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Classe has always made excellent phono stages. I'm not certain about the CAP-100, but apparently the CAP-151's phono stage is the same as that used in their top-of-the-line preamp. The best thing for you to do would be to contact Classe and get information on this, as an external phono stage which significantly betters your own might cost more than your Classe! Your system is, in fact, extremely well balanced, and the Rega P25 an excellent choice. Are there problems? And by the way, I've been thinking about getting the Dynavector DV20HX myself as I value musicality - dynamics, rhythm - above everything else. How is it?
The fact you heard such drastic differences between cartridges speaks volumes for the quality of your phono stage. It seems to me, having heard the possibilities, you've contracted "upgraditis", even though you're enjoying your system! Phono stages depend largely on power supplies, and Classe are masters of power supply design, which is very expensive. Most outboard phono stages use "wall-warts" and would likely not beat the one you have. The ones that will, cost quite a bit, though some, like the reasonably-priced new Grado and the new Dynavector, might (that's might). Probably the only way to get the info you want is to call them personally and ask them personally how they rate the phono stage. Otherwise, you're on the long and never-ending road to an expensive system: start with the record-player first, unless you want more bass and more detail, in which case start with your speakers. Good Luck.
your new cartridge delivered more information because of its higher quality, the same will occur in most cases by upgrading almost anyother piece of equipment... you get what you pay for, GENERALLY. I think upwards of $800 will get you the beginning of the end in used phono stages.
i may have a Krell KPE Reference Phono Stage for sale in the near future, if you are interested let me know.
enjoy the music
A while ago I was sort of forced to go with an external Phono stage since I went from a phono preamp to a to a line stage. It is hard to make an honest judgement about the change since I could not go back and forth while listening. My phono stage came about a month after I sold the preamp. Going from memory though there was a big improvement. The line stage and phono stage sounded better than the internal I had prior to the seperates.
Easy, you can buy a Highwire Wirewrap tuning device for $25 and experiment with it. Look in the maufacturer's directory. The Absolute Power Cord is the only power cord that I know of that's a tuned design. That's why it's only available in one length. Its weakness relies in being Chinese mass made--that's why deep LN2 cryo treatment helps it so much. There is audible diference between different cryo treatments.
I own a KAB modded Technics SL-1200MKII. It has outstanding speed/rotational stability. The music is both forceful and delicate at the same time...