Phono preamp advice

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by 4011021, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    Just ordered a Ray Samuels F117 Nighthawk after having one in my system for two weeks. You can get one for 695.00 right now and I will say, to me, it was notably better and more convenient to use than the other phono stages I've had in my system. Which includes the ProJect DS2, iFi iPhono 2, Lehmann Black Cube and a few others.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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  2. Doc Diego

    Doc Diego Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nevada
    So how’s the V90 LPS sounding in your system?
     
  3. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    o_O
     
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  4. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Still waiting, it's taking longer than expected.
     
  5. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Of the ones listed, I own and use the Parasound Zphono. Very pleased with it, and believe it would be a great match for the Nag 110. I have it paired with the AT7V cart, which, I think, shares the same philosophy with the 110.
     
    4011021 likes this.
  6. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Finally arrived.
    Gonna play it and will let you know how it sounds soon.
     
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  7. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    I've been in contact with Shannon from Parks Audio and I've decided to order the Budgie. At that price point I don't think it could be beat, so I'll give it a try and see how it goes. I'm really looking forward to see how it improves the sound when playing my vinyl.
     
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  8. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Forum Resident

    I think you'll like it. I have one in my system in the study and it replaced an older model Project Tube box. I have to say I didn't find the Project to be anything special, but the Budgie has a certain something. I did switch the tubes around a bit with whatever I had on hand, but the EI's that it came with sounded the best.
     
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  9. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    First listening, I'm blown away. Can only imagine what will happen after it breaks in. Satisfied. :)
     
  10. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    That seems to be the feedback I`m getting. I`ve visited various forums and the members claim to have swapped out the tubes, only to return to the ones that came with the unit. If I try swapping out, it will be further down the line. I just want to enjoy it for what it is for the time being and see where it takes me. I`m stoked to make this upgrade and improve my vinyl sound.

    Thanks for your response and your feedback.
     
  11. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    Enjoy your musical fidelity! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how it improved/changed your sound once it`s broken in.
     
    4011021 likes this.
  12. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    I've been using the Musical Fidelity V90 LPS for four days now. A couple of hours each day. This is how I feel.

    When I first put it to play I immediatly noticed that it was louder then the phono stage of my Denon. Much louder. It had also a bigger and wider sound. The difference just blew me away, it was a huge impact. Enourmous difference.

    But it sounded a too bright for my taste. I did a little research and read somewhere in this forum that I should wait for the phono to break in and then the bright sound should go. It could take from 72 hours to about one-two weeks for the thing to break in.

    Four days later, it's not bright anymore. That only problem I noticed is gone and now I just have the good part. I have more definition, more volume and the sound is still wider and bigger comparing to the built in phono. I plugged the turntable to the Denon's phono today to compare it again. There's no doubt that the V90 LPS sound much better than what I had before. I'm very happy I purchased it and I thank you all who encouraged me to.

    On the other hand, I also like digital sound. I play FLAC files from a laptop connected to a Schitt Mobi DAC than to the same receiver and speakers. Today I played the Ramonesmania LP from 1988 and FLAC files ripped from my CD from the same year and put it to play side by side.

    It seems like I have a bit more definition on digital, but it is also much brighter. Since I just tried one CD and one LP, it's a short experience and I'll have to do further comparisons. In Ramonesmania, I have more cymbals on digital, especially ride/hi-hat, but more guitar on analog (distorted guitars in this case). It could be that this CD is just too bright, but I also found it harder to listen to cymbals on other records I played today comparing to how I remember their CD counterparts. In the built-in phono of the Denon it is even more difficult to listen to the cymbals, so I believe it's not the phono, it's just how my analgo system is working.

    Looks like in my system I reproduced that classic difference: analog is warmer and digital has more definition.

    Interesting thing is that if I use a headphone, my analog system sounds more like the digital, brighter and with more definition. But I don't like as much as I like listening to the speakers.

    If I notice anything different I'll say it here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
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  13. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    If you like digital and want good drum sound, and cymbals, try picking up some Bluray Audio and SACD stuff. I’m a Jazz fan as well and the stuff I’ve bought on XRCD is really incredible.
     
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  14. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Updating my last post:

    I just compared again an LP and a CD rip. Now I chose Social Distortion, Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell, LP and CD are both original releases from 1992. I chose this recording because the cymbals are very prominent. Playing these, that big difference between analog and digital is gone. Ramonesmania CD is way brighter than the LP, but Social Distortion's LP and CD sound very similar and the CD is not brighter than the LP, actually it doesn't sound bright at all. LP and CD sounded very similar in my system. So that difference was not a system's thing, it was the quality of Ramonesmania CD compared to the LP.

    What I found out now is that the lack of cymbals is actually due to a general lack of treble and that is simply because of the location my speakers. They are too high on the shelf. The tweeters are at the top of the speakers and I just can't listen properly to them. I am sitting too low. If I stand at the same level of the speakers I can hear cymbals much more. So now I need to set my speakers lower, I'll look for a couple of lower stands for them.

    So trying to find one thing I discovered another. And my phono preamp is still great.
     
  15. HankM

    HankM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I use the original iFi iPhono and I was thinking of upgrading to the new one but I've also read comments here of unreliability from the iPhono 2. Such a shame because there was nice improvements to be had.
     
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  16. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Essentially, you need to set your speakers so the tweeter is level with your ears. That would be the preferred height to fix this lack of high-end.
     
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  17. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Try an Orange Globe Amperex 7308. Sounds extremely musical.

    Amperex 7308 vintage gold pin!
     
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  18. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Will do that, thanks!
     
  19. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    I changed my room. Put the system and the record shelf in the other wall and found a new place to the speakers, that are now at the level of my chair and more separated. Now they're talking. Should have done this before.
     
  20. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    I sort of would expect that given your TT. A more high end TT and MC cartridge and you get more detail. Again bright digital will depend on CD player DAC. You can now get relatively cheap DACs that do not give a bright sound with CD but plenty bass and detail. Also if you can find one there is an upgrade PS for the MF V90LPS. I could only find one from a German supplier but it is a big improvement over the plug top PS. A lot of older CDs were mastered bright but at least they aren't loud and brick walled.
     
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  21. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Do you guys know anything about the capacitance of the Musical Fidelity V90 LPS? I read that some more detailed cartridges (I have AT150MLX and Shure M97xE in mind) demand low capacitance phono stages. I can't find any information about the Musical Fidelity V90 LPS capacitance. Also, did anyone match this preamp with any of those cartridges?
     
  22. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    I opened this thread Nov. 23rd and ordered the phono stage Nov. 24th, almost three months ago.

    In the meantime I upgraded the turntable (that I had for five years) and bought a new cartridge to add more detail. I also bought better headphones for night listenings and repositioned the speakers. I have a much better sound now and I just can't stop playing records. I still think the V90 LPS is very good. Have no experience to compare it to any others though.

    So far...
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  23. JeffTamarack

    JeffTamarack Active Member

    Sounds like you are having a great little Hifi journey! Not the worst hobby now is it? Glad everything is working well for you.
     
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  24. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    I recently heard the $250 MoFi unit. It was way better than it had any right to be at that price.
     
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  25. HankM

    HankM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I just upgraded from my iFi iPhono to the Lehmann Audio Black Cube SE II and it is very sweet sounding
     
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