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I will be spending >$1000 in 6 months on proper separates amplification for my 2ch setup but right now I need a decent phono preamp to go with my 6 year old sony AVR. The rolls Bellari vp129 keeps getting great reviews online and I can get it for $200 shipped. Would that be my best bet in my price range? This is a list of my other gear:


Epos ELS-3

Rega Planar 2 w/ RB250, Grado Gold

Sony STR-DE675


I decided to go with a tube preamp and SS amp for my separates down the road so I figure the vp129 would be a good match?
 

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phonopreamps.com


im not sure how high-end their stuff is.
 

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Quote:
The rolls Bellari vp129 keeps getting great reviews online

Is there anything with a tube in it that doesn't get great reviews online?


Reviews, even if they had any sort of reliability, cannot begin to tell you how a given tube unit will sound to you in your system. Try it out. It's the only way.


[In case anybody comes across this thread looking for a SS pre, two worthy contenders in the price range would be the Parasound Zphono and the Rotel. Both will outperform the budget units from www.phonopreamps.com . Not to knock the latter, which are a great choice if funds are limited.]
 

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It's been a year and a half since this post has been replied to. Has anything changed significantly? I'm looking for a phono pre-amp at around $200 as well. Here are the choices I see, in order of quality (from what I gather on the internet).


1) Cambridge Audio 640p

2) Parasound Zphono

3) Pro-Ject Phono Box II


I just got my first turntable - a Pro-Ject Debut III - so I have a sweet spot for the Pro-Ject. But from what I read online, the Cambridge Audio seems to be the best sounding phono preamp going for the price.


Any thoughts?
 

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Bellari. Don't get the one with the digital stuff.


I have one sitting on my shelf as a backup in case of failure of my main phono pre and the Bellari is better than it has any right to be for the price. It's not pretty but every nickel goes into sound quality, not a pretty case and marketing. You'd have to spend a lot more money to get solid state that sounds as good.
 

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Out of curiousity, are there any phono preamps in and around that price range that have provisions for changing the loading for the cartridge?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai /forum/post/16829758


Out of curiousity, are there any phono preamps in and around that price range that have provisions for changing the loading for the cartridge?

What do you mean? You mean like using both an MM and MC cartridge?
 

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No, I mean loading as in being able to change the capacitance and/or resistance. All cartridges have an optimum region where they perform best. Sometimes that's already met with the existing cables (in the tonearm as well as those that hookup to your whatever). Sometimes it's not. Competent manufacturers ought to be able to provide you specs for that which you can compare to what you have. You know how cables don't usually make a difference thing? Well, in the case of vinyl they do. By changing say the length of the connection or the type of cable, you can vary the capacitance and bring it into line with what's roughly optimum for the setup you have.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai /forum/post/16830005


No, I mean loading as in being able to change the capacitance and/or resistance. All cartridges have an optimum region where they perform best. Sometimes that's already met with the existing cables (in the tonearm as well as those that hookup to your whatever). Sometimes it's not. Competent manufacturers ought to be able to provide you specs for that which you can compare to what you have. You know how cables don't usually make a difference thing? Well, in the case of vinyl they do. By changing say the length of the connection or the type of cable, you can vary the capacitance and bring it into line with what's roughly optimum for the setup you have.

Ohh ok yeah the only one that has a good price range that has different settings is the Pro-ject Phono Box SE II.

http://www.project-audio.com/main.ph...=boxes&lang=en




Selectable impedance for MC cartridges


Selectable load resistance for MM cartridges


Selectable subsonic filter
 

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That would work. Just something for Henningh to consider. IMO, it's a useful capability to have in order to get whatever it is that your cartridge is capable of delivering. I've got nothing particular against the other recommendations but it's a good thing to have this sort of flexibility.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai /forum/post/16830215


That would work. Just something for Henningh to consider. IMO, it's a useful capability to have in order to get whatever it is that your cartridge is capable of delivering. I've got nothing particular against the other recommendations but it's a good thing to have this sort of flexibility.

Yeah I sold my Rolls VP129 for that reason. You need a very high output MM cartridge with the Rolls or you will be lacking a lot of output. Right now I am using the phono pre in my integrated amp but I want to switch to an MC cartridge so I will be needing a new phono-pre.
 

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I think NAD has a new one out, PP3?


DC
 

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One of the very best phono stages was the original Hafler preamp. Get one used really cheap. Go through the effort to change the loading resistors to match your cartridge.
 
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