Will they offer you a money back trail?
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One company makes a quality phono stage and offers a 30 day trial: Decware. Take a look at their phono stage; nicely done, simple with only three triode tubes and supposedly very good. My partner has auditioned one and said it is up there with the better ones; he also said it is well engineered. My partner is a qualified electrical engineer and appreciates these things.
How is this product "The answer to all my problems?"
The search for that special component, within budget, is part of the fun. Frustrating at times but that's the game.
If you mention the features and describe the sound you are looking for, there may be several suggestions which could fit your needs. I have found this forum to be a wealth of valuable information especially since I live in an area devoid of dealers.
I should have included some more info. I have a Classe' Four pre-amp and it's phono stage is ok. I know I can do better. It was better than average with my older cartridge a Stanton 881S. I then purchased a Linn Lp12 and as part of the deal it came with a Troika cartridge. The Classe' with 62db of gain just barely produces enough volume to be satisfying. I also have heard the Troika sound much better.
I had planned to replace the pre-amp but somewhere along the line I realised that it really wasn't the pre-amp at fault just it's phono stage.
The Troika has a very low out put(.1Mv) and it makes finding a phono stage that much more difficult. If I had an unlimited it would have been easy unfortunatly I don't.
The PS Audio GCPH offers lots of gain, selectable loading, the ability to run it directly to the amp, a fair price, and is available in Canada.
Really the biggest drawback is me. I have to research things to death.I won't be happy until I've heard from all of you, once I have considered your opinions and checked out the products that move you then I can buy in confidence.