It could be that you're enjoying a holiday from the Vinyl One. A friend bought one and invited me over to hear it. We both found it underwhelming and he put it here on Audiogon within a couple weeks. Pretty, though.
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No, I find the Vinyl One to be terrific I'm sure others can back me up on this, but phono stages are to me the most system dependent pieces. The V1 is so rich and smooth and tactile and real sounding that I've never found anything in my price range to beat it at my house although I try all the time because I'm sick that way!
I said it sounded good RELATIVE to other low cost phono stages that I've tried over the years. It's hardly comparable to the V1, a Herron, Aestetix, etc. or even an ASR Mini Basis Exclusive all of which I've heard. I was just pleasantly surprised that it was listenable and enjoyable even because when I've used the other under $1k units, I've been very disappointed.