Upgrading TT & phono pre

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Kamaaina1, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Kamaaina1

    Kamaaina1 Aloha! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Hello, would I still achieve better sound by Upgrading my audio-technica 120LP & phono Box e, to. Debut carbon esprit TT and higher quality phone pre-amp. The Denon AVR X1400H is my receiver with B&W 704 S2 speakers & sub.
    Thank you!!
     
  2. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    With those speakers, can you wait and save for something better? Say a Rega P3 or the new Technics table being released. Combine one of those with say a Lounge and then you would have something.
    Your suggested table will be an upgrade, but not a drastic one. Your speakers are good enough for even a Rega P6 or Technics 1200GR.
     
    Helom and bluemooze like this.
  3. Kamaaina1

    Kamaaina1 Aloha! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Fitment is my biggest issue. My allotted space in “my wife’s” cabinet is only 19” wide x 14” deep. Believe me, if I could fit a better TT & receiver, I would. The situation is killing me!
    So are you saying the Denon 1400 won’t be a hamper on the upgraded components. If not, I’ll definitely look into a higher grade TT & phone pre.
    Let me know!
    Thank you!!!
     
  4. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    MI
    A tube phono preamp is usually better than solid-state preamps. Your TT is 17.75" wide. The SR-1200GR is 17-27/32. Will that TT fit? Or, the new Technics SR-1200MKII to be released may fit. I read a post the Technics TT is superior to the Pioneer PLX-1000 TT.
    A great cartridge is a Audio Technica VM540ML. Try a better TT and cartridge first, the replace with a tube based phono preamp if you are not thrilled.
     
  5. Kamaaina1

    Kamaaina1 Aloha! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Width wise, yes, the depth on most of the wanted upgrades is the sticking point. And yes, definitely going with a tube phono pre. $600+/- Any suggestions in that area? How are the reviews on Schiit pre's?
    Thank you for all your time folks!!

    Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.
     
  6. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Did you gut the LP120? The on-board phono stage remains in the circuitry? You might do this while you are building funds for a better deck and stage. I wouldn't worry about degrading the value on the LP120 as you could sell it with the Pro-Ject. I have Pro-Ject, it's a decent started stage. You also take an intermediate step and explore an MC cartridge that could be transferred to your next deck. But I'd actually explore a better profile stylus over a MC cart as I've found loading an MC cart is pretty important to getting the most out of it.
     
  7. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    MI
    No experience with stand alone tube phono preamps. All my vintage amps had a phono stage and I rebuilt the stage for better sound. I have a stand alone 1962 Fisher clone phono stage for sale. Fisher made the beat sounding phono stages.
     
  8. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    Well, you didn’t mention replacing the Denon at this time. Yes it will definitely need replacing, but fix the source first. Get the decent table and use your Ortofon Blue. Then get a better phono preamp. Don’t worry about the Denon for now.

    I would go for the Lounge phono preamp as the minimum. There are better but that model seems to be loved at 300 bucks. With the P3 you would be at $1245, 1295 with the lounge and Technics. If you could budget more, I would get a more expensive phono preamp over spending more on a a TT.

    I have no idea of your budget, but this price point is where playing vinyl gets interesting.
     
    Kamaaina1 likes this.
  9. Why? Isn't it more a matter of taste?
     
  10. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    MI
    You have a valid point. Yes, matter of taste is everything.
    I can roll the tubes for best sound. I cannot roll transistors. OP amps if so equipped in a phono stage are a little less great sounding than discrete transistors in my experience, but I have limited experience. A cheap tube phono amp will not likely outperform a quality SS and stock cheap tubes degrades tube phono amps greatly. I been fully satisfied with tube phono preamps thus recommend tube type. Extra cost is buying the best tubes though and tubes do wear out.

    Another point is the owners Denon amp may mask the ultimate performance of a tube phono amp. I guess it is a matter of all the components including the speakers that makes for a great audio system. If the owner never upgrades from the Denon, a high performance tube phono amp may never outperform a quality SS phono amp.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    Johnny Vinyl likes this.
  11. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    Best then to upgrade the cabinet as well.
     
    Kamaaina1 likes this.
  12. Kamaaina1

    Kamaaina1 Aloha! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Thank you for the response!
    Definitely will purchase the Lounge, but unfortunately, the P3 will not fit. Think I’ll go with the Debut Carbon Esprit.
    Thanks again!
     
  13. Kamaaina1

    Kamaaina1 Aloha! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Thank you all for your detailed responses & suggestions! SH forum family definitely the best!!!
     

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