New turntable advice

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by revolversoul, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. revolversoul

    revolversoul Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Quick question for you guys. Currently have a Yamaha A-S801 with Wharfedale Denton 80th speakers. I am looking to upgrade my current player ( U-Turn Orbit) to either a VPI Prime Scout, or the new Mobile Fidelity Ultradeck. My question is, would those be overkill for the amplification I currently have. Would I benefit just as much from a MoFi Studiodeck, or a (Open box Demo) VPI Scout Jr.?

    Thanks in advance for any replies!
    displayname likes this.
  2. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Neither would be overkill for your amp or speakers. However, if you're using the built-in preamp of the Yamaha, you should upgrade to an outboard unit to get the most out your new turntable. The MoFi phono preamp might be a good option.
  3. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    I have a current Rega P3 with a Dyna 202xh cart running into a Yamaha A-S801. Helom gave you good advice on the phono input. I upgraded to a Sutherland KC Vibe and it pretty much killed the internal stage. The line stage of the Yammy is excellent though.
    displayname likes this.
  4. revolversoul

    revolversoul Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks guys! Yeah, I am currently using the built in on the Yamaha. I think I will give the MoFi a whirl and see how it sounds.
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  5. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    In my day, it was always" the better the source the better signal that's fed to your amp ". Got to be a good thing,
    Good advice on phono stage also.
    SteveM and John Woo like this.
  6. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

    Try before you buy would be my advice
    PhxJohn likes this.
  7. Doug Walton

    Doug Walton Well-Known Member

    United States
    So, I've also got a Yamaha A-S801 integrated amp. Lately I've been in awe over how well things now sound with my TT and that amp.

    Am I understanding correctly that if I were to purchase even a modestly-priced phonostage (like the $250 one from MoFi, for example), and assuming an already nicely-functioning and capable TT and cartridge and all that, I would very likely notice a positive difference in sound quality that would likely justify the expense?

    Help me out here, man - I need some clear and unambiguous wording that I can lay on my wife. :)

    swvahokie likes this.
  8. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    San Diego, CA, USA
    There are no guarantees in sonic improvement just because the pre is 'external'.

    I thought the same and was disappointed with a Jolida JD9. Just didn't work for me sonically.

    That's the thing about this hobby - you just gotta try stuff out for yourself. For things like electronics, buying used may be less painful if you have to flip it back into the audio pool.
    Davey likes this.
  9. Doug Walton

    Doug Walton Well-Known Member

    United States
    Interesting. When I upgraded to a microline cart (the VM540ML), the difference between it and the previous cart was night and day. A revelation. Same when I took the time to accurately level the TT and dial in VTA. Obvious improvements. If I knew it would be the same level of "yahooo!" with a phonostage, I think I'd go for it. I guess people can and do return things that don't work out.
  10. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Well-Known Member

    You are looking for that "Wow" factor and I completely hear you on that...I had a similar revelation upgrading my cart to a AT440Mlb ...... it was between that and ripping out the phono amp on my LP120 that gave the most "Wow" to my listening experience. Ever since then I have been trying to come close to this and I fear the upgrade costs from here will be quite large to get another big wow!
  11. audiolab1

    audiolab1 Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    My opinion: Never worry if the source component you are considering fits in with your current system if it's a step or two (or three) above your other components. A good source, regardless if a turntable/arm/cart, CD player, DAC, etc., will always respond well to upgrades to the rest of your system. The source can become the cornerstone of your rig that stays put through years of upgrades and you will definitely hear the quality of that source even with a lesser amp and speakers. The Brit philosophy to put the source first is correct...I still remember fully tricked out Linn LP-12s being paired with a Marantz integrated and small bookshelf was all the rage back in the 80s!
  12. revolversoul

    revolversoul Forum Resident Thread Starter

    So I ordered the MoFi StudioPhono Preamp to try out with my current system. Still deciding on the turntable. I haven't seen much about the MoFi tables, and there isn't anyplace nearby to try one out.
    displayname likes this.
  13. You realize that MoFi is not a manufacturer? What they sell is made for them. Unless it is exclusive to MoFi, find out who the manufacturer is and buy it from them.
    Some say that if you are going to use an external pre-amp, you need to physically wire around the one which is built in. Unless there is a problem with the circuit board, it isn't worth it to wire around it.
  14. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident


    You want night and day? Save up 900 bucks and buy the Sutherland KC Vibe. Same build quality (immaculate) and a lot of the same parts as used in his mega buck designs, just simpler.

    KC Vibe | Sutherland Engineering

    MM and MC and will work with stuff like Grados and Soundsmith carts. Sounds fantastic with my Dyna and if it has a noise floor, I havent found it. This baby is quiet. If you can afford it, give these guys a call.

    Audio Advice | Home Audio, Home Theater, Smart Home | Audio Advice
  15. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    If you are in NOVA, there should be plenty of brick and mortar stores with good turntables to audition.
  16. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    No, you simply plug your turntable into the external pre amp, then plug the external pre amp into a line input on your amp. You simply ignore your internal stage.
    andybeau and Thorensman like this.
  17. Jking3002

    Jking3002 Well-Known Member

    @revolversoul, I'm curious, given your price range, why no consideration to the new Rega P6 or the Technics Sl-1200GR? Those would probably be the tables I'd personally look at in the around 2k price range.
  18. revolversoul

    revolversoul Forum Resident Thread Starter

    @swvahokie, I will check out some local shops. I am going to check out a shop in Falls Church that deals VPI, and not sure what else. I just didn't see any local dealers for the MoFi tables. I am not dead set on getting these specific tables, just the ones I have been curious about. @Jking3002, I am not ruling out the other tables. I have been intrigued by the Rega tables, so I may look in to those a bit more.

    Thanks for all of your help and advice...this novice appreciates it!
  19. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    I own a new Rega P3 and have heard the RP8 several times. Also heard the VPI Prime Scout with Audio Research Electronics and Martin Logan 15A's. Don't think you would be disappointed by either brand. The MoFi stuff is so new, not sure there are any brick and mortar dealers.
  20. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Just an idea. In UK my usual hi fi magazines offered kits
    In the case if a phono stage it would normally be a case of mount pcb and wire in powersupply and your in business.
    Quite a saving in cost. Just an idea

    My partner was deeply impressed that i would take that road to save money!
  21. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY
    I'd give you some wording I used to lay on my wife (ex), but I don't think those are the ones you're looking for.

    On a more serious note, as far as I understand, a good quality outboard phono will almost always be better than a built-in one, unless we're talking about really high-end expensive stuff.

    Case in point: The VPI 299 tube integrated amp, an $4,000 affair, has a built-in SS phono that's equivalent to a cheap $80 outboard unit. So, the MoFi $275 unit is bound to be better, as it is a specialized unit designed to do only one job, and, if we are to believe MoFi, it is the price of the unit that's modest, not the quality.
    Doug Walton likes this.
  22. Yes, that is what I would do if I used an external pre-amp, but there are so many on these forums that adamantly say that you must wire around any internal circuitry, which is B.S. and just a way to knock a TT model or brand. I use the pre-amp in my receiver. I've tried wiring around the TT's circuitry and found that it is a waste of time. As long as there is not something wrong with the TT's internal circuitry, looking at the output differences on a scope, there aren't any differences. Use your TT as it was meant to be used, use the internal pre-amp or put the switch in bypass and use another pre-amp.
  23. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    There is no internal preamp on my turntable. Nothing to wire around. We were talking about the phono amp in the Yamaha amp. That is what I am not using. My Sutherland phono cost as much as my whole integrated though, so it damn well better be an improvement. :)
  24. Plugging into a line input involves entirely different circuitry than the phono input. If the phono input is switchable, then you may run into an issue like others think they have with a turntable with a built-in, switchable pre-amp. Using an external pre-amp and connecting a turntable through it into a line input has never sounded any better to me.
    As there is no standard for a pre-amp, each different one will have a different sound. The question I ask myself before I buy something, is it cost effective? Is the expenditure worth the results? Before I take a plunge, I make sure that they will take the item back if I don't like it or if it doesn't live up to my expectations. I hope it works out for you and that you are pleased with the new pre-amps performance.
  25. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    The OP is wanting to upgrade to a much higher level TT/cart than the AT120 model that are using and which will most certainly NOT have a cheap preamp built in. He wanted to know if the Yamaha A-S801's phono input was up to the task.The Yamaha A-S801 has excellent line inputs, but comes with a just ok phono input that can be bettered by a good external unit. Other members are using a Lounge at the 300 dollar mark and claim it is an improvement. The Sutherland I am using is a vast improvement at the 900 dollar level. I know because I own the equipment. You don't, so quit confusing the OP with info that is applicable for an AT120.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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