OK, this might be a silly question, but here we go.
I have a Ray Samuels Hornet and Untrasone Ed8.
On the LOWEST gain setting, I turn the volume up to a maximum of about a third of the way around when listening to my ipod.
I am thinking about getting a turntable and I understand that you either need a new modern turntable with a built in pre-amp and normal line level outputs (pretty restricted to low end turntables this way though) OR buy a regular turntable and add an external pre-amp to bring the VERY low level signal that comes from the cartridge up to normal line level.
I am wondering that since I can switch the gain on my headphone amp up MUCH higher, will this have the same effect as a phono stage, or is there some clear advantage a dedicated phono stage. I mean, at the end of the day, all the phono stage does is add x amount of dB gain to the signal coming in, and if I change the level of gain on my headphone amp (because there is plenty of room to move) that is doing the same thing right?