I tried to run a phono pre directly into my power amps once and was stunned to find how much my active preamp had been contributing. Sounded flat, bleached and generally blah without the active pre. If you do buy the phono pre, be sure to try it into your amps before selling the Calypso (which I also own). My CD player (Raysonic 128) also sounds pretty dreadful going direct or via a passive linestage. Just a heads-up.
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