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post #1 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Phono Pre amps

Is there much difference between them, $100 one to a $300 one ?


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post #2 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 03:00 PM
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post #3 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Very helpful


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post #4 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 03:49 PM
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I found the biggest benefit of more expensive phono pre amps was when they have more gain settings. This allows you to choose the gain that works best with your cartridge. Unfortunately, I had to go up to a $1,000 phono amp to get the best results, which is beyond what you are looking for. Finding the right match for your set up can be hit or miss. Consequently having more settings was helpful to me.

I know this doesn't directly answer you question. It's hard to generalize based strictly on price. You might find a $300 phono amp that works really well with your set up, in my experience, I wouldn't expect a big difference for a $200 upgrade based on my personal experience however.

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post #5 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't have one, never used one, don't know much of what they are for. I'm getting a TT and need one, all I know is they boost the signal from the TT before the receiver gets hold of it and amplifies it further. There endeth my knowledge, right or wrong.


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post #6 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 04:48 PM
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100 bucks would be a cheap one and 300 bucks gets you into a better amp.

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post #7 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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So what's the difference as it only boosts the signal for the following amp or receiver?


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post #8 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airsculpture View Post
So what's the difference as it only boosts the signal for the following amp or receiver?
The sound. If you are firmly in the camp that everything sounds the same, buy the cheap one.

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post #9 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Phono Pre amps

I'm not. I'm asking a perfectly civil question from a stand point of having very little knowledge on the subject.

If you can't be bothered to enlighten then that's ok.

This is a forum for gaining knowledge right ? I don't have any knowledge on the subject as stated, never having used one, so was asking to find out.

The amounts I quoted were just figures out of the air, ignore them.


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post #10 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 05:14 PM
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I'm doing my best to help. In the current market place 100 dollars is just a step too low to get good results, really good phono pre-amps start around 300 bucks and go up from there. The difference is sound quality. I guess I should ask a couple of questions first. What table, arm and cart are you using?
My normal recommendation for the serious vinyl user is the Manley Steelhead, you can use that with confidence but the price will make you cry.

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post #11 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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It will be a stock Technics 1200MKII with an Ort 2M Red cartridge I believe


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post #12 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airsculpture View Post
I don't have one, never used one, don't know much of what they are for...
A phono pre takes the low level signal from the cartridge and amplifies it enough that your control amplifier can use the signal. On top of that it takes the cartridge output and applies the correct RIAA equalization to achieve flat response. Phono cartridges need a certain loading and amplification to work best, a good phono pre will insure this happens. That is the condensed version. Hope that helps.
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post #13 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airsculpture View Post
It will be a stock Technics 1200MKII with an Ort 2M Red cartridge I believe..
Sorry if I misinterpreted your first post, I was on a different track. A Ortifon Red is a moving magnet cartridge that needs a small amount of amplification. One of the 100 dollar pre-amps may be just the ticket. Can I recommend calling a place like Music Direct and asking what pre will work with your Ort Red. They have 75 phono pre-amps to choose from and they are sure to give you a good recommendation.
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post #14 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you. Not everyone on here is an expert on everything nor does everyone have an axe to grind.

I was merely looking to build my knowledge.

Thanks again .


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post #15 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 06:32 PM
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Until a few months ago, I used my Technics 1200mkii, Shure M97xE cartridge and the $25 Behringer PP400 phono preamp. I enjoyed the balanced sound and never felt I needed more to spend in order to enjoy the experience. A few months ago, I replaced the cartridge with the Audio-Technica AT120EB, and went on to purchase a new Phono Preamp, the Emotiva Audio XPS-1. Now I have control to match the impedance to different types of cartridges, a bit more refined highs, but feel that the lows have come down a little bit. I'm not as particular about high end audio as other people on this forum, I just enjoy a good listening experience - in my own way. In my experience, the cartridge changed the character of the sound slightly more than the preamp, but probably exploring different settings on the XPS-1 may reveal the opposite.


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post #16 of 39 Old 06-14-2017, 10:17 PM
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Since you are using an MM cartridge, you should get good results from any number of offerings from reputable companies. I have used the Rega Fono Mini A2D and really like it ($175 at Music Direct). It is small (but with a bit of a funky design with the ground on the front), but it's an impressive performer and it has a USB output so you can easily digitize your albums for some added flexibility. Here is a review for reference: https://www.whathifi.com/rega/fono-mini-a2d/review
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post #17 of 39 Old 06-15-2017, 06:02 AM
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I don't have a turntable but a couple recommendations i have for places to look would be a place just outside Minneapolis, MN called "the needle doctor" it is an audio store that deals mostly with turntables and are very knowledgeable and can help. Most of their business is done through online but have multiple people in store that take calls and respond to emails. Another one to look at is a phono box from a company called Schiit. It has multiple gain settings and can accommodate both moving magnet and moving coil cartridges so if you ever wanted to try other cartridges you wouldn't need to replace the pre.

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post #18 of 39 Old 06-15-2017, 09:18 AM
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i currently use a Rega Fono MK1 but i'm going to try a Shiit Mani based on the glowing reviews

the fono runs around $400US the Mani $129US so around $200 delivered

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post #19 of 39 Old 06-16-2017, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viorel View Post
Until a few months ago, I used my Technics 1200mkii, Shure M97xE cartridge and the $25 Behringer PP400 phono preamp. I enjoyed the balanced sound and never felt I needed more to spend in order to enjoy the experience. A few months ago, I replaced the cartridge with the Audio-Technica AT120EB, and went on to purchase a new Phono Preamp, the Emotiva Audio XPS-1. Now I have control to match the impedance to different types of cartridges, a bit more refined highs, but feel that the lows have come down a little bit. I'm not as particular about high end audio as other people on this forum, I just enjoy a good listening experience - in my own way. In my experience, the cartridge changed the character of the sound slightly more than the preamp, but probably exploring different settings on the XPS-1 may reveal the opposite.


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+1 on Emotiva XPS-1 for $179.00. As you can see in my signature I have about the same turntable. I have tried only a couple of phono amps. I’m very happy with my Nova Phonomena, is a very versatile phono amp. There are 2 types, one with batteries and AC and the other one run on AC only. These two start around the $700.00. I started with a Musical Fidelity V-LPS with its own special power supply that was excellent. The Emotiva should do good to start. There is another forum called Vinylengine that have whole section dedicated to your turntable and another dedicated to phobo preamps, good to check those out.

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post #20 of 39 Old 06-16-2017, 02:01 PM
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Is there much difference between them, $100 one to a $300 one ?


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Micromega MyGroov is the best sounding phono preamp at any price. Even at one million dollars. Thank me later!
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post #21 of 39 Old 06-16-2017, 02:17 PM
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Micromega MyGroov is the best sounding phono preamp at any price. Even at one million dollars. Thank me later!
Do you sell them?


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post #22 of 39 Old 06-17-2017, 02:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Phono Pre amps

..

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post #23 of 39 Old 06-20-2017, 01:23 AM
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Get a schitt mani and scratch the ortofon and get a nagaoka mp110 those two work great together
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post #24 of 39 Old 06-20-2017, 01:24 AM
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Shure carts aren't anything special they sound flat and lifeless , but some prefer that sound
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post #25 of 39 Old 06-20-2017, 06:52 AM
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In this price range I would go w/the Lounge Audio lcr MKIII for $300.
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post #26 of 39 Old 06-20-2017, 12:15 PM
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Russ69 and Ratman gave sound advice. Listen to them both and choose the one you like best. If you can't hear a difference then pick anything. As you can see by the replies each have their preferences. Good luck.

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post #27 of 39 Old 06-20-2017, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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This thread can close thanks


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post #28 of 39 Old 06-20-2017, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airsculpture View Post
I'm not. I'm asking a perfectly civil question from a stand point of having very little knowledge on the subject.

If you can't be bothered to enlighten then that's ok.

This is a forum for gaining knowledge right ? I don't have any knowledge on the subject as stated, never having used one, so was asking to find out.

The amounts I quoted were just figures out of the air, ignore them.


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Here's how it works:

First a little background.

A vinyl record is literally a mechanical representation of an analogue sound. A lower frequency has a wider/longer grove to be an analogue of the low frequency sound and a higher frequency has the opposite. The “master” that is used in pressing vinyl records is literally cut in a type of lathe with a cutting tool that is not so different from the needle in a phono cartridge. The “cutting needle” is fed the recorded signal and vibrates to cut an analogue groove of the sound.

To use the vinyl media in a more efficient way, equalization is applied to the recording which will allow for longer recording times, by decreasing the width of the groove, improve sound quality/reduce high frequency hiss, and reduce the groove damage/wear that would occur during playback.

The RIAA or Recording Industry Association of America, developed the equalization curve that has become the global industry standard in this process. This happened sometime in the early 1950’s. And yes, it’s the same RIAA that sues and enforces DRM of recorded properties.

The RIAA equalization curve, during recording, reduces the low frequencies and boosts high frequencies. This reduces the groove width to better use the surface area available on a record and the amount of movement the phono cartridge needle or “stylus” must vibrate during the recording/cutting process and playback.

Now, here’s where the phono pre-amp comes in. The phono pre-amp applies the equalization curve in reverse during playback, boosting low frequencies and attenuating high frequencies back to their original values. The attenuation of the high frequencies reduces high frequency hiss and improves the signal to noise ratio which in turn improves the dynamic levels of the recording.

But there’s more…

A phono cartridge and stylus comes in two varieties, there’s Moving Magnet or MM and Moving Coil or MC. A phono cartridge is actually a very small electric generator and it works by the needle or stylus riding in the analogue groove of the recording, tracing the mechanically recorded vibrations which in turn cause the stylus to move or vibrate. The opposite end of the stylus has either a magnet or a set coils mounted on it. If it’s a magnet, the magnet is suspended between a set of coils and if it’s a set of coils, the coils are suspended in a set of magnets. So, as the stylus is vibrating as it traces the mechanical grove, the coils and magnets attached to it generate a very small electrical current. The phono pre-amp steps up this small voltage to a line level signal where the pre-amp can then control and send to the amplifier.

So, the Phono pre-amp is working as both an equalizer and a type of amplifier or electrical transformer to raise the phono cartridge voltge/current.

Phono pre-amp technology is quite mature at this point in time. The RIAA EQ curve is also very well understood. Most any phono pre-amp that you buy today is going to work quite well. You do want to make sure that if you use a MC type cartridge your phono pre-amp is one that will work with an MC cartridge. An MC cartridge can be more sensitive than a MM cartridge the result being the retrieval of more “detail’ from the analogue recording. But, an MC cartridge generates a smaller voltage and requires a phono pre-amp that can step up the lower current level.

Because the vinyl/analogue playback technology is more or less “fixed” at this point in time, a lower cost phono pre-amp will do as good a job as a more expensive unit. The more expensive units generally have been built using closer tolerance parts resulting in maybe a little better S/N ratio or they have some flexibility in cartridge capacitance/impedance matching and the ability to use MC or both MM/MC cartridges.

Hope this helps.

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post #29 of 39 Old 06-20-2017, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
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A phono cartridge and stylus comes in two varieties, there’s Moving Magnet or MM and Moving Coil or MC.
You missed a third... ceramic. But I don't think is the best option for the OP.

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post #30 of 39 Old 06-20-2017, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airsculpture View Post
Is there much difference between them, $100 one to a $300 one ?...
That is a perfectly civil question, just not an easy one.

A $100 Phono Pre-Amp is a run of the mill MM Only (MM = Moving Magnet) Pre-Amp.

A $300 Phono Pre-Amp is a run of the mill Phono Pre-Amp with more options - MM and MC (moving coil), and perhaps with a few additional controls.

This is a prefectly good above the average Phono Pre-Amp capable of filling the needs of most people -

Cambridge Audio CP1 MM Phono Pre-Amp - $150 -


https://www.crutchfield.com/p_779CP1...CP1-Black.html

This is one step above that -

Cambridge Audio CP2 MM/MC Phono Pre-Amp - $230 -

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_779CP2...CP2-Black.html

Quality wise, they are both very similar, but the CP2 is both Moving Magnet and Moving Coil, and gives you more controls to customize the MC to your needs.

Which brings up the last Critical Point - What are your needs?

What turntable do you have?

What Cartridge doe the Turntable have?

What other equipment and speakers do you have?


This last question helps us establish what Phono Pre-Amp is in reasonable proportion to the rest of your equipment.

The question isn't - What is best? The question is - What do you need relative to everything else you have?

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