The Musical Surroundings Phonomena NOVA Phono pre amp is around $1200 and is an excellent partner with the Lyra.
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I think the Linn Linto is a very good buy on the used market, if you can live without the idea of loading switches. The Linto has a fixed loading that works fine with most MCs. It is compact, quiet, ultra-reliable and is not bright or forward, IMO. They generally go for about $800-$1K used, depending on age. I upgraded from the Pro-ject Tube Box and it was a big improvement in overall sonics.
I have a Kleos and have been using a Linto with good success for a few years now. Although I have been thinking it is time for a change. I have thought about the Uphorik but have yet to try one. But considering our similar tastes in music, I think as Chayro mentioned a Linto can be had for a reasonable price these days.
Over the past several years, I've either owned or done home
auditions on 6 or 7 phono preamps (paired with a Lyra Skala).
In my system, the two I have liked best are the Graham Slee
Reflex C, and the Parasound JC3 (which is above your budget if
bought new, but can be found used for $1500-1600). They have
somewhat different sonic profiles, but I think both represent
excellent value. BTW, Graham Slee offers a free 2-week
"loaner" program so you can try their products in
your system. For more details, check their web site. The good
news is that there are a number of good phono stages today
Graham Slee Reflex C
All very capable phono stages. Some way over my budget. The Reflex C sounds very tempting at around $1,200.00 with great reviews. With a little luck I may be able to find one used.
Other great options under $1,500.00 for the Delos?
Has anyone else experienced great results with the Reflex C/Delos?
Sdcampbell, would you mind describing the sound qualities of the Reflex C in your system?
kiko, i know your asking about a phono stage but i owned the triton 3s for a year and i could never shake the feeling i was missing detail. imaging i liked mostly but having owned previously old thiel cs2 i knew my system was capable of more. in short i think your detail needs would be better served changing speakers. i owned the psb model in the same price range as triton7 and thought the psb were better detail wise than triton3. imaging better with tritons but mate those psb tsomethings with your tube amp and i for one think it would sound great. hope this helps i dont mean to put your speakers down but just wanted relate my experience.
Syntax, Tswisla, and Jcoehler:
Thank you for your input on the Chinook but at $2,200.00, its definitely out of my range.
I am not completely sold on the Reflex C yet but the price, as well as the two week free trial, sounds extremely tempting so now it sits on the top of my list.
Who knows, you may be right about the speakers but the Triton 3s array of dirvers is a bit different from the 7s:
In the 3s, there is one of the same 4.5" high-definition spider-leg drivers as used in the Triton Two, along with the high velocity folded ribbon tweeter.
The 7 combines a D’Appolito array of two newly developed 5-1/4" midrange/bass drivers specifically designed for exceptionally long-throw surrounded by the same high velocity folded ribbon tweeter.
They sounded quite different when I auditioned both them at the Sound Component store in South Miami. As good as the 3s sounded, the 7s blew them away producing far better detailed/richer sound, with surprisignly deep, tuneful bass.
But the real magic of the design is its ability to disappear! Speed, focus, openness, and depth comparable to one of my all time favorites, the Spendor S8a.
Norah Jones' ("Come away with me" Classic Records release in 200 gm.) voice completely disappears in my living room with eminent resolve and musicality.
BTW, my favorite speaker (as we speak) has to be the unassuming Spiral Groove Canalis Anima but at $3,250.00 a pair and w/out stands, its gonna have to wait a little longer!
I trully believe that I will be able to improve the sound with a more suitable phono pre and I'm going to adhere to this principle.......for now.
Good thing I followed your advice Downunder,
Now that I have done an extensive audition of the G Slee which has been hooked to my system for a full week, I can honestly tell you that, to my ears, the P-75 sounds better than the Reflex C.
First, (with the Reflex C) there is an audible hum coming out of my speakers past 11 while there is no hum coming out of my speakers with the P-75, not even past 3!
Second, what I hear at 9 with the P-75 I hear at 10 with the Reflex C.
Third, the Reflex C sounds "thin" compared to the P-75 in enhanser mode.
Not a bad phono pre, just not better than the P-75 in my system and to my ears.
I know most of the phonostages that you have mentioned here. I have heard them quite closely and the kind of improvement you are looking for going from a P75 in general comes only from phonostages at $3k and above (exceptions might be there). My choice of entry level phonostage althroughout has been the Lehmann Black Cube SE (model with the external power supply). It is neutral, quite with excellent flow of music, however it still is not a giant killer. My $3k RCM Sensor phonostage sounds better in every way. I have heard the P75, it is nice but doesnt come to the same level as the Lehmann. I am not suggesting you get the Lehmann, please read on...
Couple of weeks back a friend of mine got home a phonostage which costs roughly about $1300 and that little bugger was not only close to my RCM Sensor phonostage but actually beats it in more ways than one. To my surprise it was a Pro-ject Phonobox RS. Google it. We dont expect a high end product from pro-ject in general but this box was tremendous. It is quieter than the RCM, almost equally dynamic, tonally more accurate and overall more lively too. I could not point a finger at it regardless of the cost. It just comes with a simple SMPS wallwart and it sounds like a bloody $4k phonostage. Pro-ject has just recently release a external power supply as an upgrade for it but believe me it is already amazing with its stock power supply. The Dynavector P75 stands nowhere near it and the same is almost true for the Lehmann black cube se too. It is a sleeper, all reviews are mostly in the european magazine but wherever you read about it you will always find people amazed by the value it brings. Check it out.
This is quite informative Pani.
Thank you so much for your input. I will definitely do some research about the Pro-ject Phonobox RS.
I clearly understand what you are saying. My spare cart is the extremely rare Dynavector 10XGold L which retailed for $345.00 back in the days. Only 50 were allocated to the US. I bought mine NOS for $250.00 and, to my ears, it sounds way better than the much improved DV20X2L; equally impresive but tonally more accurate. Perfect match with the P-75 in enhancer mode and closer to XX-2 standards with its boron cantilever. It gives me about $85% of what I get from my reference cart, the exceptional Lyra Delos, at a fraction of the cost.
Thank you again Pani.
The Complete has a full, involving sound with enough power (50 WPC) to drive most speakers for an amazingly affordable price Sbrownnw.
That said, I prefer my 25 years old reference SS Integrated Amp over EVERYTHING I've heard out there; The Tandberg TIA 3012A. Nothing has ever come close to this beauty!!! Not even the highly regarded Plinius 8200 MKII.
Interesting that both Kiko and Downunder both agree that the P-75 sounds better than the Slee Reflex C. I could not disagree more.
I've had P-75's for about 6 years...first a MKI then adn MKII.I have written glowingly about them and recommended them often. However, I recently switched to the Reflex C and consider it a major upgrade. It has better bass and reveals considerably more detail. Individual instruments sound more real...especially percussion, piano and trumpet. Every day I'm listening to old records and hearing new things. Today I planned to sample one side of Keith Jarret's Nude Ants, but hear I am now on the 4th side, because the first 3 just sound so good.
I don't have a Lyra...I always stuck to Dynavector carts in enhancer mode. Currently its a DV-20L with a ruby cantilever and new stylus from Soundsmith. Arm is an Origin Live upgraded Rega 300. My P-75 will be on the market soon.
All good Garybergd,
That's the beauty of this hobby. Trust your ears and NOT what people hype about! I can honestly tell you that it wasn't even close in my set up. I switched back and forth many times during the week I auditioned both. The P-75 in my system won by a landslide. The Reflex C sounded "thin and weak" compared to the much more "lively" P-75.
Just my opinion and personal preference.