Help with phono amp upgrade


Hello:  Need some input from those in the know.  My current system:
Mesa Tigris tube amp
ifi phono pre
Sansui 2050c ( older belt drive table) with Hana SL cartridge.

question:  i feel as though the IFi is very quiet and clear, but at times a bit harsh.  I’m thinking of buying
a used Sutherland PhD to improve the harshness in my system.  I’ve got around 2k to spend.  Yes, i know the table is old, but it sounds sweet and haven’t jumped at a new one... yet...

thanks ,
wb27
Forgot to mention speakers....
coincident conquest floorstanding speakers... they are older Canadian made speakers - very efficient and sound great with the Mesa....
You can get an old Audio Research PH3-SE for well under a grand, a stage it will be a huge step up and awfully hard to beat for anything around that price.

 
Thanks, I’ll check it out. Not in a rush, so any other input is appreciated....
getting a new  ifi 2 seems reasonable, but looking for better... thx
Just received a new phono stage for my headphone set up that I use in my home office in which I just added a turntable to, an Aural Thrills Serenade tube phono stage hand built in the Dallas Texas area for $900.00, it is MM and MC with loading options. The first 2 hours were brutal but after that it opened up and I am very impressed, I have tried before to satisfy this price point with Jolida, used AR 3 and to many others to mention. Let me tell you something with 8 hours on this thing it is a keeper. I run an Allnic H1500 se II in my big system and have lived with the Herron,very briefly, Chinook, JC3 Parasound, Audible Illusions MB3 with the JC phono boards Allnic H1201 and others before settling on the Allnic H1500 so I have sampled some very good phono stages. After I get a few hundred hours on this ATA Serenade I will give my final impressions but if you are spending $900.00-$1,000.00 you have to give this thing a look, it is one of those sleeper deals. Good luck and happy listening
Why don’t you just try another cartridge if the sound of Hanna is harsh to your ears ? This is a nature of MC. Find a better cartridge, probably MM or MI type. The sound goes from the cartridge. 

I would recommend you try IFI's new power supply with your Ifi Iphono. I had the Iphono2 and it is quite a bit better then the original. Really hard to beat for anything less then $1000. The new power supply is not very expensive well under $100 and worth trying. Also I've read good results with pairing it with their Tube stage buffer. now that said...

 If your going to spend $2k I'd highly recommend you read the review I wrote last week here when I compared the Gold Note ph10 ( $1500ish)Audionote Kit ( $2000) and the Allnic 1202 ($3800). I would also like to add in these the Manley Chinook as another excellent option in that price range.

 I own the PH10 and its a wonderful Phono stage and for the money one of the best I've heard for under $2k. I'd also say the AudioNote kit phono stages (there is three) are surprisingly wonderful sounding.


https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/a-night-with-three-phono-stages-allnic-1202-ank-and-goldnote-...


Really hard to beat for anything less then $1000.

Well, i disagree. Tried both: Chinese iPhono 2 and Australian JLTi mk4 side by side.

The iPhono was creamed by JLTi mk4 which was $750 new incl. shipping. Now JLTi made mk5 with special power supply for AUD 1450 = USD 1030 including shipping worldwide from the manufacturer directly. Amazing deal and great support fom the manufacturer. JLTi brand has a long hystory in High-End audio, anyone remember  Allen Wright  ?

The iPhono often sold defective, even after defective unit was replaced by a brand new unit, the buyer noticed it’s defective again (i’ve posted the links in another thread). This is a poor quality product, because it was Made in China. However, some units are OK, they are not all defective for sure. The iPhono indeed a bit bright for MC cartridges.


Why not try another canadian product ? - Simaudio Moon

I have the LP5.3 RS phono stage and it will probably be the last one I buy
- silent operation
- nice balanced sound
- very detailed
- exceptional dynamic performance
- very configurable

The more recent 310LP is basically the same model - just a bit more configurable
https://simaudio.com/en/product/neo-310lp-phono-preamplifier/

Check for previously enjoyed models - you can sometimes get a bargain

You do not need to get the external power supply - just use a good power cable + good interconnects to get best results

Regards - Steve
Thanks all !

my local shop is letting me try an Allnic H-1201s.
so far I’m mighty impressed... everything is more real.  I’m hearing more bass, more presence.  I’m a clarinetist so I had to hear that first- just amazing !  Almost makes me want to upgrade the turntable for MORE...
Have to agree with @glennewdick that the Gold Note PH10 is wonderful and can be had for around $1300ish new.
Check out the recent review in Positive Feedback on-line.
I find it interesting that nobody’s ever mentioned Audio Analogue AAphono device under $2000. Beautiful both sonically and visually, with setting adjustments, made in Italy. Definitely worth trying.
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Thanks Elizabeth, I thought that could be the case so I purchased a van Evers clean line.  It did wonders for a quieter background but the IFi still sounded thin with strings above mf.  I’m pretty much glued to my records at the moment as the Allnic 1201 is really very different than the IFi. There’s much more bass and heft to the music without losing any detail.  Piano sounds amazing.  Never thought my old stereo could sound this good.  I was a bit nervous as my Hana Sl calls for greater than 400 ohms load and the Allnic does not offer even this much impedance ( coming from IFi this felt like a shortcoming) no matter, it sounds great.  Just to see (hear ?) we reinstalled the IFi: the music is less spatial, less tonally convincing.  I’m also shocked at that slam this little tube amp can muster !
it seems my speakers are doing things they haven’t done before - I guess they should, new, the 1201 is 3k, the IFi is $500....
For tube phono stage I suggest Allnic 1201, for transistor - Sutherland 20/20.
Allnic have released the new 1202 replacement with tube power supply. This will lower pricing on older units. Do not pay full price on the 1201 or better yet, get the 1202.
Try to find a used Herron Audio VTPH-1mc. Maybe even call Herron to see if they have had any trade-ins. In my opinion, a used Herron VTPH-1mc is better than any other used or new $2K phono stage. Any.  Better than any $3,000 used or new phono stage.  
Thanks again everyone!

Im buying the Allnic used $1k.  Now, once I sell the ifi and a ps audio sprout I’ll have some $$
for a new turntable.. my old Sansui sounds great,
or at least the Hana SL sounds great....
my sansui occasionally runs a little slow, I give it a rest and it seems better.. but a new turntable is in my future... anybody try the Funk Firm LSD...
yes, that’s the name: little super deck...
You will never know what a great phono stage the Allnic 1201 is until you replace that turntable. If your dealer sold you the Allnic for $1,000.00 you should absolutely give him a shot at your business on a new table, keep your cart till you get things settled on the table and try it there. Happy listening
The bearing was lubed five or six years ago. It gets played a lot so it might need to go in.  I was thinking of having a better cable soldered in while he had it. This Allnic is something in this system. I’ve had a few questions and the distributor up in Canada couldn’t have been nicer !
Anyone actually compared Allnic 1201 and 1202 ? $1k is the price so good that it is a little suspicious, I saw nothing below $1750 obo, that's $1500 in reality, I guess. Make sure the tubes still have plenty of life in them. How much is to re-tube the Allnic, anyway ? I mean both stock NOS Mullards and other NOS tubes that some prefer.
Even if the tubes are a little beat down, I believe Allnic is giving away a new set of NOS tubes for them as they did for the H1200 when the 1201 replaced it. Contact your dealer/distributor. Like Inna, I have never seen that phono go for anything near that price, even the H1200 is bringing $1000.00 on the used market so you got one heck of a deal. 
Fun hobby !  So now I’m thinking of trying tube dampers on my old Mesa amp... at least in my system the Allnic is spooky quiet..