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Phono stage

Discussion in 'audio' started by VVV, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. VVV

    VVV Active Member


    I have Linn LP 12 with Project tonearm and Ortofon Black cartridge.
    Connected to Project phono box2 to a valve preamp but looking for a better phono stage.
    Any recommendation would be much appreciated.
    Thank you
  2. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    How much are you wanting to spend? Will you want to try MC later or defo stick with MM?

    Used would be best value, put a WTD advert in the classifieds here.

    There’s a chap on here who modifies Cambridge stages which apparently are very good and great value for money, think he’s away for a while at present search for member name Arkless and phono stages.
  3. VVV

    VVV Active Member

    I am looking for both MM/MC capable amp.
    Yes, I am looking for preowned.
    Thank you!!
    the caretaker likes this.
  4. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

  5. VVV

    VVV Active Member

  6. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    the caretaker likes this.
  7. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    Jez Arkless’s stages are absolutely superb... he has a waiting list, but if you’re looking for a good phono stage the right side of £500 (or more even), get on his list. I heard one with an Ortofon 2M black connected to it (on a Heybrook TT2) last year, I couldn’t believe how good it was.
  8. VVV

    VVV Active Member

    How would I get on the wait list?
  9. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    You would need to buy either a Cambridge Audio 640p or 651p phono stage to send to him, and then he completely transforms it (he basically uses the case and PSU but builds a completely new audio circuit)... then tag @Arkless Electronics to open dialogue with him.

    If you need any help from someone in the UK to source a CA 640/651 to send to Arkless, I’m happy to assist.
    Jimbobbyron likes this.
  10. gerlando

    gerlando Prog Rocker

  11. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    Echo the thoughts about The Arkless it is superb and for the wonga a bit of a giant killer.:)
  12. Alfaholic

    Alfaholic Well-Known Member

    Dynavector P75 Mk4
  13. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Bear in mind @VVV is in the US.
    That said, there is no reason why VVV could not buy a Cambridge on UK EPay and get it shipped to Arkless.

    The Arkless stage that I borrowed was the MC only version (GTi?) and that was/is exremely good. I compared that to a Michell Iso (to me a very similar sound to a DV P75) into my Croft preamp, and also an SUT into the MM stage of my Croft. The Arkless was much more to my liking than the Iso, and was just different to the SUT/Croft.

    The Croft MM RIAA, whether in a Croft preamp, or a stand-alone unit into a valve pre' has an excellent reputation and is my preferred phono stage, fed from an SUT or head amp'. Glenn Croft does not build MC phono stages.

    There will be many more, different, recommendations along shortly :)
  14. BruceFlea

    BruceFlea pfm Member

    Keep a lookout for a Bigbottle BB3, absolutely brilliant piece of kit. With your budget your not far off getting a new one.Have a look at and speak to Oliver. Like said nothing else comes close for a grand!
  15. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    If you’ve £1000 to spend on an LP12 I assume you already have Karousel fitted?
  16. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    The Arkless stage can also be optimised for the 2M Black, which prefers a lower impedance than the usual 47k. But as the OP is in the USA, he’d better ensure he can obtain a suitable wall wart PSU for it. It’s not a SMPS.
  17. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    If I was in USA I’d have a go with the Puffin, very clever design with lots of tech and under $1000

    For vinyl lovers everywhere,
    the Puffin does it all.

    * NEW! MAGIC gently attenuates your records pops and clicks making your LPs sound better than ever
    * NEW! Adjust your cartridge's azimuth for better stereo and mono
    * Dial in your sound using Tilt, Air, Treble, Bass, and BassBoost
    * Twenty gain settings from -4dB (CD) to 72dB (MC) w/ 40dB (MM) default
    * Over 500 adjustable phono settings for LPs and 78s
    * Volume control with cueing mute
    * Modes are Stereo, Mono, Left and Right
    * Apply transfer functions like tube (2H) and tape (3H)
    * Recall default settings (CD, MM, MC) and save your own
    * Traditional analog inputs and outputs (RCA type)
    * Suggested initial settings for many cartridges
    * Mod your Puffin with a digital coax output (SPDIF)

    S-Man likes this.
  18. myles

    myles Intentionally left blank

    If only Arkless was here now he'd tell the OP how great his contraption is and how shit every other one is.

    I hear great things about the Big Bottle phono stages, search Ollie out and strike up a convo - it might be worth your while and his too.
    nmtjb and the caretaker like this.
  19. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Quite; what is readily available here may not be there. I'd advocate an E.A.R.; either just the stage or push the boat out and get the cheapest pre. with on-board MM/MC stage.
    Dozey likes this.
  20. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

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