Good phono amp, low noise, not too expencive?

Any advice for a phono preamp at a "do-able" price point? Who makes good low noise one at a decent price? Say under $1000? Thanks!
An excellent unit with low noise, good dynamics,
and very versatile.
Blue Circle BC23
Monolithic Sound phono stage w/ outboard Dual Mono Power Supply will make the Black Cube and the Blue Circle beg for mercy. The upgraded dual mono power supply has a three stage noise filter built-in. Dusty Vawter and Greg know what they're will get bass so strong and deep that will rival a DAC.

Lists for ~$650 total (
I have a Musical Fidelity mono block setup for sale with a separate power supply unit to lower the noise floor. It can handle mm or mc cartridges. I am selling the entire setup for 500 including shipping. Excellent to like new condition. I have it advertised on the Gon.
Is there an echo in here? there is another thread that is virtually identical to this one. The Plinius Jarrah will crush the Monolithic!
You may want to check out the AES PH-1. I have been very pleased with the results I have obtained in my system. $549 factory constructed (as opposed to a kit which is less).
A sleeper for few bucks second hand would be the accurus. The model may be p1 or p3, I forget. I owned one and it worked very well with a denon 304[about .2 output...I bought mine for about 350 cdns 7 years ago and sold it for 300...Th aragon version is more expensive but better....The above choices are worth checking out also....good luck...

I am with the "Psych" as far as the Monolithic PS-1/HC-1 is concerned. I don't have a phono stage yet, and I am going to add an analog rig to my audio system this summer. The first piece I am going to get will be the phono stage. And my phono stage will be the Monolithic PS-1/HC-1. I think that at $660.00, it will take on all challangers that charge close to three times its modest price (though, I think that the AcousTech PH-1 might be a formidable foe for the Monolithic PS-1/HC-1, and if I could afford to spend more, then that's what I would get. But that's a different story altogether). Try one out for yourself. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Charles, I bought the Monolithic without ever listening to it. I had a phone conversation with Greg--he's such a terrible salesman! But he spoke with enthusiasm and technical mastery of how his unit was designed and works. Kind of like an inexpensive version of a Klyne (my favorite phono preamp). I knew I could trust Greg's design...

Will you trust me on TT choice? I read in another forum that Thorsten posted in the Asylum that the Technics 1200 can be "stunning" with the proper audiophile cartridge. Yeah, Thorsten has to say it--right? My modded 1200 w/ Ortofon X5 MC, tonearm fluid damper and the Monolithic phono stage *is* stunning...People think that since the 1200 is direct drive it has a motor physically rotating the platter--it doesn't. It rotates via a magnetic field--there's no physical contact; rumble is a mere (-78 dB) and there's no transmitted vibrations from the "motor". Compare that technology with the glass and particle board units. Not a chance.
Charles, I'm in the same situation as you. I plan to add a separate phone preamp to my current system. This seems to be the simplest way to add analog. Right now, I'm buying some "audiophile" records to wet my appetite for the analog purchase.

Does anyone have any experience with the EAR 834 phone preamp? It is tube based and retails for around $1000. I have heard it has a wonderful sound and doesn't do too bad with the bass either.

You are right about the Technics SL-1200 MkII being a good turntable and all. My buddy, who happens to be a DJ (but I am not one...... I am just an audiophile (????)) has two of them, and he swears by them. And by helping him to do parties many times and actually gotten the privledge to operate the wonderful table myself, I cannot say that I disagree. And not only they can be made to be extrordinary turntables with a little tweaking and by using an "audiophile" approved cartridge instead of a Stanton or Ortofon, but those things are built like tanks too. Since you own one, I don't even have to tell you how much one of those things weigh, do I??? They are very nice tables. And since I don't have a table yet (but I did bid on a used Thorens TD126 MkIII 3 Speed Electronic on "E-Bay" last night, and it I am thinking about backing out. Nothing is wrong with the table (so they say), but it does not have a dust cover, and I don't know where I could get one at this point, nor do I have the desire to spend an exorbient sum of money to invest in one right now when in fact I don't intend to keep the table no longer than two years. If and when I obtain the Thorens, it is going to be a stopgap measure which will allow me to enter the analog arena right now (and I am buying some records also. I began buying my first EVER LPs more than a month ago) while I will began saving my money up for a better and more expensive table/arm later on), I may put the Technics SL-1200 MkII on my shortlist as well. But right now, I thinking about going "belt-drive" and I have my eyes and heart set on either a VPI Scout/JMW Memorial 9, or a Rega Planar 25 with a Rega RP600, but I will give the Technics SL-1200 MkII a shot as well. If I end up with either the VPI/JMW or the Rega Planar 25/RB600, you won't hold it against me, will you???


I couldn't agree more.

my choice, my favorite, is the Plinius Jarra-I'm not too hot on the Jarra Wood front, but it is sonically superb-lots of better stuff out there, most of it tube, most of it touchy, etc. I've never heard the Musical surroundings product, but those who have compare it with the Lehman-and a used Lehman would be a good buy too.
If you can stretch the budget, the phono preamp to own is the EAR-the black cabinet version is list at 995.00. sometimes the tubes a bit bright, but not always (EAR is a bit weird though-sometimes easy to get servicing, sometimes not). the Plinius is plug-in-and forget, and sells for about 750.00. You're free to e-mail me and ask for details if you wish. Happy Listening!

If you want a belt drive, check out the factory refurbished SOTAs. I would go for a Sapphire. If you search the posts, you'll find out that Sean is very fond of SOTAS--and so am I. They are made here in Chicago Metro. They have an unbelievable suspension!

Okay.......... I haven't thought of that. A "factory refurbished" SOTA could be a very attractive option. I may consider that option as well. But now, getting back to the Technics SL-1200 MkII. If I should happen to change my mind and say that I do in fact want one (not likely to happen, but you never know), then I know where to look for one of those as well. And I don't have to travel far to get one either. I could go to a store that specializes in professional sound/dj equipment and get one there, OR, I could see if I could bribe my buddy into giving me one of his. Again, that's not likely to happen, but it's a thought (LOL).