Author Topic: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...  (Read 1954 times)

Offline bpape

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Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« on: February 27, 2020, 08:56:39 PM »
Been exclusively streaming for quite a while now from a server.  Getting back in to vinyl.  Have a VPI HW19 Mk II, RB300 with new weight and incognito rewire, table came with a VDH MM-1 with a new stylus.  Looking for a phono stage and would love some advice from those who have been into this.  Need to keep it under $700 and used is just fine.  Things I am considering (but welcome to other suggestions!)

IFI iPhono2
Hagerman Cornet 3
Graham Slee ???
Lehman Black Cube
Musical Surroundings  Phonomena II
Vincent PHO 701
Vista Audio
Lounge Audio.

Would be nice to have a combo MM/MC unit but as of now, just MM is fine and then either upgrade or add a step up transformer later if I move to a low output MC.  Kind of depends on how the Van den Hul sounds. Have not heard this cartridge.

Thanks in advance for all opinions.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 09:14:45 PM »
Vista has a very good reputation, especially on their phono stages. Couldn’t readily find a price, but I think it’s around $400.

http://www.vista-audio.com/products/phono-2/index.htm
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Offline Jack

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2020, 09:30:30 PM »
Vista Phono 2 in that price range without a doubt.  I owned the Phono I Mk II and the the Phono 2 for the last three.  If you need help or service Boris is as good as it gets. If you decide to go higher in budget the Gold Note PH-10.
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Offline S Clark

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2020, 09:59:20 PM »
I currently have two Vistas, a Jolida, a Dodd, and a Graham Slee.  The Vistas are excellent value but at the bottom of the group.  I think the Dodd and Graham Slee are both a good step up... Dodd with better base and more musical, the Graham Slee with more detail.  But I think the Jolida is my favorite. 
The Dodd is the priciest... and probably impossible to find. The Vistas are the cheapest, And used Graham Slees and Jolidas are quite afforable and regularly available. 
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Offline rollo

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2020, 09:01:55 AM »
  For the money Vista. Just needs a better power supply to be its best.


charles
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Offline bpape

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2020, 12:06:56 PM »
Thanks for the input.  I'll add Tavish to the list.  People seem to just love it and it sounds like what I'm looking for - thoughts?

Charles, anything special on the power supply?
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Offline toobluvr

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2020, 04:56:49 PM »
I have owned the Vista.  Excellent for the $$.

I currently own the Tavish Vintage 6SL7,  JuicyMusic Tercel Mk2,  and Blue Circle BC27-pi.   All can be had used in the 500 to 700 dollar range.   All handle both MM and MC.   I recommend all these units without hesitation.

The Juicy might be a bit tough to find now that Mark Dineen is no longer in the game.  A few years ago I'd see them fairly frequently on the used markets, but I think guys have figured out just how good they are and are holding onto them.  Same thing with the JM preamps (Blueberry, Peach and Merlin).   I also own the Blueberry Xtreme.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 05:02:16 PM by toobluvr »
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several amps, peamps, phono stages, digital gear

Offline rollo

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2020, 10:05:27 AM »
Thanks for the input.  I'll add Tavish to the list.  People seem to just love it and it sounds like what I'm looking for - thoughts?

Charles, anything special on the power supply?

 Brian just any good linear supply.

charles
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Offline bpape

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2020, 12:47:11 PM »
Thanks all.  Tried to look at the Juicy Music but looks like the site has been hacked.  Can't get anywhere and antivirus flagged a redirect virus.  Got any deeper links or contact info?
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Offline toobluvr

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2020, 05:57:41 AM »
JM is out of business so new is not possible.  Used is the only option. 

Go to the Klipsch forum, the guys over there love the JM stuff.  On that board I see more posts discussing it and FS ads than anywhere else. 

Search on "juicy music" (with the quotes) and 33 pages returns, including some recent FS ads.

Mark (JM designer / builder) used to post over there frequently under the name "mdeneen"  but somehow all his posts have disappeared.....wiped clean....only hint of his existence is follow-up posts quoting his posts.  I'm not familiar with that board so I don't know how that happens.   
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 06:03:14 AM by toobluvr »
Sunny Cable H2W10, JMR Twins, Gallo subs
TT1: Townshend Rock 3/OL Silver Mk3A/Music Maker 3
TT2: OL Aurora/OL Encounter Mk3C/Dyna xx2-Mk2
Other: Soundsmith Zephyr,  Shelter 501
several amps, peamps, phono stages, digital gear

Offline jimbones

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2020, 07:39:49 AM »
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Offline toobluvr

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2020, 08:09:22 AM »
ADDENDUM:   For anyone interested,  AudioKarma is another site with a fair bit of chatter about JM gear.....17 pages worth.
Sunny Cable H2W10, JMR Twins, Gallo subs
TT1: Townshend Rock 3/OL Silver Mk3A/Music Maker 3
TT2: OL Aurora/OL Encounter Mk3C/Dyna xx2-Mk2
Other: Soundsmith Zephyr,  Shelter 501
several amps, peamps, phono stages, digital gear

Offline James Edward

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2020, 02:48:09 PM »
I don't know if this is even relevant at this point, but I had the Juicy Music Blueberry Extreme, and I loved the sound. It's another one of those pieces that, with money, space, foresight, etc., etc., I would have held on to. Such is life...
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Offline toobluvr

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2020, 05:00:48 AM »
I don't know if this is even relevant at this point, but I had the Juicy Music Blueberry Extreme, and I loved the sound. It's another one of those pieces that, with money, space, foresight, etc., etc., I would have held on to. Such is life...

I bought one of the early first run Blueberrys waaay back in 2004..... I think?   

Of course, there's always something better....got antsy....sold it....missed it......corrected my mistake by buying a used Blueberry Xtreme 2.  Before Mark disappeared from the scene I had him do all the mods he was offering.  Last summer my tech had to repair something in the voltage regulation circuit.  Apart from that, trouble free.

Enjoyed the BB so much several years ago I felt confident in picking up a used Tercel 2 phono stage.  Still have it and enjoy it very much.  But this too needed a repair over the summer (power supply).

You still see JM gear available FS, mainly on those 2 sites I mentioned earlier.  But they are aging now and might start breaking down.
Sunny Cable H2W10, JMR Twins, Gallo subs
TT1: Townshend Rock 3/OL Silver Mk3A/Music Maker 3
TT2: OL Aurora/OL Encounter Mk3C/Dyna xx2-Mk2
Other: Soundsmith Zephyr,  Shelter 501
several amps, peamps, phono stages, digital gear

Offline rollo

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Re: Phono stage advice and opinions needed...
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2020, 12:47:55 PM »
  Brian, stop fooling around. :) Check out the Audio Hungary Qualiton Phono stage. A tubed affair with outboard SS power supply. You can get an a Biz to Biz price.
  I have one and it changed my world. I used a State of the Art Loesch & Weisner tubed phono for years. no longer. www.audiohungary.com


charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
Lamm Industries - Aqua Acoustic, Formula & La Scala DAC- INNUOS  - Rethm - Kuzma - QLN - Audio Hungary Qualiton - Fritz speakers -Gigawatt -Vinnie Rossi,TWL, Mad Scientist, Swiss Cables