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Phono Stage

Discussion in 'audio' started by heidcase music, Jul 11, 2022.

  1. heidcase music

    heidcase music pfm Member

    Having sold my Naim chrome bumper set up with mc and mm boards I was left without a phono stage
    My current vinyl set up is quite modest by today's standards
    Thorens TD150 Mk 2, AT VMN cartridge EN stylis, Primare i30 amp, Epos ES14 Speakers, Nordost speaker cables
    I have an old Nad PP2 which I have playing as we speak .. And it sounds OK to my auld lugs
    Considering my kit is it worth spending more on a better phono stage ? and if I do what would I have to spend to better the Nad PP2
    Any help/advice greatly appreciated as always
  2. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Decide what you might spend.
    Buy wisely second-hand.
    If you don't like what you hear, sell-on at the same price you paid - cost will be postage at worst, IF YOU BUY WISELY.
    Andy1912 likes this.
  3. NickofWimbledon

    NickofWimbledon pfm Member

    £150 or so on eBay should get a Naim Stageline, which should beat the NAD.

    The same money gets you a new Project Phono Box 2 or Musical Fidelity V90 or the equivalent from Graham Slee, and there are junior versions of those well below £100. Where they will be better than the NAD you'll need to judge yourself, but my suspicion is that a Stageline or Rega Fonomini from eBay is the most likely upgrade from the
    Good luck!
  4. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Dynavector P75 used would be my choice. A mk3 perhaps, £300 ish
    Wright and Nero like this.
  5. PerF

    PerF Scandinavian Member

    Power supply needed
  6. NickofWimbledon

    NickofWimbledon pfm Member

    @PerF - dead right, and we had just been told what his amplification is - my apologies to both. That means it is unlikely to be the value for money option, right enough.
  7. Bairnstorm

    Bairnstorm pfm Member

    Maybe a Puresound MM valve stage would suit.
    chris@panteg likes this.
  8. Jono_13

    Jono_13 Duffer

    Fono MM by Rega is simple and just works…
  9. rough edges

    rough edges Sapere Aude

    Project Tube Box, if you want to get some valves into your phono chain…
    Jono_13 likes this.
  10. Fergus

    Fergus pfm Member

  11. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    I bought a nice second hand Rotel 970 BX phono equaliser for about £60. I like it better than my previous ones. It has some life to the sound.
  12. eevo1969

    eevo1969 pfm Member

    Definitely worth considering a better phono stage with your kit.
    I’ve used a Arcam rPhono in the past and found it very good for around £200 used. Adjustable MM and MC settings to allow cart upgrades.
  13. dreamer69

    dreamer69 pfm Member

    Rothwell is nice especially if you can pick one up used
    ralphj likes this.
  14. mercalia

    mercalia pfm Member

    Musical Fidelity XLPs v3 is a good MM phono
  15. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    Can you build one?
    My ultimate phono stage is one I built back in the early nineties.
  16. Avon

    Avon pfm Member

    I’m using a Rega Phono MM with an AT-VM95ML cartridge and it’s superb. One note of caution though, would be the Rega’s fixed 100pF cartridge loading, added to that of the phono cables, as it’s optimised for use with Rega cartridges of course. Although it doesn’t sound overly bright in general, it can do with some recordings. It’s therefore bordering on the bright side I’d say, approaching the maximum recommended capacitance for my AT cartridge. It’s still less than 200pF in total though.
    Jono_13 likes this.
  17. heidcase music

    heidcase music pfm Member

    Thanks to all for the advice and suggestions .. I will look at them all tonight .. thanks to Avon for the Rega tip as I don't particularly like my music on the bright side
  18. gerlando

    gerlando Prog Rocker

    +1 for the Rega Fono MM, excellent sound for the money.
  19. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Member

    Always worth listening to the Graham Slee phono amps. They offer home trial for the cost of postage to anyone on their forum.
    NickofWimbledon and Rushboy like this.
  20. Yomanze

    Yomanze pfm Member

    As something that isn't well known, but is very well-established with a cult following, then I can recommend the Vista Audio stages:

    I use a Phono 1 mk2 with a Reson Reca, and to say it blew away my existing stages including LFD & Trichord ones is an understatement. More openness, more bass, more explosive dynamics, better top end, everything really. ;)

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