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Show us your Phono Stages and Phono Cartridges

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I would be good for all to post their phono stages and cartridges that us vinyl dudes are using. Does not matter how cheap or expensive, its the vinyl enjoyment that matters and will be interesting to see what is popular.

I think the Nighthawk F117 will be damm close to the most popular phono stage , and rightly so given the great pricing coupled great sound.

cartridges - denon 103 - maybe ?

phono first, cart's later.

Newest edition to listening stable - almost vintage Luxman E-06 from 1987. The only SS item I have and it sounds smooth, powerful with a density that is addictive. Choice of 2 x MC and 1 x MM inputs.

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TW Acustic phono - 3 x MC input with on the fly resistance loading adjustment. Pretty neutral sounding, great extension with that tube magic.

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Leben phono and Ortofon verto SUT. fast toe tapping musical tube phono, not the last word in bass impact that couples sweetly with SUT's.

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classik tube cj EV-1 phono from the early 2000's which is nimble, open with tight bass and mates well with MM's as well as mid loutput MC's. Always snapped up on the s/h market and I can hear why.

5580667899_4ebbe52e8f_b.jpg

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Sorry--no pictures--

Phono stage is the moving coil option in my ME15 pre-amp.

Cartridge is a Linn Troika, renovated and re-tipped by Len Gregory "The Cartridge Man"

Greg

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Greg, Kool, I luv the Troika. I am lucky enough to be borrowing one on my LP12/Naim ARO at the moment. re-tipped by ESC.

Is the troika actually re-tipped by Len Gregory? some rumours have it is done by Goldring and other rumous done by ESC??

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I sent mine direct to Len.

Linn AFAIK does not offer a re-tip service and they never re-conditioned them.

Greg

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Sweet.


I have a Goldring 1042 feeding the Phono stage of a Copland CSA14. I also have a pair of Morite SUTs that I'm going to make up a box with adjustable loading.


 

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Moderator

I have the cheapest and simplest of the SoundSmith Strain Gauge phono amps. The left hand switch is on/off, the right hand one turns on the auto-mute function: when it detects no motion, it cuts the sound from the cartridge. This lessens the noise when lowering the cartridge or lifting it.

The screw on the cartridge is to allow azimuth adjustment on the cartridge body itself in case you have a tonearm that doesn't allow for it. If you look carefully you can see that the stylus assembly is removable - great idea that saves money. The blue lights are a bit of bling that's not really to my taste but I suppose as the cartridge is powered, it's too good an opportunity to pass up for some:)

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Edited by Marc

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]30372[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]30373[/ATTACH]

My Lyra Clavis. :-)

Nice, the Clavis is 20 years old now. have you had it since new, or something recent, re tipped - do Lyra do rebuilds? IMO the clavis and Parnassus look a lot better than the current Lyra's. can't comment on sound as last Lyra I heardwas a helikon.

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Nice !!TW-acustic, Luxman plus CJ!!!!

thanks FG, so how bout some pics of your stuff ??

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Guest Bodhisattva

Hi all, having just recently turned to the 'dark side', I thought i'd share some pics of my new phono stage - the Bladelius Heimdal. For the older audiophiles amongst us, you might recognize the name. The President/Chief Designer of Bladelius is none other than Mike Bladelius. Mike designed the legendary Threshold Class A amps back in the 80's and went on to be Chief Consulting Designer for Classe. The Heimdal is a balanced solid state phono stage constructed with impeccable build quality and delivers excellent sound. The things I like about this phono stage? It is one of the few phono stages which has balanced inputs and outputs, and is 'true balanced', does not hold back in the power supply and responds well to tweaks. Made in Sweden. Super clean, open, dynamic sound and just seems to be a perfect match with the FB. Fully adjustable inputs to match any pick up type or load, and although it is a bit sparing for features and published information, the bottom line for me is, it's plain good value.

Cheers,

Bodhi

ps: the coffee table is still for sale :)

IMG_1572.jpg

IMG_1576.jpg

Edited by Bodhisattva

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]30399[/ATTACH]

Accuphase C240 Preamp with 2 MC/MM inputs

[ATTACH=CONFIG]30398[/ATTACH]

Accuphase C265 with 2 AD-10 MM/CC phone stage cards

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Well, no Nighthawk yet TT, so I may as well be the first. Here's my two phono stages...........GSP Era Gold Reflex and the F-117 Nighthawk.

Garrard401115.jpg

Cheers,

Keith

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Guest Bodhisattva
[ATTACH=CONFIG]30399[/ATTACH]

Accuphase C240 Preamp with 2 MC/MM inputs

[ATTACH=CONFIG]30398[/ATTACH]

Accuphase C265 with 2 AD-10 MM/CC phone stage cards

Which is your favourite phono stage FG?

Bodhi

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Nice, the Clavis is 20 years old now. have you had it since new, or something recent, re tipped - do Lyra do rebuilds? IMO the clavis and Parnassus look a lot better than the current Lyra's. can't comment on sound as last Lyra I heardwas a helikon.

I got it 2nd hand way back in '99. It's been lightly used by myself since I've had it, and was lightly used by the previous owner I believe. When I sent it down to Sydney to get it all put on my new Clearaudio Champion Level II table, the guys said that the Right hand suspension is starting to go. So, a new cartridge shortly I guess. I do not believe Lyra retips, which is silly really. I do not like the look of the new Lyras either. As Lyra do not re-tip, I will probably steer clear of their cartridges and try another brand. I personally find that what Lyra does is very poor after service. I guess they want to maximise their profits...

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I got it 2nd hand way back in '99. It's been lightly used by myself since I've had it, and was lightly used by the previous owner I believe. When I sent it down to Sydney to get it all put on my new Clearaudio Champion Level II table, the guys said that the Right hand suspension is starting to go. So, a new cartridge shortly I guess. I do not believe Lyra retips, which is silly really. I do not like the look of the new Lyras either. As Lyra do not re-tip, I will probably steer clear of their cartridges and try another brand. I personally find that what Lyra does is very poor after service. I guess they want to maximise their profits...

You can always send it to Garrott Brothers. They always do an excellent job.

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You did say "doesn't matter if it's cheap". So here's mine.

Not a dedicated phono stage just my pre-amp; A NAD 116 which has MM & MC swirtching

And the cart is an old Empire 2000E/lll. Also have 2 AT95E's The pic of the Empire is a Googled one, mine has an original red stylus with guard. my camera skills are not good

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Edited by Grumpy

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I've got the MC stage in my ME 15 pre that i used exclusively for a couple of years. It sounded best when i ran a Van Den Hul MC10 Special through it.

me15.jpg

Since 2001 though this Plinius M 14 has sat in the background and sounded excellent regardless of what cartridge i've used. Monumental but always tight bass is probably the standout trait. It can sound a little bit dry with some cartridges but that's the only thing i'd ever put my finger on that wasn't what i wanted. I've never had any urge to try a different ss phono stage.

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The NVA Phono 2 that i use in the study system. The worst phono stage, in fact the worst piece of electronics i've ever used regarding RFI. I've got it sat at the bottom of the turntable stand on a couple of blocks of wood and it sounds neutral with excellent detail and bass and the sound belies its low price. Loads of lovely quiet gain. If it sits 2 inches higher though it picks up a hum from the Densen amp, any lower and picks up hum from something else. If i walk in the room with a mobile phone that happens to ring the whole system collapses in a racket of beeps and pulses. Fortunately the leads from the very hefty power supply are long so you can at least site it far away from that but there's no way in a million years you could stack it on top or alongside another component that had an electrical signal going through it.

The body is plastic.

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Cartridges.

Denon DL 304. My 3rd or maybe 4th over the years. It's a ripper as long as you can get enough clean gain.

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Nagaoka MP 300. Good and exciting and rich and toe tapping. Loses out badly to the MCs in detail and air.

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Ortofon Cadenza Black. Replaced my second Ortofon Jubilee as it seemed the natural replacement from Ortofon. I prefer the Jubilee in my system as the Cadenza can have a rather unpleasant shrillness to it. I think the system in fact might be holding back the cartridge or it might just not be my cup of tea.

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An Ortofon 320 U that i use on a Technics SL3 linear tracker that i bought new in 1982 or thereabouts that i use exclusively for singles in the study. Sounds like 1982. That is not a bad thing.

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Oh yes, i run the Technics SL3 through the phono stage of this lovely old Sansui A40 and then into the Densen via the tape loops. VU meters rock my jocks and i'll often run a signal through that amp just to have the meters showing

technics4.jpg

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Leben phono and Ortofon verto SUT. fast toe tapping musical tube phono, not the last word in bass impact that couples sweetly with SUT's.

5580456657_bb30c56509_b.jpg

Interesting. I've been looking at the Leben for quite a while as it seems a sensibly priced way to get into a quality tubed phono pre, it's good to see someone who has got one. I might be picking your brains in 6 months or so's time:>)

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Not a separate phono stage but very nice as a bundled extra: ARC SP16 MM phono stage (3 tubes on the right of the pic).

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MC signal boosted by Bob's Devices SUT:

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At the moment I'm using a few different 103r cartridges - here are two in the Uwe Panzerholz and Midas aluminium bodies, both with stock stylus/cantilever.

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TT should recognise my phono stage:D

Sounds great!

[ATTACH=CONFIG]30419[/ATTACH]

Ortofon 2M Blue on an RPM 5

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Denon DL160 that spends time on my LP12

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And a AT-OC9 MLII that also spends time on the Linn

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Sorry about the crappy pics, as my mobile is the only camera I own........

Hope to get a modded 103 to add to the collection soon.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]30423[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]30424[/ATTACH]

I also have a Leben RS30EQ, and am using a Benz Micro Wood H2 cartridge at the moment, and very nice it is too!

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