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foxtroot

Tube phono stage under $700?

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Hi all, 

 

I'm looking at getting a tube phono stage for a MM cart at around $500 - $700 AUD. Are there any decent options available at that price? I'm not too keen on doing any DIY as I have never tried anything of the sort before. 

 

I also don't mind if it's used gear or new.

 

EDIT: Changed budget down to $700

Edited by foxtroot

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54 minutes ago, rantan said:

You would be hard pressed to find a better phono stage than this under $1K

 

https://www.selby.com.au/electronics/turntables/phono-pre-amps/vincent-pho-8-phono-preamplifier.html

Hi rantan, I don't think this phono stage is a tube phono stage, it seems like it's just a solid state.

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1 minute ago, foxtroot said:

Hi rantan, I don't think this phono stage is a tube phono stage, it seems like it's just a solid state.

My apologies. I missed that for some reason. The PHO 8 is indeed not a tube stage. However help is at hand with its tube sibling . Costs a bit more but still superb value.

 

https://www.selby.com.au/electronics/turntables/phono-pre-amps/vincent-pho-701-phono-preamplifier.html

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1 hour ago, foxtroot said:

Hi all, 

 

I'm looking at getting a tube phono stage for a MM cart at around $500 - $900 AUD. Are there any decent options available at that price? I'm not too keen on doing any DIY as I have never tried anything of the sort before. 

 

This is a terrific-sounding tube MM phono stage:  https://hagerman-audio-labs.myshopify.com/collections/phono-preamps/products/cornet3

 

Andy

 

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Best under 1k is Valab LCR....look no further.....

 

 

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1 hour ago, pulinap said:

Best under 1k is Valab LCR....look no further.....

 

 

But it’s at least $1200

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2 hours ago, pulinap said:

Best under 1k is Valab LCR....look no further.....

 

 

Thanks for your reply. It seems a little bit out of the budget for me. Currently, under $900 is really stretching the budget for me.

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4 minutes ago, Mat-with-one-t said:

But it’s at least $1200

 

And it's not toob!  :)  (P is one confooosed fella! :lol: )

 

Andy

 

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https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Project-tube-phono-preamplifier-DS2-MM-MC-LP-playback-2-inputs-outputs-as-new/264410957410?hash=item3d901f0662%3Ag%3AaKkAAOSwNe9dO6tK&LH_ItemCondition=4

 

Something like this represents pretty good value.  Also have a look at Vincent as mentioned above.

 

Often worth placing an ad in the “wanted” section here too....

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35 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

And it's not toob!  :)  (P is one confooosed fella! :lol: )

 

Andy

 

It has toob sound......and 'tis not my fault that our pesos has gone down..... how good is the economy... :lol:

 

 

Edited by pulinap

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36 minutes ago, foxtroot said:

Thanks for your reply. It seems a little bit out of the budget for me. Currently, under $900 is really stretching the budget for me.

Wait for a s/h one to come up........or our pesos to go up....:)

Edited by pulinap

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@foxtroot, why particulary tube, have you got a ss now?

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2 minutes ago, wen said:

@foxtroot, why particulary tube, have you got a ss now?

I had the opportunity to listen to a tube preamp (I don't know which one) overseas, and I enjoyed the sound. 

I currently have a Rega Fono MM mk3 that I might eventually sell off. I wanted to try out a tube preamp to see how it sounds, as I've never tried one in my setup before.

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you have to remember that sound is the sum total of all components in a system, just the tube phono amp alone will not make the system, i would go to a hifi store who sells tube phono's and get them to swap between ss and tube in a system with music that you take, this will give you the best chance of a satisfactory purchase

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Guest Muon N'

The DOUK Phono Box is a chinese stage similar to the EAR phono stage, only MM carts or high output MC though.

 

They come with Chinese tubes so they benefit from tube rolling. Will need to ask for the 235v mains version for here.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Douk-Audio-MM-Vacuum-Tube-Phono-Preamplifier-LP-Turntable-Hi-Fi-PHONOBOX-Pre-Amp/252451271067?hash=item3ac744b19b:g:9e0AAOSwcZ1cIxyG

 

Would help knowing more about the system and the tube stage you heard, just like SS gear, they can all sound different, the same tube stage can sound quite different with different tubes even.

 

 

Edited by Muon N'

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Guest Muon N'

With the Project tube box, I'm not positive but have read it is a hybrid SS/Tube. Not sure if the tubes amplify or only buffer.

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23 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

The DOUK Phono Box is a chinese stage similar to the EAR phono stage, only MM carts or high output MC though.

 

They come with Chinese tubes so they benefit from tube rolling. Will need to ask for the 235v mains version for here.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Douk-Audio-MM-Vacuum-Tube-Phono-Preamplifier-LP-Turntable-Hi-Fi-PHONOBOX-Pre-Amp/252451271067?hash=item3ac744b19b:g:9e0AAOSwcZ1cIxyG

 

Would help knowing more about the system and the tube stage you heard, just like SS gear, they can all sound different, the same tube stage can sound quite different with different tubes even.

 

 

This is secondary to sound quality, but is there anything similar along the lines of what you suggested that has visible tubes? I do very much like the visuals of tubes as well.

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Guest Muon N'
1 minute ago, foxtroot said:

This is secondary to sound quality, but is there anything similar along the lines of what you suggested that has visible tubes? I do very much like the visuals of tubes as well.

Sorry, can't think of anything in budget like that off hand.

 

I changed the output caps and RCA sockets in one of these a friend owns and with that and better NOS tubes it was very nice. Mind you the cost of NOS tubes and the caps and sockets cost as much as the stage itself.

 

 

 

20180907_143337.jpg

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5 hours ago, foxtroot said:

This is secondary to sound quality, but is there anything similar along the lines of what you suggested that has visible tubes? I do very much like the visuals of tubes as well.

 

You could leave the lid off..............................just keep the kiddies away from it!

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I know you mentioned no DIY, but that may be a way to keep within budget, and to get a lot more satisfaction!  There are a few out there requiring only basic soldering skills.....there are lots of people here that can help along the way.  It sounds like aesthetics may be important (I too think tubes should be seen!), so making a nice timber enclosure could add to the fun.  Conversely, you may find one of these style stages built and ready to go out there.....

Just a thought.

 

https://bottlehead.com/product/eros-2-phono-preamplifier-kit/

 

https://hagerman-audio-labs.myshopify.com/collections/phono-preamps/products/cornet3

 

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17 hours ago, andyr said:

 

This is a terrific-sounding tube MM phono stage:  https://hagerman-audio-labs.myshopify.com/collections/phono-preamps/products/cornet3

 

Andy

 

Andy is right.  This design, which is derivative of the original RCA published circuit with passive eq, has it all just right.  Simplicity, and great sound.      It is basically the circuit I always use.  I was surprised at first when I say that it was so similar to mine, but it only makes sense in the end that Hagerman followed the same path.

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4 hours ago, Mat-with-one-t said:

 

 

Re. these two you referenced, Mat:

  1. the Bottlehead has a Zout of 4K ohms - compared to the Cornet3's 1K - which makes it a much more difficult match for a preamp.  (4K Zout is absurd, IMO.  :( )
  2. The Cornet3 is supplied completely made, I think - no DIY required.

 

Andy

 

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I have the tube box DS

 

https://www.lifestylestore.com.au/https://www.lifestylestore.com.au/pro-ject-tube-box-ds-phono-pre-amplifier.html-ject-tube-box-ds-phono-pre-amplifier.html

 

You should be able to demo it on most of the Hifi shop, it’s an old model and some local retailers might match this price, I got mine from the advertised price on another well know distributor.

 

in my opinion sounds fantastic, so much detail that I was missing before from my Yamaha amp which sounds already good. It also supports MC, I have actually posted a video of the Ortofon Black playing a Supertramp album on it.

 

 

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16 hours ago, foxtroot said:

This is secondary to sound quality, but is there anything similar along the lines of what you suggested that has visible tubes? I do very much like the visuals of tubes as well.

@rantan's suggestion, the Vincent PHO-701 has visible tubes.......just not externally visible.

 

https://cdn.selby.com.au/catalog/product/cache/1/image/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/p/h/pho-701-701ps_1_black_front_1.jpg

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