Best bang for the buck on a phono pre-amp ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-04-2008, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, well I didn't get any response on my more general post for a turntable and pre-amp. At any rate, I settled on a used HK T25 off Ebay. I plan on hooking this up to my HK 325 receiver which is connected to a 7 channel Emotiva amp (125WPC). Yes, I do plan on hooking this up to a primarily HT type setup. The speakers are just Polk bookshelfs (mid grade) and I have a Velodyne sub and a few other subs hooked up.

So, what I need to find is what phono pre-amp would give me the best bang for the buck in this kind of setup. I've read that some of the el-cheapo ones just aren't that good. I think I could budget up to $50-$200 or so for the pre-amp. However, given the "grade" of my existing equipment I don't want to overspend on the pre-amp since I only plan on matching it up with this equipment at this time. Thanks for any help! I sure hope I can get a few replies on this one! I know you guys have some ideas...

Also, would there be any benefit into a tube type pre-amplifier when hooking into my more modern setup? I see them selling on Ebay for around $200.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-04-2008, 07:29 PM
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My top choice in solid state would be the Parasound Zphono at $150—very accurate RIAA correction.

A tube phono stage would be a tube phono stage. Not better, just different. You can always try one out, see if you like it, and flip it if not.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #3 of 11 Old 05-04-2008, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

My top choice in solid state would be the Parasound Zphono at $150very accurate RIAA correction.

A tube phono stage would be a tube phono stage. Not better, just different. You can always try one out, see if you like it, and flip it if not.


Thanks for the tip! Regarding the tube phono stage, I was curious if this was some "shortcut" to getting that "tube sound" from my records without all the expense of a real tube pre-amp and amp.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-04-2008, 08:29 PM
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That's like asking how you can get drunk without consuming alcohol.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #5 of 11 Old 05-04-2008, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

That's like asking how you can get drunk without consuming alcohol.

HA! What I'm asking is what "positive" difference might a tube PRE amp provide when connected to a solid state receiver and amp when playing records? I'm sure people have tried this so there is probably some anecdotes out there about it. Since I'm really interested in getting tube "sound" I thought about trying it. However, I simply don't have the budget for a good complete tube setup right now.

On the solid state side, I'm wondering what you think about the NAD PP-2? It seems pretty good and a little more common out there on Ebay, etc for a bit less than the Parasound. I've got a NAD receiver powering a strictly 5.1 music setup and I've been quite happy with it.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-04-2008, 09:24 PM
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The Bugle is probably the best deal in phono preamps.

Don't worry too much about the tubes; invest the money in record cleaning equipment first.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-04-2008, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daravon View Post

The Bugle is probably the best deal in phono preamps.

Don't worry too much about the tubes; invest the money in record cleaning equipment first.

Yes, I'm a bit confused on that one too. Right now, I'm using diluted rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth. I've read about the "roller" to take the dirt off. Is there anything better?

Hmm the Bugle eh? A "kit" pre-amp but still costs about $65. I wonder why not spend an extra $40 or so for one put together by NAD along with a plug-in power supply built in. Is it better? I don't know.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-05-2008, 07:52 AM
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If you don't want to spend $150 on the Zphono, I would save some money and go with this. I don't think the NAD is appreciably better, and I doubt the Bugle is even as good.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #9 of 11 Old 05-06-2008, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

If you don't want to spend $150 on the Zphono, I would save some money and go with this. I don't think the NAD is appreciably better, and I doubt the Bugle is even as good.

Ordered this one with the adjustable output in case I try to do any record dubbing with the computer! I think I'll be happy with this one for now. Thanks again for the advice
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-25-2008, 07:02 AM
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Hi - I just switched all my gear over to Pioneer Elite (KURO, Blu-Ray and A/V) and I discovered the SC-05's Phono input gain is very low. I was researching for a phono pre-amp when I came across this thread. How did that TCC TC-750 Phono Preamp work out for everyone? It's seems cheap but that doesn't mean it can't do a decent job. Any feedback would be appreciated!
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post #11 of 11 Old 11-04-2008, 01:55 AM
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Dude,

It just so happens that I have researched this EXTENSIVELY over the past few days. From reading reviews and forums etc, I have come to the following conclusion:

After looking at - Parasound Zphone, Nad PP2, Rega Mini Fono, Pro-Jet Phono Box II, & Cambridge, Graham Slee, Bellario etc

I have come to the conclusion that under $300 apparently the Cambridge 640p is the one to get. The Pro-Ject Tube one is apparently also very good, probably better, but it costs 3 times as much.
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