Best Phono stage for a .3 mv Ruby 2 ?

Hi All,
I am currently using an arc ph-3 which is set up for my rega super elys. I just got a new Basis 2500/graham/ruby 2 and find the ph-3 is set too low. I'm going to try clipping in some of the supplied ARC resistors. In searching around I see that quite a few people recommend a solid state preamp with this low output of a cartridge.

What is the best phono stage for a .3mv ruby 2 ?

I have heard that the new lukaschek is quite good with this combination. I also have a used aleph ono on the way.

My system is aleph P/aleph 2/avanti centuries. I do have a vk-5i pre that I'll try with the different phono stages.
Well, the current "best" phono stage today is probably the new Boulder unit -- but it costs $29,000, so you may want to consider some others. In the "reasonable" range of phono stages, here are several that have gotten very good reviews:

1. The Manley Steelhead (about $7500 new) -- the phono preamp that has a lot of the audio reviewers singing its praises.

2. Tom Evans "The Groove" phono preamp -- hand-built in England, this is the unit that Harry Pearson of TAS has been raving about. It's about $3000. There is a less expensive model now available, and there is an ad here on A-gon for it. See the following link:

3. Balanced Audio Technology VK-P10 ($4000 new)

4. Conrad-Johnson Premier 15 ($4400 new)

5. Pass Labs Aleph Ono ($2500 new)

6. Lehmann Audio Silver Cube ($2100 new)

Dropping down into the next level, here are some of the best phono preamps to think about:

7. Linn Linto ($1600 new)

8. AcousTech PH-1 ($1200 new)

9. Camelot Technology Lancelot Pro ($1000 new)

10. Lehmann Audio Black Cube SE ($879 new)
I also have a PH3 and currently use it as a back up phono. Changing the resistors won't effect the gain just cartridge loading. My current mc cartridge is .4mv and I use a Klye Audio Art phono with it. I have used the Pass phono in the past and has plenty of gain to push your Ruby 2. Good listening.
Is Pass Ono still in production?
I dare to add to the Sdcampbell list Aestethic IO phono that i belive has an excellent value but expencive.
You can also shop for good step-up tranny that i believe in your situation will save you a buck or two:
Ortophon T100, EAR 834T?, AudioNote in the range of $1000.
The ono is not in production - I got a used one. Wow! Lots of helpful responses. I'm most anxiously looking for feedback on the T9 (newer) lukaschek that TAS gave a product of the year to in 2000. More importantly, I read in an albertporter post that this was quite a good phono stage.

It would also be nice to use something that small because it will tuck in behind (or under ?) my record player & allow me to use an ultra-short phono cable.
Add to the high-priced choices the Lamm phono stage, which is dead quiet and has about 57db of gain, more than enough for my .2mv Koetsu. If you like the sound of the PH3, you could consider the MC version of the Herron, a very nice unit and available for reasonable prices used. And the Pass phono stage should work nicely with your preamp sonically. I would be careful with step-ups, they can be more trouble than you'd think with hum problems and add another set of interconnects into the equation.
Pass Labs has very high gains phono stages available in two versions Pass X-Ono (current version) and Aleph Ono (older version). Both phono stages has as high as 73 db gains for MC cartridge and are fully adjustable to suit your cartridge loading impedance.

I've never heard the X-Ono but have been using Aleph Ono for a while. It sounds really good with my Ortofon Rohman which has .25mV output even the fact that it is a solid state gear. Actually it is the only SS gear I have in my audio system. When using very low output MC, SS phono stages are preferable because it has much lower noise than tube units.

If you prefer tube gears, adding step-up transformer before your phono stage is a good way to go. It's easy and economical.

Hope this information would help.
I own an Aleph Ono and love it, especially after the latest update from Pass LAbs. I am using a Kontrapunkt B (Thanks, member Mrstereo!) and a Fidelity Research FR1 MK3 F. The latter is 0.17 mv, much lower output than yours. This latter cartridge is clean, sweet and detailed, and is the best I have heard it in the Ono. The Kontrapunkt is as vivid as a thunderclap! Let us know how you make out!
I used a Benz Ruby w/ the Pass Ono and was well served. The Pass had more than enough gain. It's not a flashy combo and it won't sound particularly dramatic. A very even presentation with very good detail without getting clinical.
John, one reason the lukaschek is such a great match for the Benz is that they are built by the same guy. That particular phono stage was voiced with a Benz.

If you want the ultimate, the Io Signature with dual supplies has 80 DB of gain. I just got my new one today and even with my Koetsu (.02 MV) I had to reduce the gain by 6 DB to begin to match my SACD player.

Nice to have great sound with gain to throw away.
walker audio,or lab 47
I second Albertporter's... The Benz Lukaschek PP-1 T9 Phono Stage (retail $1,350) is the best match for your Benz Ruby.
Well I found a review of the ruby 2 in TAS. They used the high end herron with it for a time, then switched to the pp-Lukaschek pp-1 T9. They said it was a closer match to the character of the cartridge, but there was a small loss of detail. I am actually surprised to see that given the minimalist circuitry within the unit.

If might give it a try a little later. I'm experimenting a little with the sound of my system right now, so I don't want to introduce too many variables.

Thanks everyone for your input. What a family !
Dear John:

Hope you will post your followup on how things go as I am in a similar boat. Good luch

gary would T9 be a better match for Benz carts than more expencive phono-stages like Jeff Rowland, Plinius or Aesteghic IO?
did anyone compare this case?
I've auditioned the Benz Ruby on a Lukaschek, Counterpoint SA9, Audio Research PH3 and Aesthetix Io.

The best performance was Aesthetix Io, second Counterpoint SA9 (with NOS tubes), third was sort of a tie between the ARC and Lukaschek.

I admit fondness for the small size and craftsmanship of the Benz phono stage.
I used the regular Ruby some time ago. It was a special one without body and with very low gain, I think, 0.2 mV.
I used it in my Basis Debut/ Graham.
I use a Klyne 7 PX 3.5 phono pre amp.
Absolutely no problem. Plenty of gain even for this cartridge. It is excellent sounding and you can adjust it exactly to the Benz system ( Impedance, 47 k ....).
The Boulder has 47 dB S/N according to Stereophile or is 38 dB noisier than the Vendetta tested by Audio Magazine about fifteen years ago.....Updated units are still available in a full function preamp made to order.....Time marches backwards :-)
Pretty amusing Rcrump. Just about matches up with my experience with them at CES when they told me I was stupid for thinking that audiophile power cords made any difference in the sound of equipment.
I use my Ruby 2 with the CAT signature phono stage. Seems like a match made in heaven, the Ruby likes to be loaded down to about 700 ohms,IMHO much airier and resolving than at the standard 47K.
Plenty of gain with the CAT, even had enough gain with my older Ruby that put out 0.2mv
Albert, I just restated the facts as they have appeared in print....Power cords make a difference?
Pretty amusing Bob, hope no one thinks you are serious as it could hurt your own power cord sales.
Albert, I think everyone here knows what I do for a living as well as my warped sense of humor.....For those that have never heard of me below are my companies.....

Bob Crump
TG Audio/CTC Builders/DDR Mfg
Has anyone set up the ph-3 with the ruby 2 ?
I am using the aleph ono now. Very very transparent and revealing. I would like to hear the ph-3 too. Has anyone set up an ph-3 with the ruby ? What resistors do you use ?
My preamp has a variable gain setting for each input, so I can ramp it up.
The ono has 76 db of gain, the ph-3 only 54.
Has anyone set up the ph-3 with the ruby 2 ?
I am using the aleph ono now. Very very transparent and revealing. I would like to hear the ph-3 too. Has anyone set up an ph-3 with the ruby ? What resistors do you use ?
My preamp has a variable gain setting for each input, so I can ramp it up.
The ono has 76 db of gain, the ph-3 only 54.
I have a Ruby2 as well. I thought about using a PH-3 but I do believe 54db of gain is too low. I know of one reviewer in Listener who said it was a good match with the Linn Klyde.
I had a Klyde for a long time and it's about .25 mV, even lower than the Ruby2. A local dealer who carried Audio Research and Linn told me 54db gain was not enough for the Klyde. So my guess is it's not enough for the Ruby2.
I find the Ruby2 needs 60db gain or more for best performance. As far as loading goes, it's a toss up. I'd start at 500 ohms and move up. If your system can tollerate a bit brighter sound go higher in value. My Naim 52 uses 540 ohms and is a good match. I recently had a trial of a PP1/T-9 and it has 22k worth of loading. I did not feel the increased loading brightened the sound more than the Naim. But it did give better bass and a much fuller bigger overall sound. My biggest difference was seen in the two cables I was trying, the Harmonic Technologies Silver and the new Graham cable (50 or 70 ?). I liked the PP1 but want to try some diferent models, ie., the EAR 834P. I heard one once on a Orbe/Graham set up and fell in love with it for classical ensamble recordings. Anyone heard them both?
I would like to see the PH-3 with a 60-62 db gain.
Well All,
I finally settled it with a pass labs ono. I have it set to 47KOhms loading, I'm using maximum 76 db gain to the balanced outputs into my pass labs X1 and seeing superb results. Since it's so low, I didn't even try to set up the ph-3. The ph-3 is still set up ideally for my rega 25 and I didnt' want to change that. Gotta admit these low output cartridges are something special.

I'm seeing such great results I'm not going to change a thing.
I use the Thor TA-3000 phonostage with my Ruby 2 all the gain in the world and then more. The sound is just magical. Best phonostage I have ever heard and it is up there with the best ,in a class well deserved.