Budget Phono Preamp Recommedations?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by jordanb87, Feb 1, 2013.

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  1. jordanb87

    jordanb87 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Winnipeg, Canada
    You wake up one morning with $500 magically implanted into your normally thin wallet. You want to buy a phono preamp (preferably one that can accommodate both MC and MM cartridges) for your Rega P3-24 turntable, as you have been relying on the integrated phono preamp in your receiver. What do you buy?

  2. woody

    woody Forum Resident

    charleston, sc
    I had a grado I liked at that price. Installed it in my brother's system when he had been using the receiver pre until then. It was like a night and day change. It's one to keep in mind.
  3. dhoffa85

    dhoffa85 Well-Known Member

    I like the Jolida but then again that's the only one I have, it is so versatile, and has tons of gain. I heard the Musical Fidelity one and it was pretty good. Rega and Grado are also probably good as well as many others.
  4. dirtymac

    dirtymac Forum Resident

    Exile, MN
    Used okay? If so, a PS Audio GCPH.
  5. adamdube

    adamdube Forum Resident

    Elyria, OH USA
    something used so my budget nearly doubles over new.....something that can change the loading via dip switches or the like so I don't have to open it up to adjust or switch carts.
    johnnypaddock likes this.
  6. robertash

    robertash Forum Resident

    Hagerman Bugle.
    sushimaster and jupiterboy like this.
  7. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Are you serious about saving money?

    ART DJ PRE II. <---clicky for a thread on it.
  8. dhoffa85

    dhoffa85 Well-Known Member

    that art looks cool can you adjust the impedence at all I couldn't tell from the thread? it does have a control for gain which is awesome.
  9. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Buffalo, NY
    riknbkr330 likes this.
  10. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    You can adjust the capacitance. Here are the specs.

    If you go to the Post Your Needledrops thread in this subforum, you can find a couple of samples I ripped with it which I posted this evening.
  11. dconsmack

    dconsmack Forum Resident

    Las Vegas, NV USA
    Check out the Pro-Ject Phono Box S. It's the only phono pre in your budget that I know of that has flexible capacitance loading for moving magnet cartridges. This is ESSENTIAL. Moving magnets are extremely sensitive to capacitive loading (it affects the treble response) and every one needs some flexibility. If you're going to only use moving coil cartridges, capacitance loading is inconsequential. Just find the quietest preamp for MC.
  12. dhoffa85

    dhoffa85 Well-Known Member

    Neat thanks. I might pick one up.
  13. johnnypaddock

    johnnypaddock Forum Resident

    Lowell, MA

    Agreed. I had one for awhile and it's a great deal on the used market. Versatile enough to work with any cartridge, plus it has a mono switch and a phase switch. Built like a tank too.
  14. ElizabethH

    ElizabethH Forum Resident

    SE Wisconsin,USA
  15. BlackPearl

    BlackPearl Forum Resident

    What cartridge are you using?
  16. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Corvallis, Oregon
    Clearaudio Nano is quite nice.
  17. roscoeiii

    roscoeiii Forum Resident

    Used you could also get a used Dynavetor P75. Quite nice in that price range. You aren't paying for the casework on this one. And for LOMC carts, there is Phono Enhancer mode (particularly good with low impedance carts).
    jupiterboy likes this.
  18. eyeCalypso

    eyeCalypso Forum Resident

    Colorado, USA
  19. Lonson

    Lonson Just An Old Disestablishmentarianismist

    I'd look for a PS Audio GCPH used at that price. Very good phono preamp, can drive a power amp directly even, very flexible and you can use MC or MM.

    Or. . . save up and buy the Decware ZP3. I replaced my GCPH with one of these and I'm in awe.
    Synthfreek likes this.
  20. jordanb87

    jordanb87 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Winnipeg, Canada
    Used is absolutely alright.

    I am currently using a Denon DL-110 (MC) cartridge. It's only 2 months old, but eventually, when it's time to replace it, I would like to upgrade. I suppose I could commit myself to MC cartridges if I had to choose, though keeping the option of MC or MM open would be my first choice.

    Thanks, all, for the suggestions. My local dealer carries NAD, Rega, and Graham Slee. While buying there is my first preference, online is okay too.
  21. G E

    G E Forum Resident

    +1 hagerman bugle
  22. rpd

    rpd Forum Resident

    I have been very happy with my Slee...
  23. weirdo12

    weirdo12 Forum Resident

    If you want something that will make it super easy to rip vinyl and act a a phono preamp and a DAC and a head phone amp, check out the Furutech ADL GT40.
  24. Laservampire

    Laservampire ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    This! After all I've read I'm seriously considering one.
  25. jordanb87

    jordanb87 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Winnipeg, Canada
    Thanks for the suggestions, though I'm not interested in ripping vinyl, and I don't listen through headphones. Just looking for a simple, reliable, well-made, well-performing phono preamp. Thanks for all the suggestions thus far everyone!
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