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Gday Stereonet supporters and caregivers!,

Im not new to hifi audio... but I am very new to modern analogue vinyl bits and pieces.

I recently got back into vinyl...And loving it! with a Rega Planar 2 (with a Rega bias2 cart) connected straight to the phono input of my Yamaha RXV-2067. These are connected to a set of Cerwin-Vega E-710 speakers that are 3 way with a 10" woofer. I also have a VAF centre and Sub and Wharfdale rears... but those dont come into this question as this is about 2 channels only.

My question relates simply to phono preamps... and then to speakers... but mostly about preamps. Its very difficult to choose one or another based simply on online reviews. Im naturally biased towards a tube based unit like the Project Tube Box S2. But Im not a fella with tons of money and wonder if something like the Rega Fono mini A2D might do the job.... And I mean by "doing the job" as to making a significant improvement over the inbuilt phono on the Yamaha receiver im currently using. Is it worth my while even considering an outboard preamp? To me my current setup is pretty nice...  but sometimes has an unpleasant mid bass boom... quite possibly due to my rear ported speakers which by necessity are quite near to the front wall. Im also currently looking at upgrading my speakers to something front firing or even totally sealed to potentially eliminate the boom. But thats another discussion. Or is it?! Perhaps I should look at speakers before a preamp? Or perhaps a preamp could help first as a cheaper option? I love having a decent low end as im a metal and early hiphop head... as well as loving multiple other styles... Classical excluded. If anyone has ideas about speakers in the $2000-2500 range id be happy to hear opinions too.... Im currently looking at the VAF DC7 mk3's but im not sure they will have the bass im after... they probably will and im definately a VAF fan but any other thoughts or input would definitely be considered and appreciated.

Btw I like to listen to my turntable with the "pure direct" ability on my amp turned on... it basically removes the preamp. The sound from the turntable is what I get. No sub, no tone control... nothing but the pure turntable sound.

Cheers for any decent input to help me out!

Regards, Scotty Piesse

Edited by ScottyPeace
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Stereo Coffee does not make phono preamps.

NAD makes some nice affordable  phono preamps if you want to bypass yours.

If you want a tube phono pre, you might find something in the classified section. But 600.- might not buy you much goodness.

Edited by Ihearmusic
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Now im a lil confused... stereo coffee seem to have a very desirable preamp... but tbh im finding it hard to justify spending the kind of bucks needed to simply upgrade from the one in my receiver... which to my ears sounds pretty good... nice balance, decent soundstage that extends much further out than the speakers themselves... a quality I highly prize.

Im wondering if spending the money is not worth it. I kinda had my heart set on a decent and noticeable sonic upgrade... but 5-600 bucks buys alot of albums! I wonder where the money is better spent 😕 

Edited by ScottyPeace
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The RX-V's provide good bang for your buck, they can be had for $50-$250 used. While yamaha does it better than most, they will be the weak link in your system. You probably need to go to a hi-fi show or have a listen elsewhere to hear what is out there.

 

While your happy with the RX-V, your immediate need is with the phono stage, try to find something that you will fit into your next system. You should get a decent improvement by going to a separate phono. I'm not into vinyl but a collegue raves about his "Vincent PHO 8", it's something of a budget unit, they produce valve based units. Plenty of others to choose from. Some of the cheaper NADs are about $100. The PHO 8 is listed for about $450- but can be found on special for about $380-400.

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Gday again lads and lassies,

On 20/10/2020 at 12:09 AM, Ihearmusic said:

Stereo Coffee does not make phono preamps.

NAD makes some nice affordable  phono preamps if you want to bypass yours.

If you want a tube phono pre, you might find something in the classified section. But 600.- might not buy you much goodness.

Youre absolutely right ihearmusic... but heres an update...

Ive been in contact with Chris... and hes offered to build me one! A one off! This only happened yesterday and ive yet to hear a price but he and I have emailed a bit back and forth over the last few days about this. I must say he is one incredible guy! His level of involvement about my admittedly humble system and his input with advice has been astonishing. I am without a doubt going to get his one-off designed for me phono preamp. I cant imagine anyone with my kinda dosh to spend or even waayyyy more wouldnt do it too.

Am I stoked with the love given by a cousin from across the ditch... you fing bet I am! Thanks to Steve M for pointing me in the Stereo Coffee direction! 

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On 20/10/2020 at 7:47 AM, mbz said:

The RX-V's provide good bang for your buck, they can be had for $50-$250 used. While yamaha does it better than most, they will be the weak link in your system. You probably need to go to a hi-fi show or have a listen elsewhere to hear what is out there.

 

While your happy with the RX-V, your immediate need is with the phono stage, try to find something that you will fit into your next system. You should get a decent improvement by going to a separate phono. I'm not into vinyl but a collegue raves about his "Vincent PHO 8", it's something of a budget unit, they produce valve based units. Plenty of others to choose from. Some of the cheaper NADs are about $100. The PHO 8 is listed for about $450- but can be found on special for about $380-400.

I seriously doubt if the reciever I bought for over 2 grand is now available for 50-250 now 😉 I have watched many classifieds and never even seen one for sale. But I do appreciate the fact that its phono stage is under par... and the advice youve given 👍🏻👍🏻 both the Vincent and NAD are definitely options I have looked at now... for solid state the NAD's are a bargain imho... similar to Rega and ProJect. However now im kinda sold on spending pretty much my whole budget on a StereoCoffee. 

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I have a Stereo Coffee pre- (non phono!) and love it. I agree with you on Chris Daly's passion and incredible customer support and advice.

 

I used a Rega Fono Mini A2D initially with my Rega P3. I upgraded to an iFi iPhono pre- bought through the classifieds here (about $450) and it was a significant upgrade, although the Fono was not in itself disappointing.

 

I'm sure Chris will deliver you a fine product. Keep us posted!

Edited by lenticularis
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37 minutes ago, lenticularis said:

I have a Stereo Coffee pre- (non phono!) and love it. I agree with you on Chris Daly's passion and incredible customer support and advice.

 

I used a Rega Fono Mini A2D initially with my Rega P3. I upgraded to an iFi iPhono pre- bought through the classifieds here (about $450) and it was a significant upgrade, although the Fono was not in itself disappointing.

 

I'm sure Chris will deliver you a fine product. Keep us posted!

I will keep you posted lenticularis 🙂 This level of service from Chris is kinda unprecedented these days.. Makes me wanna build a company around pure customer service. So many shops are what I think of as stereo snobs. Pure customer service is something a robot can never do better than an actual person. Maybe proper salesmanship is one of the only jobs in the future that a robot cannot do.

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Just now, ScottyPeace said:

I will keep you posted lenticularis 🙂 This level of service from Chris is kinda unprecedented these days.. Makes me wanna build a company around pure customer service. So many shops are what I think of as stereo snobs. Pure customer service is something a robot can never do better than an actual person. Maybe proper salesmanship is one of the only jobs in the future that a robot cannot do.

I should say "salespersonship" as in my experience ladies are quite possibly more trusted and better at sales ;-))

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6 minutes ago, ScottyPeace said:

I will keep you posted lenticularis 🙂 This level of service from Chris is kinda unprecedented these days.. Makes me wanna build a company around pure customer service. So many shops are what I think of as stereo snobs. Pure customer service is something a robot can never do better than an actual person. Maybe proper salesmanship is one of the only jobs in the future that a robot cannot do.

Before contacting Chris I also considered the Fono as a nice entry level preamp... and definately right now it would be at the top of my list if I hadnt heard of the StereoCoffee... but I find myself drawn to spending the extra dosh simply due to two things... first the obvious great reviews... but second and far more importantly Chris himself! First rule of selling is people buy from people they like. And I like Chris! I know beyond doubt he cares for my audio situation and believes in his product. Its a simple conclusion. 

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Mate,

 

I'm not using my Mini Fono A2D since I bought the iFi iPhono. If you like you can borrow it and return it when you get the Stereo Coffee/pre from Chris.  PM me if interested.

 

I wrote up extensively(!) my own build-journey with the Stereo Coffee kit, elsewhere here in SNA. Chris spotted a query about some new model terminology being bandied about by owners, and he sent me a new design 'main board' to upgrade, completely unsolicited and at no charge. He also spent hours back and forth to me with answers to my noob DIY questions.

 

cheers,
Dave

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12 hours ago, lenticularis said:

Mate,

 

I'm not using my Mini Fono A2D since I bought the iFi iPhono. If you like you can borrow it and return it when you get the Stereo Coffee/pre from Chris.  PM me if interested.

 

I wrote up extensively(!) my own build-journey with the Stereo Coffee kit, elsewhere here in SNA. Chris spotted a query about some new model terminology being bandied about by owners, and he sent me a new design 'main board' to upgrade, completely unsolicited and at no charge. He also spent hours back and forth to me with answers to my noob DIY questions.

 

cheers,
Dave

Well ive gone ahead and ordered the specially built for me unit from Chris! I can barely put into words how special it feels! Its gonna take a few weeks as he needs to order bits and pieces he normally doesnt use.

Thanks you so very much for your extremely kind offer to loan me your Mini Fono in the meantime Dave! I have PM'd you in that regard 👍🏻👍🏻

I will keep this thread posted with any developments regarding my one-off special Stereo Coffee preamp as information becomes available 👊🏻👊🏻👍🏻👍🏻

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13 minutes ago, ScottyPeace said:

 

Well i've gone ahead and ordered the specially built for me unit from Chris!

 

 

So your Stereo Coffee preamp includes a phono stage, SP?

 

Andy

 

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Oops! Didn’t quite read the fine print about the OP needing a phono preamp rather than a general preamplifier. Glad it worked out that Chris Daly will be building you a one-off Stereo Coffee phono preamp. It’s likely to be excellent judging by how good his LDR attenuator sounds.

 

Keep us posted on how it turns out.

 

Cheers, Steve.

 

 

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10 hours ago, ScottyPeace said:

It certainly does Andy :-))

 

8 hours ago, Steve M said:


Glad it worked out that Chris Daly will be building you a one-off Stereo Coffee phono preamp. It’s likely to be excellent judging by how good his LDR attenuator sounds.

 

 

Still confused, SP ... I understood Chris made the Stereo Coffee preamplifier.

 

Is yours going to be a Stereo Coffee preamplifier with a phono stage added ... or just a phono stage?

 

Andy

 

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45 minutes ago, stereo coffee said:

Yes its a Stereo Coffee with a jfet MM  cascode phono stage, as one of the 3 inputs. 

 

Thanks, Chris.  :thumb:

 

Andy

 

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2 hours ago, stereo coffee said:

Yes its a Stereo Coffee with a jfet MM  cascode phono stage, as one of the 3 inputs. 

You've been holding out on us Chris.... Why make it a one off. I'm always need to do more phono DIY. Even though I have plenty already 😂

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1 hour ago, mloutfie said:

You've been holding out on us Chris.... Why make it a one off. I'm always need to do more phono DIY. Even though I have plenty already 😂

Hi Maddie

I am stocking parts, and ordering the pcb as I write. Yes can do more if needed.  

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On 22/10/2020 at 3:25 AM, ScottyPeace said:

I seriously doubt if the reciever I bought for over 2 grand is now available for 50-250 now 😉 I have watched many classifieds and never even seen one for sale. But I do appreciate the fact that its phono stage is under par... and the advice youve given 👍🏻👍🏻 both the Vincent and NAD are definitely options I have looked at now... for solid state the NAD's are a bargain imho... similar to Rega and ProJect. However now im kinda sold on spending pretty much my whole budget on a StereoCoffee. 

Here's one with some speakers for $250

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/forresters-beach/speakers/krix-centre-speaker-2-wharfedale-speakers-sony-3-wayyamaha-rx-v2067/1246436074

 

Receivers don't hold their value as they are always adding new features many want.

 

Edit: I see the stereo coffee phono stage will be jfet based, not a bad choice.

Edited by muon*
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2 minutes ago, muon* said:

 

The SC with phono should be interesting, did he say what the phono stage section would be based on? Op Amp or discrete or valve?

 

 

Ian, he said:

 

On 23/10/2020 at 8:53 AM, stereo coffee said:

 

Yes its a Stereo Coffee with a jfet MM  cascode phono stage, as one of the 3 inputs.

 

 

So should sound better than an opamp-based phono stage.  :)

 

Andy

 

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6 minutes ago, muon* said:

Here's one with some speakers for $250

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/forresters-beach/speakers/krix-centre-speaker-2-wharfedale-speakers-sony-3-wayyamaha-rx-v2067/1246436074

 

Receivers don't hold their value as they are always adding new features many want.

 

The SC with phono should be interesting, did he say what the phono stage section would be based on? Op Amp or discrete or valve?

Yeah wow... fair enough. Lesson learned! I guess the fact its not 4k compatible is a real minus these days. Oh well... I still love mine 😉 If you look further up this forum Chris explains the details a bit... I think its Op though.

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Just now, andyr said:

 

Ian, he said:

 

 

So should sound better than an opamp-based phono stage.  :)

 

Andy

 

Yes, noticed that after I first posted, and totally agree with you, Andy :thumb:

 

I loved my jfet one I had with primo parts, going valves from that was a slight side step, not better.

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1 minute ago, ScottyPeace said:

Yeah wow... fair enough. Lesson learned! I guess the fact its not 4k compatible is a real minus these days. Oh well... I still love mine 😉

That's what counts, if you like it and it suits your needs:thumb:

 

It's a fickle market in some areas of audio.

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32 minutes ago, muon* said:

 

I loved my jfet one I had with primo parts, going valves from that was a slight side step, not better.

 

 

As you say, Ian - ss vs. valves ... not necessarily better ... just different.  :)

 

I used to take my Muse over to Duc's place every year or so, after I'd changed the circuit (to improve it).  My jfet circuit didn't have the all-enveloping holographic soundstage of his tube phono stage ... but it: a. had a lower noise floor and b. better resolution.

 

Andy

 

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6 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

As you say, Ian - ss vs. valves ... not necessarily better ... just different.  :)

 

I used to take my Muse over to Duc's place every year or so, after I'd changed the circuit (to improve it).  My jfet circuit didn't have the all-enveloping holographic soundstage of his tube phono stage ... but it: a. had a lower noise floor and b. better resolution.

 

Andy

 

Miss seeing Duc's posts on here  :(

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