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What to consider when buying a phono pre-amp

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Henrik_Swe, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. Henrik_Swe

    Henrik_Swe Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Looking into getting a phono pre-amp for my MoFi Studiodeck (Studiotracker Cartridge). As it is now, it goes straight to my Arcam SA30, and it'd be interesting to hear what difference a dedicated pre-amp would do. What do I need to consider when buying one? Is the MoFi StudioOne the obvious choice given my TT? That one and the Cambridge Alva Duo and Rega Fono MM Mk3 are the ones of interest so far (budget $300-400).
  2. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Think about buying used so that you can go up a level from the $400 phono price point.
    Helom likes this.
  3. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Select, process, CTRL+c, CTRL+z, ALT+v

    I bought a new Cambridge Alva Duo preamp ($200 at BF) and I am happy with that.

    I bought this for its technical specifications:
    - MM Input / MC Input
    - Input Capacitance 100pF
    - Gain 39dB MM / 60dB MC
    - RIAA Curve Accuracy +/- 0.3dB 30Hz-50kHz
    - Signal to Noise Ratio Grounded Inputs >90dB MM / >70dB MC
    - Crosstalk @ 20kHz >85dB MM / >75dB MC
    - Subsonic Filter -3dB @ 12Hz 6dB/Octave
    Henrik_Swe likes this.
  4. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    Do you plan to play 78s? If so, look for one with a mono setting and switchable EQ curves, like the Graham Slee Jazz Club.

    Do you plan to play mono LPs? Look for one with a mono setting.
    Henrik_Swe likes this.
  5. Henrik_Swe

    Henrik_Swe Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    That's a bit above my paygrade, but I'll assume those are good numbers. :)

    No 78's. Mainly LPs. Otherwise definitely mono setting.

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