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recur

Good dual input phono stage

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I'm presently hunting for a good phono stage with at least two inputs.  One deck will be a MM that my children use, the other will likely start as MM on a brand new Technics SL1210GAE and possibly move to MC later.  I'd like to get a phono stage that does music justice and lets me run both decks without a lot of fuss.

 

I'd prefer balanced outs if I can swing it, less fussed on any digitisation in the output path as being something I need.

So far I've shortlisted:

 

What else should I be considering? What other brands have this kind of connectivity and sound great?

 

I'm in no rush and happy to look at used gear. Suggestions / recommendations very welcome.

 

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Hi there,

You should definitely also shortlist the GoldNote PH10 + optional PSU10 power supply... amazing sound with great flexibility. 

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Another vote for the Goldnote PH-10, covers your whole wish list. I use it with the PSU-10, but I have also heard good things about the PH-10 only.

 

There was also an Esoteric E-03 floating around on here recently second hand. Great build quality and dual input, not sure about the balanced output though

 

 

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That GoldNote looks like a great option. Seems to have a few change hands here from time to time used too. The Luxman looks very nice as well.

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Posted (edited)

yep - another vote for the Brinkmann.  It is what I have.

 

Balanced outputs.

3 inputs (2 balanced)

Very musical. Enormous scale. Goes deep and is holographic.

 

You could build your future upgrades around this phono stage.

 

https://www.wyndhamaudio.com.au/products/brinkmann-audio-edison-phono-stage

 

Craig, I'm sure @cheekyboy could arrange a demo for you.  You are in Melb which would make it easier then where I was in Syd.

Edited by scuzzii

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"You could build your future upgrades around this phono stage".

 

I could build a house for a similar price....

 

Man, there was one for sale nearby and I would've loved it, but just too rich for my blood!  Looks amazing, but clearly a huge leap up. 

 

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Posted (edited)

You know, it really isn't difficult to use a high quality RCA switch box to do this. I've found that even with ultra low output carts such as the Phillips GP922 (0.12mv) there's no added noise or loss of dynamics so it is an option. In the past I had SUT built for me with input selection. Might be worth considering as it will open up use of any phono stage on the market so your only considerations need be price and performance.

Edited by MattyW

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Mat-with-one-t said:

"You could build your future upgrades around this phono stage".

 

I could build a house for a similar price....

 

Man, there was one for sale nearby and I would've loved it, but just too rich for my blood!  Looks amazing, but clearly a huge leap up. 

 

yep, know what you mean.  I was not a convert of phono stages making a difference until this one, it's the most expensive item in my system.  Would never need (or want) to replace it.

Edited by scuzzii
typo

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1 minute ago, scuzzii said:

yep, know what you mean.  I was not a covert of phono stages making a difference until this one, it's the most expensive item in my system.  Would never need (or want) to replace it.

Yeah, I'm in the same place with my Abbas Audio DAC and phono stage, in terms of performance and price  ;)

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2 hours ago, scuzzii said:

Craig, I'm sure @cheekyboy could arrange a demo for you.  You are in Melb which would make it easier then where I was in Syd.

Ha, maybe if we can beat the lockdown. I fortunately don’t live in a lockdown council shire area.

 

Circa $20k is possibly a bit rich for my tastes. 😎
 

The two units already linked above really look to hit the spot. I’ll check out the Esoteric E-03 that’s for sale too

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1 hour ago, recur said:

Ha, maybe if we can beat the lockdown. I fortunately don’t live in a lockdown council shire area.

 

Circa $20k is possibly a bit rich for my tastes. 😎
 

The two units already linked above really look to hit the spot. I’ll check out the Esoteric E-03 that’s for sale too

There is/was a Brinkmann for Sale in the classifieds currently.

 

I was eying it off but would need to move along my Luxman EQ-500 to achieve that.

 

i have had the Mcintosh MP100 and currently have the Luxman EQ-500 (3 MC/MM inputs).

 

you haven’t mentioned a budget?

 

obviously second hand can be 20-50% cheaper than new.

 

 

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Ahh I see the Brinkmann sold at a good price.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah one hell of a discount off new.

 

i don’t have a budget, just a realistic perspective on the SQ improvements that a phono stage will make in my total system equation.

 

The units I posted above are all realistic for me, the recommendations so far, also doable. The Brinkmann, unless used and at a significant discount (like above) less so. I’d prefer to use the extra $ On thermal imaging hunting gear.

Edited by recur

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It sounds like the Goldnote is the one.  I’d look for one of those used, and add the separate fancy power supply.  

Another option may be Jon at OAD.  He is local and I’ve asked him about building a multi-input version of his phono stage.  It is likely possible.

https://www.stereo.net.au/reviews/review-oad-ultrafidelity-up1-phono-preamplifier

Im likely to go with Mattyw- I actually bought his multi-input SUT and I’ll get a tube MM phono and hook it up that way.....

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, recur said:

Yeah one hell of a discount off new.

 

 

just on that and to assist in the discussion, the Edison recently listed was a Mark 1 and a 2013 model from memory.  I had both in my system, and there is a considerable difference.  The Mark 1 didn't match well in my setup (one example was boomy bass).  I didn't go ahead with buying one, and gave reasons for it to the Retail seller and in country supplier,  a few months later the Mark 2 was sent and it was very much the best I've had in my setup.

 

There is an upgrade for current Mark 1 version of the Edison for cicra $4.5k, to make it the same specs at Mark 2.  (just to highlight the upgrades made between the versions)

 

Hopefully you land on a great phono mate.  Good luck with the search, looking on with interest.

Edited by scuzzii

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I would just get a Schitt mani for the kids and the phone stage you want for yourself - just have them on separate inputs on you amp, opens up many more options  

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2 minutes ago, Chill3 said:

I would just get a Schitt mani for the kids and the phone stage you want for yourself - just have them on separate inputs on you amp, opens up many more options  

Agreed, means they can upgrade the phono stage themselves down the track and enjoy the journey.

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I do have a cheap old Cambridge Audio phono stage I could use but if I'm buying something else, I might as well get a decent double deck capable unit and dumpster flip the Cambridge. 

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I have the Cyrus with the psx2, the ability of having several inputs was a plus which I use constantly. For MCs I prefer to use a transformer but is nothing against the Cyrus, it is probably my preference with just about any PS.

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1 hour ago, Chill3 said:

I would just get a Schitt mani for the kids and the phone stage you want for yourself - just have them on separate inputs on you amp, opens up many more options  

Yeah that’s probably a better idea gives you a greater choice of phonostage.  I only use multi input cause I have 2 great turntables and one good one (Yamaha Gt-2000,  a Thales, Microseiki) and it made sense to have a one very good phonostage.

 

 

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On 07/07/2020 at 1:09 PM, Frank Prowse Hi-Fi said:

The Gold Note is a great recommendation.

 

Another one for the list would be the Luxman E-250 (and EQ-500 if you want to take the plunge)

 

http://www.luxman.com/product/detail.php?id=5

 

 

I own a Luxman E-250 and it is an excellent phono amplifier.

 

It is very quiet and powerful enough to drive low output MC cartridge.

 

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Another option to confuse you.....

I use a very nice Lehmann Black Cube SE.  It’s much better than the basic version on account (in part) of its excellent Pwx power supply.

Now, You can opt for a dual input PWX power supply and run 2 Cubes off it.  That may be one way to keeps costs down and quality really high....

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I can vouch for the PS Audio Stellar Phono pre.  It allows for one MM input and one MC input.  The MM input has a fixed capacitance of 100pF, so one needs to keep that in mind.  I am a bit of a PSA fanboy, so full disclosure 😀 It is VERY quiet and dynamic.  I wish it had a 47/50pF or -0- zero capacitance load for Audio Technica carts, but other than that, it's my best pick at the moment.  The MC settings are sort of limitless with the 'Custom' dial settings for impedance load.

 

The remote is very nice with the ability to change between MM and MC input, gain, and impedance load...also a Mute button.  Build quality is excellent

 

And it should be mentioned that the PSA Stellar Phono has fully-balanced, XLR outputs.  That's kind of a big deal.

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