Phono preamps under $200
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eric343

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My dad and I were in Hawthorne Stereo, a local (and really cool!) stereo shop, and the salesguy put on some vinyl... My dad was hooked
So now we're in the market for a phono preamp so he can hook his Technics turntable to the input of our McIntosh MA6500 integrated (and later, to a Wheatfield HA2). I believe the cartridge in the turntable is an AudioTechnica with relatively high signal out (I can use it with the regular input of the Mac, but it sounds crappy). The only real requirement is that it be under $200 or so...

Any suggestions?
 
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timoteus

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Since your profile shows you like building amps you might want to consider building the new Bottlehead Seduction phono amp kit. It is supposed to be coming out early this summer at around $200. I hope to be one of the first in line once it is released. It uses 6DJ8's and is said to be dead quiet.

Edit:

Here is the last thread about this amp:
http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/bo...ges/44444.html

 
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eric343

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Heyyy... Good idea!
 
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Tuberoller

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I want to try that Bottlehead as well,it seems like it will be very sweet.In the meantime I highly recommend the Creek OBH-8 and the cheap Radio Shack battery-powered units.They are both very quiet.stay far away from that stinkin' NAD unit and the Project unit as well.they are both very noisey and the NAD has terrible bass.I'm thinking about harrassing JMT into building me phono amp deigned by Tom Holman that I found a schematic for.this would sound awesome as Tom Holman designed some of the best stages ever.
 
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eric343

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Where's the schematic for the Holman stage? Sounds fun!
 
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Tuberoller

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The schematic is in print form.Actually it is fairly easy to find.The Advent 300 reciever that had the very best integrated phono stage IMO, had the schematic printed on the bottom of the unit.I reprinted the schematic from a copy of the Advent service manual.i have found it on the net as well, modded to work with an external power supply as well as with batteries.Do a search for Tom Holman.
 
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daycart1

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There is a roundup of least expensive phono stages in the current Stereophile. The Gram Amp is among those that always review well...
 
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Dusty Chalk

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The Creeks are well considered by the press. I think there are like four different ones, one each for MM and MC, and a SE of both (OBH-8, OBH-8SE, OBH-9, OBH-9SE). I don't think all of them are under US$200, though...yeah, at AudioAdvisor, for example, only the OBH-8 is US$200, although if you watch their clearance page, a deal can be had.
EDIT: Meh, that was the clearance page.
 
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canhead

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i like my NAD phono preamp it works great for me. I dont think its noisy at all. to each his on i guess. picked mine up for 115 bucks plus tax. oh Stereophile gave it a good review also.
 
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fredpb

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The ROTEL phono stage retails for about $200 and is outstanding.
 
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MusicJunkie

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Ok, I'm really going to show my ignorance with these questions.

What exactly is a phono preamp? Or any preamp for that matter? Why is it necessary? What does it do?

I've had turntables in the past and didn't have or need a phono preamp.

What's the story?
 
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eric343

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The point of a standard preamp is to add a volume control, input switching capability, and boost the signal a bit so the power amp dosen't have to work as hard.

A phono preamp amplifies the really small and dinky signal from your record cartrage/needle, so your preamp can work with it. See, normal signals are "line level"- about 2V peak-peak max. But phono cartridges generate really low level signals, since the needle isn't moving enough to generate that much electricity. The phono preamp boosts this signal and alters it to the RIAA spec, because signals are altered before they're "engraved" in order to improve mechanical performance. By altering it to a standard, it can be de-altered so you hear the original music.

The reason you've never needed a phono preamp is that most old recievers and integrated amps had them built in- that's what the "phono" input is.
 
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