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Phono soundstage choice

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Phono soundstage choice

Postby djempire » 16 Oct 2017 18:13

I currently have a Rotel RQ-970BX Phono Stage. It does a decent job in maintaining its musical integrity....most of the time. However, I enjoy listening to music loud and the music I listen to isn't exactly 'mainstream' or easy to convey without sounding overly cluttered. Progressive House is a buildup of layered sounds/instruments culminating to a peak; all without fatiguing the listener. The Rotel is an excellent 70's rock record sound producer with a bit of exaggerated bass.
I'm looking for an analog phono stage with dynamic and full treble/mid extension while remaining dark. Not overly dark where the cymbals are missed or hard to distinguish. USB support is useful as I record onto a computer during dj sessions.

My setup:

Turntable: Technics 1200 MK2 with AT-ML150/OCC - TT upgrades incl. Cardas Litz cables, Fluid Dampner, new tonearm, etc.
Amp: Bryston 4B 3
Speakers: Bryston Model T Signatures
Preamp: Simaudio Moon 350P Neo
DAC: Oppo 105D
Sub: JBL

Any suggestions in the ~$1000 is welcomed.
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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby analogaudio » 16 Oct 2017 18:42

Sounds like what is needed is a tone control
Ted

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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby djempire » 16 Oct 2017 18:52

While EQ's/Controllers have their place in the hifi world, employing one will colour the sound. I want to keep it as neutral as possible. Bryston's are masters in keeping sound balanced.
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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby JDJX » 16 Oct 2017 20:07

djempire wrote:While EQ's/Controllers have their place in the hifi world, employing one will colour the sound. I want to keep it as neutral as possible. Bryston's are masters in keeping sound balanced.


Keep in mind that any speaker/ headphone will "color the sound"

With speakers, no speaker driver/speaker system is 100% linear.
Also, much is what is heard with speakers is reflected sound which in its self is "coloring the sound" as no acoustical environments are the same.

So, with an EQ, you are just compensating for any frequency flaws that exist in a given speaker placed in a given acoustical environment.
Not tying to correct theses flaws just does not make any sense.

What you are really asking is what phono pre will "color the sound" in an attempt to overcome the fore mentioned flaws. That is not the way to go.

BTW, any recording master has already gone through countless EQs before it ever gets to a be a master.:)
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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby djempire » 17 Oct 2017 16:46

Can anyone provide some feedback on the Pro-Ject Tube Box DS Phono Preamplifier. My initial search yields positive reviews.
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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby Ottermel » 17 Oct 2017 18:09

How about Simaudio 110LP??
http://www.uhfmag.com/Analog.html
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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby piano632 » 18 Oct 2017 04:24

Parasound Zphono USB - This is the phone stage I have and I am quite happy with it. Nice well-rounded sound with no obvious flaws. It got a Stereophile Class C Recommended rating a few years back. Was praised by Michael Fremer of Analog Planet. This phono stage performs well above its price point of $249, sounds like it should cost 3 times what it does.

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.as ... =PAZPHOUSB
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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby octavius » 18 Oct 2017 07:22

I have ordered NEW Pro-ject Tube Box S2... It will come soon. I enjoy for it. :wink:
Technics SU-VX700, Technics SL-1210MKII + AT440MLB + Nagaoka MP-110, Pro-Ject Tube Box S2, Technics ST-GT550, Technics SL-PG580, Technics RS-AZ6, Canton LE190
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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby tlscapital » 18 Oct 2017 09:52

djempire wrote:I currently have a Rotel RQ-970BX Phono Stage. It does a decent job in maintaining its musical integrity....most of the time. However, I enjoy listening to music loud and the music I listen to isn't exactly 'mainstream' or easy to convey without sounding overly cluttered. Progressive House is a buildup of layered sounds/instruments culminating to a peak; all without fatiguing the listener. The Rotel is an excellent 70's rock record sound producer with a bit of exaggerated bass.
I'm looking for an analog phono stage with dynamic and full treble/mid extension while remaining dark. Not overly dark where the cymbals are missed or hard to distinguish. USB support is useful as I record onto a computer during dj sessions.

My setup:

Turntable: Technics 1200 MK2 with AT-ML150/OCC - TT upgrades incl. Cardas Litz cables, Fluid Dampner, new tonearm, etc.
Amp: Bryston 4B 3
Speakers: Bryston Model T Signatures
Preamp: Simaudio Moon 350P Neo
DAC: Oppo 105D
Sub: JBL

Any suggestions in the ~$1000 is welcomed.


Without being financially associated, I can strongly suggest the Lehmann 'Black Cube' SE that has it all but not the maybe for you indispensable USB !

I don't know the Lehmann per say but read and understand that if I'd have to replace my now older and cheaper deleted company similar preamp sharing pretty much all those good specs, I'd go for the Lehmann.

Both my Isem and the Lehmann preamps have big external PSU ! They are build with higher end quality components allowing ultra silent noise floor and detail. It's rather neutral but if you want a wider frequency range as I understand it's got to be without too much coloration...

To have "dynamic" in sound you need to have "clear" (NOT SHARP) high frequencies. The mids should do the "bond" (NOT MUDDY) to make it "musical" if the bass are "tight" (NOT SMALL) to allow "depth".

Both those preamps have easy adjustable impedance loads, gains and resistances that is plenty good enough for about every future MM or MC cartridge changes from low to high output. Every preamp should have that feature.

Most preamp are "pre-adjusted" for either MM and/or MC cartridges. With mine, it came pre-set and with advise on how to set it either for MM or MC. Where I did set it while listening to a record. It's nowhere close to the "advised settings" ! Many of the better cartridges have their own specific "values".

Honestly I doubt for your home use you'll ever need to upgrade from such a preamp as it will suit every evolutions, upgrades or changes in your phono set-up if ever. On the negative sides it's a tad above your price target and does not feature an USB !!!

Here I do not have an external USB. So I do recordings but through my amp who is also very "transparent". I'm only going through a passive volume controller and plug into the 'mike' mini jack of my computer.

I understand that through the USB you might have less loss or more DATA information. Still my results are rather good IMHO in WAV format that once it even impressed one guy working in the record industry !
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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby djempire » 18 Oct 2017 20:15

Thanks for everyone's input. It really helps make an informative decision. Having said this I have chosen the Pro-Ject Tube Box DS Preamplifier. I pick it up on the weekend. I know it doesn't have the desired USB jack but I am able to plug directly into my Moon preamp since it has an aux monitor for recording needs.
I was turned on by the rave reviews on this hybrid (SS/Analog) phono preamp. Everyone said it punch way above its weight and the tubes also provide that delicious warmth vinyl is loved for. I will give my impressions after some listening to some of my faves over the weekend. :P
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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby octavius » 26 Oct 2017 20:54

I have finaly tube box S2 it's wonderful preamp. I'm very satisfied.
Technics SU-VX700, Technics SL-1210MKII + AT440MLB + Nagaoka MP-110, Pro-Ject Tube Box S2, Technics ST-GT550, Technics SL-PG580, Technics RS-AZ6, Canton LE190
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Re: Phono soundstage choice

Postby stevoz » 30 Oct 2017 05:18

I was going to suggest the Vincent PHO-8 but it doesn't have USB and you've already bought the Project......oh well, I hope it's all you want it to be. :)
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