I just returned my second defective Manley Chinook

My first Chinook(bought in 2012) was replaced because of numerous pops and hum.Returned replacement Chinook today because of occasional pop and hum from right channel. Manley is going to change out the main circuit board with the latest.This has been very disappointing and I will attempt to return or sell the Chinook after it is returned to me.How should I handle this with the on-line company that sold me the Chinook?This is not a knock against Manley or their product.
When I purchased the Manley I told the phone rep that I would be willing to spend more for a Herron phono but was told Herron worked best when used with other Herron gear.
From everything I have read on Audiogon this does not seem to be the case.
This was my first experience with tubes and it was disappointing so I was thinking about going back to a solid state phono possibly Pass Labs XP15.But I enjoyed the tube sound so still thinking about the Herron.
I am 64 years old and I want this to be the last phono amp I buy so I want to make sure I make the proper choice.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
My system is VPI Classic One with Lyra Delos.Amp and pre-amp is Jeff Rowland.
Rowland Cadence with Battery Power Supply is the one to go
Get a Quicksilver Phono Pre. It's tubed, will sound great, won't break the bank, and Mike delivers great service if you ever need it…Easy!
I agree that a tube phono would blend well with your Rowland amplification. Why don't you give the repaired Chinook a chance to settle in before bailing out?

I use the latest Herron linestage preamp and find it to be a very neutral and reliable performer. The Herron phono has a very strong following and has been highly praised. Keith Herron may have some stock available and so you may want to contact him but do give the Chinook another chance. Manley is a very solid company. I use the Cary phono (mkII) and I like it but I do vary it with a couple bargain priced ss phono preamps to change the sonic signature from time to time.
If he gets the QS, he probably won't be able to use it without an SUT. Also, since his Rowland gear is fully balanced, I would probably get a phono pre that's balanced as well. Wouldn't rule out something SS either. For a low output cart, you need something really high quality and clean. Its hard to do low output with tubes unless you spend a lot of money.
Check out the E.A.R. 834P. A friend of mine had that one and it
was very nice. Plenty of positive reviews. BTW,I been using the
QS for the past ten years without a glitch,but you would need a
SUT for your cartridge,QS makes a nice MC transformer.
If you want to stick with tubes Kevin Carter has a new phono pre called the Trio that with MC inputs and built, not a kit, would set you back about the same as the Manley Chinook.

I can't believe a manufacturer would release a unit that couldn't even be transported without arriving with problems. Twice.

Sell the Manley.

Get a Herron. It works very well with most equipment.

Get a Herron and get off the upgrade merry-go-round.

Get a Herron and receive a working unit that will work without problems.

Get a Herron and get Keith Herron's personal attention and support.

Yes, everybody keeps hearing the same thing from me about Herron Audion. But I haven't read anybody that disputes anything I've written.
Yes, everybody keeps hearing the same thing from me about Herron Audion. But I haven't read anybody that disputes anything I've written.

Since you asked for it, I’ll share my experience!

I have only auditioned the Herron VTPH-2 at the agent’s showroom, and never used it in my system. However, I have 2 Herron VTPH-1 , one stock VTPH-1MC Plus, another was updated to the Plus status from the original VTPH-1MC. Yes, I liked it enough that I got 2. For that matter, I also have a VTSP-1A/166.

My following comment is based mainly on my experience with the VTPH-1MC Plus in my own system, but my impression with the VTPH-2 in the agent’s showroom was similar.

The Herron VTPH-1MC Plus is very neutral, very quiet, and certainly a bargain at it’s price range. However, for the good or bad, it lacks somewhat the tube’s warmth and tonal color. Also, when compared to some more heavily built (and more expensive) phonos, the Herron seem to lack behind a little on mid-bass and bass authority.

Of course, that is based on what I heard in my system and my personal preference, so YMMV. I have no doubt that the Herron is a good phono, but is it the only choice in its price range? I suppose it depends on your preference and matching gears.

I am not trying to talk down on Herron gears, but just want to add a more balanced view.
I have a Herron VTPH-2 and it has worked flawlessly with my Cary SLI-80F1 and now with my Pass XP-20, XA100.5 combination. I use NOS Telefunkens in it which I feel was an improvement over the stock tubes.

Before purchasing it I compared to an Audio Research reference phono stage at the time and I felt the Herron held it's own against the AR which was a 10K phono stage. So that made buying the Herron an easy choice. And Keith is there to back it up and provide support.


This is the first I have heard of the Trio, but coming from a Maxxed Out owner, I bet it is very good. I have been a fan of Kevin's work for almost 15 years.

I didn't see any mention of what a completed kit would cost.

Shakey, if you scroll down you'll see that the complete kit lists for $1250 with MM only. MC input option $375 more.
things can happen. I'm assuming you replaced the tubes to make sure that's not the problem.

I wouldn't sell it. At least if you want tubes. The Chinook is the biggest selling phono stage we've ever had. In fact the most popular I've sold in 38 years of selling hifi. In January alone we ordered 30 of them, believe it or not.

The factory is incredible and unlike many brands they have real engineering. The Chinook and Steelhead are so good because Manley understands that category as they make the gear that makes the records happen.

I know it's hard to imagine a dealer telling somebody NOT to spend money. But it's the truth. If I were keeping it at $4k or under, I've never heard a phono stage that sounds better.

One more thing: If you do keep it, make sure to do some tube-rolling, especially with the two 6922's in the rear as they have the most influence. And you don't even have to spend a lot. Try some Philips PCC88's in there. Fabulous. And cheap.
"Shakey, if you scroll down you'll see that the complete kit lists for $1250 with MM only. MC input option $375 more."

Yes I saw that. But you mentioned a built preamp. I didn't see the price for that option.

Quicksilver, Herron, Manley. Three good companies that have been around for a long time and deserve our support. There's no need to be critical of any one of them in order to support either one of the others. Same is true in spades of K&K.
Shakey, Kevin charges if I recollect correctly $400 to build a Maxed Out. Since this kit is less complex, I assuming he won't charge more than that, maybe less. If you need an exact number you can call Kevin.
No I don't need the exact number. I just thought it would be good info for the OP to have when he makes his decision. I am completely happy with my phono stage which I purchased in 2001 and have brought it up to current status.

Lewm that is a very mature answer. I have a Herron and haven't heard anything come close in that price range. In fact I would say it's the best phono I have ever heard. A foundation research I heard was at least it's equal but I did not hear them head to head. As far as Herron needing to play with herron, that is absolute bs. Although maybe I could use that logic to convince myself to purchase the line stage.
I have been hoping that a Cadence would show up on Audiogon but it seems to be rare. I should have put that in my thread.I was thinking about the Pass Labs or Herron because it might be a long wait for a Cadence. I have decided to stick with the Chinook and continue to watch for a Cadence.
Thanks for the sound advice.Hopefully the returned Chinook will be problem free. The Chinook sounds great and I would recommend it to anyone.I am pleased with the way Manley has handled this.
Manley told me to switch the outputs on the Chinook to see if the problem would switch sides which it did.So they told me to return it and they would change out the main circuit board.I will keep the Chinook and do the tube-rolling that you suggest.Thank you Upscale Audio.I appreciate the very helpful advice.
My pleasure Montgomery. I didn't mean to open my yap, but my affection for the Chinook, and Manley as a whole, prompted me. I don't know if I know of a company that is better at taking care of business.

As to the tubes the Philips PCC88 is SO CHEAP and sounds so good.

Have fun!
I would be looking for another phono stage NOW!!