Your Pick of Phono Preamps Between $2k and $4k?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Cliff, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man Thread Starter

    Location:
    Northern CA
    Fortunately, I don't buy based on resale value. It's just like gambling. Whatever I take with me to Vegas, I expect to lose. It's better that way.
     
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  2. BrokenByAudio

    BrokenByAudio Forum Resident

    Outstanding review! I would note that the reviewer was using the $9 or $10K Lyra Etna and the $9K Ortofon Anna in his listening. If those don't max out your appreciation of what a great phono stage can do I don't know what will.
     
  3. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    +100 I love mine: it is outstanding in every way.
     
  4. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man Thread Starter

    Location:
    Northern CA
    I think I'm going to keep my MS Phonomena II+ for vinyl rips. It's only worth $400-500 anyway. That way I can buy the best damn sounding phono pre even if it's tubed. I'm going to demo the Manley and Rogue for sure. Oh and the even though it's a bit more of a stretch, the Andros 1.2. I'm also going to check into the JC3+ and see if there's a dealer near me. Great suggestions from everyone. Thank you. This is fun stuff!
     
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  5. Dentdog

    Dentdog Active Member

    Location:
    Atlanta
    The BAT VK P 10 SE with the Supercaps. I suppose there are better, but for what I like it hits the spot. I guess I would characterize it as muscular and deep. Leaves nothing on the table.
     
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  6. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    Just updating my experience with the Chinook so far - it definitely changes character after a few dozen LPs. Rough guess, but I think I'm at about 25-30 hours now, so really not even "there" by some estimates, and it has relaxed and started to open up which, for anyone who says "gear doesn't burn in," IMO that's rubbish. This is a different sound entirely from 30 LPs ago. It's less forward, effortlessly expands the soundstage beyond what my iPhono 2 did, and the way it can pull detail, suppress noise (yes, I do truly feel pops/ticks are far less intrusive on this vs the iFi), and change direction from gentle melody to swelling explosion of sound is remarkable.

    I've got a new power cord on the way for it and my Odyssey amp, will give those a listen over the weekend. Went used on both, of course.

    For the first time in a long time, I actually feel like cabling might reveal differences and, well, it'd be rude not to test that theory.

    I put on the "glaring" album I tried on the first night I had it again last night and it was far less forward and "compressed" sounding this time around. The first time, it felt like the stage collapsed on itself as the music got busy and loud. Not so, last night. It was a tour de force, and no point in the volume control did the system stop just getting bigger, faster, and louder.
     
  7. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man Thread Starter

    Location:
    Northern CA
    Thanks for the update! And a good one at that! Your last sentence is exactly what I am searching for in a phono stage. Linearity with the volume knob. Well done, @toddrhodes!
     
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  8. Phishman

    Phishman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    +1
     
  9. Matt Richardson

    Matt Richardson Forum Resident

    Location:
    60302
    Can you tell me where you learned that there is an intended 3rd generation JC3 coming out? I've been on the brink of getting this unit but I'll hold off if there's yet another new version on the horizon.
     
  10. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying Sparkling Crystal Clear Digital

    You know that is a good question, I honestly do not know where I saw that, but I really did! Parasound is very easy to reach, I would just give them a call and ask, might be a good time for the newest and best or to get a better deal on the second generation version like I have.
    EDIT: I think this bugged me as much as it did you, so I called and spoke to Chris at Parasound moments ago. I stand corrected, Chris said nothing is slated to come out to replace the 3+ and nothing is on the drawing boards. You know, I must have been taken in by some false junk on the Internet, which is the only thing I can think of???? Big mystery, but the JC-3+ is it!
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  11. Matt Richardson

    Matt Richardson Forum Resident

    Location:
    60302
    Thanks for the follow-up.
     
  12. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying Sparkling Crystal Clear Digital

    My pleasure, I don't know how I got duped, but it certainly appears I was! Go get you a JC-3+, or wait until I sell mine, turntable, records, cartridge, the whole nine yards.
     
  13. Matt Richardson

    Matt Richardson Forum Resident

    Location:
    60302
    My JC3+ just came today via Audio Advisor and all I can say is wow! Previously I thought this New Record Day YouTube reviewer might have been a little overzealous, but after spending all day listening to this unit, I can say he is spot on. The background is dead silent and the sound is pure liquid gold -smooth, articulate, defined, and gorgeous. Well built and heavy too, with no vent holes. Highly recommended for anyone out there considering a phono preamp in the $3K+ range.
     
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  14. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man Thread Starter

    Location:
    Northern CA
    I finally pulled the trigger and went with a Pass Labs XP-15 (demo w/ full warranty). I should have it in a few days. Looking very forward to hearing this thing! Thanks to everyone for your input.
     
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  15. Steelymark

    Steelymark Well-Known Member

    Location:
    On the Edge KY
    If you want to spend a little more money , I suggest NOS Amperex JAN 7308 Green from Upscale Audio for your Chinook ! These tubes are wonderful !!!!!!
     
  16. styler

    styler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arkansas
    having gone thru several spasms of upgradities and spent large sums on audio gear I've come to the conclusion that for the money parasound is pretty damn hard to beat. i'm not a huge fan of their looks but damn their gear sounds fantastic. JC3+ is such a fantastic piece of gear and it beats phono preamps costing thousands more. sutherland is my other favorite for phono preamps and they too have sanely priced gear.
     
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  17. Minty_fresh

    Minty_fresh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dirty Town
    Next year I’ll be eye ballin’ an Odyssey Suspiro. Very few reviews but the ones I find speak very highly.

    AFAIK it’s $1250 standard and $1950 for the reference version which has some upgrades parts and an external power supply.
     
  18. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    I had an Odyssey Tempest preamp with built-in MC/MM phono pre and that was a killer all-in-one preamp so I suspect a standalone phono from Klaus would be excellent. If I could characterize it's sound in one word? Muscular. It really presented music in an effortless, fun manner but wasn't forward or anything like that.
     
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  19. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    I just picked up a Sutherland 20/20 and I'm finding it highly impressive so far. I think one of the most impressive things about the Sutherland line is each unit in the lineup seems to be a standout for it's price point. Really strong lineup from top to bottom.
     
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  20. Minty_fresh

    Minty_fresh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dirty Town
    This is good to hear. I have a Khartago Extreme on the way which will be joined by a Candela later this year. I have no complaints with my Lounge but I a
    Want to add Suspiro as well. Muscular was the term that turned me onto Odyssey in the first place.
     
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  21. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man Thread Starter

    Location:
    Northern CA
    Great choice. I forgot to update the thread but the Pass Labs had a horrible buzz that I just couldn't figure out, so I returned it and bought the 20/20. This thing is awesome from top to bottom, it's quiet and EMI-free.
     
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  22. Seafinch

    Seafinch Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    I had an issue with my Allnic H-1201 so it’s getting looked at (amazing customer service from the distributor and company), but in the mean time I’m borrowing a Sutherland 20/20 and I’m pretty amazed at how good it is. Using it with a Hana SL and an a23 SUT and it’s hard to imagine it sounding better.
     
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  23. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Forum Resident

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I know the OP already has bought a phono stage, but as a newcomer I thought I would add on to this thread. I have been a long time owner of the Liberty Audio B2B-1 phono stage, and I figured there appears to be no owners chiming in, well then I would.

    I have owned my B2B-1 since the fall of 2010, and I am still enthralled with it since the day I bought it. In this hobby we often strive for better than what we have, looking for our next upgrade, one step closer to Shangri-La, and fantasizing about the perfect system. I am like most others in that regards, and there are only a few pieces that I have been able to form a long term commitment with. The Liberty phono stage is one of them.

    I find it to be incredibly even handed in its treatment with music, nothing is exaggerated, nothing stands out as supremo versus other aspects of the music. The phono stage has a low noise floor, has excellent detail, is dynamically expressive, images well, and has a lively feel. Perhaps it could be more refined and still maintain these other characteristics, but I have not lived with a better and more expensive phono stage for an extended time over this one, so I wouldn't know for sure. But there is real value here for what this phono stage brings to the party. At $1995 its not horribly expensive, but its not cheap either. I do find its adjustments to be a pain to use, getting to internal jumpers is a hassle when you want to change between cartridges. Over the years I have had a lot of cartridges come through here I have used it with. From Dynavectors, Koetsu, Benz Micro, Sumiko, Shelter, Audio Technica, Ortofon, and others. I currently use either a ZYX 4D, Ortofon A90, or Denon DL 304 on it.

    It is a nice phono stage. And Peter Noerbeck at PBN Audio/Liberty Audio seems to be a pretty good egg. Its a nice phono stage for not a lot of money.
     
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  24. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    Location:
    TX
    I picked up a used Linn Uphorik a few months ago for what I thought was a steal. It has about any setting I would need going forward. It's quiet, the power is shielded, no heat. Does what it needs to do and stays out of the way. It was a big change in the noise floor for me, and noticeably has better bass/high detail than what I was using.
     
  25. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    what a coincidence, i'm looking at a 20/20 myself. have you tried it without the SUT? the Sutherland are supposed to be clean enough to not need one.
     
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