Fully balanced turntable and phono amp recommendations.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ChefBrunch, Jan 25, 2023.

  1. ChefBrunch

    ChefBrunch Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hawaii
    I recently updated my system to include Balanced inputs and output,I'm near approaching my end game in the stereo setup.

    The last step was the phono....I had planned on waiting for the AT lp2022, but they finally gave me an estimate time And it's April, I love AT and I think the lp2022 will be great...but covid made it the lp2023.5....that said, I'm happy with the AT lp140xp as my 2nd TT.

    I have a TT and phono in mind that I want and have wanted,because I want them..it's the final step in my endgame, I'm not a audio nirvana chasing, I've just built the system...it's still in budget....

    But curious about other recommendations under total price for fully balanced TT and phono $4k

    Thanks
     
  2. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Aren't phono cartridges by their nature fully balanced? Not sure about the arm wiring- I think Ralph @Ralph Karsten could tell you in a minute.
    You want TT and phono stage for 4k all in?
     
  3. ChefBrunch

    ChefBrunch Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hawaii
    4k for turntable and phono amp all in

    That's about the budget on the one my eyes are set on....

    What else in options in that price to make me reconsider?
     
  4. Ralph Karsten

    Ralph Karsten Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Paul MN
    Nearly all magnetic cartridges (which includes LOMC) are balanced sources (the old Decca cartridges with only 3 pins for outputs are the only exception I know of). With most tonearms you can simply replace the tonearm cable to have it balanced right into the phono preamp, if the phono section has such a thing. Any SUT can be used to convert from balanced to single-ended FWIW.
     
    Kyhl and Bill Hart like this.
  5. ChefBrunch

    ChefBrunch Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hawaii
    I'm not into doing mods myself....I have 4k I'm going to spend on a TT and phono already
     
  6. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Project are doing some models with balanced arm interconnects plus phono stages. Also Musical Fidelity do a fully balanced phono stage (owned by Project). Any arm with a Din (mini balanced) connector in the base can use a fully balanced arm cable. Balanced is only advantageous with MC. Another fully balanced phono that has been around for years is the Aqvox.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023
    Bill Hart likes this.
  7. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan A man who dreams he is a butterfly?

    Any semi-competent tech can change out the RCA connectors on your tonearm cable for XLRs. Then you just need a phono preamplifier that supports balanced input and output. I used to have a Coda 03P that worked well...
     
    ky658 likes this.
  8. Davey

    Davey NP: Tujiko Noriko ~ Crépuscule I & II (2023)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    We talked about a bunch of tables with balanced outputs in another recent thread ... New Project balanced TT

    Of course, and table with a tonearm using a standard 5-pin DIN connector can be used with a balanced connection just by changing the cable.
     
  9. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Go Padres!!

    Location:
    San Diego
    What models do you have in mind? I can't even think of a turntable with XLR outputs off the top of my head?
     
  10. ChefBrunch

    ChefBrunch Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hawaii
    I want the TEAC fully balanced TT with the TEAC phono amp 505...it's what I want...

    This is just to see if there is someone capable of talking me out of it.( Probably not, it's my endgame I don't care or use logic)

    But just maybe
     
  11. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    So basically you are just once again making a thread asking people to spend their time and chime in when you have already made up your mind.


    Nice
     
  12. ChefBrunch

    ChefBrunch Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hawaii
    Not exactly, I am open to options...there is a lot out there and lots I don't know about...

    I do take the recommendations seriously
     
  13. Jimi Floyd

    Jimi Floyd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pisa, Italy
    Classicrock likes this.
  14. ChefBrunch

    ChefBrunch Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hawaii
    I think they are overpriced, the speed control is not great that's for the TT. The TEAC has better speed I believe...production in Asia is cheaper, I believe the TEAC will still out perform the project and be more solid. I like the removable headshell.

    The phono box is on my radar and I'm considering it.
     
    Jimi Floyd likes this.
  15. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco

    Ok
     
  16. zed

    zed Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dallas
    Balanced for sound quality improvement or due to only way to input on pre or amp?
     
  17. ChefBrunch

    ChefBrunch Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hawaii
    It's an upgrade, though it's debatable...it's what it is, arguably the only component that really benefits from fully balanced...

    I like 2 TT's and 2 CD players in my system, just because.
     
  18. ChefBrunch

    ChefBrunch Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hawaii
    What I'd be most interested in is a fully balanced phono stage that is one in one out.

    Be it a SUT MM combo or tube or otherwise.

    I have a AT peq30 that Is fine for my lp140xp...

    But a simplified nice direct phono stage that is balanced is preferable.
     
  19. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    You need balanced pre from company which does balanced for living - Boulder. The rest is rarely true balanced and just convenience. Any TT with DIN connector will do. Din-XLR cables are common.
    I think you can find demo of Boulder 508 for ~4K
     
  20. hesson11

    hesson11 Forum Resident

    Just for what it may or may not be worth to you, I've been using the Pro-Ject RS2 for about a year and am very happy with it. The improvement in transparency over my previous PS Audio GCPH was impressive. I bought it not because of the balanced input but because it has two inputs (one balanced, one not) and its nearly infinite adjustability. I'm using it with an Oracle Paris table, with a DIN-to-XLR cable from Bluejeans. I can't say whether the balanced connection is superior; I'm just glad to have the two inputs and the adjustability. I discovered the Teac after I bought the Pro-Jact, and I can't say for sure which one I would have ended up with if I'd have known about both at the time. (I'm guessing you've seen the Stereophile review of the Pro-Ject.) Good luck.
     
  21. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    You don't have to replace any wires. The tonearm wires are all "balanced" in that they are differential pairs laid parallel with identical impedance. They just could use some tight twists where they don't need to be flexible.

    The wiring to RCA jack is also balanced and isolated from the chassis on most models. If you use a multimeter, you will find that the RCA ring and tip correspond exactly to the cartridge wires. Even up to and through a step-up transformer the signal can be a differential pair if employing paired wiring.

    The geometry of the RCA connector, and what cables you employ after is where your wires start to look different, having different impedance.

    However, they aren't "balanced" when it comes to the signal. Balanced interconnections between your XLR components have two independent output amplifiers, each referenced to a center ground. One has opposite polarity from the other, an inverted signal. On phono, dividing the voltage and current output between two input amplifiers gives you two noisy devices receiving half the signal each, and no center winding on a cartridge to have inputs operate distinctly and independently, only providing disadvantage.
     
    violarules likes this.
  22. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    There is a similar thread going on the 'Gon and there, somebody pointed to a new Thorens with a subchassis. Looks like the Thorens tables from the early '70s. And it appeared, I could be wrong, to have XLR outputs. Worth checking. I think retail is 2900US.
    @MonkeyMan - howz that model railroad thing going?
     
  23. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Lol. There are many companies besides Boulder that make true balanced (think you mean differential;)) phono preamps, including the aforementioned Teac.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  24. ChefBrunch

    ChefBrunch Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hawaii
    My belief on turntables is once you achieved a certain level of performance or accuracy, there is not much benefit to be gained in the mechanism

    ..the TEAC balanced turntable I believe is right at that cusp of true performance and affordable and does so solid.

    The phono preamp stage is probably the most critical unit in all of a stereo system providing you have a turntable. That's why I also see going all in on the TEAC phono as a good direction. It will also be adjustable to any cartridges and provide decades of service.

    System matching is also the most critical in the phono turntable to amp combo....going all TEAC on the turntable to phono to main amp. Will provide nice synergy....my Schiit Freya S is very passive and won't effect that.

    I would have gone with a all teac setup but they just don't have a basic preamp, they are all DACs that are really designed for DSD specifically. That I'm not into and the 700 that has a xlr for the phono is 4k itself...
     
  25. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Just looked up the Teac. A surprising amount of cheese there for an $1800 turntable. Looks like what I’d expect in an $800 turntable.

    Their phono preamp looks nice but that turntable…:sigh:
     
    bever70 likes this.

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