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Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

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Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby Chachi112 » 23 Oct 2017 06:24

Just recently picked up a new VPI Prime table with a Ortofon Quintet Black cartridge. I was wondering what a few suggestions may be for a Phono Pre under $3,000. It will be connected to a Hegel H360 integrated amplifier with Focal Sopra 1 speakers. Thank you for any help in advance!
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby tckmet » 23 Oct 2017 08:44

Look on Mu**c D*r*c Musical Surroundings Ear ICON Soundsmith. Owned a Musical Suroundings Phonomena II and the Soundsmith returned the Phonomena for another piece of gear and the Soundsmith was sold with my VPI Classic 1. I thought they were great products and found no fault. Hope this helps are you using a SUT?
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby tckmet » 23 Oct 2017 10:52

I own Focal 1027s Great product from France! Using an Arcam AVR 600 in 2.1 setup and a JL f110 as the sub and had this setup with my Classic 1 sounded great with the Zephyr and Soundsmith phonoamp.
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby Chachi112 » 23 Oct 2017 16:36

Thank you for the response! I’ll definitely check it out. SUT?
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby kb007 » 23 Oct 2017 16:54

SUT = step up transformer. They are used if your phono section does not have any other way of handling an MC cartridge. Most low output MC carts need either another gain section or a transformer to increase the signal some. Many phono sections have 1 or the other built in and will be MM or MC compatible. Some are only high output MM ready and a separate SUT can be used. My opinion, find a phono section that is low output MC compatible. At you budget, you should be able to easily.

Are you looking to buy new or used?

There are many choices at that budget, new and used. Would be good to go check ut Audiogon for a feel as to what's available.
Main: JMLab Mezzo Utopias, Oracle Delphi Mk 1/6, SME309, Sumiko Celebration, AR CD3, Sutherland Insight, Moon P5, AR Ref-75 Sec: Rega P6/RB2K Lim Iso base, Acrylic skeletal plinth/braces, dbl pulley, gt sub, DV 17D3, Anthem AVM60, Krell 402e, , 2X Anthem MCA50, Acoustech PH-1, Totem Mani-2
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby kb007 » 23 Oct 2017 17:02

BTW, nice table. What arm does it come with??

As for suggestions, in my opinion:
Anything made by Sutherland
Audio Research Ph6 or PH8 is budget works (likely used)
Manley Chinook
Possibly a Parasound JC3 if you can find one used
Sim Audio 310 with the optional power supply
Main: JMLab Mezzo Utopias, Oracle Delphi Mk 1/6, SME309, Sumiko Celebration, AR CD3, Sutherland Insight, Moon P5, AR Ref-75 Sec: Rega P6/RB2K Lim Iso base, Acrylic skeletal plinth/braces, dbl pulley, gt sub, DV 17D3, Anthem AVM60, Krell 402e, , 2X Anthem MCA50, Acoustech PH-1, Totem Mani-2
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby Chachi112 » 23 Oct 2017 17:33

Thank you for the info... I’m currently running the table on a McIntosh MA8000 so I’m not using a SUT. Swapping out the McIntosh for the Hegel, so that’s why I’m looking for a Phono pre. Thank you for the suggestions and I’ll definitely look into them. The table come with the 10” 3D printed version of their arm.
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby Ottermel » 23 Oct 2017 18:00

Also, look into Avid phono stages and if into tubes, EAR
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby kb007 » 23 Oct 2017 22:23

NP, the funny thing is, I'm kinda looking for a new phono stage myself, right around that budget and those are the ones that seem to be in the ballpark for me. I may go a little more, saw an AR orig Ref phono for sales recently, but was a little more $$ so I hesitated. Was gone in about a day and a half... You snooze, you lose...
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby kb007 » 23 Oct 2017 22:29

With the Hegel, you may want to zero in on phono stages with balanced outs if possible. (Unless you're already using the balanced inputs for something else.
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby Chachi112 » 23 Oct 2017 22:34

I was actually looking to use my balanced inputs for my Lumin streamer, but I’m wondering if the phonostage would benefit more from it. My MA8000 has 2 sets of balanced so I was using my MP100 phono stage balanced to my MA8000
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby kb007 » 23 Oct 2017 22:59

Most (but not all) phono stages that have balanced outs will also have unbalanced RCAs. If you have them, it'd be fun to test both ways. I wouldn't make it a deal killer, but balanced outs would certainly be a nice to have for me.
Main: JMLab Mezzo Utopias, Oracle Delphi Mk 1/6, SME309, Sumiko Celebration, AR CD3, Sutherland Insight, Moon P5, AR Ref-75 Sec: Rega P6/RB2K Lim Iso base, Acrylic skeletal plinth/braces, dbl pulley, gt sub, DV 17D3, Anthem AVM60, Krell 402e, , 2X Anthem MCA50, Acoustech PH-1, Totem Mani-2
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Re: Phono Pre recommendation under $3k....

Postby Johnny2Bad » 28 Oct 2017 16:41

If you've got the $3K, you may as well go straight for the Parasound JC3+ @ $2995 MSRP (replaces the JC3).
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