Artemis Labs PL-1 Phono Stage




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Artemis Labs PL-1 Phono Stage

Artemis Labs PH-1 Artemis Labs PH-1
Artemis Labs PH-1 Artemis Labs PH-1


A New Purist Vacuum Tube Phono PreAmp
for Low-Output Cartridges

Artemis Labs PL-1


The Artemis Labs PL-1 Phono Preamplifier is the result of several years of perfecting a simple yet extremely high quality tube-type preamp. High quality parts are used throughout and the design is rugged and reliable. The sonic qualities: tonality, detail, smoothness, and presence are outstanding. The PL-1 is optimized for low-output moving-coil cartridges. See information on the Artemis Labs PH-1 for a preamp optimized for medium- to high-output cartridges.


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We have been burning in the Artemis Labs PL-1 phono stage and can now claim with assurance that we have another outstanding phono stage to offer, and its low price makes it even more remarkable. 


Out of the box, it was disappointingly similar to other tube phono stages we didn't like, syrupy sweet with a thick lumbering sound.  Some may like this type of sound, but we always prefer higher fidelity - no way, no how, no such sound allowed. 


Artemis Labs PL-1


Replacing the stock 12AX7 tubes on the Artemis Labs PL-1 with our favorite Tungsols didn't help either.  We left it turned on for one night ... and it was a totally different machine the next day, it only took one night to open up. 


Gone was the thickness and bloat, replaced by a  full yet articulate sound.  The wonderful sonic qualities from a superb tube design were evident - beautifully natural timbre and tone, a more three-dimensional soundscape, excellent detail, and of course a lovely  midrange.


But that wouldn't be enough for us.  Timing and pace are of utmost importance in music, IMHO, and the Artemis Labs PL-1 delivered with aplomb.  Great !  From RHCP to Slayer, Ella to Heifetz, R.L. Burnside to Rory Block, and so on, beautiful music flowed through ...


The system was certainly praised by visiting listeners, but deep inside we thought it may still be better. 


We brought in better quality resistors to replace the stock ones ...  Resistors ?  Seems complicated ? On the contrary, not at all ... and very affordable too.



Artemis Labs PL-1

Riken Ohm - in darker blue

On the Artemis Labs phono stages, MC cartridge loading is optimized by inserting resistors into a 3M TexTool• ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) Socket, originally designed for the semiconductor industry. 


Very convenient, no soldering required, and one can try any loading value one wants.

Artemis Labs PL-1

Read more in the Artemis Labs PL-1 User Manual

Sonic differences between resistors are certainly audible on the Artemis Labs phono stage.   We have tried various resistors and would recommend 1/4 to 1/2 watt resistors from Riken Ohm1 (was used on classic tube audio circuits like Marantz Model 2, Mullard 520, Acro, original Williamson, vintage guitar amp designs), which have been great, at least in our system.


With these higher-grade Riken carbon resistors came even better body and weight on the highs and in macrodynamics, a more natural tone.  At a cost of about SGD 7.00 for the pair of Riken resistors, it's a no-brainer. 


Artemis Labs PL-1 - Shinkoh



Other popular resistors like Shinkoh tantalum (regarded as the best in the world)are also available.


Shinkoh resistors are approximately SGD 7.00 to SGD 20 each (you need two).



1 We will include Riken resistors for Artemis Labs phono stages bought in Singapore.


In Singapore, Riken resistors can also be bought from Well Audio Lab (about SGD 2.50 to SGD 5.00 each), or online.


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Artemis Labs PL-1 Key Features

70dB of gain with low hum and noise  (65db also available)

High-quality step-up transformer gives good hum and noise rejection.

TexTool• ZIF socket connected to step-up transformer secondary

Allows any shunt loading resistor or capacitor to be effectively attached to step-up secondary.

Three stage design with passive RIAA equalization

Equalization is flat within +/- 0.2dB from 20Hz to 20KHz and is flat to +/- 0.5dB to 40KHz. Last two stages have gentle feedback and can drive as low as 8K loads without the use of cathode followers.

All key audio circuits wired point-to-point using military-style terminal boards

Sonic degradation due to fiber-glass PC boards is minimized.

One 6N1P tube, two 12AX7/ECC83 tubes and two 5687 tubes. All but 6N1P are run in Cool-Swap• Configuration

An idle spare in each tube, plus tubes run cooler.

Choke loads for each triode

Allows tubes to run in their most linear mode and permits lower plate supply voltage

Low-Gain MOSFET high voltage regulation

One regulator per channel minimizes cross-talk and gives a firm, stable sound without sounding •solid-state•.

All Artemis PreAmps Designed and built in the United States using the best parts from around the world.

Artemis Labs PL-1 Specifications

• Mid-Band Gain (47K load, 1KHz): 52dB +/• 2dB

• Frequency Response & Distortion (measured with inverse RIAA curve applied to generator):

• Worst-case Loading (12K ohms, 1000pF):

• Frequency Response: 25Hz • 30KHz +/• 0.5dB

• THD+N at 1KHz, 2Vrms output: < 0.2%

• Average Loading (47K ohms, 250pF):

• Frequency Response: < 10Hz • 42KHz +/• 0.5dB

• THD+N at 1KHz, 2Vrms output: < 0.2%

• Maximum output voltage (47K load, 1KHz, 0.5% THD): 40Vrms

• Output Noise (grounded input, 47K load, rms detector):
   • 22Hz - 30KHz: < •59dB below 2Vrms output
   • •A-weighted•: < •69dB below 2Vrms output

• Crosstalk:
   • 1KHz: < •TBD dB
   • 20KHz: < •TBD dB

• Effective Output Impedance: approx. 1300 ohms (1KHz)

• Input Impedance: 47.5K ohms, lower with optional shunt resistors.

• Mains Voltage: Wired at factory for one of the following voltages: 100, 110, 120, 220, 230, 240V, 50 to 60Hz.

• Power Consumption (rms): 40 Watts nominal, 49 Watts maximum.

• Size: 6 •" (165 mm) Height, 8 •" (216 mm) Width, 14 5/8" (371 mm) Depth

• Mass: 24 lbs. (11Kg)


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More information can be found in the following pdf file downloads :

Artemis Labs PL-1 User Manual

Artemis Labs PL-1 Handout

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