Seta - Balanced Direct Coupled Ultra Wide Bandwidth Phono Preamplifiers

       The Lino C 2.0 Current-Mode MC Phono Preamplifier


Current-Mode Design for automatic gain and cartridge loading

The Lino C 2.0 uses current-mode (transimpedance) circuit technology. A current-mode MC preamplifier amplifies the current rather than the voltage from the cartridge. Consequently, gain and cartridge loading are automatic. This also improves the cartridge's mechanical damping and tracking. With the Lino C's balanced current-mode inputs, ultra-low-noise, hum-free operation is assured.

Current-mode design improves cartridge tracking through superior damping

Shown below is the waveform obtained from playing the Hi-Fi News Analogue Test LP 300 Hz +16 dB track (vertical mark in center is the oscilloscope's trigger level setting cursor). At this LP modulation level, the cartridge was mistracking slightly, indicated by the deformation of the waveform. Tracking is improved with the current-mode Lino C, compared to our conventional voltage-mode Lino.

This is not because of lower distortion in the preamp. This is lower distortion in the signal coming from the cartridge itself, because of more effective electromechanical damping of the cartridge moving coil generator and stylus motion. Not magic, just simple physics... but the effect on the sound quality seems magical!

Seta - Balanced Direct Coupled Ultra Wide Bandwidth Phono Preamplifiers

Seta - Balanced Direct Coupled Ultra Wide Bandwidth Phono Preamplifiers

Mechanical

Beautiful brushed-aluminum chassis. Connectors are the best available, professional quality Neutrik gold contact XLR. Special non-marring isolation feet are directly coupled to the Lino C's rigid and massive internal chassis conferring immunity to external mechanical vibrations.

Rechargeable Battery Power Supply

Rechargeable battery power is a key feature for substantially enhancing the performance of a phono preamplifier. The low-impedance (an effective sink for noise), internally located AGM battery is capable of supplying 50 amperes of current, outperforming all other types of batteries (and supercapacitors) used in audio applications.

Locating the battery inside the preamplifier chassis insures that the battery is in the same electrical environment as the sensitive circuitry, eliminating potential sources of noise pickup. The battery is conditioned and kept float-charged by a proprietary circuit, rather than use an "off the shelf" microprocessor based conditioning and monitoring circuit, which would introduce unwanted noise.

The external charging supply is automatically disconnected when an input signal is detected. Of course, the Lino C may be operated while the battery is charging, or even (if necessary, while waiting for a replacement) with the battery disconnected, by removing an internal fuse. Battery life is 3 to 5 years (or more), and is designed to be easily user-replaceable. We use a readily available type, commonly used for photovoltaic energy storage / alarm systems.

External settings

Gain-structure and mode settings are located on the bottom of the chassis. The set-it-and-forget-it gain-structure setting allows matching the overall output level of the Lino C to your other components. Mode setting allows configuring the balanced outputs for standard phono output or optional "flat" output (gain with no RIAA EQ) allowing optimal use in combination with digital audio and DSP-based RIAA, if desired.

The Lino C's superior technical design features:

  • Ultra low impedance AGM rechargeable battery used as charge storage reservoir and power supply filter; proprietary, exclusive analog charging and maintenance circuitry specially designed by Channel D and proven, refined and used in our phono stage designs for over 9 years
  • Balanced* design for lowest noise and improved signal linearity
  • True single ended outputs obtained by differential summing and balanced signal input for lowest possible noise (high common mode rejection) on single ended connections
  • Ultra precision (0.1% tolerance) metal film low noise resistors used throughout
  • German-made ultra-low-dissipation-factor evaporated metal film polypropylene capacitors used in RIAA network, same as in our other phono preamplifiers
  • Hand selected and matched components insure RIAA accuracy better than +/- 0.1 dB**

* Current mode preamplifiers require balanced input connections. RCA-XLR input adapters are included, but best performance and hum-free operation are achieved with a balanced turntable interconnect.

** Every Lino C undergoes full multi-parameter QC measurements. A 20 to 20,000 Hz graph is included certifying the left and right channel matching and RIAA accuracy of your own Lino C.

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Questions? Our phone 609-818-0700 (also found on our Contact page) was inadvertently omitted from the June 2019 Stereophile review. (9:30 - 4:30 M-F Eastern USA.)

Seta - Balanced Direct Coupled Ultra Wide Bandwidth Phono Preamplifiers

Lino C 2.0 User Manual