Phono preamp advice

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

  1. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    That, of course, will depend on what headphones you use, and whether you plug them into your Denon's HP jack, or have a dedicated HP amp. If you do have a HP amp, whether it's tube or SS also plays a role. You can tailor the sound of your headphone setup to your tastes just like you can with the rest of your gear.
     
    4011021 likes this.
  2. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Your profile shows Sennheiser HD-650 cans. They pair great with Little Dot MkII, DarkVoice 336SE, and Schiit Valhalla 2.
     
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  3. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    I bought them recently, when I wrote that I had some lower quality Sony headphones. I have no complaints on my headphone system now. Except that the Denon's jack has some hum. It's not there if I use speakers or if I record needledrops from the Denon's Tape Out, and also not if I use the headphones with other sources, so I assume it's the Denon's jack. I only hear it if I have no music playing so I can live with that for the moment. I'm not on the market for a headphone amp right now, first I want to buy some good closed and isolated cans for flights.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  4. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    From last November, I bought a better turntable (Pioneer PLX-1000) and a better cartridge.

    This week I bought an Ortofon 2M Black.

    I still have my Musical Fidelity V90 LPS which I think is pretty good.

    Since I upgraded to the 2M Black, my system is sounding so much better that I began wondering what a better phono stage would bring to the table.

    I live in Brazil and have limited choices, one of them being the Rega Aria and others the Parasound JC3 and if I'm lucky the JC3+ too (not sure if it's available yet, will know next week).

    I know this Rega and these Parasound are well reviewed both in this forum and in magazines.

    I suppose any of them would be an upgrade in sound quality over the V90 LPS even with a MM cart, right?

    Would a better phono stage make as much a difference as going from 2M Blue to Black?

    Would the Parasound JC3 or JC3+ really sound better than the Rega? Is it worth it to chose the JC3 over the Rega? Or maybe only the JC3+ ?

    I know @Benzion would buy the Parasound. How about you ?
     
  5. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Parasound over the Rega any day of the week.
     
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  6. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Even if I have to go with the JC3 (not the JC3+)?
     
  7. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Don't think the Rega will be a significant upgrade over the V90LPS. Could be worse. Don't know the Parasound. NVA Phono 2 is a very significant upgrade for £500+ through Ebay.
     
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  8. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    I didn't know that. Second strong opinion I get against the Rega. Good to know, I'll stay away from it then.
     
  9. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    I have the old model Rega MC and think the V90 sounds better. I think you would have to go for the Aria to make significant improvement. Read differing views on this.
     
    4011021 likes this.
  10. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Actually it's the Aria I'm considering.

    The questions are: will the Aria (or the Parasound) better the V90 LPS in MM performance?

    If so, between Aria and JC3 or JC3+ (if available), is there a big difference?
     
  11. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    There’s no bad choice between the Parasound JC3+ and the Rega Aria. For the money, I would give the edge to the Rega Aria because it’s a superb phono preamp for its US$1495 list price. If your budget is not limited to the the US$1495 price point, the twice-as-expensive Parasound JC3+ can offer an even lower noise floor than the Rega Aria, a wider range of cartridge loading options should a moving coil cartridge enter your existence, and the ability to reproduce a few additional subtleties that your 2M Black extracts from an LP groove that the Aria might not quite catch.

    The differences are small between the two phono preamps. The Lehmann Decade is in the higher price range too, and I personally like it better than the Parasound or the Aria. I like the more competitively priced Lehmann Black. Cube SE II better than the Rega Aria as well. My ears, my personal preferences.

    Better than all four, to my ears, is the Trichord Diablo (from the UK, same as Rega). At the US$2000 price point, I don’t think there’s anything better from any other maker including Sutherland, Bel Canto, Parasound Rega, Lehmann, etc., etc., etc. Again, my ears, my personal preferences.

    Keep in mind that all of the aforementioned differences can be somewhat obvious on some recordings, but most of the time are subtle when comparing what a Rega Aria can do because the Aria is already a very, very good phono preamp.

    But if you’re limited to a choice between the Aria and the Parasound and your budget can accommodate the Parasound and the future holds a moving coil or moving iron cartridge for you, go for the Parasound. It’s a phono preamp that for many audiophiles is the last one they’ll ever need.

    On the other hand, if your future does not hold any MC or MI cartridges, the Aria is a truly wonderful MM phono preamp that will take all that your 2M black cartridge can give.
     
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  12. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    I found online a hi fi store in Toronto that has the Diablo for sale. I probably should then wait for my trip. Only problem is that I won't come back directly to Brazil, I'll spend a few days in the USA before coming back, and I'm not sure if I could have any problems at the US customs bringing the phono stage with me.
     
  13. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Nah, not on a used unit, you shouldn't. Keep the receipt that says "used" and how much you paid for it. Any customs duties would be back in Brazil.
     
  14. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    I would buy it brand new in the box.
     
  15. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Can you have them ship it to Brazil for you? Still cheaper than paying double duties. Although I really don't think you would have to pay duties in the US if your final destination is Brazil.
     
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  16. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Then I suggest you consider doing what I do when I make purchases while traveling. I ship everything home by mail or by courier, or I pay the shop to do it.

    I travel a lot, and I long ago passed the point of fussing with Customs and getting stuck/delayed in Customs, and dealing with packages and parcels and gifts and so on in my luggage. I travel really light - my camera bag plus a small roll-on that stows either overhead or under the seat.

    The only exceptions for me are purchases that fit easily into one of my two small bags. Other than that, ship purchases home IMO.
     
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  17. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    I'm not sure I trust Brazilian mail system for more expensive stuff. I had a couple of lost records in the last year. Well, I'll do some research. Thank you!
     
  18. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Use Fedex.
     
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  19. psychobear85

    psychobear85 Active Member

    Location:
    USA
    I’m using a Cambridge Audio 651P and the different it made from my old phono preamp and the one my receiver has built in is amazing
     
    4011021 likes this.
  20. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Thank you for your help. I ordered the JC3+. Delivery will take a few days.
     
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  21. Davey

    Davey define a transparent dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Wow, moving up the ladder quickly. Do you have that 1200G reserved yet? :)
     
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  22. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    When I bought my Pioneer PLX-1000 it was because I wasn't satisfied with the Pro-ject Debut Carbon I had before. I'm very satisfied with the Pioneer, it sounds great. If (when?) I buy the SL-1200G it will be just for the pleasure of enjoying a superior quality gear and an even more accurate music reproduction.

    It's the same with the phono stage. With my Denon and the way I used it before (wrong speakers positioning) I had never experienced image and soundstage. Now I have. The Musical Fidelity V90 LPS is a very good phono stage. But I can't help feeling the desire to taste something even better.

    There are gear we buy because we're unsatisfied with what we have (I bought a 2M Black because I missed something with my other cartridges). Other times, even satisfied, we just want to explore and try something even better.
     
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  23. Davey

    Davey define a transparent dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, I think most of us know that feeling well, and the camaraderie and exchange of ideas (and especially the pictures) around here does make it a little too easy to want something even better, pretty much all the time :)

    The JC3+ did seem to be pretty well received by critics, would imagine by users too, though there some that weren't as impressed (I think Paul Rigby was one that didn't review it very well). It is a pretty big jump up, but should give you something to live with well into the future. Hope to see some detailed impressions once you've had it for awhile, good luck.
     
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  24. mkane

    mkane Musics a Passion

    Location:
    Cloverdale,CA
    How about a Mufsy for a few bucks of knock your socks off goodness. Heck' I'll buy it built it and ship it if you send a PP. Muffsy DIY Phono Kits
     
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  25. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Thank you. I already ordered the JC3+ and will have a seven days trial before deciding on keeping or returning it. Will let you know.
     

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