Didn't check my spelling. With or without preamp? Please feel free to give some insight as I'm new to this. Thank you
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Welcome Woody. Just a little confused with what you mean by "with or without preamp". The Parasound P5 is a pre-amp!
Are you really asking if anyone has used it with an external PHONO pre-amp as opposed to its built in phono pre-amp? It already has a MM/MC phono stage. My suggestion would be to use this one first and see how you like it. Lets hope actual P5 owners comment on how it performs.
WRT your question about TT's under a grand, I believe the Pro-ject RM5.1 SE at exactly $1000 is the best value package out there. It comes with a Sumiko Blue Point No 2 high output MC cartridge that alone costs $400. Also, its 9CC Carbon tonearm retails as a stand alone item at $700. This tonearm is also being used by high end manufacturers like Oracle on their 5K Paris model and also on some Linn models. So its a very well received tonearm. This would be my recommendation at your stated budget without hesitation. I am sure you'll get others too.
Good luck and have fun building your system brother!
There are some professional reviews of this preamp available online. The most usable I found (for phono) is the Stereophile review by Art Dudley. Dudley is very much a moving coil and tube guy. His reference is a Shindo Masseto all-tube preamp that retails for $13,500. In spite of this frame of reference, once the Parasound broke in, he was very complimentary of its overall sound, speed, and clarity. Having recently moved to an all-tube hand-wired phono stage myself, Dudley's assessment is high praise for a $1K SS unit with built-in phono, DAC, and bass management.
As for the phono stage, he liked the MM section a lot, but found the MC side to be adequate but not great. However, when he used an MC cartridge with his step-up transformer into the MM input, he liked the sound *a lot*. Dudley's step-up transformer probably costs several times the price of the Halo P5. But what that means is that the MM input is very good and noise-free. So if you're using an Ortofon 2M Blue or Red (or whatever's installed on the Carbon these days), the P5 should be an excellent match.
Thanks for all of the replies. The reason I asked, being with live sound some of the console preamp isn't as good as out external preamp. The signal had to be patched out to external unit for the vocal at least.
I still haven't had a chance to test the P5 yet. My speakers is not yet complete. It's too much work more me to hook it into my home theater system as all the components are in the basement.
Will listen to it before I make any decision. Thanks again for the inputs.