I have done a lot of work with analog and would like to offer friendly advice... You should run the output of the phono stage directly into the tape deck and avoid any additions into the signal path (unless using an outboard noise reduction unit). However, there are many more "factors" you need to be aware of that are more important and can add up to significant cost when doing analog archiving or preservation. If you intend on making high quality transfers, you will want to be making them at least at 15ips, 2-track on 1/4" tape. You will want to use a high caliber tape such as Quantegy 499 or GP-9. This will run about $20 for a reel per 33 minutes of record time at 15ips. Furthermore, there is significant tape noise at 15ips 1/4" and would probably want to consider Dolby-S or Dolby-A encoding. You also need to ensure that the reel-to-reel you use is properly biased to the tape you will be using. If you want to sacrifice recording quality and increase the amount of material you can get on a single reel, you can drop the recording speed and take a performance hit. Furthermore, again you may consider sacrificing quality for quantity and use a consumer reel-to-reel running 1/4 track heads. 1/4 track heads (which the majority of consumer machines use) cut the track width in half and allow 4 channels to be recorded on a tape. These machines typically will run at a maximum of 7 1/2 IPS so you will be able to get 133 minutes onto a 10" reel and can even drop the tape speed to 3 3/4 and put 266 minutes onto a tape. However, 1/4 track recordings usually have print through causing the 2 tracks you aren't listening to to be heard at very low levels and is quite irritating. Also, remember to clean the heads between each "recording" session and demagnetize the heads. If your intent is high quality archiving, I would not suggest using a 1/4 track consumer machine. Doing high quality analog transfers get exceedingly expensive and can be a royal pain. Before getting started, convince yourself that open-reel analog tape is the way you want to go. Before deciding strictly on using analog, you might want to consider using something like an HHB CD-R with an Apogee 24 bit A/D as an alternative to doing your archiving. I know how wonderful analog tape sounds but I also know how incredibly expensive it gets to do it right and how bad it sounds if you do it wrong.