Probably lateral. A Cambridge 640p is probably the best phono preamp in your budget range
8 responses Add your response
I think you must find your current Phono stage is wanting. If that is the case then by all means get a new Phono stage. I assume that your cartridge is a MM. I think you should save up a few more bucks and get the Graham Slee Gram amp 2SE. It runs about $450 new but it is a bargain at that price. I strongly recommend it, I am very satisfied with mine.
Save your money for a Jolida JD9. You will get a much bigger increment in
performance up from a 640P or V-LPS than you get moving up to one of those
from the NAD. I say this as someone who upgraded from the Cambridge to the
In fact, I have an audio buddy who bought a used NAD 3130 integrated amp
from eBay for $75. He said it completely trumped his Cambridge 640P.
Thank for the advice, Johnnyb53. I currently have a Jolida 302b and think its a great way to get into tubes!
Mechans, it's not that I find the NAD lacking or wanting, I just have no basis of comparison, thus can't determine if this is worth pursuing in my price range. Getting a loaner from a local shop has not been an option (boo). I will definitely look at the Graham PP when budget permits. Thanks again.
The 1020 is the preamp section of the famous 3020 integrated minus the power amp. I owned the 3020 many years ago and it was a remarkably capable unit for the money. I recently bought a Cambridge 640P for my son's modest system. The Cambridge is more "modern" sounding (more of that squeaky clean sound) but does not have the ease and musicality, and natural dynamics of the NAD. In my opinion you won't find anything in the $150-250 range that will better the 1020, and you may end up with less enjoyable sound. Keep the NAD until you can make a substantial move up.