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Thread: Considering Croft RIAA RS phono stage. Any alternatives?

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Greece

    Posts: 180
    I'm Panos.

    Default Considering Croft RIAA RS phono stage. Any alternatives?

    Hello,

    I am considering a new phono stage in the range of 1.5-2K.

    My current cartridge is a Music Maker III (Moving Iron) mounted on an Audiomods Series 5 tonearm on a Roksan Xerxes (original) turntable. I may as well try LOMC cartridges in the future.

    At the top of my list is a Croft RIAA RS valve phono stage, but I would consider any other alternatives before I take the plunge.

    Any ideas/suggestions, either valve or SS? I am trying to keep my mind as open as possible.

    Thanks in advance.

    Panos
    Last edited by pankon; 11-07-2018 at 21:09.
    System1: Roksan Xerxes original (HiFi Inspire plinth) with OriginLive DC motor + Audiomods Series5 + MusicMaker III, Marantz CD6005, LAB12 DAC1 SE+, Croft Micro25RSLS + Series7R monoblocks (110W/ea), Harbeth SHL5 Plus 40th Anniv., KEF LS50, LAB12 Gordian, Mark Grant HDX1, Black Cat Red Level Triode, LAB12 Knack MkII

    System 2: Marantz CD6003, Croft SuperMicroII ('R' spec by Croft, Tesla E83CC in phono)+ Series7, Snell Type EII (with bypass caps, new internal wiring, WBT nextgen 0703Cu), Mark Grant HDX1, Atlas Hyper 3.0

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,932
    I'm James.

    Default

    No really sure if there are any alternatives?
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Barnet, london UK

    Posts: 1,059
    I'm Adam.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pankon View Post
    Hello,

    I am considering a new phono stage in the range of 1.5-2K.

    My current cartridge is a Music Maker III (Moving Iron) mounted on an Audiomods Series 5 tonearm or a Roksan Xerxes (original) turntable. I may as well try LOMC cartridges in the future.

    At the top of my list is a Croft RIAA RS valve phono stage, but I would consider any other alternatives before I take the plunge.

    Any ideas/suggestions, either valve or SS? I am trying to keep my mind as open as possible.

    Thanks in advance.

    Panos
    Nice Cartridge that Panos, I have one too. Very balanced. Do you use the Isolator with it?

    I have a custom built phono stage in my AD Audio Satchmo Pre amp and external Hashimoto SUT.
    I did consider, before I purchased the Satchmo, second hand examples of the Aurorasound VIDA phono stage and
    the Allnic H1201 Phono Amp. Both within your budget if you seek a nice used example.

    If you want a fantastic performer at well under your budget, seek a World Designs (formerly WAD) Phono2 or 3
    I had that up against various high end Phono stages and it really holds it's own. Can be got with the separate PSU for under 500 used. Some people shy away from the WAD for pride of ownership badge, but if you want bang for buck, there it is.
    Good luck
    "lack of passion is fatal"

    Vinyl: Garrard 401, Russ Collinson 'shindo style' plinth / Tenuto gun metal mat / SME-3012 j7 rewired / audio-technica ATP-12T - phonomac modified / Ortofon Vintage SPU GTE /Shure M3D / Ortofon Royal N / Cartridge Man Music Master with isolator / Miyajima Zero B 0.7mil mono / Vintage GE VRII mono / Amps: Radford STA25 mk3 / David Coe AD Audio 'Satchmo' pre & phono / Hashimoto HM-7 SUT / Digital: SW1X Audio Design DAC 1 signature / Roon / Tidal Speakers: Tannoy 12" MGs' in RFC custom 'Rutland' Cabinets with RFC custom crossovers / Cables: Duelund DCA16GA tinned copper / Kimber 12TC / SW1X Audio Design USB-SPdif / Duelund DCA20GA interconnects / SW1X Audio SPDIF Aero 6 / Mains Power Conditioner / Box Furniture sapele rack

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,352
    I'm Alan.

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    There is my Firebottle Vivant stage, switchable between MM and MC.

    Point to point wired, built to order, 1200.

    No head amp or SUT required.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,473
    I'm David.

    Default

    The cartridge you currently use will be the bottleneck, not the phono stage - in my opinion... A good MC, even a high output one like the Hana models, should be a great match to whatever you buy and should tell you far more about what's really there in your vinyl.

    I love Glenn's products and as you go up the range, the money goes into important things like power supplies rather than fancy boutique components which barely tell half the story *on their own.*

    Not sure how much the Longdog Audio stages are, but Nick seems to be a decent chap and has a great handle on good technical design allied with properly good sound quality by all accounts, so I'd recommend you take a look there before shelling out any money..

    Loads of others out there, but don't just spend the money on a flash looking box with a load of hype around it. I've seen pics of a few phono stages costing a grand or more which have very little inside - and smaller components are pennies these days, even 'nicer' ones, when bought in bulk...
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
    Crying out at the top of my voice; Tell me now if you can hear me

  6. #6
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: South Beds, UK

    Posts: 1,175
    I'm kickinbacklistenintotchoons.

    Default

    Remton 383 MkII or LCR.

    Both very good at their respective price points.
    Mike (that's me)'s stuff -

    Analogue:Garrard 401 / OL Silver / AT33PTGII, Remton 383 MkII valve phono
    Make music louder: TVC pre, Nirvana Electronic Works A60, 60W / Ch Class A power
    For when there's no Analogue: Doge 6 CDP
    To discover loads of new music: Spotify into foo'd Xiang Sheng DAC-01A
    Music boxes: Heco Celan 300
    Cleaning duties: Okki Nokki 2

    Y'know, sometimes, Satan, come as a man of peace.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,932
    I'm James.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebottle View Post
    There is my Firebottle Vivant stage, switchable between MM and MC.

    Point to point wired, built to order, 1200.

    No head amp or SUT required.
    No separate power supply.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Barnet, london UK

    Posts: 1,059
    I'm Adam.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DSJR View Post
    The cartridge you currently use will be the bottleneck, not the phono stage - in my opinion... A good MC, even a high output one like the Hana models, should be a great match to whatever you buy and should tell you far more about what's really there in your vinyl.
    Have you actually had experience of the MusicMaster from The Cartridge man (Len Gregory)
    I have and I assure you No bottle neck!
    "lack of passion is fatal"

    Vinyl: Garrard 401, Russ Collinson 'shindo style' plinth / Tenuto gun metal mat / SME-3012 j7 rewired / audio-technica ATP-12T - phonomac modified / Ortofon Vintage SPU GTE /Shure M3D / Ortofon Royal N / Cartridge Man Music Master with isolator / Miyajima Zero B 0.7mil mono / Vintage GE VRII mono / Amps: Radford STA25 mk3 / David Coe AD Audio 'Satchmo' pre & phono / Hashimoto HM-7 SUT / Digital: SW1X Audio Design DAC 1 signature / Roon / Tidal Speakers: Tannoy 12" MGs' in RFC custom 'Rutland' Cabinets with RFC custom crossovers / Cables: Duelund DCA16GA tinned copper / Kimber 12TC / SW1X Audio Design USB-SPdif / Duelund DCA20GA interconnects / SW1X Audio SPDIF Aero 6 / Mains Power Conditioner / Box Furniture sapele rack

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,352
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    No separate power supply.
    Not needed with this design due to exceptional power supply noise rejection, plus individual regulation per gain stage.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,932
    I'm James.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pankon View Post
    Hello,

    I am considering a new phono stage in the range of 1.5-2K.

    My current cartridge is a Music Maker III (Moving Iron) mounted on an Audiomods Series 5 tonearm or a Roksan Xerxes (original) turntable. I may as well try LOMC cartridges in the future.

    At the top of my list is a Croft RIAA RS valve phono stage, but I would consider any other alternatives before I take the plunge.

    Any ideas/suggestions, either valve or SS? I am trying to keep my mind as open as possible.

    Thanks in advance.

    Panos
    To be honest Panos, I think you would not be disappointed with the RIAA RS, every review of it I have read says its absolutely outstanding and as you are a Croft fan I am sure know it would be good. As you may have gathered from the bake off, even Glenns most basic phono stage did very well indeed, so his RIAA RS must be very special. I think I am heading that way but need to ask Glenn a few questions first.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

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