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Thread: thoughts on a new phono stage

  1. #11
    Join Date: Apr 2013

    Location: Solihull, UK

    Posts: 331
    I'm Bob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedracer View Post
    ................. Icon Audio's PS1 mk1 is also very good but I think just outside your budget unless things have changed recently.
    +1.

    I had a PS1 mk 1 for a long, long time. Bought used for about 500 - fully supported by the company based in Leicester and at worst a new set of valves may be needed over time. These things are built like a tank (and almost as heavy).

    After having gone through 4 SS stages nothing prepared me for how good this was.

    Worth a listen.
    Source: Orbe SE / SME IV / SAE 1000LT (again) / AT33 PTG II
    Source: AKAI GX-635D - Seriously Serviced by VintageTech
    Source: Leema Antilla IIs
    Source: WD NAS / Cyrus Stream X2 / Leema DAC

    Amplification: Icon Audio PS 3 Sig Phono + Audio Research LS27 + Musical Fidelity A5cr Power Amp
    Loudspeakers: ProAc Response D28
    Cables/stands: Mark Grant G1500HD + Linn K20 + Cat 5e
    Other bits: Okki Nokki keeping things clean

  2. #12
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 3,987
    I'm Shaun.

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    Only really had experience with the cheap Pro-Ject Phonobox SE, built in Croft phono stage and the current Dynavector P75 MkIII. I did listen to a Firebottle prototype a few years back but hopefully it was not representative of the current ones. The best I have owned so far by a helluva long way is the Dynavector however back in the nineties I had a Hart Linsley Hood kit built phono stage and that was the best I have ever heard.

    All the best with your search.
    CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXC CD TRANSPORT INTO AUDIOLAB M-DAC - PRIMA LUNA PROLOGUE THREE PREAMP - PRIMA LUNA DIALOGUE PREMIUM POWER AMP - SPENDOR S3/5R2 LOUDSPEAKERS - ATLAS HYPER INTERCONNECTS - TELLURIUM Q BLUE LOUDSPEAKER CABLES - ATACAMA STANDS - PRO-JECT SUPPORT PLINTH

  3. #13
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,086
    I'm Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebottle View Post
    Hi Ben, here is a suggestion.
    I have a modified Tron Convergence which is really a Firebottle convergence now with the improvements and circuit changes made. It owes me 750, however it is only MC at the moment.
    I can either fit extra sockets and a switch to give MC/MM capability, or remove the SUT's and offer it as MM for 650.

    It really has an excellent holographic sound, as others will attest to.
    As it is modified the Tron warranty is no longer valid but I will give continued support for it, to my usual after sales level of good service.

    You are welcome to trial it
    Now that sounds like a great offer.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jul 2016

    Location: Ferndown, Dorset, UK

    Posts: 188
    I'm Brook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebottle View Post
    Hi Ben, here is a suggestion.
    I have a modified Tron Convergence which is really a Firebottle convergence now with the improvements and circuit changes made. It owes me 750, however it is only MC at the moment.
    I can either fit extra sockets and a switch to give MC/MM capability, or remove the SUT's and offer it as MM for 650.

    It really has an excellent holographic sound, as others will attest to.
    As it is modified the Tron warranty is no longer valid but I will give continued support for it, to my usual after sales level of good service.

    You are welcome to trial it
    You should yank Alan's hand off in the process of accepting this offer, well played sir.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Feb 2011

    Location: Liverpool, Merseyside.

    Posts: 947
    I'm Ben.

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    Thanks guys

    A few things for me to consider there, Alan Thanks for the great offer too. Il have a think / read up about things

    Cheers

    Ben
    SL1210
    Jelco SA-750 & AT150 MLX,
    Firebottle modded Tron Convergence,
    Jungson JA-88 amp,
    JBL L40 Speakers.
    M2tech Young dac .

  6. #16
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Posts: 338
    I'm Ian.

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    I bought a Nighthawk F-117 phono stage from some kind soul here and it's the best phono stage I've ever owned, including some valve stages. It's very flexible for loading mm and mc cartridges and also for gain. Plenty of reviews on the web - well worth a look. Most recently compared it side by side with a Graham Slee Accession. The owner of the Accession preferred his but everyone else in the room liked the Nighthawk the best.

  7. #17
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 5,699
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianlenco View Post
    I bought a Nighthawk F-117 phono stage from some kind soul here and it's the best phono stage I've ever owned, including some valve stages. It's very flexible for loading mm and mc cartridges and also for gain. Plenty of reviews on the web - well worth a look. Most recently compared it side by side with a Graham Slee Accession. The owner of the Accession preferred his but everyone else in the room liked the Nighthawk the best.
    Heard a nighthawk and didn't really like it. It's got a great reputation so might just be me lol

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves) & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  8. #18
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,227
    I'm Alan.

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    The Nighthawk is the quietest phono stage I have heard, at max gain there is a bit of background hiss, but it's way down and the gain is a lot at that setting. The Tron really isn't far behind this for quietness, in standard build this is one of it's strengths.

    The thing that lets the Nighthawk down IMHO is the slightly 'sat on' dynamics, I think due to using feedback equalisation.
    The Tron uses passive eq, and with the modifications offers a more spacious and open sound.

    Have fun with your search Ben.

  9. #19
    Join Date: Dec 2011

    Location: sussex

    Posts: 212
    I'm phil.

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    ive got the angle audio pro. very good indeed you can have it either mc or mm or switchable i have the mc version loaded to match my cart, thet hybrid alan is offering sounds attractive, good luck
    Technics 1200, Ian Mac bearing, rb300 AO arm analogue seduction crystal glass 6mm mat modded plinth external psu, angle audio studio pro mc virtual battery phono amp, Onix pre and mono amps, Onix CD player, Onix BWD and soap tuner. B&W dm2 speakers or super pencil 12 speakers, atlas cables, seperate mains power supply with earth spike.

  10. #20
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: Knebworth, Herts

    Posts: 200

    Default thoughts on a new phono stage

    I sold an upgraded Croft RIAA R about a year ago for 650. New with the upgrades it was 1200 and was an awesome phono stage. It will take a lot of money to beat it in my experience, although I've not heard the FB. They are scarce on the 2nd hand market, but worth looking out for, and considerably better than the standard RIAA version. The only reason I changed was that I was looking for an integrated pre and my system is slowly morphing into an Audio Note based system. Glenn's service is also second to none.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Retief
    Analogue: Origin Live Resolution mk2,OL Encounter mk3c,MM III and isolator.Digital:CA 840C.Amplification:Croft RIAA R, Icon Audio LA4mkii,Icon Audio MB845 signature version.Speakers: Kef Reference 203/2 Cables: Mark Grant G2000HD. Speaker cable Van Damme Hi-Fi UP-LCOFC.Headphone: Grado PS1000,HD650,HD600,Icon Audio HP8 RCM DIY Moth

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