When is a phono pre-amp justified ?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Brad6260, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    I'm surprised that so many people are interested in independent phono units for integrated amps. Aside from modern stuff like Rogue Sphynx and Peachtree, I assumed outboard phono stages we're usually purchased to play with separates
     

     

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  2. it's a good experiment if you can swing the bucks for the external phono. PS Audio started their business with that product. ig if gives you a decent improvement, then you win.
     
  3. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I owned the A-S501 and liked it, but if you want to have a "good enough" phono stage you'll have to go to the A-S801 (which I bought after selling the A-S501). I also run the Rogue Sphinx, and the phono stage on that one just edges out the Yamaha's. From my experience, new integrates usually have to hit $1,000 retail before it get an inboard phono amp that lets you get away without having to use a separate phono stage. And you can still use MC carts on those integrateds if you attach an SUT.
     
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  4. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Well-Known Member

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    The CR-820 had a wonderful quiet phono stage. It was the best in that series of receiver and had the same stage in the CR-620. Both remarkable phono stages.
     
  5. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I tend to agree. I have had both and I think they were just fine.
     
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  6. Bubbalouie

    Bubbalouie Active Member

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    It has been my experience that the on board phono stage. The sound or gain is very low, but once you turn up the volume, it works fine. Having three turntables in my system requires a phono preamp.
     

     

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  7. cardvn1

    cardvn1 New Member

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    My experience with Yamaha RS-700(integrated analog receiver;$499) was great with MM cartridges. Sweet sound. Then I moved on to MC cartridges and the input sensitivity of phono input on RS-700 wasn't low enough so I added an iFi iPhono (SS) preamp. Not only was the MC amp on this preamp($450) excellent, the MM sound was so much improved(47kohm/100pF) that I stopped using the phono input completely on the RS-700! I hear that they have come out with a redesigned iPhono; must be even better on an already great product.
     
  8. treader

    treader New Member

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    If I can re-activate this interesting thread, I am wondering if anyone has recommendations for reasonably priced (for me this would be well below the PS Audio price level) phono pre-amps that could improve on the Cambridge Audio A-1 that I currently have connected to my single-input DIY Paradise Charlize amp, just for its built-in phono stage, with an old Thorens TD-160 mkII.
    Also, if anyone is familiar with the Cambridge A-1’s phono stage sound, let me know. It sounds a bit constricted to me, but I haven’t had a chance to listen to this TT through anything else.
     
  9. Klappco

    Klappco AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have an AS-501 and really liked the phono stage in it. Then I got a Parks Audio Budgie just to see what the deal was and I found it to be a big improvement. I have swapped back and forth and it is definitely better. The Yamaha sounded good but this is great. That's how it is to my ears.
     
  10. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Second on the Budgie. In my experience, that's the best in that price range for ready-made. If you can do a DIY kit, the Tavish Design Vintage is another good tube-based phono pre that sounds great.
     
  11. treader

    treader New Member

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    Thanks to both. At some point, I may look into either of those, though I have a lower budget right now. The friendly guy at a local shop advised me it would cost more than $250 or so to improve on the stage I’m using now, but I like the idea of doing a DIY one sometime, even if Tavish seem to be sold out of all their assembled and DIY Vintage options currently.
     

     

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  12. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Just FIY in case you go the Tavish route, I never built an amp before and I found their parts list/instructions extremely helpful. I had no problem whatsoever building the thing.
     
  13. Dot Heton

    Dot Heton Active Member

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    The Lounge MKIII is $300. It’s a little more than your budget. I’m seriously looking at it but I need to read some reviews first. I already have the Lounge Copla, I wasn’t actively looking for it but one came up locally and I’m impulsive.

    As far as integrated preamps go, the one in my Mitsubishi DA-r25 is noticeably better than a couple of cheap pre’s I picked up to play around with.
     
  14. eb2jim

    eb2jim Super Member

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    There are several solid phono preamps you can dig up for a few bucks. If I pick up a unit with a phono stage and everything is working I give it a shot and see how it sounds. If it is not happening, then you have to weigh the costs to get something added vs getting another set up. It's always subjective too. Good luck!
     
  15. jn229

    jn229 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I am going to sound like a prick. What table/cart is being used? If the table/cart are entry level then save your money and use the internal phono stage.

    I would upgrade the table/cart then purchase a stage of equal quality. To many audiophiles make side way purchases tread lightly
     
  16. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Super Member

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    Need and funds.

    You got those, can be justified. Make sure it's better though!
     

     

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