New phono stage arrived

I Have been running a Lab 12 melto tube unit, and hated it ever since I got it. I should have held off, but I was in a rush and the one I wanted wasn't available so I was told it was just as good? That was a red flag I missed. Anyway I tried every setting on the Lab 12, and wasn't about to start pissing around with tube rolling so I started the research. 

I bought a Charisma Audio Musiko Phono stage for half the money, and it sounds twice as good. Very easy to configure with dip switches on the back. I have it paired with a Rega P3 TT with a Goldring Eroica XL MC cart. The system is dead quiet, no noise, very articulate and precise. The sound is very bold and present, A nice pleasant feel to the music. I started with some Eva Cassidy, and then Dire straits. Looks like I found the missing link. 


Good that you found something less expensive that agrees with your ears.

The specs/reviews and cost suggest the Melto will support a table/cart setup multiple levels of an entry level Rega.

Interesting that no WOW moments were heard using it.



Congratulations. I never heard of either unit or the companies that make them. Perhaps others can benefit from your experience. What amplifiers and speakers? If the first phono was as bad as you say, chances are there was a cryptic defect. Did you consult the dealer or the makers?

I am running a Sugden IA-4 ClassA amp. The speakers are Capriccio continuo Ad Monitor 311. Madison Audio lab speaker cables, all wire world Silver eclipse 8 interconnects. The Dealer was no help. 

I’ve read some reviews of the Greek phono. As you say, it is highly regarded. For a product and company trying to establish itself in the US market, I can’t understand why the distributor didn’t step in to help, if your dealer was recalcitrant. Because now you’ve given the product a black eye it may not deserve. If so, it’s their fault.

I have good equipment on this system, and cables etc. The room is treated. This components just doesn’t pair with my cartridge and system . The new phono stage is twice the unit at half the cost and size. The sound from the Charisma box is incredible. I made one slight change to the cartridge loading, and have found the sweet spot

Like I said, it is quite possible your unit was not functioning at full capacity.  That's especially possible with tube gear, which tends to "work" even when broken.  Whereas a solid state device is usually alive or totally dead. 

I have it for sale, I just want it out of my life. Pretty much seems to me it was hyped up and not all that good to begin with.