Phono amp upgrade

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Oliver Meyer, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Oliver Meyer

    Oliver Meyer In Audio Heaven Up Here Thread Starter

    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Currently using a Schitt Mani. Thinking it's time for an upgrade.
    So far I have it narrowed down to an SPL Phonos, Sutherland 20/20 and a Luxman E-250.
    Any other recommendations in that $2000 ish bracket.?
    In particular tube would be nice.
     
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  2. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    What features do you need/what?
    1. For example is the inherent PF of the phono going to be something that will have an effect on the cartridges that you are using?
    2. Do you want your phonoamp to be neutral ( I do, but that's just me)?
    3. Is it sensitive to the types/brand of interconnects that you are /will be using?
    4. How will it match will your present/planned component upgrades?
    5. Can you get a demo? Not getting one is a deal breaker for me.
    I am looking the at the Sutherland 20/20 myself as I've never "heard" one, but I can't find the Pf spec on the unit. I would like to get a demo and listen to one. But I am extremely happy with what I have.

    M~
     
  3. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    You mention "in particular tubes would be nice" but the three you have narrowed it down to are Solid State?

    Would tubes be nice, or is that your preference?
     
  4. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    What's PF?

    I might see what I could get from Trilogy if going solid state.
     
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  5. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA

    I saw that, and was going to comment on it, but since most of my response to his post was kinda negative, I left it alone. I am so glad not to have to deal with tubes and the associated effort that goes along with them. That's just me though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  6. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    The capacitance spec/settings/capability of the unit. Very import if you are planning on using an Audiotechnica MM cartridge or any cartridge that's sensitive to capacitance.

    M~
     
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  7. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    pF is a measure of capacitance - picofarad. “Interesting” reading here -> Hagerman Technology LLC: Cartridge Loading
     
  8. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Something tells me Davey knows just a little about capacitance, loading and picofarads :) but still a useful link for others. My guess is he was having trouble in the context the original statement was made --- I thought "picofarad" and loading too when I read it, but was unsure because of how it was used / worded.

    I've read Hagerman's write up a few times, among others...... he definitely knows the science behind phono pre's!
     
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  9. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    Have you reached out to Sutherland directly? Ron Sutherland has replied to any email I’ve sent previously. He would probably know.

    And to the OP, I love my Sutherland and have no motivation to shop around. It’s very safe in my system.

    If I was going to look at tubes, I’d up my budget a little more and look at the Manley Chinook and the Modwright PH 9.0.
     
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  10. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Are you planning on keeping the stock cartridge on your turntable? Seems like a better idea spend some of your budget on there to match as well. Your profile shows the $75 Music Hall Melody. Splitting your budget would still get you a decent pairing. Last year I spent around $1500 for Benz-Micro Glider SL with a Musical Surroundings Phonomena 2+. Not suggesting this is appropriate, just an example of what you can do with your budget.
     
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  11. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Unquestionably good choices!

    To stay in the $2K range - many are happy with the Decware ZP3, adding a SUT to get around $2K. Plus in this price range I am certain we'll hear from @Otlset who is a happy Tavish Adagio owner. (I owned the Adagio also for a while).

    Then you can find used Aesthetix Rhea phono pre's (tube) for near $2K........ a couple of owners here of those too. The Chinook...... seems like I read a lot of hot and cold reviews of that -- maybe the later edition with more loading options is faring better.

    I own a Parasound JC3+ that was open box / virtually new that I got for $2100 shipped ($3k retail) . If SS was the preference, and upping the budget $1K was a possibility --- I also own an Accuphase C-27 that I wouldn't give back :) (it is fabulous) AND it can accommodate three TTs on both MC/MM and has balanced out. But that is beyond the current budget - I just like mentioning it!

    There's more of course just throwing a few out there.
     
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  12. varyat

    varyat Forum Resident

    Location:
    wheaton,IL,USA
    Allnic makes a nice phono stage at various price points......
     
  13. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, thanks, didn't recognize it in that context. I think the 20/20 uses an instrumentation amplifier IC as the first stage, and doesn't look like he uses any discrete capacitors on the input, so any stray input capacitance is going to be extremely low, probably not worth specifying. But I guess it would be nice of him to say something like that anyway.
     
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  14. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    My bad, but I would like to know the actual value.

    M~
     
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  15. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA

    Yeah, my bad should have been "pf" lower case at the least.

    M~
     
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  16. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    No, I haven't, it's something that I "thought" should have been in the specification information. If I get serious about it, I will ask though.

    M~
     
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  17. waterclocker

    waterclocker Forum Resident

    Location:
    NW Indiana
    If you are handy with a soldering iron, the Audio Note Kits are on sale right now. I've got the L3 Phono V2 with Jupiter caps. It was a good upgrade to my Tavish 6SL7. Just make sure you get all the parts before starting...it can be a process.
     
  18. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    Honestly, I doubt he has very many requests for that info. Most folks that buy a 20/20 are running LOMC . There is no provision for adjusting capacitance. They will let you run the big dog Grado and Soundsmith stuff with the correct loadings.
     
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  19. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    Only if you are an obsessive/compulsive that can't leave things alone.
     
  20. Oliver Meyer

    Oliver Meyer In Audio Heaven Up Here Thread Starter

    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    I meant tube amps as options seeing as all the ones I have picked so far aren't.
     
  21. Oliver Meyer

    Oliver Meyer In Audio Heaven Up Here Thread Starter

    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    I'm likely to upgrade TT soon to a Technics SL1200G with either the Art9 or a Lyra Delos.

    Unfortunately no one around me carries any of the amps I like so it's going to have to be a considered decision.

    I was hoping for feed back from owners of said amps or those with tube amps.
     
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  22. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Are you still using the MMF 1.5? If so, get a better TT and cart before dropping $2K on a phono stage.
     
  23. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    Audio Advice in Raleigh carries Sutherland.
     
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  24. Oliver Meyer

    Oliver Meyer In Audio Heaven Up Here Thread Starter

    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Unfortunately that's a 4 hour drive
     
  25. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    There's a G with Delos on audiogon in Baton Rouge, been listed about a week, asking $4200. That would be a nice setup. I'm using an older Conrad Johnson Premier 15 tube phono preamp, recently added some vintage Partridge 6x step up transformers on the input (stock gain is 53dB, about the most you can get with tubes alone), really nice phono stage but they don't come around very often.
     
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