Posted on 26th February, 2019


Boulder Amplifiers has just announced the release of the 2108 Phono Preamplifier. The 2108 is a part of the brand's highest-performing 2100 Series and is Boulder's reference level phono preamplifier.

The 2108 is Boulder's second generation of its 2000-level phono preamplifier, following and improving upon the multiple award-winning 2008 phono stage.

The 2108 features several advancements in technology and performance over the previous generation 2000-level phono preamplifier.

Boulder 2108

Firstly, improvements have been made in sound quality through the use of better ground paths and planes, revised circuit topology, and lowering of the static noise floor. Furthermore, increased use of surface-mount PCB technology, manufactured using Boulder's own SMD manufacturing machines and ovens, has also yielded improvements in noise radiation, propagation delay, parasitic capacitance and the elimination of lead inductance in selected circuits. It also offers improvements in unit-to-unit quality and consistency with the added benefit of improved long-term reliability.

Originally found as an option on the 2008, the 2108 includes additional EQ curves to the RIAA. Selectable from the front panel are FFRR, Columbia, and EMI. These equalisation curves enable correct and accurate playback of LP records made before 1954.

A machined aluminium chassis contains all audio electronics and control functions. Also, all power supply and standby circuitry are housed in separate casework to isolate noise and prevent noise or hum from the power supply from interfering with sensitive high-gain audio circuitry.

Additionally, the reduction of the noise floor of the 2108 has allowed for an increase in gain for low output moving coil cartridges without an increase in the noise floor. The net result is substantially improved low-level resolution and dynamic or transient response. You will also find a pair of RCA connections included on the rear panel allows you to use an external cartridge demagnetizer for certain MC cartridges.

The 2108 uses Boulder's own 995 gain stage. The modular, discretely implemented, initial gain stage significantly reduces distortion and noise. This reduction results in substantial improvements in clarity and low-level information recovery. All 995 circuitry is potted in proprietary epoxy resin for consistent thermal stability and increased reliability and then mounted in a precision-machined aluminium housing.

Boulder 2108

Inputs and outputs are high quality, full-balanced 3-pin XLR connections and all audio circuitry are executed in a dual-mono configuration for increased isolation of the left and right channels.

Three inputs per channel are available for connecting multiple turntables or tonearms, each with customizable Personality Cards which can be tailored to meet the resistive and capacitive loading needs of specific phono cartridges. Dual outputs are included to feed both the main listening system and/or a recording system. Those Personality Cards also contain all Cartridge Loading and Gain Settings. The cartridge loading is handled by a single high-precision resistor instead of any type of switched or remote controlled loading system. Simply put, the small analogue phono signal is never run through any sort of switch or relay or multiple solder connections that would significantly increase loss and distortion.

All functions and controls are actuated with a logic system to eliminate any internally radiated noise, such as that from a microprocessor.

Other features include a selectable low cut filter with high-pass cut off points of 10 Hz, 20 Hz, or Out, selectable true mono mode for monaural recordings played on a stereo cartridge, and extensive damping and shielding for each of the main power transformers  to eliminate hum pickup in the audio stages or audible chassis buzz.

Price and availability

The Boulder 2108 is shipping and available right now. The suggested US retail price for the 2108 Phono Preamplifier is $52,000. We have yet to get confirmed UK pricing.

Export retail pricing will vary by country due to applicable taxes and duties.

For more information, head over to Boulder Amplifiers.

Tech Spec

  • Balanced Inputs 3 x 3-pin XLR
  • Balanced Outputs 2 x 3-pin XLR
  • Input Impedance MC: maximum 1000 Ohms, MM: 47kOhms.
  • Output Impedance 100 Ohms Balanced
  • Phono Equalization RIAA, Columbia, EMI, FFRR (London/Decca)
  • Maximum Output Level 28 Vrms
  • Distortion, THD 0.005%
  • 1 kHz Gain, RIAA MC: 70 or 60 dB, MM: 50 or 40 dB
  • Noise (EIN), MC 160 μV A-wtd, 275 μV flat, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Frequency Response, 20 Hz to 20 kHz RIAA: ±0.10 dB
  • Crosstalk, L to R or R to L -100 dB or better, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Power Requirements 90-120V / 200-240V, 50-60 Hz
  • Power Consumption 75W Max

Weights and Dimensions

2108 Phono Preamplifier

  • Dimensions: 18-inches x15.3-inches x 5.75-inches/ 45.7 cm x 38.9 cm x 14.6 cm (WxDxH).
  • Weight 16.8 kg / 37 lbs.

2100 Power Supply

  • Dimensions: 118-inches x15.3-inches x 5.75-inches/ 45.7 cm x 38.9 cm x 14.6 cm (WxDxH).
  • Weight: 48 lbs/ 21.8 kg.

All specifications measured at 240 VAC mains power


Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Lifestyle
Tags: boulder  padood