Can a phono stage really do this?


I just acquired a MAGI Phonomenal phono stage, which feeds a very compatible MAGI line stage. I have a Boz Scaggs album of Great American Songbook standards, which previously has displayed some pressig noise, such as crackling sounds that seem to syncrhonize with the rotation of the record.

I got this MAGI Phonomenal phono stage (handwired PTP), sometimes compared to the Manley Steelhead), and played the Boz Scaggs album with the new phono preamp. There was no noise. No mungy crackling to accompany the rotation of the record. Just pure, high resolution extraction of the musical elements of the LP. It was wonderful.

Can phono stages do this, or is it the result of lucky turntable setup with better tracking force, anti-skating adjustment, and azimuth adjustment? The TT is a Technics SL1210 M5G with KAB fluid damper and Oracle Groove Isolator sorbothane mat. But I never heard this record without the pressing noise until I got the Phonomenal. Cartridge is an Audio Technica AT150MLX with microline stylus.
johnnyb53
Johnny, yes, tics and pops and crackling can be dramatically affected by the phono stage. Ralph/Atmasphere has made that point in a number of past threads, such as this one. I'm not familiar with the MAGI Phonomenal, but if it uses passive RIAA equalization with no feedback that would help to explain why it has been beneficial with respect to those issues.

Regards,
-- Al
Agree with Al.
Properly loaded cartridge will tick and click substantially lower even through the scratches.
Don't forget that kinematic setup of arm/cartridge and proper alignment is also crucial.
It's the stylus/cartridge/arm/turntable combination that is rejecting the tics and pops, not the phono stage.
09-05-14: Stevecham
It's the stylus/cartridge/arm/turntable combination that is rejecting the tics and
pops, not the phono stage.

That's where I was starting from too, but I posed the question because the before
and after signal chains had the same turntable, same arm, same cartridge, same
tracking force, same VTA, same anti-skate setting. The only difference was
swapping out an op-amp/tube buffered phono preamp for an all-tube hand-
wired MAGI Phonomenal preamp.

Through the MAGI the mungy pressing noise was gone. In the link provided by
Almarg, Ralph of Atma-Sphere explains why this could be so. I could see where
passive EQ would be quieter than active. And the MAGI has an all-tube gain stage
vs <$1 op-amps in the previous phono stage.
my understanding is the wider the bandwidth the quieter the preamp. My Bugle has opamps but is very quiet regarding pops and tics.
Post removed 
I have noticed that tics and pops are reduced in amplitude and don't make me jump out of my seat. But the sound I was talking about is more like a low level crackling groove noise that's much longer in duration than a tic--more like a second--and lower in amplitude through my previous phono stages. With the MAGI this mungy periodic crackle (corresponding to a point in the record's revolution) simply doesn't manifest itself and distract me from the music as it did before with the other phono stage.
09-05-14: Viridian
...
It's a very complex, and dynamic problem. I am glad that the OP has found a combo that works for him.
I feel like the cat that caught the canary. Here's a discussion on VinylEngine from 4 yrs ago (price of the unit has gone up since then) where the MAGI is compared to the 10x as expensive Manley Steelhead. I go to my local high end store's annual vendors' open house. I have heard several seriously good and expensive phono stages including expensive monsters from Audio Research, Ayre, and VTL. This MAGI Phonomenal definitely has the you-are-there 3D resolution, subterranean noise floor, wide dynamics, and sweet smooth musicality of the high priced spread.

There are probably no more than 30 or so of these units out there.
Is the magi still available for sale?
09-06-14: Sbrownnw
Is the magi still available for sale?
As far as I know it is. Owner/entrepreneu Mark Voigt's phone number (AFAIK) is (615) 866 7170. Here's his ebay storefront. I don't know his email address offhand. He's a one-man operation and this phono stage requires 50 hours of labor, so don't expect a quick reply, but you may get lucky.
The short answer is yes, a phono stage can indeed do this.

And you got it right- what it is doing is **not** emphasizing the ticks and pops, while the previous phono section was.

This has nothing to do with loading, although loading can help if the phono section is sensitive to Radio Frequency Interference (RFI).

Glad you stumbled on to a phono section that got it right! Enjoy!- and its OK to feel smug when people complain about ticks and pops :)