Angle Audio Phono stage

the thin end of the wedge
Finger Painter

Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by Finger Painter » 23 Jan 2012 21:44

Occasionally a new product comes along which deserves a little attention.

For some years now I've been a big fan of the Project SE II, and I still am. Flexible and a great performer at its price level. To my ears not much came close. And so it came to a time when I needed another phono stage and already owning two Projects decided to go down a different road. No particular reason, just dip my toes elsewhere.

Trawling through E-Bay I came across some very reasonably priced phono stages from a company called Angle Audio (E-Bay 949person). Bit of reading on the web and favourable words, so I contacted Chris at Angle.

They start with a basic MM model and then add features on at the customer’s whim. Nice and easy, each upgrade cost £25. So sod it, I went for everything they had to throw on.

MM/MC, variable loadings (at the customers wish, not 'this is what you get'), a linear PSU and Virtual Battery ie. Yes there is a battery which charges from a power pack and now has me wondering why I bothered with a PSU upgrade. Still, it was there.

Total price £225. Free P&P. Arrived very quickly.

After the Projects it is a very lightweight unit and had me wondering what I had just bought. Nicely finished though and there is a slight 'well done DIY' feel about it. Took about one hour to charge to full. I understand a full charge will last for about 6 hours, but can be held on trickle while operating.

https://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d166 ... C00457.jpg

Front view, with optional plugs for customer selected loads

https://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d166 ... C00458.jpg

Back view with simple to use loading. Easier than a Project with a magnifying glass and tweezers.

JVC QL-70, Hadcock and DL304 set-up and ready, through Yamaha AS1000 at line level and MA RX6S's. I didn't know quite what to expect as it is one of those pieces of kit I took a blind stab at. Loaded at 100K and set to MC. I thought the Denon would be an ideal first candidate as it is of notoriously low output and can be loading fussy. It still took a little more of the volume control than normal to make the Denon come to life.

I never quite expected this.

It is wonderful at both ends of the scale in the bass and treble registers, immediately a noticeable improvement over the project. The mid is starting to get its act together after a few hours of play. It is certainly an improvement over the SE II in the imaging stakes and individual instruments just tidily place themselves in to their own space. This is good and there ain't no getting away from the fact.

The grainy yet sweet voice of Stevie Nicks (Rumours - Nautilus Super Disc - Okay an exceptional cut in the first place) is just so tantalisingly real with a lovely sense of space around it. Bass, right on song and the treble I don't think has ever been better portrayed.

I like this a lot and this is after only 5 LP's or so. If better is yet to arrive as it burns in then I am a lucky little Devil.

I will update as time goes along, but I am going to be frank and honest, at £225 this really is unbeatable and it is one fine bargain. It behaves as if it should cost 2 or 3 times more.

I am advised they try their hardest to keep the cost 'real' and try source as much as possible from the UK. More so (and so they should be), very proud of their stages.

I am impressed. Move over SE II, your lime light has just been stolen.

Mark E Smith's Dentist
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Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by Mark E Smith's Dentist » 23 Jan 2012 21:57

They caused a stir a couple of years ago before they chose the Angle handle. Their original phono stage was something like £38 and had several forums a twitter. They did one with an attenuator built in for a friend of mine to use with his Stereo 20.

I'm impressed with their service, I had them build me an LDR based attenuator and their customer care was excellent. They get a thumbs up from me.



JT


PS I heard word that a Reference phono stage was in the pipeline.

john guest
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Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by john guest » 23 Jan 2012 23:48

Hi satan,

I purchased a MM and an MC just over a year and a half ago, before 949person decided to put them into one box , they both blew away my Project SE II (better sound stage more clarity ) , I sold my SE II very quickly afterwards. I paid for the battery options £85 each , and love them to bits.

I have mentioned about these phono stages two or three times on VE before , however certain members believe you get what you pay for in phono stages (I definitely don't agree on that one ,now and then you do get bargains).
I personally are with you on this one .

Also I did tests and preferred my 103 Soundsmith with 460 ohm load,949person just set it for me on this value.

Regards,
JohnG

Finger Painter

Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by Finger Painter » 24 Jan 2012 00:08

however certain members believe you get what you pay for in phono stages (I definitely don't agree on that one ,now and then you do get bargains).
Then let them pay more and get less.

If I am impressed after only a handful of albums then I am looking forward to what is around the corner. I believe 100hrs is standard break-in, but a pleasurable 100hrs to go then.

Angle are a bliss to deal with and I can't think of many manufacturers who offer this level of customisation without paying over the odds.

Another great thing I have only just realised. Give it a charge then plug in any system you wish for an AB with minimal fuss. Easy to compare side-by-side with the Project.

The only problem for any potential purchaser is of course how to audition which is why I thought I'd throw praise where praise is due and for any sceptics, then they do offer a full return. I do doubt they have many though.

A true 'Giant Slayer' (even though it does look a little naff, but the results are what matter). Anyone in the market for a phono-stage should give serious consideration, or miss out.

Even my son who has a Masters in Musical composition and presently going the route of a doctorate in the same (knows his musical values) without even being asked mentioned a noticable remarkable difference. He said he'd never heard any of my systems produce bass and treble so precisely.

Blue Angel
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Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by Blue Angel » 24 Jan 2012 00:54

Hi Satan

I must compliment you on an informative and totally honest review. I am glad to read about the good service the makers of your phono stage offer - all too rare to experience in recent years.

And who cares if it looks a little naff - it's the sound which matters.

All the best to you and Mrs Satan and family.

ba

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Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by smeg68 » 24 Jan 2012 07:07

I have one which is currently on loan to a mate. I seem to be having trouble getting it back off him....!

Finger Painter

Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by Finger Painter » 24 Jan 2012 09:04

All the best to you and Mrs Satan and family.
Thank you very much BA and I wish Mrs Blue and the family Angel the same in return. By the way google for Angle Audio and Blue Angle appears in the results.
Free promotion for yourself there.

I will give a little further insight on the Angle Audio once I have run a few more cartridges through it and time to settle in.

Guest

Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by Guest » 24 Jan 2012 16:06

Interested!
Anyone in the US have one of these that can comment?
Do they even make a US voltage model?

Thanks!

Oh, love a bargain!
The Jasmine LP2.0 mkII I have is also a bargain!!

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Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by v1nn1e » 24 Jan 2012 18:42

Yes, folks seem to be giving this a big thumbs-up over on the Wigwam.

I'm about to revert to my Benz Gold MC and will continue with my little super-budget Project box but this looks like a definate maybe at some point in the future...

jkilla
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Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by jkilla » 21 Nov 2012 19:35

Wow I am glad you posted this. This is perfect! Price is right, the loading plugs are great accessories to have, I think I have found the right phono stage for me!!

Catcher10
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Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by Catcher10 » 23 Nov 2012 23:17

Anyone found where to buy these pre-amps?

Finger Painter

Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by Finger Painter » 23 Nov 2012 23:25

Used to be on E-Bay, but you should be able to reach Chris from Angle at:

chris559@btinternet.com

steve195527
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Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by steve195527 » 23 Nov 2012 23:47

john guest wrote:Hi satan,

however certain members believe you get what you pay for in phono stages

Regards,
JohnG
I don't believe that for most things in hi-fi or life in general:-too much attention is given to the name (naim?)on a product than on how it actually does what it is supposed to do!

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Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by Catcher10 » 26 Nov 2012 22:28

Finger Painter wrote:Used to be on E-Bay, but you should be able to reach Chris from Angle at:

chris559@btinternet.com
Thanks! Will send him an email......There is nothing on the Bay anymore

john guest
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Re: Angle Audio Phono stage

Post by john guest » 26 Nov 2012 22:53

Hi

Still on E-Bay :-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/949person/m.h ... 1543.l2654


Regards,
JohnG

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