View Full Version : Phono Preamp Suggestions

2009-02-21, 03:37 PM
I'm looking at getting a phono preamp, and from my searches, I see there are plenty. I'm looking for some recommendations. Tube or solid state? Brands? I've looked at some pro-ject preamps that seem fine.

So what are you using and what can you recommend?

2009-02-21, 03:41 PM
anything from the ART line...good stuff. engineered by a childhood friend.

2009-02-22, 06:28 AM
Given that a phono preamp can cost anywhere from beer money to $20000+, your budget would be useful. At the bottom end, Pro-ject and the Cambridge Audio 640P get good reviews. I presume you are looking at a moving magnet (MM) cartridge, rather than a moving coil (MC) one?

2009-02-22, 07:23 AM
yeah, yer budget limit would help...

is this everyday "living room listening" or audiophile listening/transfers/archiving? i mean, are we talking about a preamp for a $100 belt drive deck & stereo-in-a-box system, Technic 1200s with studio monitors, or a Thorens TD 550 w/ $20,000 stereo amp & speakers? that'll make a big difference

not to disrespect anyone, but i would avoid most of the low-end "big name" manufacturers you find at Musicians Fiend, etc...off the top, a few companies you might wanna look into that make good inexpensive gear [<$500] would be Creek, Bellari-Rolls, Cambridge, Music Hall, etc...and most decent phono pre's will have separate gain stages for both MM and MC cartridges

2009-02-22, 04:43 PM

2009-02-22, 07:24 PM
I was thinking around $500. I'm intrigued by the few tube amps I see. Not sure if they are worth the cost or not.

I would be using the preamp for an mm cartridge - which will also be upgraded soon. Main use would be for transferring vinyl as well as living room audio abuse.

2009-02-23, 08:06 AM
personally, i'd take a peek at the Grado PH-1...imo you can never go wrong with Grado gear, top notch

a few other options i'd compare would be Rega's Fono, Music Fidelity XLPS, or Bellari Rolls VP530 [which has a USB out for direct connect to comp--that'd be real nice for transfers]

re: transfers-- don't forget your cartridge on that task...by far the most overlooked stage in a setup and one of the most important

2009-02-23, 09:55 AM
Thanks Aaron, I'll look into your suggestions.

Do you have much experience with tube Pre Amps? I'm a big fan of analog and maybe it's just a wanting on my part, but wouldn't a tube amp provide a "warmer" feel to the mix?

2009-02-23, 04:01 PM
I run a tube pre-amp with a solid state amp. Tube amps are nice but you won't get much power unless you spend big $$$ and re-tubing a power amp can be expensive when the time comes. A tube pre-amp can lend some of that "warmness" without breaking the bank.