I currently have the VTPH-2 and like it very much I use NOS Telefunkens in it. I compared it to an ARC reference phono stage at the time and felt the Herron was very competitive with the ARC.
Chuck, Do you prefer the VTPH2 to your solid state phono stage, the one we've both heard?
BPoletti, I do not in any way begrudge you your love of the Herron phono stage. Was just pointing out to the OP that you are obviously the most knowledgeable person on the subject of all things Herron. I'd love to compare the Herron VTPH2 to either my own highly tweaked Silvaweld SWH550 or to a K&K Maxxed Out.
Bdp24, In the good old days of Harvey et al, I owned a Decca SC4E and then a Decca London. I did like the London a lot, but I cannot recall what I thought of the SC4E back then. A few years ago, I resurrected the SC4E and gave it a listen; the results were to say the least not favorable. I am still open-minded on Decca, because of my fond memories of their wide open sound and midrange clarity. Can you say more about Harvey's recommendations for loading, besides adding 1000pF? Did he use 47K or some other resistance? I also feared that the older high mass designs like the SC4E could do damage to LPs. Maybe heavy viscous damping, as with the Townsend, ameliorates that issue.
"Another concern is that I have a Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP Integrated Amp and was wondering how another tube phono stage would sound with the tube phono stage? Is it better to Mix solid state phono stage with a Tube Amp or keep it all the same (all tubes or all solid state?)."
I have a PL HP and have a Fosagate tubed phono. There isn't any "better" regarding mixing a SS or tubed unit. Subjective as everything else audio.
With a nice clean record, the presentation can be surreal.The nice thing about a tubed unit is it can be further "tuned" to your liking.
Lew, Harvey recommended 10k to 15k resistance, and 1000pF to 1mF (!) capacitance, using .33mF himself. But every Decca was different. There was a device named the "Decade Capacitance Box" that would allow capacitance to be adjusted; with it you found the sound you wanted, and you would then install capacitors in your pre-amp of the value you decided upon.
A Decca/London is never going to be as refined or delicate as some, but, just like everything else in Hi-Fi, each listener has to determine what aspects of reproduced sound are most responsible for a satisfying musical experience. To me, there is the Decca, and then there is everything else. My friend Brooks Berdan would just shake his head and smile when the subject came up! They can sound rather brash, but part of that is because they put so much mechanical energy back into the arm, they reveal any weakness in an arm's bearings or the arm tubes stiffness and resonance. That's true of all low-compliance cartridges, though. The change to a line-contact stylus profile starting with the Super Gold helped with tracking, but that is still a concern. I completely understand a person's misgivings and apprehensions about Decca/Londons, and they really aren't for everyone. But they make music sound so much more like live music (which IS brash!) than anything else, I just can't quit her!