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Hozepipe
27-10-2008, 23:57
Need some advice guys on a Phono Stage or a pre with excellent Phono.

I've already had some great advice from Anthony TD about current phono stages to look into, I'm also interested in other suggestions particularly older bargains and s/h deals that sound stunning. Nothing more than about 600 preferably less. Am I dreaming???

My system is vinyl only so what I really want is a phono stage with a big knob on the front (ooh er) so I can run directly into the poweramp. I have an Audio Research SP9 MkII which will be sold to fund the upgrade so it needs to be better than that (not too difficult according to Anthony ;) ) and it will be running into an Audio Research D70 valve amp which I'm keeping. I've got a MC cart but would like the option to use a MM too (are MC phono stages MC exclusively or is that only for MM ones? I know not.)

Currently I'm looking at solid state but I'm open to valves too if they're low noise and not too fussy with valve quality. Here's my list so far:

NVA Phono 2 + PSU (about 450)
Trichord Dino +PSU
Trichord Diablo basic (if I can get more for the SP9)

What I'd really like is for someone to tell me about a brilliant bit of kit that costs bobbins :)

simon

John
28-10-2008, 13:47
The world audio design phono stage is really good value for money but no volume control
If you can stretch a bit more than try this it is really worth the effort and extra money
http://www.aqvox.de/phono.html
http://www.analogueseduction.net/acatalog/index.html
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/AUDION-STERLING-MC-VALVE-PHONO-STAGE_W0QQitemZ260305769306QQcmdZViewItem?hash=ite m260305769306&_trkparms=39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A3%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
Or try this yet again no volume pot

john dolan
28-10-2008, 13:52
Only phono stage i can think of with built in volume control is the EAR.

John
28-10-2008, 14:01
Also try the Icon PS1 phono stage has a built in volume control and hits your budget.
The Ear (as John Dolan mentioned) is a really good phono stage, you maybe able to pick it up second hand
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/EAR-834P-MM-MC-phono-pre-amplifier-SIGNATURE_W0QQitemZ260306130652QQcmdZViewItem?hash =item260306130652&_trkparms=72%3A1301%7C39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C 240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Hozepipe
29-10-2008, 08:03
Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll look into them.

s

griffo104
29-10-2008, 08:56
I've heard the WAD phono at a bake off, it was excellent. My deck was used so it was a very good test for me.

I owned a Trichord dino+ and swapped it for an Audio Analogue Aria (500) and I'm glad I did the swap, in fact I preferred the Aria to the Diablo which was my first choice to swap to. The Aria, is typically Italian, it concentrates on musical flow na dmakes for a very enjoyable musical experience. It's as detailed as the diablo but you simply don't notice it as it lacks any analytical sense. It's MC/MM switchable inside the box and comes with loads of stuff to setup loadings.

I've looked at the Icon one myself and I may even take a gamble at some time in the future just to have a play with valves.

Also look for the Puresound P10. It's MM only so budget a couple of hundred for a decent step up trannie.

Also if you want to stay solid state then also check out the Whest (about 650).

Having lived with the Dino+ for a few years I can say that all the stages I've mentioned above would be preferable to me all being musically more engaging than the Trichord stage, which is very good in it's own right.

Mike
29-10-2008, 21:39
I'm using a WD Phono3 clone that I built, I've no complaints.

Marco (among others) has heard it and seemed to be reasonably impressed. Considering the price, it's bloody good! :)

It was at least as good (better if you ask me) than the inbuilt phono stage in his Croft Pre-Amp... There's no way on Earth that he'd admit that though! :lolsign:

Marco
29-10-2008, 22:30
Yes I would... And I told you what I thought of it when you were round - it's bloody good! :smoking:

Mind you, since then I've added the 1958 NOS Brimar CV1985s to the Croft so things may have changed a little ;)

The Teslas should arrive tomorrow, and this may raise the bar even further. All will be revealed in due course...

Good thread this. I will make some appropriate recommendations tomorrow. I've had a rather fun day helping my mate uplift and set-up his new 96db Tannoy Canterbury's with 15" drivers, weighing in at 76kg each! They sound, erm, 'rather nice' on the end of his AOS KT88 valve amp :wow:

[Gross underestimation alert!!!] :fingers: :help: - the bass is making me ill...

Marco.

Mike
29-10-2008, 22:31
Would that be Ian's new boxes then? :)

Marco
29-10-2008, 22:46
Yep - thay are F*CKING AWESOME! No joke, they make my Spendors sound like toys. You know the bass you heard that night at mine when we were playing Kraftwerk at 'silly' levels and it hurt your back? Well try multiplying that effect by about ten!!

We were playing 'Moby Dick' by Led Zep and just sat there laughing out loud at how stupidly deafening-mad the drums sounded - there was quite literally a live gig in his room :gig:

I've never heard anything like it - and this from a 'silly little' 30w valve amp!

Marco.

Mike
29-10-2008, 23:00
Grrrrrrrrrrr..... :steam:

Not that I'm jealous or owt like! ;)

Marco
29-10-2008, 23:12
LOL. You'd love them. He's got them sat in front of his DBLs at the moment, until the guy who's bought them picks them up, and they totally dwarf them! I think that I may invest in a pair of big Tannoys myself at some point soon... ;)

They don't seem to be terribly room fussy even though they're huge. The guy's room whom Ian bought them from was about the same size as mine (perhaps slightly wider), and they sounded awesome in there.

Marco.

Mike
29-10-2008, 23:14
Yes I would... And I told you what I thought of it when you were round - it's bloody good! :smoking:

Really?.... I'm feeling a bit humbled now! :o

Do you mean to say, that you thought my phono stage was as good as the 'stage' in your Croft? :wow:

I must point out to anyone reading this that it's NOT my design, but a 'clone' of the WD Phono3, with a different PSU (Also NOT of my design).

I'm still seriously impressed with your honesty if that's the case! I was pretty sure you preferred the Croft's phono stage!!! :)


It's coming on nicely TBH, there's been a few capacitor changes and I'm just about to install switchable cartridge loading. Impedance and capacitance! There are a few resistor changes on the cards too, as a bit of fine tuning! :smoking:

ATB,
Mike.

Marco
29-10-2008, 23:20
Definitely, Mike. That's a really good phono stage you've got there. The only issue was with gain, but that was probably just the shunt thingy on your amp, otherwise I really liked it - I could live with it no problem :)

Are you using the Mullards you bought from me in it now?

Marco.

Mike
29-10-2008, 23:25
Definitely, Mike. That's a really good phono stage you've got there. The only issue was with gain, but that was probably just the shunt thingy on your amp, otherwise I really liked it - I could live with it no problem :)

Are you using the Mullards you bought from me in it now?

Marco.

That was with the WD88 numb nuts! :lol:

T'was due to the shunt mod. Remember?



Yep... The Mullards are still in place. :)... It's gonna be 'Killer' soon! :fingers:

Marco
29-10-2008, 23:42
Yerse...that's why I said:


but that was probably just the shunt thingy on your amp


;)

Marco.

Mike
29-10-2008, 23:48
And that's why I said:


That was with the WD88 numb nuts! :lol:

Coz the Phono stage ain't in the amp! :ner:

Hehehe...

dmckean
30-10-2008, 06:20
Really?.... I'm feeling a bit humbled now! :o

Do you mean to say, that you thought my phono stage was as good as the 'stage' in your Croft? :wow:

I must point out to anyone reading this that it's NOT my design, but a 'clone' of the WD Phono3, with a different PSU (Also NOT of my design).

I'm still seriously impressed with your honesty if that's the case! I was pretty sure you preferred the Croft's phono stage!!! :)


It's coming on nicely TBH, there's been a few capacitor changes and I'm just about to install switchable cartridge loading. Impedance and capacitance! There are a few resistor changes on the cards too, as a bit of fine tuning! :smoking:

ATB,
Mike.

What power supply design are you using?

Mike
30-10-2008, 08:08
What power supply design are you using?

It's all in here: http://www.theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=360

Cheers...

Marco
30-10-2008, 08:26
And that's why I said:



Coz the Phono stage ain't in the amp! :ner:

Hehehe...

This I know! But what I meant was I couldn't judge the phono stage properly because the effect of the shunty c*nt (low gain) was getting in the way :eyebrows:

I know why you put it in though, but despite its undoubted sonic benefits (as you explained at mine) the painfully low gain would get on my titty-poos.

Marco.

Mike
30-10-2008, 09:44
This I know! But what I meant was I couldn't judge the phono stage properly because the effect of the shunty c*nt (low gain) was getting in the way :eyebrows:

I know why you put it in though, but despite its undoubted sonic benefits (as you explained at mine) the painfully low gain would get on my titty-poos.

Marco.

I think you mean 'low sensitivity'! ;)

There's just as much gain as there needs to be, as demonstrated by the 'backache inducing' levels it drove your Spenny's to. You just need to lean on the volume knob a bit harder than usual! :eyebrows:

Marco
30-10-2008, 10:09
Yesh dat's wot oi means, shweety... :)

It certainly takes 'usable range' of the volume control to unprecedented limits ;)

Marco.

Prince of Darkness
30-10-2008, 11:22
It certainly takes 'usable range' of the volume control to unprecedented limits ;)



In an ideal set up, the volume control should need to be turned pretty much to the max to get full output. This allows more precise control. In practice the differing output levels with different sources and individual recordings make this impractical.;)

Marco
30-10-2008, 11:53
I agree, although I think there's a fine balance to get things 'just right'.

On the Croft, for example, 'normal' listening levels are obtained at 3 o'clock on the dial (bear in mind that the Croft's volume control advances from zero at the 12 noon position), and maximum volume before the amp starts to clip is obtained at just past the 10 o'clock position (almost all the way round the other way). This is about spot-on, IMO. With Mike's amp, things don't get going until about 8 o'clock (on my preamp) - and that's with CD!

IMO, the shunt mod on Mike's amp takes things too far in terms of low sensitivity. That certainly doesn't stop his amp from sounding really good though in the right system (it sounded great in mine) :)

Marco.

Mike
30-10-2008, 11:56
Usless for a Troughline though!

All changing soon... :eyebrows:

anubisgrau
20-11-2008, 20:39
Sorry to jump on the thread - but I have to ask as I think most of the people here head in the similar direction soundwise:

What are the thoughts on Tom Evans Microgroove Plus phono? Keep on reading ravings but honestly it's quite some time since I've heard a solid state RIAA I really liked, let's say Pathos In the Groove is OK, but nowhere near to justify it's price tag of 1500E or so.

I'm having EAR 834P which just doesn't do it for me, especially since I'm testing a rather beautiful local DIY work along the lines of an old Hiraga design (82&83 stages with passive riaa correction between, ruler flat RIAA curve), although I can't fully enjoy it as I'm constantly being irritated with the limitations of Denon SUT.

What makes me thinking of a SS phono is the fact that no phono RIAA is dead silent on 114db horns, though the mentioned one is very close. However there's here and there a bit of buzz and hiss, right now it's fully under a control with very quiet Mullards and Telefunkens but still, I kinda have a feeling it's more difficult to get all the ghost, groundloops and other pollution out with valves than with SS.... could be I'm completely wrong, even my solid state power amp is not 100% quiet on these bloody horns!

So, Microgroove Plus, boring, clinical, analytical, or musical, uptempo, groovy, psychodelic?

anubisgrau
20-11-2008, 20:57
just as i wrote the above post, i've got a mail from someone familiar with microgroove plus who is quite convinced it doesn't work well with denon 103, despite variable impedance settings of 103, 129, 174, 265, 565 ohm.

chris@panteg
03-12-2008, 00:29
How about a Concordant excelsior pre they are quite rare and go for around 450 i used to have one (15 years) a lovely valve pre amp with an excellent phono stage ,i had mine tweaked up a fair bit ,designed by the late and wonderfully wacky Doug Dunlop.