Adding a phono stage component ? Advice needed

Would like to venture into vinyl but my current preamp doesn't have a phono stage. Could a second preamp be used solely for the phono stage? Currently using the amps balanced output to the preamps balanced input. Could the amps unbalanced outputs be run to another preamp for phono stage use? Current system consists of:
Adcom GFA-5802
Adcom GFP-750
Adcom gcd-750
Your best bet is to purchase a nice outboard phono stage with a separate power supply.. I use the Clearaudio Micro Basic with my ARC gear... Then use one of the inputs of your
preamp with the line out of the phono stage...
Check out for a ton of different phono stages... That is the best way to start!!
Happy listening,
Custom Audio LLC
You need a separate component called a phono pre-amp or phono stage that is specially designed to do 2 things: bring the very low output voltage of the cartridge to the necessary input voltage of a line stage and secondly to apply the RIAA equalization curve, which is essentially a kind of frequency response shaping circuit to make for inherent problems in the response of an LP record. You will need either a pre-amp with a built in phono stage or a separate unit. So the signal chain goes like this Phono cartridge to phono stage (phono pre-amp to line stage (pre-amp to power amp. BTW, pre-amps outputs drive power amp inputs, not vice-versa.
Hmmmm.........thanks kindly!! You gave some where to start!
When I faced the same decision I used an old SAE Mk XXX preamp just for its phono stage. It worked fine but looked a little clunky and dated. After reading a favorable review in Stereophile magazine, I splurged on a $200 Rotel RQ970-BX dedicated phono pre-amp. Mine has been trouble free and sounds just fine. Last time I looked there were a couple for sale here on Audiogon going for $100 - $125. The Rotel ought to mate well with your Adcom stuff. Cost effective and highly recommended!
You can use the tape out of any preamp with a phono stage to drive your Adcom. But unless you just happen to have one lying around you are better off to buy a specialized phono preamp as suggested above.
Thanks a lot Rockvirgo & Oldears. I had a preamp with a phono stage but sold it when I aquired my new one. Your probably right saying that I should get a dedicated phono stage. Thanks for the help..................
Hey Zenieth- what did you end up doing? Audioman4 gave you some great advice, what with the Needle Doctor recomendation and all. Personally, I've got it good 'cuz Jerry Raskin himself helped me out when my old Adcom system (since replaced) needed similar help. I had a GFA555II (?) a few years ago, and hated the sound from the internal phono preamp. You could actually hear the fuzz and static come out of the speakers when you turned it to the phono input (and don't bother turning it up, either!) I sent it to Adcom to have the phono section jumped out, and then I visited the good doctor at his shop (I'm local). He damn near talked my ear off, but I learned a hell of a lot! When all was said and done, I left with a dedicated phono preamp that is easily adjustable for different stylus', didn't cost an arm and a leg, is dead quiet, and fits my system. For your Adcom setup, which is better than mine was, you could get very good results with a seperate phono preamp, and you don't have to pay alot to get great sound.

I can't recommend Jerry Raskin/ The Needle Doctor highly enough. If you still haven't done anything, or are still just thinking, check him out.

'Nuff said.
Well, I don't think anyone has answered your question, which is whether you could use the regular preamp connected to the balanced inputs on the amp, and a another preamp connected to the unbalanced inputs on the amp. If there is a selector switch to pick inputs then this is probably ok, go ahead and try it in my opinion. If not I'm not sure you may want to see if anyone else answers this.

Now, as for an outboard phono preamp in the tape loop or something, I tried this but found that the gain on a number of units was too low. (However some units have adjustable gain so make sure you check on this.) You switch from cd to tape (phono) and and then have to turn everything all the way up.
For me the better choice was to get a stand-alone preamp that had a phono stage and put that into the tape or aux input, so you can equalize volume easier. You will note that phono preamps are very expensive and I found a nice preamp with a phono stage for the same price.
As per above... "You will note that phono preamps are very expensive..."

I wonder what south_park considers to be "very expensive". Everything is relative, and reasonably good, quiet, entry-level phono preamps can be purchased new for around $300, plus or minus (and obviously used ones would be cheaper). Try to find a preamp with a decent phono stage for that price.

If you, Zenieth, have another preamp to use, then sure, go for it. But don't purchase another preamp just for this exercise.

By the way, I wouldn't recommend using both inputs on your amplifier at the same time. I may have misread your original question, in fact I'm still not certain what your intentions are, but if your plan is to use both the XLR and the RCA inputs on your amp, driven by seperate preamps, bad move.
I haven't done anything at this point. I'm still trying to decipher the best overall move. I did buy a new Rega p-25 but I'm still undecided on what phono stage to get. I believe I'm going to go with a Dynavector 20x cartridge or a Rega Exact. I could sure use some input as to what direction to go now that I've made it this far. I believe it makes a lot of sense to go with the phono preamp since I don't have another preamp laying around. I've considered the Rotel along with a Rega EOS. Tube or solid state? Which way to go ? I'd like to keep it in a budget range of 500 to 600. There is to much info and products for a uneducated individual. I appreciate everyones input too. I'm open for suggestions in the worst of ways. Help !!!!!!!
One thing I can help you with now is to suggest you stay away from the Rotel. I tried one myself in my old Adcom setup (which was a GFP555II, not a GFA..) and found it to be too noisy. For instance, when I turned my preamp to the input served by the Rotel, I heard hiss, noise, and static, although at a low level. If I turned the volume up, things got worse. Sorry, I don't remember the model number- I only loaned it from HiFi Sound in Mpls (nice guys!) for the weekend, and that was enough. Went straight to the Jerry Raskin/ the Needle Doctor, which was about 6 miles away, and ended up spending about $300 for an Acurus P10. Not sure if they are made any longer, and while they aren't the "last word" in phono preamps, it's good enough for me. This is not a recommendation- it's just the best I could afford back then, but it may be worth noting that out of all my equipment, this phono preamp is the only thing left untouched in the last few years. Thanks, Jerry!

There's a recommendation- call Jerry Raskin, or at least check his site at

At the time of that purchase I had a Planar3, which I really liked. In fact, I liked it so much I traded up to a P25 like yours about 2 years ago. I've got three different stlus'- Shure v15, Sumiko Blue Point, and a Blue Point Special, which I change out to suit my moods, and like almost all decent phono preamps, I can change the loading on the P10 to match each particular stlus (more on this below).

As per your cartridge choices, I have no history with either one, but have heard good things about both on a P25. I do, however, know a guy on Audiogon who has experience with a Dynavector, and last I heard was considering the Rega, I think mainly because he figured the Rega stylus was engineered to work perfectly on a Rega table. I'll see if I can get him to say some words on your thread.

Here's another thought. The Rega is a moving magnet design, like my old v15, and I don't know what the Dynavector is, but I found moving coils to be too bright with my Adcom. It wasn't until I bought a Sonic Frontiers Line1 preamp that I could live with moving coils. I only keep the v15 around for a few specific albums.

Also, if you think you will ever want to change out your cartridge/ stylus, be certain you get a pre- that will let you change the loading to suit BOTH MM's and MC's.

Only other thing I can say, and this is from first-hand experience- you might want to shy away from Grado's. I wanted to hear the famous "Grado sound" on my P25 so I borrowed a Grado Sonata from a friend, and I heard the slight rumble that everyone talks about (yes, even with a P25). Once you know it's there, you won't be happy.

Sorry I rambled a bit. I think it was Shakespeare who said, "Brevity is the soul of wit". If this is true, I must be as dumb as a stump.

Best of luck.

Jim you have helped ease my mind in a couple of areas. I've heard the hum issue all to many times now about Grado. If I could get some Dynavector vs Rega input. Then I could narrow that decision to the point. I'm also starting to believe that Rotel isn't a viable candidate either. I think I will call Jerry and see what he recommends. The point of obtaining a phono pre with both capabilities is a must. Ok thanks and I'll wander a little more. Hopefully I can gain enough knowledge and make a sound choice here! Thanks again.
Hey, one last idea (man, I gotta get a life- this flu is killing me!).

You mentioned earlier that you were looking for a phono pre- in the $500-$600 range. Why not start another thread asking just this exact question, particularly from people with your equipment? I think it would be interesting, as well as very helpful.

Just a thought.

Your right. For a flu sickened individual your pretty sharp!!! I hope your feeling better soon.........