|Well, I'm finally taking the plunge. Albert Porter's Tuesday night sessions have effectively ruined digital for me, and I've decided to try analog for myself. But, I do have some basic equipment questions, and would appreciate the suggestions of the Audiogon community...|
Right now, I am using Vandersteen 2CE's with a Rogue amp and an AES tube output CD player. I think I have found a turntable, but would appreciate some suggestions on a tubed preamp and phono stage. I'd like to stay between $550-750 for both, and it seems like my options are as follows. (1) Get an older pre with built in phono stage, or (2) go with lower cost separates.
So my questions are... How good are the built-in phono stages on some of the older preamps out there (I'm thinking older Audio Research, CJ, Audible Illusions, etc.)? How do they compare with some of the newer, budget level stand alone phono stages (e.g. Lehmann, Channel Island, Bottlehead, Hagerman, etc.)? I'm very interested in trying out the DIY kits out there (specifically the Bottlehead Foreplay or the Consonance Basie) for a preamp, so if the newer budget stuff is really as good as people seem to say, I'd be more than comfortable going that route (DIY pre and separate phono).
Any advice and recommendations would be much appreciated.