Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Croft Phono Integrated

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Art K, May 6, 2020.

  1. As you’ve worked out, it’s what’s inside the casework that’s important, and it’s all hand-wired point-to-point circuitry.

    My Croft kit sits out of sight behind the sofa while I sit on the sofa facing my Russell K Red 150 speakers and listening to music.

    Croft might be described by some as hair-shirt hi fi, but my ears say that it’s anything but.
     
    Swann36, magoo6, bhazen and 1 other person like this.
  2. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    High praise indeed! Now I’m really intrigued by these Crofts. IIRC, my local dealer said he uses one to power his Spendors at home.
     
    Art K likes this.
  3. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    Has the price of these gone up? I bought one probably four years ago for $800 when the commotion they stirred up died down a bit. I knew I'd be able to move it without loss so had to hear it. No complaint about its sound, but wasn't wowed either. Also, I didn't mind the dual volume controls, but I couldn't live without a remote so it on it went.
     
  4. Art K

    Art K I bite you! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Stereophile reviewed this amp in 2013 and it was the same price it is today...not sure how old the one you had was. Of course Glenn continues to refine his products. A small price increase will happen with the next batch imported.
     
    bhazen likes this.
  5. As per previous posts, the basic Croft offering is just the start, and a single motorised volume control is just one of many things that can be added at extra cost.
     
    Art K likes this.
  6. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    I had a subscription back then and remember reading the review when it came out. It was a fairly controversial with JA's measurements. I would guess with the stir the original and follow-up reviews caused, Croft had a sizable uptick in sales. I would also hazard there were a lot of buyers who moved their amp along at a substantial discount after their initial assessment period.
    Mine was purchased in 2016. I sold it to a friend after using it for a few months. He was also intrigued by the hoopla, and couldn't resist a bargain. He still uses the amp in a bedroom system.
     
  7. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

    Thinking about upgrading my NAD 325 to a Croft for my just bought Spendor BC1 speakers. Nice to read, this thread.
     
    Art K likes this.
  8. Art K

    Art K I bite you! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I had an NAD 325 and 326 at one time. Great values. The Croft would be a big upgrade as far as sound goes.
     
    RemyM likes this.
  9. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

    Yeah i know you had those :). It will be a LFD or a Croft. Looking forward to hearing it.
     
  10. Art K

    Art K I bite you! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    In contrast to an earlier post of mine... I am now running the stock power cord only. I know, I know... I called it a throwaway. I ran it for a few minutes and said, oh hell no.. I received my Spendor Classic 3/1’s and after a break in period I started experiencing fatigue listening to my system. I tried my other speakers and after a bit they were not quite right. I did exhaustive work with placement and cables and then one day I remembered how much I didn’t like LFD speaker cable and interconnects. Why? They were bright to my ears. That was years ago and it had slipped my mind. I put the stock power cord back in and it sounded, well, not so good. I then put my Audience forte f3 in and everything was lovely. I’ve had this power cord for some time and it was well run in so I decided to put the stock cord in and grin and bear it for a couple of weeks. For that patience I was rewarded with a truly satisfying sound. Fast, immediate with lovely presence and tone. What inspired me to try the stock cord again was reading Art Dudley’s review. He was quite clear that he used the stock cord with his Auditorium 23 interconnects and speaker cable. My Black Cat Coppertone cables compare favorably to those. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, for now.
     
    Swann36 likes this.
  11. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Cords are no BS. The stock cord of my friend’s Atlas Magnum cut down an obnoxious speaker buzz by at least 50% compared to a Pangea cord. Made the amp go from unlistenable to quite pleasant.
     
    Art K likes this.
  12. Art K

    Art K I bite you! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Gotta try them to know. Also keeping an open mind is important. More isn’t always better.
     
    bhazen likes this.
  13. james

    james Summon The Queen

    Location:
    Annapolis
    hey art, I know you’ve mentioned Glen a time or to, so maybe you have at least a basic relationship. I’m curious: have you asked him about this? I’d love to hear the designers thoughts on power cords. I’m personally interested in the phono integrated
     
  14. Art K

    Art K I bite you! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Honestly, I don’t know. I might email him about that.
     
    james likes this.
  15. thesisinbold

    thesisinbold Forum Resident

    Location:
    Camarillo, Ca, USA
    Get a Croft. Get one through gene Rubin. That’s what I did!

    never a regret.
     
  16. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    I'm going to inquire this week about the RIAA R phono stage. Hoping to get a mono switch added. It's a lot of preamp for my vinyl rig, but I will have some cash as I sell off the gear I no longer want and it should be worthwhile upgrade, phono stages being so important. Probably all the phono stage I will ever need. It should help with some pretty decent cart upgrades in the future. Also considering the EAR Phonobox, but I'm leaning towards the Croft.
     
  17. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area
    I will forever sing the praises of the Croft Phono Integrated. A truly special bit of kit and a crazy good value. I only sold mine because I got a deal on a gently used LFD NCSE Mk3 and I can't justify two systems. That said, the Croft remains the only piece of gear I regret selling. I imagine I'll probably have another one at some point.
     
    timind likes this.
  18. Shiver

    Shiver Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    As they say, you might well forget what someone said to you, what they were wearing, or even what they look like, but what you'll never forget is how they made you feel. It's the same with the hifi gear to an extent, and over time I regretted selling my Croft integrated too. What followed was in some ways better, but it was that feel from the music I missed. I put down to the overall tone, which Crofts seem to get so right. Getting the pre back in really brought that back.
     
    RemyM likes this.
  19. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

    Anybody know the difference between the separated RIAA MM Phono Preamp (€700) and the one you can built into the Integrated for only an extra €200?
     
  20. daytona600

    daytona600 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    RIAA MM phono stage built into the amp you almost get a free £500 phono stage for £1100
    The Phono Integrated is basically a Series 7 power amplifier with a Micro 25 phono stage & passive line stage all in one box & competes with £3000-£5000 amplifiers used one every day myself for years ( TD150/Croft/Rogers LS3/5a )

    Showing no mercy, I dropped the Croft in place without paying any concern to price or-as above-impedance. The source was the deliriously expensive SME 30 turntable with SME Series V arm and Koetsu Urishi cartridge, feeding the EAT 324 phono stage; while for CD I used the Marantz CD-12/DA-12. In addition to the Wilson's, I also had a go at the hungry Sonus Faber Guarneri and 100-ohm LS3/5A speakers. Wiring throughout was from Transparent. Here's the crunch: the system ranged in total cost between £35.000 and £50.000.
    Croft charges £1000 for this integrated amplifier. and it did not embarrass itself.Ken Kessler Hifi News
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
    RemyM likes this.
  21. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

    Can't wait to get one for my Spendor BC1's.
     
  22. Art K

    Art K I bite you! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    As I was reminded by a member here, do remember this.

    From Glenn Croft

    “It does Invert phase and the speaker wiring does need to be reversed. This is because the circuit is very simple with only one stage of voltage amplification in the power amp and every stage of voltage amplification inverts overall phase.

    The power amp valve can be changed to reduce the gain [ the valve on the right looking from the front ] :-

    The ECC83 used has a gain of 100

    The 5751 has a gain of 75

    The ECC81 has a gain of 60

    The 12AY7 has a gain of 44

    The ECC82 has a gain of 20

    All the best,

    Glenn.”

    I read that and tried it when I first received the amp and didn’t hear much difference. However I tried again and did notice a little difference on some recordings. Can’t hurt and since this is the direction from the designer, why not.
     
  23. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area
    Agreed. The LFD is, by almost any objective and subjective measure, a vastly superior amplifier that sounds wonderful in my system. But the Croft was just so ... good. So much better than it has any right to be at that price. It replaced a very nice entry-level Jolida and it provided my first glimpse into what's possible in this hobby.

    It's also just so damn ... quaint. Mine arrived in a plain brown box labeled "Croft Phono Integrated" in black Sharpie. No logo, no branding, nothing at all. And no manual, either. I emailed Croft to ask if perhaps that had been an oversight and damned if Glen himself didn't respond within a couple of hours. He very politely told me that he's always meant to put together a manual but never got around to it, and it's all quite simple, what with one selector knob and two volume knobs, but if I have any problems or have any questions, to send him another note and he'll respond right away. I got the sense that Croft Acoustics is Glen in his shed with a soldering iron and a cup of tea, and that if he had done a manual it would be written in ballpoint pen.

    And did I mention the Phono Integrated has two volume knobs? How cool is that?

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be over at Audiogon to see if there's a used Phono Integrated to be had...
     
    timind, Shiver, RemyM and 1 other person like this.
  24. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area
    My Croft Phono Integrated sounded lovely with my Spendor D7s.
     
    RemyM likes this.
  25. daytona600

    daytona600 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    [​IMG]
    It's also just so damn ... quaint. Mine arrived in a plain brown box labeled "Croft Phono Integrated" in black Sharpie. No logo, no branding, nothing at all. And no manual, either.
    I got the sense that Croft Acoustics is Glen in his shed with a soldering iron and a cup of tea, and that if he had done a manual it would be written in ballpoint pen.

    You can get the croft phono in a upmarket wood version @ $4000 or black sharpie version @ $1500 & $2500 of records
    glenn croft spends the money on the inside not the outside

    .
     
    Rick58 and RemyM like this.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine