other
    components’ motors, transformers, digital circuitry, or displays.
  • pglbook
    pglbook Posts: 2,142
    F1nut, mhardy, and Emlyn...thanks for all of the feedback.

    I had my phono pre right behind my MiniMax pre and had no problems at all with electrical interference so I will now try it on top of the CD player and see if it is the same.

    I will also keep the phono pre or CD player off when not in use. I will keep the phono pre off when the CD player is on and playing CDs; and, alternatively, will keep the CD player off when the phono pre is being used to play records. The phono pre and CD player each shut off completely (I unplug the phono pre when not in use so it does not stay in standby mode).
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 2,867
    With all of the above caveats in place, I would think the weight of the phono preamp on top of the CDP would actually help reduce vibrations.
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  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 5,187
    While we are on the subject, I just wanted to pass along this tidbit of information:

    While trying to find the source of a interference with my phono pre I discovered that my cell phone booster (I live in the sticks) was the cause. I've also found LED lights and computer monitors can do this also.

    I now do my critical Vinyl listening in near darkness with my cell phone off. If you live in the city with cell towers, cell phones and LED lights everywhere you are just SOL.
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