What was your overall impression of the Doge 8? Did you use the linestage?
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i have the original doge 8 and only used the MM phono input. it was fantastic with none of the hiss. my understanding was that the MM employed the tube section while the MC phonostage was the JFET. i never used it but by all accounts it sucked. everyone using MC carts preferred step up transformers into the MM. with regard to the clarity, pacific valve's website says "The phono section removes the JFET transistor hybrid design and uses an all-tube configuration." seems like they've bypassed the JFET, which should eliminate the problems associated with it, like your hiss. maybe give joe from pacific valve a call to discuss it? he's always been pretty responsive to questions, in my experience. even stock, the doge is a great preamp for the money, especially for someone using MM and linestage only. if using MC carts with stock, the added expense of a step up transformer is a factor to consider, though, and provides a definite impetus to explore the clarity. in any event, i'll be sad to see it go. i'm selling mine and moving to an integrated to eliminate extra boxes in the living/listening room.
I have a Doge Clarity. I must say that they have changed the entire phono stage from the original.
I use mine with a Ypsilon SUT through the tube mm section and it is perfectly quiet. The jfet section has been improved but it still is not as resolved as the mm. I believe that the jfets are still there. The line stage is still fantastic if not more so. It seems to be more spatially separated and defined. Also,when using the phono (99% of my use);the volume control can be turned up quite a bit more than the original.
Over all, more resolving and worth the extra money.
I had a Doge 8 that was in my system for about a year and a half. I loved it and couldnt say enough good things. Read with interest about the improvements in the clarity and contacted Joe. The phono does not employ the jfet any more and according to Joe uses the same tube compliment of 4 12ax7. I asked if I could see a schematic but he said Doge would not make it available. I question how quiet the phono can be if its gain is increased to work with MC. Ive had a fair amount of experience with ax7 phonos and cant imagine how it could be quiet at the higher gain.From Emorrisiv's post it seems the mc improvemnt is minimal. I was considering trying one but the no schematic policy has me put off.
I had the Clarity and can say all I had was trouble with it. Could be a fluke? I don't know but I returned it for a full refund including shipping.
Highlights of the problems are as follows:
1: Cold solder joints on the volume PCB
2: Stains/dings on the casing
3: Could not make the phono work with my Benz Micro M2 (0.8mV) due to excessive hissing. Tried NOS Tele. and Amperex still to hissy. Even used the line gain switch in different positions (internal) with no luck. My tubes are tested for low noise/microphonics and are quite in my other phono (hi gain) preamp.
4: Mute only worked on remote. The rear remote cover needed to be pulled out slightly to make it work (internal short?). I do believe someone knew about this problem because the rear cover screws where not screwed in all the way. Once I screwed them in ( I thought the battery was located here) it do not work at all.
5: I microphonic 12AT7 tube (it would ring everytime I switched inputs, for about 1 second) and one 12AX7 tube half was below minimum gm on my Hickock 752 tester.
There are other issues as well (Manual was for Doge 8, no description regarding gain switch, different caps then shown on web site, ground for phono on opposite side of phono RCA jacks (~8" away), took over a month to get my refund by check (I paid by credit card), charged credit card before shipping).
And believe it or not I still want one since I hear so much good news about them. But I think I will hold off for now.
Since I don't use the MC phono stage, the jfet noise is not a issue. Alx I am sorry to hear you got a lemon. Mine has been nothing but pure pleasure. With the Ypsilon SUT and using Mike Morrow's #6 phono cables I can turn the volume all the way up before hearing anything of consequence. The line stage is amazing (as it always was with the original) but has even more dynamics and transparency.
The build quality is fantastic.
A great value.