I had the original EC Phonostage and sold it, more out of curiosity abt other phono stages than anything else. Basically, I was just getting back into vinyl and wanted to try some of the highly regarded phono stages at various price points. So, I had the Art Audio Vinyl Reference, Tom Evans Groove, Ray Samuels F-117 Nighthawk, and my Metric Halo LIO-8 with RIAA equalization. They all had their pluses and minuses. The Groove sounded great on some stuff but was completely lacking in other ways. Ruthlessly revealing but sterile. I was pretty happy with the Nighthawk but it was a bit lifeless. Yeah, it's quiet but everything seemed a bit slow. Then again, that's always been my experience with any battery powered audio device.
So, I thought I'd have Craig build me another phono stage but with the upgraded Cinemag transformers (same ones as in the Bob's Devices Cinemag 1131 SUTs). My previous EC phono stage was a one box solution, the new models have the psu and main unit separated. I'm running this with a Tungsol BGRP for the 6SN7 and using Sylvania Gold Brand 5751s in the 12ax7 spots. (A big part of the motivation in trying his two box phono stage is that I had these NOS tubes lying around unused. The universe spoke and I listened.) I went with a 1:20 winding.
My tt set-up is Origin Live Silver tonearm, Lyra Delos and tweaked SL1200 (upgraded Mike New bearing, Funk Firm platter and mat, Pete Riggle VTA adjuster, Paul Hynes SR5 psu). The EC phono stage is simply stellar and TROUNCES all of my previous phono stages. It's quiet, lightning quick, and good with any genre. I'm not biasing my listening to any particular part of my collection. More importantly, it has made my vinyl set-up my source of choice by no small margin. I'm pretty lazy as far as vinyl goes, so this is a huge testament. I've been doing nothing but playing vinyl since I got it.
This is one of those audio purchases that keeps the addiction going. A huge improvement along any audio metric.