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TerryO

Valeb LCR-1 Mk2 RIAA Phono Stage Comparo

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An interesting comparison between the affordable Valeb LCR-1 and the not so affordable EAR 912 and VDH Grail phono stages. Just wondering if anyone here has owned the Valeb or tried one out?

 

 http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/LCR-RIAA-shootout.htm

 

cheers Terry

Edited by TerryO

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Guest Hensa

I have the LCR and it is an outstanding phono stage. Gives up very little to significantly more expensive stages (to my ears). You can have a listen the next time you’re down here!

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Thanks for that I certainly will, out of interest Greg, is it the phono stage you use most in your system?

 

cheers Terry

Edited by TerryO

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Hi Terry,

 

It’s currently got the Denon hooked up to it and as I occasionally change arm wands/carts, I like the flexibility. When we set up your Oracle, we can run it through the LCR for you to hear it first hand with your table. Might swap it across to the SOTA over the weekend - works very well with the SOTA/Axia as well.

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11 hours ago, TerryO said:

An interesting comparison between the affordable Valeb LCR-1 and the not so affordable EAR 912 and VDH Grail phono stages. Just wondering if anyone here has owned the Valeb or tried one out?

 

 http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/LCR-RIAA-shootout.htm

 

cheers Terry

Gees Terry. This link has opened up some interesting stuff. I clicked on the guys system and checked out the turntable and then the site he got the platter and bearing from. Very interesting if you like building gear.☺️

Edited by Wimbo

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Having heard the Valab and PS Audio phono stages I thought the Valab was substantially better in Greg’s system. Interestingly I thought they were much closer in @ABGs system. If I were going to buy a new phono stage this would most likely be top of the picks as a value for money proposition. 

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I guess a couple of hypothetical questions I have are, based on ability and sq if given the choice out of the RCM Prelude and the LCR-1 which one would you choose and why?

Edited by TerryO

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Terry, I have the Valeb and PS Audio GCPH.  I would happily listen to either.  The Valeb has slightly better bass extension and a tiny bit more separation between instruments.  It hasn't come out since I plugged it in, but that's more because it's a pain in the neck to change over in my cabinet.  You're welcome to borrow mine for a few weeks if you're in Sydney.

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18 minutes ago, ABG said:

Terry, I have the Valeb and PS Audio GCPH.  I would happily listen to either.  The Valeb has slightly better bass extension and a tiny bit more separation between instruments.  It hasn't come out since I plugged it in, but that's more because it's a pain in the neck to change over in my cabinet.  You're welcome to borrow mine for a few weeks if you're in Sydney.

Thank you ABG, that is a very kind offer and one I may take you up on.

 

I had also considered the GCPH as a option but didn't know where it fitted in amongst these other phono stages. I actually have a Lehman Black Cube SE2 that I am using with the DP-60L/Hana SH and love it.

 

In reality I am hoping to find out what phono stage is out there in my price range that will be a decent improvement over the Black Cube SE2 so I can combine it with the Oracle Delphi / Kiseki Blue combination when I get it up here in a few weeks.

 

You know I was pretty happy with a Oppo 205 as a source until I met Greg, then he lured me over to the dark side with promises of euphoric and heavenly experiences while spinning vinyl and my bank balance has never been quite the same since. ... :winky:

Edited by TerryO

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7 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

The Mini is more my price range, looks well made too.

Then this?

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=97993

 

Sorry bout the off topic.

Worth saving to get the LCR - whole different ball game. Welcome to drop round for a listen. When I ordered mine, I wanted some higher impedance options and the designer started from scratch with a new circuit board to  come up with my version. All at no extra cost and the build quality is excellent. A few other members have since ordered this different version.

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Where did you purchase the Valeb from?

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There is some chat on other forums that the guy who builds and sell's the Valeb LCR's has gone out of business. 

Edited by TerryO

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Guest Hensa

Terry, I haven’t heard both the RCM and the Valab in the same system so difficult to say. I suspect the RCM was a little warmer than the Valab but in my own system, the Valab doesn’t lack for warmth but I suspect it’s more neutral and what I’m hearing is warmth from the cart and other parts of the system.

 

In my system, the Valab was clearly better than the GCPH - soundstage, imaging all improved. In Andrew’s system, while they were closer, I thought the LCR was again audibly better.

 

I haven’t heard your Lehmann but you could bring it with you if you wanted to listen to it in direct comparison with the Valab.

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Hi Terry,

 

I have the LCR as well and as Greg said it is a whole different ball game great flexability and very well made at a good price I`m very happy with mine.

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45 minutes ago, TerryO said:

There is some chat on other forums that the guy who builds and sell's the Valeb LCR's has gone out of business. 

Based on his very active eBay store, I’d suggest this is nonsense but why not send Kevin (Valab owner - spelt with 2 a’s by the by) a message through eBay and get confirmation. He was never quick to reply to messages buteventually always got round to it.

 

47 minutes ago, balk2117 said:

Where did you purchase the Valeb from?

I got mine through eBay.

 

 

Edited by Hensa

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3 hours ago, Hensa said:

In Andrew’s system, while they were closer, I thought the LCR was again audibly better.

Agreed.  The Valab really is a Bang For Your Buck champion.  I haven't had the time or inclination to evaluate as many phono stages as Greg has over the years, but the fact he's got a Valab in his system speaks volumes about its sonic qualities.  When Greg talks about TT's, phono stages or cartridges, I pay very close attention.

 

Anyone in the south of Sydney that would like to hear the Valab is welcome to hear it in my system.  If you're in the north, drop Greg a PM.  I'm pretty sure he'd be willing to help.  Just don't expect technical explanations from me - Greg's your man if you want to have that conversation.  When people start talking about picofarads, my eyes start to glaze over.  I couldn't care less about what's inside my phono stage - I'm much more interested in what comes out of it.  Perhaps one day I'll have the time to delve into the workings of my equipment, but not in the foreseeable future.  Until then, I'll use my limited spare time enjoying great music.

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I also bought the valab after I've read that shot out review and heard it at Greg's system. I also have couple of other phono and valab is a bargain, SQ and flexibility is well above its price.

I also have GCPH at the same time but now sold as I found valab is a bit better than the GCPH.

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@TerryOwhich phono did you end up with?

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Hi Pk, I ended up buying the RCM Sensor Prelude from Flynnyfalcon. 

 

cheers Terry

Edited by TerryO

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Hi Pk, I ended up buying the RCM Sensor Prelude from Flynnyfalcon. 
 
cheers Terry
Very good choice Terry, love the Sensors! [emoji106]

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3 minutes ago, evil c said:

Very good choice Terry, love the Sensors! emoji106.png

Thanks Clive, it will be interesting to hear how the Oracle Delphi, Kiseki Blue and now RCM Sensor sound together once I get the turntable up here. The Sensor already sound pretty special with the Denon / Hana combo, so can't wait. 

 

cheers Terry

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Thanks Clive, it will be interesting to hear how the Oracle Delphi, Kiseki Blue and now RCM Sensor sound together once I get the turntable up here. The Sensor already sound pretty special with the Denon / Hana combo, so can't wait. 
 
cheers Terry
The Kiseki Blue should be a good match with the Sensor - just a matter of getting the right load setting but plenty to choose from!

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I am still very interested in how the LCR sounds and are looking forward to hearing it in Greg's system. The reason I purchased the RCM over the LCR is you can buy a new LCR anytime, where as RCM Sensors don't pop up very often so I grabbed it.

 

 

cheers Terry

Edited by TerryO

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On 09/05/2018 at 8:52 AM, TerryO said:

I am still very interested in how the LCR sounds and are looking forward to hearing it in Greg's system. The reason I purchased the RCM over the LCR is you can buy a new LCR anytime, where as RCM Sensors don't pop up very often so I grabbed it.

 

 

cheers Terry

Good choice. As you say you can always get a LCR. I auditioned the new model RCM and thought it was very good. 

Edited by PKay

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