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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2007
This product has far exceeded my expectations! I bought this because I thought I could not go wrong with this price since I had just purchased new tube amps and I was using my old receiver as a pre-amp. However, I thought the sound from my SACD player was 10 times better if plugged directly into my new amps and thus this started my search for a passive pre-amp. Amazingly, the TCC TC-754 is totally quiet. I can perceive no difference in sound compared to having my components plugged directly into my amp versus being routed through this pre-amp. Although technically there is 20 dB of boost through the line outs, it does not appear to change or alter the signal to my ears. The TNT audio review was extremely helpful as it recommended a power supply upgrade. This upgrade greatly improved the TCC's phono pre-amp capabilities in my system, it really (to borrow an audiophile term) created a much larger sound stage. The phono stage is also pretty quiet but I can hear a slight hiss with the volume turned way up, but by comparison, I hear nothing at all with components turned off from the line outs when the volume is turned all the way up. The phono stage is for moving magnet cartridges only and it matched or slightly surpassed my 1990 Sansui's AV receiver's built in phono stage. One other thing that is important in evaluating audiophile gear, the burn-in or break-in period, I personally don't rationally understand this, but after listening to music through this pre-amp the sound seemed to be further mellowed, improved and warmed after about 50 hours of use. The TNT reviewer was indeed accurate in reporting this pre-amps closest competition would cost several times the TCC price. If your audio system matches well with passive pre-amp or sounds awesome with just the cd player plugged directly into the amplifier then I would highly recommend this little pre-amp! Another TNT audio reviewer's noted that his ~ $10,000 priced amps did not sound good at all with the TC-754. But that particular description reminded me of the same critiques that I have read about passive pre-amps as a class' sound with amps that need the higher gain and the other nuances of active pre-amps, but I am not an expert and I am only guessing. The TC-754 is not equipped with remote control, loudness, balance or tone settings. Instead it is product of elegant simplicity that has met my audio hobby desires perfectly!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I bought this primarily because I had to replace my power amp recently and discovered to my dismay that the new unit didn't have a built in phono pre-amp. It was something that I thought was standard issue but apparently not anymore. I choose this unit because of the high signal to noise ratio, and because of the added inputs.

I was hoping that I would be able to use the extra inputs for run my MP3 player (I use a Zune) through my home system which I had been doing previously but the signal was at such a low level that I would often have to turn the volume up to half or 3/4 to obtain a good listening level. Then if I forgot and switched back to CD... well you know. The extra inputs on this unit bypass the pre-amp equalization circuitry, which is necessary for playing back LP's, but are still controlled by the Gain (volume) control. I am quite happy with the results; now I can switch from CD to PHONO to MP3 without having always remember to adjust the volume first! This is a great boon at parties where there is sometimes drinking involved.

I was very pleased with the feel of the unit. It has a very solid heft to it, which I realize is not scientific, but none the less still leads me to believe that it's very well construced. It produces a very clean, transparent sound, with no coloration (added bass or treble) or loss of signal which is probably the most important factor in an audio component. Which is why I use the Zune as my MP3 player because it allows you to use a "loss-less" format which sounds virturally like a CD, unlike the 'clipped' files that the Ipod uses.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2012
I was nice when it worked. But one by one each input died in less than 6 months... Spend a little more for something reliable...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2011
I use the pre-amp for my turntable. I am a '70s guy in audio rehab since kids have finally left home: Technics SL-1700 with Stanton 681 EEE Mk III (cartridge was purchased in '77); Marantz 2270 purchased in 1974 is in California where all people and audio equipment go for rehab; using a later model nondescript and unexciting Sony receiver wtih Bose 301s while my JBLs are being rehabed as well. I did have a Radio Shack preamp. It was easy to hum along with it and given my age I just thought it was part of the ringing in my ears. Much to my excitement, this pre-amp resolved almost all the hum. For the price this is very impressive piece of equipment and has restored my joy of listening to vinyl.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2012
This TC 754 little thing just the size of a cigarette carton box even smaller, is amazing. Looks like a joke but it is not ! For 73 bucks it replaced a very hi end Conrad Johnson PV5 which broke. The TC 754 is connected to 2 amps via Y connections, one McCormick DNA-1 and one ADS 10 for time delay sound and is driving both great with no loss in volume. The phono sound is super and the LPs sound just like the good old Conrad Johnson. And it is small tiny ! Geeezzzz.....micro-technology ! I just bought it a week ago I hope it lasts.
Anthony
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2009
Reviving your LP collection may be simple or complex but it doesn't have to be expensive

If you are thinking of dusting off your turntable and listening to those old vinyl records, you will be in good company.

Thanks to hip-hop and DJs, vinyl records are the in-thing. From 2007 to 2008, vinyl LP production increased from 1 million to 1.88 units in the US.

I only wanted to listen to some old LPs when I dug out my Dual 505 turntable this spring. The 20 year old model had not been used for over decade but it worked. I ordered a new stylus on the Internet for $75.

About the time I got used to getting up every 25 minutes to flip the disk, my 20 year old receiver developed a ground loop hum in the left channel. No one would fix it because the new ones are so cheap.

New receivers under $500 rarely have phono inputs. Magnetic cartridges have extremely low output so a preamplifier is needed. The preamp must follow RIAA equalization to make the music sound the way it was recorded.

After a couple of months of research, I discovered the TEC-754 preamp and RIAA eq on Amazon. The reviews looked good and the price was $78. There were cheaper ones for $30 and $45 that seemed OK but I bought the one that had the lowest noise.

Amazingly, Amazon wouldn't ship that item to Canada so I bought it from the same vendor on eBay.ca for $78.

It came in a week and installed in 30 minutes. I moved the turntable to the TV room where there is a 5.1 surround system (see below). The old Pioneer receiver is going in the trash on Tuesday after 20 years of great service.
Was it worth $150 ?

You bet. The music opens up on vinyl. You can hear the instruments more distinctly and bass is much more powerful and distinct. I also get to hear the hundreds of LPs that have been collected over the decades without buying the CDs.

Would it be worth the thousand of dollars some people spend on hi-end vinyl stereo systems? Probably not in my estimation.

Some of the improved sound may be from the sound treatment that is underway in Katzass Studios. We got a modest number of bass traps and mid to high frequency panels from Real Traps for the studio that are partially installed.

When the double doors to the studio are open, they make a big difference in bass definition. Instead of thump thump, you can hear the kick drum and the notes played by the bassist in detail.

This week has had lots of great moments listening to vinyl. Right now I have Bob Dylan's latest album on the turntable with "Beyond Here Lies Nothing." Sounds good.

This weekend I'll write up a review of The Bootleg Series Volume 5 - Rolling Thunder Review which I found in one of my LP boxes. It demonstrates the strengths and limitations of vinyl.

Check out the long article in Wikipedia if you want to know more about vinyl.
Surround system

To hear better music you need a better system. Mine is not new but it works great.

Receiver - Pioneer VSX 1015TX
Front speakers - Mirage 750s 3-way
Sub woofer - Velodyne ULD-15 - real old
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
Phono preamp's are often very expensive. I am guessing because the manufacturers do not sell them in large numbers they must charge more be to profitable, just my guess. But any any rate the phono preamp is huge part of your vinyls sound. No matter how much power or how good the rest of your system is the phono preamp is very important. Modern cartridges put out such a low voltage your power amp can not process it with out a little more voltage (n simple terms)Also it has another job, to send it to the power amp just as the stylus sends it without adding or taking away anything. There is a riaa standard. You can Google it and find out more about it.
But what I could tell right away is what was missing from my other little cheapo preamp. The extreme highs where missing before. I thought it was my speakers. I hear sounds on the Beatles white album and Grover Washington Jr live album I had never heard before. The there so much missing it was like having a whole new system. I am using a new diy k12g tube amp I just built. I have 2 knobs on my whole system. The gain on this preamp and the volume on my power amp. And that is how I like it. The less stuff all those little electrons have to go through th better as far as I am concerned. I just can't believe it cost so little so make such a huge improvement. It has enough boost so my phono is on about the same volume as line level like my cd. The only small complaint I can think of is the leds are not very bright, but that is much better than the usual way to bright leds we see today.
Glowing, that is the first word I could think of to explain the sound from the preamp. My only concern if it is lasts, it does have a one warranty if you go to the phono preamp web page. They also have other preamps including one for mc and mm cartridges I believe. Yep, I would call it a good deal for a great sound. You can do a lot worse as I did with the less expensive one I also bought from Amazon but a different brand than this one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2010
I searched for hours hoping to find the right device. This is it! I have my MP3 in the phono input and my DVD player and ROKU in Aux inputs all going out to my high quality powered speakers. I really wanted this for the MP3 and ROKU (so I could turn off TV while still listening to Pandora) and the bonus is I eliminated some extra cables.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2013
I put this phono preamp in between a Rega 6 turntable and a Cary SLP 30 preamp running into Cary CAD-572 SE Monoblocks. I was looking for additional volume and the TC 754 delivered. Excellent price and small in footprint. Listening to Abraxas as I type and the unit is not getting in the way of the rest of the equipment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2011
What can I say? I needed a source selector for my headphones that wasn't the size of my desk and cost 500 bucks. This fit the bill and sounds transparent. It is well built and works perfectly.
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