HI all, getting a VPI classic 4. it is capable of having 2 arms., For  turntables that have more than one arm are multiple phone preamps needed for this kind of set up?. Any suggestions what others have done for this situation., thanks
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Some phono preamps have inputs for multiple arms, e.g. ARC, Pass.

ok, thanks, appreciate it
Manley Steelhead 

Two (2) MC inputs
One (1) MM input  

Adjustable at front panel, newer Steelhead has motorized volume control. Original, is non-motorized but can be sent to factory and retrofitted. Remote, controls volume only.

Responds well to tube rolling the 6922s. Drives my Pass amps directly. Has only one line input. SS power supply. Dead Quiet ! 

Tubes seem to to last forever.

Needs a Large shelf.
Coolest setup I have made is this one - each cartridge feeds a separate Olympia PXi phono preamp which in turn goes through a selector switch before going to the preamp.

This is one cool setup :-)

The table is currently fitted with 2 each SMEV12 and one SME 312S all gold-plated versions, Cartridges are Lyra Atlas, Lyra Olympos SL and Clear Audio  Goldfinger V2.

Good listening

thanks for the help all, Manley steelhead looks like it would work pretty good., 
Zesto Tessera is another - my dealer sells them if you want to talk with him.  I'd get the Zesto once I get 2 arms on my VPI Avenger.
While using one phono preamp with multiple inputs is great (and is what I do at present) others swear by optimizing the phono preamp to the needs of the cartridge driving it -- so for your mono arm you can use a dedicated mono phono stage such as this

I have two arms and am just adjusting my setup with the use of a step up stage which I have specified to have two inputs and the ability to switch between them, the phono stage I am moving to is a straight through single input design with 40dB of gain only so needs a step up
Manley Steelhead 

Gain - 50, 55, 60, 65 db

Input - MC1, MC2, MM

Loading - Multiple for each MC & MM

All from the front panel and "on the 

Line input is selectable from front panel and mute.

Can eliminate line stage and pair of ICs - Has the B**Ls to drive amps directly. Built in volume control.
In addition to the Manley, the Aesthetix Rhea and the Audio Research Ref Phono 3 have 3 and two phono inputs respectively.

There are also some phno preamps with MM and MC phono inputs.
I own the Manley v2.0 and like it a lot.  I use it to drive a pair of Beveridge 2SW speakers via the built-in direct-drive Beveridge amplifiers.  You'll need no separate linestage, unless you want multiple high level inputs.  The Steelhead only has one high level input.

If you have a big budget, and if you are OK with solid state, you might consider the DSA phono2.  It has three totally discrete phono sections on one chassis.  Offers a choice of fully balanced or SE inputs and outputs. (Otherwise, only Atma-sphere offers balanced phono inputs, so far as I know.) You can set gain, load, capacitance, etc, independently for each one of the three sections.  It's built like a tank, would cost 3X as much if it fell into greedy hands of a marketer.  Purely for versatility and flexibility, there's nothing better that I know about, if you like SS.  

My Steelhead is original. Are you aware of any updates other than motorized volume?

Damn spell check.
Doshi Alaap full function pre or separate phono stage typically has 3 phono inputs which can be ordered in any combination of MM and MC, with switchable loading (3 values) for the MC stages.  In a head to head on a very revealing system, 4 out of 4 A'goners preferred it to the Steelhead, which is no slouch, by any means. 

My two large phono stages offers only balanced phono input

And the little Liberty B2B-1 offers it too but you'll need two of them

Good Listening


Nkonor, I would ask Manley regarding other changes between the v1.0 and v2.0 of the Steelhead.  The layout is different, in addition to the motorized volume control, but I don't know about anything else.

Doshi Alaap is quality for sure.  My only beef would be in theory, because it uses 12AU7s, the sound of which I have always disliked, compared to many other twin triodes of similar characteristic, especially the 6SN7. Never compared Doshi Alaap to the Steelhead. I bought the Steelhead for totally pragmatic reasons, rather than based on listening tests.  It has the features I needed for my Beveridge system, and I only knew by reputation that it would be very good, which it is.  I have plans for some tweaks to the circuit, though. I had an Aesthetix Janus for a while, also very good ONLY after upgrading the coupling capacitors, but I like the Steelhead a tad better.

Anyway, I don't think this discussion is necessarily about what is the "best" phono stage, and I am making no such claim for the Steelhead.  There's another thread for that. I knew that my suggesting that the Atma-sphere and DSA were unique in offering balanced phono inputs would bring out the names of some others that also do.  I will say this: the DSA is truly unique in its offering 3 really discrete phono stages, each with its own separate gain and loading controls, on one chassis. They are really separate modules.  That would be very hard to achieve with tubes.

Appreciate your response. I will call Manley. Yes, I do not claim the Steelhead is the best. At this level there are a lot of great Phonostages.

l tried the  IO - Too noisy
I tried the Rhea - Was good/ Not great
I tried a BAT / super tube option ; don't remember actual model - Too noisy

I tied the Steelhead - Tube magic, knew that it would serve me into the future, has been Reliable, Dead Quiet (Which really counts with me)
Liked that it could drive amps directly and could eliminate a Preamp and pair of ICs. Did not know about tube rolling ; but got a pair of Telefunkens last year and very happy with the result.

Will give Manley a call and see if a worthwhile upgrade is available; but do not plan on searching out a replacement.

Satisfied with system and want to finish my room which has become the most important component.

Best to you