MoFi UltraPhono phonostage... Sound quality?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by dogpile, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. dogpile

    dogpile Generation X record spinner. Thread Starter

    Location:
    YYZ - Canada
    Any users here as I'm very curious about this new phonostage.

    I plan to use this as a desktop vinyl only setup and the built-in headphone amp is exactly what I'm looking for.

    There seems to be no reviews or even availability to buy which tells me that the product is not even out yet :confused:
     
  2. Com4734

    Com4734 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canonsburg PA
    I know this is an old thread, but I did see the Mofi StudioPhono, along with Mofi turntables at a store in Pittsburgh today. It seemed well built and attractive looking, but perhaps made of a good bit of plastic, as it was a bit on the light side compared to my aluminum Pa1.2. I think this is the lower end one and they were selling it for around $200-$225. I wanted to research its specs when I got home but can find nothing online about it. It had subsonic filter and a mono buttons on it, which is something I haven't seen too often at that price. The guy there said he might talk to the store owner about letting me demo some of the open box products they have. I'd definitely be up for that!
     
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  3. dogpile

    dogpile Generation X record spinner. Thread Starter

    Location:
    YYZ - Canada
    Com4734

    Would love to hear about yr findings!
     
  4. Mrtn77

    Mrtn77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    European Union
    Specs for both phono stages are available online :
    StudioPhono
    UltraPhono

    StudioPhono
    $249

    • Selectable gain for MM or MC 40dB, 46dB, 60dB, 66dB
    • Adjustable loading 75Ω - 47kΩ
    • Switchable Mono mode
    • Subsonic filter
    • External power supply
    StudioPhono replicates the wide bandwidth transparency our mastering engineers demand. The circuits are based on the the GAIN2™ Ultra Analog system at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab developed by the legendary Tim De Paravicini. By keeping the circuit as simple and pure as possible, StudioPhono ensures your home audio system is fed a clean and accurate signal of what is on the record.

    With selectable gain and loading, you will be able to tailor StudioPhono to match nearly any moving-magnet or moving-coil cartridge on the market. A readily accessible bank of toggle switches can be found on the unit’s underside to quickly make adjustments without the need for any tools.

    Two selectable toggle buttons on the top of the unit can engage Mono or Subsonic filter mode. If you're a fan of mono recordings, vintage or reissues like the Beatles in Mono box set or the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Bob Dylan Series, the Mono mode will come as a revelation. It will improve image stability and generate richer tone.

    The Subsonic filter can be engaged to mitigate the effects and reduce power-draining "woofer pumping” caused by warped LPs.

    StudioPhono uses an external balanced power supply to keep noise away from the delicate signals fed from your turntable. This ensures a low noise floor so you can hear the maximum amount of microdynamic detail in your music.



    Specifications

    Gain Adjustable from 40 - 66dB

    THD < .01% (MM) / < .012% (MC)

    Load Impedance (MM) 47kOhm

    Load Impedance (MC) 75, 100, 500, 1k, 10k, 47k

    Made in the USA


    UltraPhono
    $499

    • Selectable gain for MM or MC 40dB, 46dB, 60dB, 66dB
    • Adjustable loading 75Ω - 47kΩ
    • Class-A Headphone Amplifier
    • Switchable Mono mode
    • Subsonic filter
    • External power supply
    UltraPhono replicates the wide bandwidth transparency our mastering engineers demand. The circuits are based on the the GAIN 2™ Ultra Analog system at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab developed by the legendary Tim De Paravicini. By keeping the circuit as simple and pure as possible, StudioPhono ensures your home audio system is fed a clean and accurate signal of what is on the record.

    UltraPhono includes a powerful Class-A headphone amplifier perfect for quiet nights when you want to keep the records spinning in private. And with a 31-step volume control built into the unit, all you need to do is directly plug-in your headphones and turn it up! It's the easiest way to achieve high-fidelity vinyl playback without speakers and electronics.

    With selectable gain and loading, you will be able to tailor UltraPhono to match nearly any moving-magnet or moving-coil cartridge on the market. A readily accessible bank of toggle switches can be found on the unit’s underside to quickly make adjustments without the need for any tools.

    Two selectable toggle buttons on the top of the unit can engage Mono or Subsonic filter mode. If you're a fan of mono recordings, vintage or reissues like the Beatles in Mono box set or the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Bob Dylan Series, the Mono mode will come as a revelation. It will improve image stability and generate richer tone.

    The Subsonic filter can be engaged to mitigate the effects and reduce power-draining "woofer pumping” caused by warped LPs.

    UltraPhono uses an external balanced power supply to keep noise away from the delicate signals fed from your turntable. This ensures a low noise floor so you can hear the maximum amount of microdynamic detail in your music.

    Specifications

    Gain Adjustable from 40 - 66dB

    THD < .006% (MM) / < .055% (MC)

    Load Impedance (MM) 47kOhm

    Load Impedance (MC) 75, 100, 500, 1k, 10k, 47k

    Headphone Output 8V Max into 62Ω, 1.5 w/ch

    Made in the USA
     
    bluemooze, Helom and dogpile like this.
  5. 33na3rd

    33na3rd Forum Resident

    Location:
    SW Washington, USA
    That looks interesting. I like the fact that it has a mono button!
     
    aoxomoxoa likes this.
  6. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    When are these going to be available? I can't find them on MD.
     
  7. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Definitely look interesting. I wish these had adjustable capacitance as well - doesn't look like they do, at least not mentioned on the cheaper model.
     
  8. dogpile

    dogpile Generation X record spinner. Thread Starter

    Location:
    YYZ - Canada
    There is limited headphone specs for UltraPhono...
    I wonder if there is enough juice to run Sennheiser HD800.
     
  9. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Just curious, wouldn't a person who spent $1000 for headphones probably already have a decent headphone amp to use with them? Seems like a good quality headphone amp that performs the normal preamp duties would afford the most flexibility, then you could have a separate phono stage and/or DAC. That's kind of the path I stumbled down, but I guess it's wise for companies to offer those choices, even though a good headphone amp with a high quality volume control and enough power would drive up the price quite a bit.

    Edit: Oh, I see now you are trying to put together a vinyl only headphone system. Guess that's a little different and you don't need much flexibility.
     
  10. Com4734

    Com4734 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canonsburg PA
    If they decide to let me do that, I def will let you know!
     
    dogpile likes this.
  11. Lovealego

    Lovealego Forum Resident

    Location:
    Danville, CA
    Anyone get one?
     
  12. Mrtn77

    Mrtn77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    European Union
    The closest thing I've found to useable first hand experience is a "dealer review" from French retailer maplatine.com.

    Quick translations follow :

    StudioPhono :

    Sound quality is surprising, even bewildering! Because at this price, few phono stages offer such presence and dynamics ! The level of detail is impressive and you can see the different instruments, even on a complex piece. Of course this is dependent on the quality of the phono cell and the associated turntable. I must confess that it is in MC that the StudioPhono pleased me most. It has enough gain and, above all, it is silent enough to disappear. All the nuances, subtleties and realism associated with this technology are apparent.

    The MoFi StudioPhono phono preamp is definitely the best deal of the moment, if you put in the balance its possibilities, its settings, its versatility, its mono function ... and its price.



    UltraPhono :

    The sound quality of this phono preamp is similar to that of the MoFi StudioPhono. This is normal because their circuitry is identical. We took special notice of the headphone output which, I must admit, also surprised us! It is every bit as good as the phono stage is and lets it shine. It is possible to listen for several hours without fatigue. Its quality and power make it possible to power a wide range of Hi-Fi dynamic headphones, even difficult models ...

    If you take into account its capacities as a phono preamplifier (MM, MC, mono ...), its quality and versatility as a headphone amplifier, its settings, its versatility ... and its price, the phono preamplifier MoFi UltraPhono Is certainly the deal of the moment!



    While these short pieces will never make the equipment review hall of fame, I do find it interesting that he heard no difference in sound quality between the two models on offer.
     
  13. JustGotPaid

    JustGotPaid Forum Resident

    Which store is it? I may be visiting Pittsburgh soon. I would pick one up if its in stock somewhere.
     
  14. Com4734

    Com4734 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canonsburg PA
    Its at a place called Music to My Ear on Babcock Blvd. They have a pretty nice selection of new and used vinyl, though they dont get a lot of 'new' used vinyl from what I can tell. The last few times i went there I found myself looking through the same stuff as I did the last time. But they have a pretty nice selection of phono preamps, headphone amps, turntables, cartridges, cables, etc. last time I was there I saw some boxes of them on one of the shelves. If you're into MoFi vinyl they have a ton of that as well. I also recommend you visit Jerry's Records on Murray Ave in Squirrel Hill. The owner Jerry just retired last week but he told me the guy who is taking over is going to be running it the same way with the same name, meaning selling records not to price gouge and maximize profit, but to spread good music to as many people as possible at a very reasonable price. I easily bought at least 2/3 of the 500 LP's I have so far there over the past couple years. Its all used vinyl, though I dont know if that will change with the new ownership.
     
  15. JustGotPaid

    JustGotPaid Forum Resident

    Thanks Com4734. I will driving right by there so I will check it out.
     
    Com4734 likes this.
  16. 6l6klipsch

    6l6klipsch Well-Known Member

    Location:
    WI
    I got one (Studio) and have been demoing it for a few days now with a Denon 301MKII. I find it very similar to the iPhono, not quite as quiet, but noise is not an issue unless you're giving it full gain. I really like the mono switch too. I'd describe its characteristics as dynamic and lively with big deep bass. I think it's ultimately a little too in your face for my Cornwalls, so I'm going to be trying a Tavish tube phono stage next. At $250 it's a great value. I'd say it's a step above the Schiit Mani, and on par with the iPhono. It does not beat out my trusty Rogue Audio Stealth though, which surprises me more and more as I try more phono stages.
     
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  17. MIA2RDU

    MIA2RDU Well-Known Member

    Location:
    North Carolina
    So $250 MoFi Studio vs $300 Lounge LCR....which one wins?
     
    Jazzphile32 likes this.
  18. nodbor

    nodbor Active Member

    and the price range for the vinyl is?
     
  19. Jazzphile32

    Jazzphile32 Member

    Location:
    Aliso Viejo, CA
    I'm demo-ing the Ultraphono tomorrow, I'll report back. I'm interested to hear how it compares with the LCR too.

    I've only had a tube headphone amp until now, so I'm not sure how much I will like that aspect of the Mofi.
     
    MIA2RDU likes this.
  20. Com4734

    Com4734 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canonsburg PA
    Depends which shop. Music to My Ear is more expensive than Jerry's. Some things there are reasonable but some albums are pretty pricey. Probably $6 and up. They have some US White albums for $25-$40, Stones albums from $8 to $300+ depending on condition. Jerry's Records is great though. You'd be hard pressed to find something over $15 or $20, and thats pushing it. Got an original Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in NM condition for $15, NM UK press of the Beatles 'Blue Album' for $15, but most of the stuff there costs $5-$8. The only things that go for $10-$15 are near mint imports or more uncommon LP's.
     
  21. JustGotPaid

    JustGotPaid Forum Resident

    Interesting. Is the chassis made of plastic or metal?
     
  22. MIA2RDU

    MIA2RDU Well-Known Member

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Jazzphile 32, did you get a chance to try out the Ultraphono?
     
  23. Jazzphile32

    Jazzphile32 Member

    Location:
    Aliso Viejo, CA
    No, the dealer was mistaken and did not have it yet.
     
  24. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    I wish more people had their hands on these and the new TTs. I wish I could hear more people's thoughts. The gear looks great.
     
    paulewalnutz likes this.
  25. Com4734

    Com4734 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canonsburg PA
    It does look good. I was surprised at how well built their turntables looked. I was able to take a quick look at them when the owner was showing me around his store (I forget the model it was) and they looked very attractive and solidly built. The phono stages could probably be a little better when it comes to the quality of the plastic covering and the buttons as they seemed slightly flimsy but at that price range im sure compromises had to be made. Hopefully they were more focused on making them sound good.
     
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