Looking for a phono preamp

As the title implies, I am looking for a phono preamp. My budget is under $200.

I've only recently gotten into hi-fi audio, and this is really my first vinyl experience. My overall system is best described as mid-fi, current specs are listed below:

Amp: NAD C372
Speakers: Sonus Faber Concertino
CD: Technics SL-PD8 5 disc changer
TT: Music Hall MMF5, stock
Cartridge: Shure M97XE

Also, has anyone used the USB-compatible preamps? They look interesting but I'm not sure if they're worth the premium.

And I know the changer is holding me back, so let's focus on the phono preamp.

You are very unlikely to find anything worthwhile at this price. I would wait until I could spend somewhat more. You would probably end up with something you would have to sell at a loss as I doubt it would satisfy you.
Not true, I tried an el cheapo 'tcc' phono pre, and found it to be a step up from the NAD 2 I had previously. Granted, neither of the units is cutting edge, but it gave me enough performance to marginally outshine my cd player. They are about 75 bucks at phonopreamps dot com.

If your'e willing to stretch your budget a bit, the bottlehead seduction is a killer unit, and is ridiculously cheap to boot. good luck and enjoy!
The Parasound Zphono and the Bellari 129 are good choices. I've used both and feel they each do a credible job for the money. Both can often be bought used and resold if you don't like them or upgrade to something more expensive.

I have a Parasoound Z-Phono which I use as a backup. I picked it up on Audiogon for $150 and think it sounds quite good. I lived with it for a month recently while my main phono pre was being repaired and didn't miss any of the basic LP experience. I believe it won some sort of award from The Absolute Sound, plus it has a phase reversal switch, which I actually found quite useful since out-of-phase recordings are quite noticable with my Quads. Recommended.


You might look at Haglabs Bugle. You can dig around on Audioasylum for commentary/reviews.
I haven't heard it myself but a lot of people over in the UK seem to think that the Cambridge 640p is the best option in your price range. I believe it does MM and MC which is a bonus as well.
Myself, I have the 640P. It can be had for $159 delivered on-line, new. We share very similar gear. I was pleased with it's performance at this price point. My first thought was to throw more dough at this piece, but I don't think my system justifies it. Other contenders in previous posts get good reviews as well. Check out past threads, plenty of info. on budget pre/phonos.
You should be able to find a used Musical Fidelity X-LPS for around $150-$175. It's a SWEET sounding unit that got excellent reviews. Does both MM and MC.
Thanks for all the input. I'll look into the various models suggested.

Another vote for the Cambridge 640p.
I would buy used. Remember, that $75 phono stage cost $7.50 to make at usual industry markup. That such a stage is better than one in an integrated amp is not a recommendation for it but an inditement of the amp.
G'day mate, if you're considering DIY this is the phono stage I recommmend. I use mine with an M97xE and it is a superb combination. http://sound.westhost.com/project06.htm Regards, Fap