Audio Research all the way!
9 responses Add your response
I second Tfkaudio, go with the ear 834p. Also, an AR ph3se can be often had at under $1000. I've heard both in my system and would give the edge to ear. Also, you may be able to source the ear directly from the UK at 20% less then the USA prices, and that includes consideration of shipping. Hold on to the step up until you put the ear in your system. Mostly likely it will no longer be necessary so you can sell it off to save some $
There is a jj tube pre with phono mm+mc in phono pre.s just now. The seller is user name bigtube its $750ish and you will be able to fund 50% at least by selling your xformers.These things are way underated and little advertised but are kick ass and easily updated by replacing the volume pot with the same value dact or similar stepped attenuator.I dont know the seller and have never dealt in any way with him but if I was in your shoes would not hesitate.
Thanks a lot for your recommendations. I had been using EAR834 Delux, and PS Audio GCPH respectively, and found by adding the SUT like Jensen, I got better sonic, in terms of transparency, dynamic, and better midrange and top end.
DIY like K&K and Marantz 7 based may be a good option. Thanks a again for all inputs.
I have owned the Audio Research PH-3 and SE, they are good if not overpriced phono stages IMHO. The EAR 834p is also good, a little warmer then the AR units.
My choice in a dedicated phono stage right now is the Wright WPP-200c. $895 new, less used, fantastic build quality and the best sound for the buck I have ever heard.
Or for something completely different, how about a nice used CJ PV-5. One of the best integrated phono stages ever made w/ a lush warm sound. Use it as a phono stage.