Originally Posted by BigEat
Interesting suggestion Prickely Pete, for the additional expense, I have been turning over in my head the idea of the Scoutmaster Signature with an appropriate phone stage. The B-52's do not have phono. Any suggestions on a good compliment?
It's hard to beat the Scoutmaster Sig with a Shelter 901 MC. The phono stage is a toss up. Boulder makes a killer stage as does the aforementioned Manley Steelhead. Depends on how you like your vinyl. The Boulder is detailed,natural pretty well state of the art. The Manley is all tube with a million loading options, another masterpiece although definitely a tube amp. The latest stage from ARC is supposed to be amazing and an absolute knock out when paired with the AR ref pre amp and 610T mono blocks.
Is there a local brick and mortar dealer you can access for weekend loaners to see what might work with the TT/B52 ? It's hard to say what might be a good fit for the 52 without experimenting a little to see. I'd say at the very least you've got 80% of the best of analog playback nailed with the Scoutmaster Sig. It's worthwhile to move up to the Super Scoutmaster if coin isn't an issue.
You might want to try tube based stages first if that is your preference, and then SS/Hybrid designs. I seem to recall Aestetix (SP?) makes a killer stage, the Rhea as well for similar coin to the others mentioned (3-8k region). I haven't got the Acoustic Sounds catalog handy so I may wrong about the latter's price. Wait a sec...just found it...4K for the Rhea...not bad at all (gulp).
There are plenty of lower cost stages that are perfectly good, the Sutherland PHD, AcousTech PH-1P. Ear 88PB. (1.5 -4.5K) The Sutherland is something special, it's battery powered. Not bad for 3K.
If money was no object I'd look at the Manley Steelhead first, the Boulder 2008 second and the Aestetix Rhea third. All are first rate.
Those should get you started in the right direction.