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Phono preamp recommendations

Postby Hrlmwrld67 » 16 Oct 2017 18:50

Hi there:

I have the following TT rig: Rega Planar 3 (2016), metal sub-platter, Michel Tecno-weight, Rega white belt, Delrin platter, Rega TTPSU 2, Shelter 201 and lastly Art DJII preamp. The latter was a stop gap until I could find a more suitable pre. I don't foresee the day where I would run a LOMC so a MM only pre would do me just fine. This is the final piece of the puzzle then I am focusing solely on collecting LP's, please consider this the last pre-amp I am ever going to buy. :^o

My preference is something that if it can't be absolutely neutral than it be more center-right (warm/euphonic) than center-left (cold/analytical).

I would prefer sub $400 new or gently used please.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby sunderwood » 17 Oct 2017 00:46

Rega has a MM phono preamp for about the price you want. I would also suggest that you go on line to audio advisor or music direct. Look up some online reviews to see what the reviewers thought about their sound. The important thing is take your time and do your research and I guarantee you will be happy with your choice.
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby JDJX » 17 Oct 2017 01:36

I have a US built Lounge Audio phono pre ($300) and I can recommend it without questions or reservations .:)
I can only be had directly from the US builder who stands behind everything he makes and sells.
In fact, it replaced my "ArtDJ"

http://www.loungeaudio.com/lcr-mr-iii

Much has been written about it... Google it.
I will just say that IMO, it will be the last phno pre you get.. it's that good.
It's a great, totally dual mono design starting with dual transformers in the power section. :)
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby Hrlmwrld67 » 17 Oct 2017 01:45

JDJX wrote:I have a US built Lounge Audio phono pre ($300) and I can recommend it without questions or reservations .:)
I can only be had directly from the US builder who stands behind everything he makes and sells.
In fact, it replaced my "ArtDJ"

http://www.loungeaudio.com/lcr-mr-iii

Much has been written about it...
I will just say that IMO, it will be the last phno pre you get.. it's that good.
It's a great, totally dual mono design starting with dual transformers in the power section. :)



This is on my short list actually...now my interest is piqued. Thank you kind sir.
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby JDJX » 17 Oct 2017 04:30

BTW... The FAQs for the Lounge Audio say that it will need about "8 hours break in to start".
The key phrase here is "to start". I found that to fully break it in, it takes about 20 hours.

I'm not a real believer in breaking in but, the Lounge Audio does seem to need some for whatever reason.

While it sounds great "out of the box", before fully breaking in, the mids seem to be just a hair laid back. However, when fully broken in, the mids (and everything else) are just exactly like they should be.

Just keep this in mind if you decide to get one . :)
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby bcugk » 18 Oct 2017 15:18

Don't laugh but on a whim i ordered a Schiit Mani ($129 USD) based on the many positive internet reviews.

i liked it so much i sold my Rega Fono MM

i don't have the issue with radio interference that i read about, and i'm loving the full bodied sound out of this inexpensive piece of equipment..........schiit if you will
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby Hrlmwrld67 » 18 Oct 2017 18:14

bcugk wrote:Don't laugh but on a whim i ordered a Schiit Mani ($129 USD) based on the many positive internet reviews.

i liked it so much i sold my Rega Fono MM

i don't have the issue with radio interference that i read about, and i'm loving the full bodied sound out of this inexpensive piece of equipment..........schiit if you will




I am not going to laugh at all I actually ordered one of these then canceled it, because I broke my stylus cleaning my table. I have heard great things about this preamp, but I want to establish a new reference point once I get the cartridge fitted and broken in before I add a new pre to the mix. Great call though!
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby JohnMichael » 19 Oct 2017 03:44

I own a Camgridge Audio 640P and it is a good budget preamp. The new Cambridge phono preamp would be a good option.

https://www.musicdirect.com/phono-pream ... ono-preamp

Of course when everything is up and running again.
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby JDJX » 19 Oct 2017 14:26

FWIW...

The OP already has what many consider the best "budget" phono pre.

He now wants something better. :)
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby Pikey » 19 Oct 2017 23:44

Angle Audio from here in the UK make some worthy gear! ... http://www.angleaudio.co.uk/

Been recommended on this very forum I recall?
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby Hrlmwrld67 » 20 Oct 2017 00:39

Pikey wrote:Angle Audio from here in the UK make some worthy gear! ... http://www.angleaudio.co.uk/

Been recommended on this very forum I recall?




That looks pretty interesting...I'll read the reviews and sift through the hype. For right now since I have a Nag' MP-110 I'll need to let it break in before I make any changes. So far I am loving the new cartridge, since I see you have one too, what tracking force are you using? I'm running it at 170 grams, something is telling me that may be a little soft. Your thoughts please?
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby JohnMichael » 20 Oct 2017 04:24

JDJX wrote:FWIW...

The OP already has what many consider the best "budget" phono pre.

He now wants something better. :)




That is why I made the suggestion I did. :D
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby Pikey » 20 Oct 2017 10:20

Hrlmwrld67 wrote: For right now since I have a Nag' MP-110 I'll need to let it break in before I make any changes. So far I am loving the new cartridge, since I see you have one too, what tracking force are you using? I'm running it at 170 grams, something is telling me that may be a little soft. Your thoughts please?


Good choice! , the MP110 has been my favourite cartridge for some time now. As for tracking force, I settled on about 1.8 grams in the end.

Oddly enough I've just upgraded to the MP200 stylus which I got in the post a couple of days ago! For this I've settled at about 1.6 grams, but I'm still tweaking it a bit now and again ...
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby sturgus » 26 Oct 2017 02:25

This one has been getting good press. I have heard the little brother to it and it's quite good. So I would expect it to be even better.
http://www.vista-audio.com/products/phono-2/index.htm
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Re: Phono preamp recommendations

Postby The History Man » 26 Oct 2017 14:06

For what it’s worth I have just this month done the same extensive research in about the same price band. I went for a Vincent PHO-8. The separate power unit did it for me. £299 new but found a lightly used one at 200 via that site. Absolutely perfect for me. Warmer and far more spacial than the rega a2d it replaced. Clarity too.
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