Conrad-Johnson introduced the third generation of its tube phono stage TEA1 , which received the suffix Series 3In the title. The new product features two inputs, one of which is a direct input with 54 dB gain and variable resistive and capacitive load, allowing you to fine-tune the input parameters according to the characteristics of the cartridge, and the other is equipped with premium step-up transformers for connecting moving coil cartridges ( MC) – The total gain of this input is 66 dB. Like previous generations of TEA1 phono preamps, the TEA1 Series 3 is offered in the TEA1 S3b variant without step-up transformers, instead featuring two direct inputs: one variable-loaded and one fixed-loaded.
The Conrad-Johnson TEA1 Series 3 phono preamp uses a zero-feedback design with passive RIAA equalization and a cascade of two single-ended triode amplifiers powered by separate discrete DC supplies. These power supplies have been designed with minimal impedance even at the highest audio frequencies.
The TEA1 Series 3 phono stage uses only Conrad-Johnson’s proprietary Teflon capacitors in its signal circuits. All capacitors in the power supplies are polypropylene or Teflon – the model does not use electrolytic capacitors at all. The phono circuit uses high-precision metal foil resistors. All RIAA equalization circuit elements have a 1% tolerance, ensuring accurate equalization. Input and output connectors are made of gold-plated oxygen-free copper. Even the internal wiring has been carefully selected to ensure maximum sound quality. The phono stage body is made of black anodized aluminum with matte polished sides and a vented top cover.
The new Conrad-Johnson TEA1 Series 3 phono stage is on sale now in the US with a suggested retail price of $19,500.