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Introduction and advice

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello all. 


I recently did some that is incredibly brilliant or stupid. I sold everything except my studio speakers/headphones. 2 turntables, cassette deck, pre, amp and speakers, all of it. It was pieced together over the years, had some quirks but was fine. 


About me, I have background in audio, worked in studios for years. Now I have  small home studio that currently is working as my stereo.


What I am looking to accomplish; an affordable good stereo.


Turntable: Something like the U-Turn Turntable. Good reviews, good price point, cool features.

Amp: Something like the Topping TP30. DAC and an input. I would like more but for under $100, understand.

Pre: Here is what got me to this site. I would love a tube phono pre with headphone out in the similar class as everything else on the list. Great value for the dollar. Any ideas?

Music server: Finally getting to that point that I am tired of rummaging though CDs and really digging for their live stuff. I am a mac person. 

Speakers: I have a couple ideas.


Why head-fi? Of all the audio sites I have been a part of/looked over, the best advice I have seen has come from here. The attitudes are left at the door. I am not looking for the best system ever. I know what expensive speakers sound like in professionally designed acoustic spaces but this isn't that application. My bose iPod dock is PERFECT for my master bathroom or outside while I am grilling. Not putting my Dynaudios out on the patio. 


So there you have it, I hope you get the idea. I look forward to hearing what you recommend as well as contributing where I can. 

post #2 of 3
Hmm - OK, this is an interesting problem. Phono preamps are getting mighty rare except for the DJ and in the lofty prices of summit-fi. The low-cost ones I have seen (and in full disclosure I have not looked very hard) seemed to be a phono preamp only - they didn't do anything except provide the RIAA equalization. A pretty good selection can be found here:

You would then need to go from the phono preamp into the Aux ports of the Topping. The Topping has a headphone jack, right? I don't quite understand why you wouldn't just use that instead of trying to find a phono preamp with a headphone jack?
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply.

I understand the signal flow. Perhaps I didn't explain it properly.

I am looking for a phono pre/stage like the ones you mentioned. I have seen the link you posted, my question is which of say the 83 needle doctor sells is a great value, with a preference of a tube.

The topping does have a headphone jack yes but I haven't seen anywhere that states you can bypass or switch from speakers to headphones. The last thing I would want is to have to plug/unplug speakers anytime I wanted to use the stereo. The topping might have a cut off to the speaker portion when headphones are inserted and there is no dedicated speaker/phones switch so I am assuming they are connected.
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