The Doge 8 Clarity 2019 version is the best DOGE 8 version ever designed. In 2010, Arthur Salvatore, an independent reviewer and quite famous in audiophiles circles, wrote on his website ‘high-endaudio.com‘:
“The Doge 8 may be the best preamplifier value in the history of audio”
Please click here to read the section talking about Doge 8 (we have highlighted Doge 8 texts in red and in order not to trick we have let Arthur’s text before and after). Until very recently we didn’t read this statement because it was written in the stand-alone phono preamp section whereas Doge 8 is reviewed in the “Line preamp + phono stage” section. That was a great surprise.
Indeed Doge 8 is not just a great line preamp, but a comprehensive Line + Phono MM/MC preamp with a 100% tube phono stage, which is extremely rare today, in particular for MC cartridges.
DOGE 8 CLARITY 2017 & 2019 Edition enjoyed very popular success, with an incredible satisfaction rate of 96% versus the already excellent satisfaction rate of 92% for older versions.
In order to avoid too heavy a description of improvements between the Doge 8 Clarity and prior versions, we kept the page for the “Doge 8 Clarity 2017 Edition” online, but for this purpose only, as the 2017 Edition is now discontinued.
In the 2019 Edition, we added :
- DIP switches at the back panel to enlarge the choice of impedance input for MC cartridges with 3 choices in (100 ohms, 300 ohms, 1 Kohms)
- DIP switches at the back panel to enlarge the choice of capacitance input for all cartridges with 4 choices in total (47pf, 100pf, 150pf, 220pf).
- A Tape-out RCA output, mainly for those of you wanting to connect a headphone amplifier
- Check these new features on the back panel photo
The key feature of the 2019 Edition is the use of high-end coupling capacitors from the UK, the ClarityCap ESA model that is, in our opinion, the best cost/performance choice on the market today. We have been so impressed by sound performance increase that who installed them on all our products.
We have chosen the adjective ‘Clarity’ for the latest version of DOGE 8 with reference to the ClarityCap brand and also because this adjective reflects very well DOGE 8’s main qualities of transparency and neutrality.
There are many testimonies in forums and blogs reporting that the Doge 8 is the best preamp in the world in this price range. We won’t make that claim ourselves as we haven’t listened to all the other preamps in the world, but we are very proud of these owners’ feedback. We also received direct sales customers’ feedback that it has no competitors below $5,000 or sometimes that it is simply the best preamp they’ve ever heard.
Please note that the DOGE 8 got a 100% mark from the famous German magazine STEREO, which is pretty exceptional when it was reviewed as the ODM partnership model costing $6000, and even at this price it got 5/5 stars for price value!! (ODM means the same product in a different chassis with customizations for another brand). So finally if our DOGE 8 with a German brand on its front panel got the highest mark at $6000, Arthur Salvatore’s comments make a lot of sense when he says it might be the best value for a preamp in audio history at $1500.
These are the marks in STEREO Deutsch magazine at the price of 6800€ ($7800 including 20% VAT). This 100% and 5 stars award was get with NOS tubes whose value would increase the current version by around $500. Because he doesn’t sell anymore this product, we can quote the product name, it was LUA Reference No.7. Please note that in Germany, the magazine “STEREO” is more famous than “The Stereophile” as they have very high-class measurement devices to test all data given by the manufacturers, and are said to be more independent than The Stereophile.
You might think, and that would make sense, that probably this model shares the same schematics with the Doge 8 but certainly, the German partner put higher range components in it. WRONG. The LUA reference 7 uses $0.8 Wima coupling capacitors whereas our audiophiles UK Claritycaps are 10 times the price of Wima. You can also note the number of connectors required by Mr. Lua whereas our Doge 8 use soldering only for perfect conduction and avoid any loose contact. We want clearly claim our own brand DOGE products are higher standards than our OEM German products. And you can understand why Doge 8 is a true bargain compared to the 6800€ of “Reference No.7”!
In addition to offering a fabulous sound performance, DOGE 8 Clarity also includes a high-end fully tube built-in phono stage that can compare to stand-alone phono preamps at around the same price of $1300!
This preamp is incredibly neutral and transparent and provides all that you expect from a high-end preamp. You will be delighted by the silky sound of the Doge 8 Clarity. It has a little warmth which you can expect from a tube device, but not an exaggerated warmth compared to many other tube preamps. Those of our clientele that own solid-state power amplifiers will like this transparency and subtlety and warmth.
The schematics (circuit design) of the Doge 8 Clarity is at the same time both simple and sophisticated. It allows perfect matching with all power amps as it has a sophisticated buffer impedance stage driven by a current generator called “U follower”. In addition, it has a low very low impedance output which guarantees a very good matching with most power amps whether they are tube or solid-state power amps.
Doge 8 Clarity uses 2 transformers and a choke with Pi filtering (a choke is a power supply filtering device that has a similar manufacturing process to a transformer but with only one wiring) which allows very silent power.
One transformer is for main power and the second one is for standby mode and digital functions of the remote controller and relays activation. This makes a full separation of the digital and analog functions. Please note that in standby mode, only the small 5W transformer remains “on”, the main power is off and tubes as well.
Most components are imported brands. The electrolytic capacitors are Japanese Nippon Chemicon, while film capacitors are French SCR or German WIMA for less sensitive ones, and for the most sensitive ones, the coupling capacitors which the signal passes through, we now use the ESA model of the UK brand Claritycaps. Relays for input selection are German OMRON. And last but not least, you would be surprised if you were comparing the signal cable we use and those of well-known brands. Our signal cable is a very expensive silver-PTFE with shielding. We put attention to any single detail, like shielding even the inputs board with the relays.
The chassis is particularly tough and luxurious due to the use of 6mm thick aluminum for all panels. The front panel finish is brushed anodized aluminum.
The connectors are from the highest grade, sourced from Taiwan, with 5µm gold plating.
The Doge 8 Clarity has an output socket designed for a proprietary cable to connect the Doge 8 Clarity with the Doge 9 PAB mono-blocks. It allows Doge 8 to automatically turn-on and turn-off Doge 9 if you use them as a complete set.
THE PHONO STAGE :
Doge 8 has a high-quality built-in phono stage, and this phono stage is with tubes only. There is no phono output as the phono stage is designed especially to match with the line stage. However, it is not a cheap phono stage just for the purpose to say “there is a phono stage”… it is a comprehensive phono stage with 3 choices of input: MM/MC low/MC high. MC low sensitivity is for cartridges between 0.1mV to 0.2mV and MC high sensitivity is for cartridge between 0.25mV to 0.5mV.
What is important to point out is that both MM and MC are true tube phono stages with zero solid state. There were many rumors on forums, all good-faith rumors that some Doge 8 versions had a Jfet pre-stage for MC. There has never been any single version of Doge 8 wih a Jfet pre-stage for MC. Our OEM German partner LUA asked us to do this, that’s the reason some of you might have been confused. Here is a photo that can help you to understand this.
The RCA inputs for phono (and now the dip-switches selectors for impedance) are well shielded by a stainless steel cage which probably made some of our customers think that it was a Jfet stage.
It is nothing very important, but we wanted to take the opportunity to clarify that point as we have regularly questions about this point. All Doge 8 versions got a 100% tube phono stage since the first unit released in 2006.
> Factory-direct price: once you will have checked-out (without need to register) you will fill your country and see our total price with includes delivery to your front door, Paypal or CC fees, and one year warranty served in your country. Possible taxes in your country are at your charge.
VACUUM TUBES UPGRADE OPTIONS
All our Doge 8 are supplied with tubes printed with a Doge logo. They are first grade Shuguang origin with Doge additional QC.
However since many customers asked for upgrades choice, we offer these factory upgrades:
- Optional Psvane 12AT7-TII for line stage: $114 (set of 4)
- Optional Psvane 12AX7-S for Phono stage: $122 (set of 4) (S is the new high grade tube of Psvane)
- Optional Shuguang 12AT7-T for line stage: $114 (set of 4)
- Optional Shuguang 12AX7-T for Phono stage: $122 (set of 4)
If you wish to get NOS tubes, simply order without tubes, and we can recommend you several choices according to your budget.
Please note that for safety reasons to follow the international air freight regulations, remote controllers are supplied without batteries. They use the traditional AA type. Thanks for your understanding and please think to buy a pair prior to the delivery.