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Themis
03-10-2009, 11:35
Hi all,

It's uncommon enough, but I'll have to change my phono stage...

So, I asked my (favorite) local dealer who advised me to get a Pro-ject Tube Box II.

Any opinions on this or an alternative option (on the same budget: around 350) would be appreciated.

Thank you for you help. :)

twelvebears
03-10-2009, 12:03
Hi Dimitri.

Are you intending to use a MM, MC or potentially either?

If it's just MM then I'd suggest an A.N.T. Audio Kora 3T, designed by this forum's own Alex Nikitin, and something that I'm sure Dave Cawley of Sound HiFi could do a good deal on.

If you want the option of both and can't spend any more, you could consider the Clear Audio Nano.

Have a look here: http://www.soundhifi.com/phonostage.html#ant

Themis
03-10-2009, 13:07
Thank you for your advice. :)

I use only MM cartridges, I don't plan of purchasing an MC cartridge anywhere soon. So the A.N.T. seems a nice choice (although I didn't get it all about the different models :o )

DSJR
03-10-2009, 13:20
I don't know if you can trust the likes of HiFi Dave, Marco and me, or whether you can justify spending 350, but I bet Crofts new "credit-crunch" preamp complete with phono stage would see off many of the traditional alternatives I reckon (use the fixed ouput sockets - if there are any on this one...[help!!!]).

If the Croft is totally unsuitable, then Dave Cawley would be the chap on here to contact for phono-stages under 200. That little Nano looks interesting, he recommends the latest version of the Nad (PP2.

Another quick question - what phono stage are you using at the moment? Why do you need to change it and what's the rest of your system?


Always remember fella's - on a VINYL system the "garbage in-garbage out" saying, together with the whole hierarchy ideal, holds almost absolutely true still. A better phono stage may just reproduce failings further back, although if the source (doesn't have to be expensive) is well sorted as it is, a better phono stage will get the best out of it.

A two edged sword I'm afraid. Good luck in getting yourself sorted.

Mike
03-10-2009, 13:22
A little more pricey as you'd need the matching PSU as well, but outstanding sound! :)

http://wduk.worldomain.net/acatalog/info_WDPHONO3.html

The Vinyl Adventure
03-10-2009, 13:25
no doubt alex or dave will along to help soon enough!
this might help http://www.ant-audio.co.uk/files/Kora_3T_09.pdf

Macca
03-10-2009, 15:37
I don't know if you can trust the likes of HiFi Dave, Marco and me, or whether you can justify spending 350, but I bet Crofts new "credit-crunch" preamp complete with phono stage would see off many of the traditional alternatives I reckon (use the fixed ouput sockets - if there are any on this one...[help!!!]).

.

Yes, the Croft does have a pair of fixed output sockets.

Martin

Themis
03-10-2009, 15:41
I don't know if you can trust the likes of HiFi Dave, Marco and me, or whether you can justify spending 350, but I bet Crofts new "credit-crunch" preamp complete with phono stage would see off many of the traditional alternatives I reckon (use the fixed ouput sockets - if there are any on this one...[help!!!]).

If the Croft is totally unsuitable, then Dave Cawley would be the chap on here to contact for phono-stages under 200. That little Nano looks interesting, he recommends the latest version of the Nad (PP2.

Another quick question - what phono stage are you using at the moment? Why do you need to change it and what's the rest of your system?


Always remember fella's - on a VINYL system the "garbage in-garbage out" saying, together with the whole hierarchy ideal, holds almost absolutely true still. A better phono stage may just reproduce failings further back, although if the source (doesn't have to be expensive) is well sorted as it is, a better phono stage will get the best out of it.

A two edged sword I'm afraid. Good luck in getting yourself sorted.
Well, for 20 years or so, I've been using my old (25yrs) Cyrus 2 phono stage (don't lough please :o).
Then, I decided to change the amp, gave it to a friend (it still works, btw), then bought an Arcam amp. But I ended up not liking the sound, so I switched to a Denon one. The Denon's has other advantages (so, I'm keeping it), its phono stage is ok, but not to the point of my old Cyrus one.
I tested various preamps/amps (NAD C162 included) and I even quickly tested some entry-level phono stages (like Pro Ject), but I didn't like the sound of the latter at all.
I ended up renewing my amp, and after many tests, I ended up settling down with a Cyrus 8xp amp, which suits me (and my speakers) the best. Yes, funny, I know, back to Cyrus, after all... Unfortunately this amp has no phono input... so I start searching all over again, this time just for the phono input. ;)
My speakers are a couple of Sonus Faber GPD, my room has no "obvious" acoustic problems.

The price (300-350€) seems the maximum I should "logically" spend using a (carefully set up by my friends at Audiophile Technologie near by) Rega Planar 2 turntable (which is also 25yrs old...). I actually have a mid-priced Rega cartridge mounted on it, I'm rather satisfied.
Of course, I prefer spending 150 or even 200 on a good phono stage, and spend the rest on music or concerts... Still better. :)
I'm not against getting a preamp like Croft's one (if it has some fixed output, of course ;) EDIT: it seems it has, Martin says). I don't have any feedback on the Nano, I wonder whether the NAD is somewhere near the integrated stage of the C152...

Thanks once more for you feedback. ;)

Jason P
03-10-2009, 17:29
You could always search out a secondhand Musical Fidelity X-LPS. I've one and am very happy with it - they do seem to come up from time to time...

Jason

Stratmangler
03-10-2009, 17:36
I've been running a GSP Audio GramAmp 2 SE (http://www.phonostagepreamp.com/gram-amp-2-se-phono-stage-preamp.htm) for ages, and have been very happy with its' performance. Mine is the black plastic box version - they gained the spiffy looking aluminium case a couple of years after I got mine.

Chris:)

The Grand Wazoo
03-10-2009, 17:40
What was wrong with the Cyrus 2 in the first place? - that had a pretty respectable phono stage - MM & MC.
I've got one knocking about somewhere.

Themis
03-10-2009, 17:48
What was wrong with the Cyrus 2 in the first place? - that had a pretty respectable phono stage - MM & MC.

Nothing really, my wife was complaining that I had too much hifi gear, and a friend of mine needed it more than me. (he gave it to his wife, then divorced...) ;)

I make mistakes, sometimes...

Hypnotoad
03-10-2009, 19:38
Hi all,

It's uncommon enough, but I'll have to change my phono stage...

So, I asked my (favorite) local dealer who advised me to get a Pro-ject Tube Box II.

Any opinions on this or an alternative option (on the same budget: around 350€) would be appreciated.

Thank you for you help. :)

Your dealer is on the right track, I have one and I love it.

It easily beats out the one in my Luxman L-430.

You can swap the tubes out as the Pro-Ject ones are not up to par and don't do the unit justice at all.

Get a pair of decent tubes and it takes it to a whole new level.

You can adjust the sound to suit your tastes depending on the tubes you use.

I have some Philips/Amperex and they give a very forward detailed presentation.

I also have some Mullard reissues and they are very sweet and laid back, the sort of sound you can listen to all day.

If I were you I would seriously consider one.

Primalsea
03-10-2009, 20:06
I have a Pro-Ject Tube Box (Mk1) and that is very good as well. It wont be a bad choice at all if you get one. I use mine on MC which works by just cranking the gain right up and the thing is fairly silent.

DSJR
03-10-2009, 21:11
Thanks for filling in on the system.

The Cyrus 2 has only one reliability problem and as yours hasn't broken, your mate should be ok. the supply caps to the phono stage used to go bad and cause a loud buzzing through the amp. A PSX used to beef the whole effect up and we used to supply an Isoplat to "present" them on which kept the two boxes together well if nothing else.

I would suggest a new cartridge. Depending on the Rega, which changed arms from the R200 to RB250 in late 1983, their cartridges always seemed too bass-heavy to me (apart from the Exact, which wasn't as bad - don't know the tricky Apheta).

depending on the Rega arm, look out for an AT120e or 440e, one of Marco's favourite Nagaoka's or the safe-as-houses Denon DL110 or 160

Themis
03-10-2009, 21:23
I would suggest a new cartridge.
...
depending on the Rega arm, look out for an AT120e or 440e, one of Marco's favourite Nagaoka's or the safe-as-houses Denon DL110 or 160
Ok, thanks for the advice. I never tried a Nagaoka, but a 440e why not, I haven't listened to an AT for years... will bring back some souvenirs. ;)
I'll look at my Rega's arm tomorrow to see which one it is. EDIT: it's an RB300 (because I'd made a typo on my Planar model) with an Elys cartridge. If I change my turntable my wife will divorce then kill me, and not necessarily in that order...

(I emailed Glenn to see where/how could I get his amp... it looks a good choice) :)

Hypnotoad
08-10-2009, 03:44
Ok, thanks for the advice. I never tried a Nagaoka, but a 440e why not, I haven't listened to an AT for years... will bring back some souvenirs. ;)
I'll look at my Rega's arm tomorrow to see which one it is. EDIT: it's an RB300 (because I'd made a typo on my Planar model) with an Elys cartridge. If I change my turntable my wife will divorce then kill me, and not necessarily in that order...

(I emailed Glenn to see where/how could I get his amp... it looks a good choice) :)

Maybe she will just maim you and you will still be able to listen to your new turntable.:lol:

Peter Stockwell
11-10-2009, 00:46
I don't have any feedback on the Nano

It's very good, works fine with MM & MC, needs a day or two to warm up but sounds good cold. (I also have some spare MP11s you can try, not special, but competant)

Themis
11-10-2009, 10:14
It's very good, works fine with MM & MC, needs a day or two to warm up but sounds good cold. (I also have some spare MP11s you can try, not special, but competant)
Thank you for your comments, Peter. :)

I ended up deciding of giving a try to Croft's 25 Micro, in an attempt of combining a more global upgrade to my system. ;)
If Glenn's pre's phono stage doesn't sound to me "appropriate", then I'll come back for more advice.

Peter Stockwell
11-10-2009, 10:29
I ended up deciding of giving a try to Croft's 25 Micro, in an attempt of combining a more global upgrade to my system. ;)
If Glenn's pre's phono stage doesn't sound to me "appropriate", then I'll come back for more advice.


I think you'll be happy with that choice, at least, you'll be giving one of the little guys a chance :) .

DSJR
11-10-2009, 16:26
The Elys has a spongy bass IMO which could be backed up on measurement (I think 'Choice did some tests when they came out - the bass lifting in level quite alarmingly below 200Hz or so). The diamond was of a good quality though and recent tweaks may have cleaned it up a bit. You should find the AT440MLa to be a meaner, leaner kind of presentation and hopefully, better...

If you want a less "assertive" treble performance, I'll stick me neck out (again) and suggest a Stanton 681EEE mk3. The mk3 designation should mean it's better than my thirty year old example and as long as the cartridge body doesn't short out on the arm-pipe (you can remove a little earthing strap if it does and causes hum), you may like the tuneful and spacious delivery.

If the current Ortofon MM's are as good or better than the M20FL Super I have (which likes massy arms) then one of their top two could be considered as well. Their prices appear made up to me, but how can I argue with business accountants?

Themis
11-10-2009, 16:55
The Elys has a spongy bass IMO which could be backed up on measurement (I think 'Choice did some tests when they came out - the bass lifting in level quite alarmingly below 200Hz or so). The diamond was of a good quality though and recent tweaks may have cleaned it up a bit. You should find the AT440MLa to be a meaner, leaner kind of presentation and hopefully, better...

If you want a less "assertive" treble performance, I'll stick me neck out (again) and suggest a Stanton 681EEE mk3. The mk3 designation should mean it's better than my thirty year old example and as long as the cartridge body doesn't short out on the arm-pipe (you can remove a little earthing strap if it does and causes hum), you may like the tuneful and spacious delivery.

If the current Ortofon MM's are as good or better than the M20FL Super I have (which likes massy arms) then one of their top two could be considered as well. Their prices appear made up to me, but how can I argue with business accountants?
Thanks for your advice Dave. :)
I think I will start with the AT440MLa (that can be bought at Sound HiFi, so, still better;)). Then, later on, I'll take a look at the Ortofon MM's.
Never had a Stanton, I think. :( If I had to choose between the Ortofon or the Stanton what would you advise ? I like "relaxed" sound, that is, the one you can listen for hours, you know. The sound that does not attract my attention on one particular part of the spectrum rather than another, but I'm demanding on mid-low frequencies.