Cary/AES phono stages

I wqould appreciate hearing from anubody that has had experience with either the Cary Ph301 or AES Ph301 phono stages. Thanks
AES does not offer the PH-301. The phono preamp they offer is the PH-1. Not the same animal. I had one for 30 days and returned it because it a) did not have enough gain and b) did not sound as good as some of the other stuff I listened to. I have an all Cary system but the phono preamp I use is the Pass Xono. Fantastic phono pre with lots of gain and flexability. I have never heard the Cary PH-301 so I cannot comment. Good luck. Don't buy the PH-1.

- JA
The AES PH1 is not a MC phono pre. It can be used with high output MC carts. It's also somewat cheap , around $500-700 depending on options. The Cary PH 301 is $3500 and does it all , as it should for that price.
This is an old post, but I just recently found an answer, because I just chose between the two models mentioned myself. I had the newer Cary PH-302 and still have the AES PH-1.

The big difference is that the PH-302 (and the 301) have step-up transformers built-in, so they provide gain and loading for a MC cartridge. But, the problem is that ONLY 100 ohms is provided for their MC inputs, which is not correct for many MC cartridges. It was not correct for mine, and I had no opportunity to change it. Plus, every step-up sounds different, so the built-in transformer did not give me the best sound.

The AES PH-1, does not include any input transformer for MC, so an external transformer or head amp is required. Thus its lower price. And, this is a big advantage. It provides the owner with an opportunity to choose the RIGHT transformer for any MC cartridge, or no transfomer at all for a high-output cartridge.

The money I saved with the PH-1 afforded me the opportunity to choose a transformer that matched my cartridge, and in the final comparison, sounded better than the PH-302.