New $500 "best" phono stage?

A friend said he recently read an article by Mickey Fremmer in which Fremmer said a $500 phono stage was among the best he's ever heard. But my friend couldn't recall the name of the phono stage. Anyone know what my friend is referring to? As a Plinius Jarrah owner, I had figured I'd have to spend 4 times the cost of the Jarrah (about $650) to hear something better. So a "best" $500 phono stage could be very appealing. Thanks, everyone, for your assistance.
Is there a nomitation for the best ear in the world?
If yes, has Michael Fremmer been so far nominated with such title?
If no, than who the hell is Michael Fremmer?
... and thus is the danger of too much egg nog revealed.
Might be Michael Fremer from Stereophile. He has reviewed a number of tube/analog products. Paul, you have a very nice low cost phono preamp. The only other ones I know of that might be pretty good at or about that price range are the EAR, the Grado and possibly the Margules Magenta. If you ever find out though, please let us know. I'd love to get something really good at that price point.
I dunno anything about Mr Fremer's findings but I've recently been playing with the new Dynavector P75. It's seriously good at under $600 retail and is finding itself comfortable in the company of some old favorites in the $1000-1500 range in direct head-to-head comparison auditions.Not too impressive to look at but definately worth a listen.
I dunno about Mr Fremmer's findings either 'cause probably He's no findings to my knowlege. But the best ear nomination always goes to YOU and no other Mickey or Malory can realy tall ya wich one is the best for $500 new.
You can add to your under or arround $500 list Trichord Delphini.
I'm pretty sure your friend was referring to MF's capsule review of the Graham Slee Era Gold Mk V phono stage in the January 2003 Stereophile ("Analog Corner"). According to that review, it lists for $760, not $500.

What Fremer wrote was (note the introductory, qualifying clause):

"Given its price and its miraculous--and this agnostic means *miraculous*--performance, I recommend the GSP Audio Era Gold Mk. V as enthusiastically, if not more so, as I've recommended any product in all the years I've been doing this."
Ken, I went to the link you gave and found the following statement:

The P-75 also has an advanced power supply that operates from a conventional 12V AC to DC adaptor. This adaptor has absolutely no bearing on the sound quality.

I find hard to believe that someone could design a power supply has no bearing on sound quality. If true, it would be nothing short of revolutionary!

What do you think?

I've tried it plugged straight into a dedicated mains, standard household mains and into line conditioners and quite frankly, at this point in my familiarisation of the Dyna's character ,I have not discerned any significant changes to the presentation.
I can't imagine that it's totally immune to line supply and filtration but it does seem unusually unresponsive to the usual tweaking.
There sure isn't much to look at inside the tiny device.I'm assuming that it uses a form of switching mode supply inside the box and that the supplied wall wart is just to step it down to a 12 V current.
Don't know, but if it's one of the Gram's check out reviews (links towards the bottom of the page) @ TNT.
I believe Mr. Fremer meant that particular phono stage was the best he'd heard in a certain price range. He rarely compares machines across large financial boundaries. There is nothing wrong with your Plinius.

Fremer seems to be Julian Hirsch's successor. Enough said.
If you look up Audiogon username "Grooves", you can email Michael directly and ask him yourself. He has liked many sub-$1K phonostages in his ongoing survey, but he usually qualifies budget raves by lavishing his praise on certain sonic areas, while still reserving overall superiority for the more expensive units like his reference Manley Steelhead (though to his credit he doesn't slavishly adhere to a strict price/performance heirarchy). Since it's tough to meaningfully audition phonostages, I myself took Mr. Fremer's advice and bought the battery-powered Camelot Lancelot, at the time one of his top budget recommendations, and have been very pleased (it's even better, BTW, if you upgrade the socketed loading and gain resistors to premium Vishays). But how it might compare to some of the models he's liked since then, who can know for sure? There's so many phonostages on the market now that even Mikey, who probably listens to more of 'em under relatively controlled conditions than anybody, has alluded in his column to the fact that it's basically impossible to keep them all 'ranked' with any certainty (and then there's always the variable of personal preference). Maybe if the dealers could see fit to make it possible for audiophiles to comparatively audition cartridges and phonostages, then maybe we wouldn't need Fremer to be such a guru, but in the metropolis where I live, I couldn't get anywhere pursuing that particular dream when I was trying to shop.
Monolithic makes a phono preamp and separate power supply for about $600 that has received two excellent reviews--one available (at length) on
As Caterham says, the new Dynavector is supposed to be excellent. A Linn dealer friend has it in his Linn/ATC system and says it's fantastic. Going to hear it myself in the next couple of weeks.
I think "the best phono stage under $500" is a used preamp with built-in phono section. If you go with one less than 10 years old, then you won't have to re-cap it. Items like the Counterpoint preamps and the MFA preamps and even maybe some of the Audible Illusions earlier models may be available in that price range. If you don't mind re-capping, then you can go back to some early ARC preamps like the SP-6, or the Precision Fidelity C-7, or even some SS preamps with phono stages. Just use the "Tape Out" and run it into a "Line In" on your existing preamp, and this will bypass the volume controls and other unwanted circuitry in it, prior to entering your main preamp.
Well Twl, maybe maybe not. I think I paid $450 used for my Camelot Lancelot, and it beat the internal phonostage in my C-J PV-8a for which I paid (and which I believe still goes for) about $600 used, when that was additionally being used as my system preamp (so the outboard unit was handicapped by the extra set of interconnects and still won). Of course, any question this broad the asks for "the best" is open to endless - and quite possibly pointless - debate.