Patents & Awards
"Piccolo" MC Headamp ($129 box/2) Order now!
The Piccolo is an active moving coil pre-preamplifier designed to step-up the cartridge signal from
MC to MM levels. Adjustable loading and gain offers optimization for any MC cartridge. The discrete
JFET circuit offers super-quiet and distortion-free operation. Compatible with any MM phonostage.
Power is provided by either 4 internal AA batteries or a 120Vac external supply. The circuit employs
super low-noise matched JFETs in a differential configuration, but tapping only the non-inverting leg for
the output buffer, which can drive long cable runs. Careful attention to layout and wiring eliminate ground
The Piccolo is offered as a "box/2", which is not a full kit, but includes a blank PCB with the JFETs already
soldered in place, the metal blue case (silkscreened), and a few assorted hardware pieces. Basically, it
is a half-kit plus box. This makes assembly very easy for DIYers.
- Discrete JFET zero-feedback circuit design
- Adjustable loading
- Adjustable gain
- Internal battery or AC power supply operation
|Gain||12, 20, 26 dB|
|Input Impedance||47, 100, 220, 470, 1k, 47k|
|Output Impedance||300 ohms|
|Bandwidth (-3dB)||10Hz to 1MHz|
|SNR||85dB ref 5mV A-weighted|
|Overload||140mV @1kHz @26dB|
|Size||3" x 5" x 2"|
|Power||6Vdc to 24Vdc @15mA|
|Battery Life||4 alkaline AA, 200 hours|
"... Hum and hiss from the Piccolo were absolutely fine, add to this the flexibility and ease of changing settings
then the Piccolo is a winner in term of features ... From the mid-range to upper treble I found that the Piccolo
delivers additional clarity and definition of the leading edge of notes. Treble is more refined and seems in better
balance with other frequencies ... the Hagerman head amplifier gave me the treble improvement I was looking for and
provided improved resolution too. When comparing the two approaches [TX103] I was always left with the feeling that
the Piccolo was the more transparent option ... The combination of improved sonics and greater flexibility will see
me using the Piccolo instead of my highly regarded Step-Up transformers."
- Clive Owen
- I think it's a great sounding piece or more accurately, non-sounding, in that is doesn't seem to leave a
- The sound is absolutely fantastic. Was using a step-up transformer and the Piccolo eliminated the hum
that was driving me nuts. I am spinning vinyl almost exclusively now.
- Man, I have to tell you that this is by *FAR* the most satisfying kit I've built. The increase in
dynamics and soundstaging I expected are there in spades! HUGE!
- A short note to say many many thanks for such a fabulous sounding phono amp as the Piccolo. The other phono
amps I've built are a John Linsley Hood one from William Hart in the UK, and a K & K one with Lundahl step up
transformers. Both are quite good, the K & K one sounding a bit recessed and, despite its rave review in
Stereophile, a wee bit disappointing. Your Piccolo eats them both for breakfast!!!! and sounds nothing short
of stunning into the MM stage of my Antique Sound Labs pre amp. The sound stage is rock-solid, the frequency
response and detail is just perfect, and I can adjust it to suit different cartridges that I have.
- For the first time I am able to hear the nuance a good moving coil cartridge brings to the turntable.
Despite being almost 20 years old, my vdH MC 10, through the Piccolo, sounds simply gorgeous. I have tried
this cartridge with a dedicated moving coil phono preamp (modified Aragon 47K), step up transformers etc.
None of them come close ot the sound of the Piccolo running into my Luxman EQ 88 phono stage. The
combination is magical. Compared to this combo, a pretty good, not great, but pretty good properly loaded
step up transformer sounds thick and turgid.
- The Piccolo is finished and working fine. I had reservations about using a solid state device in this
place as all my system is tube based, but I wanted something that would give the gain I need and be quiet.
This I felt would be hard with tubes. So how does it sound. It sounds like nothing at all. It does its job
and doesn't lend any signature to the source. Just gives the gain I need. This to me is the best test of a
good source component.