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Rustee

Phono Stage advice

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Hi All,

I bought my first turntable, a Dual 506 , about 1 1/2 years ago and having been enjoying my vinyl journey very much.

To get me on my merry way I bought a Jaycar/Digitech as reviewed below and it has been doing a great job.

Now I'm at a point where I'm thinking it may be time for an upgrade. 

With a budget of about $300-500 would I expect to hear a noticeable improvement in sound over this unit? 

And secondly what are some phono stages that I could keep an eye out for in the classifieds for around this price?

Any advice is much appreciated.

Cheers,

Russ

 

 

 

Edited by Rustee

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26 minutes ago, Rustee said:

Hi All,

I bought my first turntable, a Dual 506 , about 1 1/2 years ago and having been enjoying it very much so ever since.

To get me on my merry way I bought a Jaycar/Digitech as reviewed below and it has been doing a great job.

Now I'm at a point where I'm thinking it may be time for an upgrade. 

With a budget of about $300-500 would I expect to hear a noticeable improvement in sound over this unit? 

And secondly what are some phono stages that I could keep an eye out for in the classifieds for around this price?

Any advice is much appreciated.

Cheers,

Russ

 

 

 

Hello Russ,

 

What phono cartridge are you currently using that you'll be matching up to this phono preamp?

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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7 minutes ago, cheekyboy said:

Hello Russ,

 

What phono cartridge are you currently using that you'll be matching up to this phono preamp?

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Hi Keith, I’m using an Ortofon Silver cart and stylus.

Cheers,

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Hello Russ, you could trial a GSP Communicator as part of the Slee Loaner Program in your own system. If you're interested, just drop me a PM and I'll give you details.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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Thanks @cheekyboy I’ll look them up and shoot you a PM.

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5 minutes ago, Rustee said:

Thanks @cheekyboy I’ll look them up and shoot you a PM.

No worries, Russ, the Communicator would fit your budget, but possibly the GA 2SE might just sneak in too. Either way, you can try them in your own system and see how they perform.

 

Cheers Keith

Edited by cheekyboy

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As mentioned above, Graham. Slee products are great, I've got 2 of the GSP phono stages further up the food chain and live them. 

 

In your price point I've got the Vincent pho 8 which was my first phono stage and I still use it and rate that highly too

Worth a read up on. 

Edited by 08Boss302

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Another vote for Graham Slee. I’ve got an Era Gold V  had it for quite a while. I bought it after trying the communicator as part of the loaner programme - great initiative, there should be more like this. Not sure how frequently they come up second hand but a used one should meet the budget. Failing that I remember enjoying my time with the communicator. 
 

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The iFi iPhono MK 1 pops up in the classifieds ( probably from people upgrading to MkII). I had one and it was fantastic for the money. Much better than entry level Rega or Project.

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With your budget, how about upgrade the cart instead? I reckon you will be happier than a new phono. 

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Thanks everyone, a few options for me to look into and consider. I do like the look of the GSP Era Gold V unit.

Now thinking if I'm best to wait a little longer until I'm 'allowed' to budget around 1k or so on new or used unit.

 

 

@dwbasement I upgraded to this cart about 6 months ago when I had my turntable refurbished so was hoping to continue using it a little longer.

My plan was to possibly upgrade the stylus to a Blue or possibly Bronze (if compatible, some people say it is others say it's not) down the track. Is this  a wise move or am I best to upgrade the cart?

 

Thanks again all.

Cheers,

Russ 

 

 

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Keep an eye out for Dynavector phono stages and/or Project Audio phono stages in the classifieds.

Don't get stuck with a MM only phono stage or you'll be up for more dollars if/when you upgrade to a moving coil cartridge.

The Dynavector has great synergy with an Ortofon Bronze.

Ask April Snow about her combo with a Technics DD TT.

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3 hours ago, Rustee said:

Thanks everyone, a few options for me to look into and consider. I do like the look of the GSP Era Gold V unit.

Now thinking if I'm best to wait a little longer until I'm 'allowed' to budget around 1k or so on new or used unit.

 

 

@dwbasement I upgraded to this cart about 6 months ago when I had my turntable refurbished so was hoping to continue using it a little longer.

My plan was to possibly upgrade the stylus to a Blue or possibly Bronze (if compatible, some people say it is others say it's not) down the track. Is this  a wise move or am I best to upgrade the cart?

 

Thanks again all.

Cheers,

Russ 

 

 

To be honest I don't think it is worth upgrade to blue.... is the silver just like a red? For bronze you can't use the same body as red/blue, it will still fit but i dont think it will aound the same...I used to have a black love it. 

I think 1k budget for phono would give you more choices and also bigger improvement.

I think there is a Valab on sna for sale atm, it is a very nice phono for the money, might fit your budge too with a little push... I also have the valab on my second TT, love it, and it is MM/MC with adjustable settings, also good for your future cart upgrade if you want to try a MC cart.

Edited by dwbasement

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The Bronze stylus will fit and work on a Red/Blue (silver) body, but it will not be like a Bronze as the body of the Red/Blue and the body of the Bronze/Black are made from different composites.

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On 13/02/2020 at 1:28 PM, Rustee said:

Hi All,

I bought my first turntable, a Dual 506 , about 1 1/2 years ago and having been enjoying my vinyl journey very much.

To get me on my merry way I bought a Jaycar/Digitech as reviewed below and it has been doing a great job.

Now I'm at a point where I'm thinking it may be time for an upgrade. 

With a budget of about $300-500 would I expect to hear a noticeable improvement in sound over this unit? 

And secondly what are some phono stages that I could keep an eye out for in the classifieds for around this price?

Any advice is much appreciated.

Cheers,

Russ

 

 

 

 Bias Alert!😁 That budget makes this choice a 'no brainer'......the Vincent PHO-8 two box phono pre-amp, unless your seeking something reputedly better second hand (which may not actually be better).......😉......and yes, you will notice a huge improvement (after it burns in.....about 2 hours).👌

 

https://cdn.selby.com.au/catalog/product/cache/1/image/650x/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/p/h/pho-8-kombi_schwarz_front_2.jpg

Edited by stevoz

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Keep an eye out for a 2nd hand Ray Samuels Nighthawk, battery powered, multi configurable and excellent sound.

Would be in your price range 2nd hand

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13 hours ago, Pegasus said:

Don't get stuck with a MM only phono stage or you'll be up for more dollars if/when you upgrade to a moving coil cartridge.

Good point, thanks. Will look into the Dynavector. 

Cheers,

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12 hours ago, dwbasement said:

is the silver just like a red?

Compatibility wise, yes.. It is apparently compatible with the red and blue carts as @muon* said.

SQ wise I think it's meant to sit somewhere between the red and blue. Have never tested though.

12 hours ago, dwbasement said:

I also have the valab on my second TT, love it, and it is MM/MC

Ok I didn't know the Valeb suited MM as well. Good to know. Aside from the review link in the ad I struggled to find others, will do some more searching. Thanks.

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5 hours ago, stevoz said:

That budget makes this choice a 'no brainer'......the Vincent PHO-8 two box phono pre-amp,

Was looking at these. Really well priced, great to hear they are a solid performer too. Looks to have lots of great reviews, including yours from 2016.  Thanks. 

 

 

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2M Silver phono cartridge is an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) model that takes most of the characteristics of the 2M Red. 2M Silver's special feature is silver plated copper coils, the same coil wire material as in the 2M Bronze and Black models, with a reduced number of windings.

https://www.ortofon.com/stylus-2m-silver-p-396

 

It is advertised on avaustralia stating in the description that it uses a Nude Fine Line stylus, this is incorrect, It's elliptical and bonded like the Red.

Edited by muon*

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4 hours ago, Brett 10 said:

Keep an eye out for a 2nd hand Ray Samuels Nighthawk

Also has great reviews. And lots of adjustability. Will do some more digging. 

Cheers,

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9 hours ago, muon* said:

2M Silver's special feature is silver plated copper coils, the same coil wire material as in the 2M Bronze and Black models, with a reduced number of windings.

Thanks, would be good to know where the silver sits in comparison to the red or blue. I wonder if the silver plated coils actually makes a difference to SQ.

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On 13/02/2020 at 8:45 PM, Phill451 said:

I’ve got an Era Gold V  had it for quite a while. I bought it after trying the communicator as part of the loaner programme

How did the 2 models above compare? Was it worth the extra expense?

 

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22 minutes ago, Rustee said:

Thanks, would be good to know where the silver sits in comparison to the red or blue. I wonder if the silver plated coils actually makes a difference to SQ.

The Blue still has a better stylus being a nude elliptical instead of bonded.

 

The silver plated coils would have a different sound, but I'd have no idea where it sits with the Red/Blue as I never used one, only have experience with Red and Bronze myself.

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7 hours ago, Rustee said:

How did the 2 models above compare? Was it worth the extra expense?

 

It was definitely worth the extra expense. The communicator was an improvement on the built in phono stage in my musical fidelity amp, but the Era Gold had much more detail than both, the way I remember it.

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