syrah was the preamp with phono stage which was replaced by the chenin. the chardonnay is the line stage only. no phono input on the chardonnay. the differences between the syrah and the chenin are probably best explained by mick. shoot him an email. he'll reply to you within a day usually.
6 responses Add your response
The Chenin replaces the Syrah. The Syrah is a full function preamp (with phono)whereas Chardonnay is a linestage version only with virtually the same circuit implementation of the the linestage section of the former.
I believe that around December 2003, the Syrah was replaced by the Chenin. The main difference was the tubes used in the preamp phono section and , as Mick Maloney commented, the Chenin uses the Cortese phono circuit. In turn the Cortese's phono circuit was also improved on a later date.
The Syrah uses 417A and I believe 6ER5 tubes for phono in contrast to the Chenin's 6C4/M8080 and 6DJ8/6922/7308 tubes.
You can read a lot about them here http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?aamps&1016931418&read&keyw&zzpreamp=deal=of=the=century if you do not want to ask Mick directly through e-mail. I have to warn you, the thread is 34 (and counting) sections long!