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Thread: Phono Pre-amp?

  1. #1
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    Phono Pre-amp?

    Does anyone have any good choices for one? I am looking to expand into vinyl but my Marantz SC7S2 does not have this option.

    Thanks!

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    That is a pretty open ended question. Can you narrow it down somewhat?

    Tube or solid-state?
    Moving coil or moving magnet?
    For what cartridge, arm and table?
    Budget?

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Watt Street View Post
    That is a pretty open ended question. Can you narrow it down somewhat?
    I agree... next to speakers and then phono cartridges, the phono section is one of the areas where there are the greatest differences between components.


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    Sorry. I guess I am not quite sure yet. Actually, I am trying to get back to the vinyl from my college years-for now. I have an old Technics model (?) table to use. Since my preamp does not have a phono section, I am looking for a decent one for perhaps both MC, MM. Since I still have a bunch of albums, it would be cool to listen to them again.

    To be honest, I have not followed any of the upgrades with turntable technology so I am afraid I am very ignorant in this area. In College, the Technics with a Sansui G-8000 receiver, ADC eq. and HH Scott speakers were all I needed.

    Thanks for any advice.

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom1040 View Post
    Sorry. I guess I am not quite sure yet. Actually, I am trying to get back to the vinyl from my college years-for now. I have an old Technics model (?) table to use. Since my preamp does not have a phono section, I am looking for a decent one for perhaps both MC, MM. Since I still have a bunch of albums, it would be cool to listen to them again.

    To be honest, I have not followed any of the upgrades with turntable technology so I am afraid I am very ignorant in this area. In College, the Technics with a Sansui G-8000 receiver, ADC eq. and HH Scott speakers were all I needed.

    Thanks for any advice.
    The thing is, there are a number of outboard phono preamps that cost ~$200 or less that are every bit as good as your old Sansui days, but since you've gone way past that with your current system, it might make sense to upgrade the lot. A quality turntable and a nice moving coil cartridge will set you back a couple of grand at least. An excellent phono pre from Parasound is the JC-3 however it also costs a bit above $2K.

    So you can buy an inexpensive phono pre on line and listen to what you have or you can bring up the playback chain to be in keeping with your current system, but you'll be spending some real money.


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    Somehow I knew that would be the case. You are correct. I think I need to invest $ if I want to be serious about this. However, there is a point of diminshing returns. To me-just me-I am there with the system I have at the moment but I do want to explore the vinyl option.

    When I started my quest, I was buying stuff that some of my friends had/sold and sounded okay. Slowly buying and selling, I am comforable with what I have at this time. I suppose vinyl is the next logical progression. Perhaps some would say vinyl should have taken a front seat to digital????


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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Personally I'd go with a VPI Classic, the Halo JC-3, and the $500-$1000 MC cartridge of your choice... that is a $5-$6K investment, but I think it hits the sweet spot in the diminishing returns equation much like the 1400 Arrays do.


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  8. #8
    Obviously... not a golfer grumpy's Avatar
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    In the interim, the company "Pro-ject" seems to have a reasonable
    reputation for high-value, lower cost phono pre-amps, are available
    in solid-state or tube versions, and have a useful range of adjustment
    (gain and input impedance). I say 'seems' as I do not own one.

    I've been happy with a decades old Audio Research PH3-SE I obtained
    2nd-hand, but the adjustments are not as easily accomplished.
    Last edited by grumpy; 12-29-2011 at 01:56 PM. Reason: skipping ahead, investment-wise, it would be hard to argue against Widget's recommendation :)
    It's uh... uh... it's down there somewhere, let me take another look...

  9. #9
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    In the interim, the company "Pro-ject" seems to have a reasonable
    reputation for high-value...
    Pro-Ject do have excellent "bang for the buck" solutions and very decent turntables as well.



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    I've got a VPI Classic and it was fine. LP Gear has them for $2,500 shipped. As my system is in retrograde, I now use the semi-auto cousin of the Technics 1200, the 1700MKII fitted with a AT95HE cart thru a PS Audio CGPH that has some issues, but it's the only other phono stage I had on hand.

    The uni-pivot tonearm will take a little getting used to, but works like a dream once you get it set.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    I suppose that purchasing only the phono module and connecting it to any line pre-amp would be the most practical/economical solution. That's what I would do.

    http://www.son-video.com/Rayons/Hifi...reampRIAA.html

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    That's what he's looking at doing. He has a line stage, but no phono stage.

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    Senior Member richluvsound's Avatar
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    Tom.

    you could look around for an Xono .... pretty sure it would not be out of place in your system ... Reno Hifi has one ,factory serviced,factory warranty @ $ 1850 .... IMHO , you can't go wrong . If you decide its not right for you , I doubt your going to loose much on resale - no where near as much as buying new and changing your mind . Besides , that company has one of the best service structures I have ever come across in any field . No matter if you buy new ,pre-owned or you need help with DIY projects... They are just class . only downfall is the blue LED and the billet fronts

    Rich

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by richluvsound View Post
    only downfall is the blue LED and the billet fronts

    Rich
    Yep, insta-fail.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JoMoCo's Avatar
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    Phono stage

    You could check out used at Audiogon before buying, ask questions from the seller, buy and listen & resell if motivated to move up down or sideways.. I've done that before ..

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