New to Vinyl and need immediate help

I'm new to vinyl, having just purchased my first TT, and can't wait to get started. Just received a New Rega P9 TT, RB900 arm, and Clearaudio Aurum Beta cartridge. I desperately need help with the rest of the system.
This system is going to be placed in my den/library (13' long by 14' wide by 14' ceiling) for MY musical enjoyment. I've got really good solid state gear in another part of the house for the rest of the family/Home Theatre (Krell amp; B&W 803 speakers; Theta Digital; etc.). Eventually, I'd like for the vinyl system to be all tube, but I would like to do it one piece at a time.

In the basement, I have a Bryston 2B SS amp I could use in this room, PSB MK II speakers, as well as a Rotel Pre-amp.

To complete the system, I guess I will need a phono pre-amp.

Basically, my budget only has about $1,500. Option #1 would be to buy a new/used phono pre-amp and use my old SS gear to supplement; Option #2 would be to buy a new or used tube pre-amp (that also has a phono pre-amp like the Cary SLP 98P) and use my Bryston SS amp; and Option #3 would be to buy a new/used tube integrated amp like the Cary SLI 80. [[The only reason I'm mentioning Cary gear is that the salesmen at the store keeps pushing this stuff at me]]

I listen mostly to jazz (bop and post bop; acoustic) classical and some blues.
Some have suggested just getting a phono pre-amp like the EAR 834; while others have suggested a used ARC or CJ.
Where should I start? What should I do? Where should I stay away from?

That's a tough question. I think all of your options are valid (and good ones). I like Cary equipment. My small system uses Cary 40M signature monoblocks--I really like those. I also use tube for my phono stage (Sonic Frontiers). If it were me I would probably do each piece separately (unless I found a really good pre--that had a great phono stage) used. That's just because I like to find the right thing at the right price and really don't care if it takes 6 months for it to show up on the used market. I also like to enjoy each of the changes (although I don't make very many these days). I like the integrated the least, because it offers the least flexibility in the future--but if you don't need the flexibility it can be the most economical.
I believe that Audiable Illusion Modulus 3A might be your solution. It's inexpencive(when used)full-function preamp with 40dB of gain that is suitable for medium and high output cartridges.
I agree with the AI Modulus 3A suggestion. If you do not go that route, ARC PH3 is a good versitile phono amp for $1K or so used.
How about Esoteric Audio Research (E.A.R.)?
I second Marakanetz's suggestion. The Illusion Modulus 3A is one good way to go. They are in high demand on the used market, incase you want to upgrade some day.
Look for a Conrad johnson pv10a. It is a nice tube pre with a decent phono stage. You could probably find one used in the $600. range.
Hi Wksesq, before you put too much money into your new analog setup. I would strongly suggest you take a good look at the dimensions of your den. 14x13x14 are not desirable dimensions to be spending good money on. You will need acoustic treatment and bass traps in order to get any decent sound from those dimensions. 14x13x14 will create standing waves which will cause large peaks at the wall boundaries and dips at the rooms center points. If possible lowering the ceiling will help tremendously. Without treatment, digital correction devices or a 1/3 octave EQ those dimensions may cause a very uneven freq response and poor sound. Before investing the time and funds into the new setup a simple search and understanding on room acoustics will yield it's weight in gold for obtaining better sound from the room. The best components can be a waste of money if placed in a bad sounding room. The room plays the largest role in obtaining good sound and should be considered a very important COMPONENT. Maybe others can elaborate more. Good luck with the new analog setup.
Bryston has a good reputation and could certainly serve as (at least) an interim amp. For $1500 you can get a used ARC (SP9, 14), CJ, or BAT (VK3i)pre w/phono or even a line stage pre and a Lehman Black cube.
I would vote for starting with a Lehmann black cube, hook everything up and then decide on the tube gear. The Modulus can sound a bit bright; be aware that on the used market the 3A has been around for years with several upgrades. Rogue makes some very nice pieces as well. I prefer the Rogue to the AI sound.
I have to agree with Mikec -- your room is going to be a major problem no matter what components you select. It's almost a perfect cube, and that does not make for good acoustics. Sorry to be another bearer of bad news ...
I feel that you can't do better for the money than the Audible Illusions M3A preamp. The sound rivals much more expensive pre's and if you use a low output MC cartridge the Gold board is said to be fantastic. I just contacted AA to see about having one installed in mine and was told that it now has enough gain to handle MC's down to .1mv, so gain is no problem at all.
I know exactly where you are at. I bought the same stuff you did, almost exactly. email me at and I can go more into detail.
But generally speaking, i would sell the cartridge and get a benz. the arum is good but the benz smokes it. email me and i'll go into detail. i had the arum, your exact system.
i also think cables will make a huge difference. audio magic for vinyl is the best, hands down, in my opinion, and i've tried many. Your PLC will make a tremendous difference. Audio Magic for the money has the best there is. I'll tell you what happened to them in the latest magazine review that just got pulled. plus I own all this equipment myself, bought with my hard earned money so i know. I wasted my money on lots of stuff, literally thousands.
The best speaker, once again hands down, green mountain, continuum 2.0 but he has less expensive items. these will blow anything away. i'm talking musicality, the only thing that matters. i'm in the middle of selling most of my cds because vinyl is so much better. in fact i'm headed down to the record store right now. trust me, i think i know what i'm talking about. don't waste your money by reading advertisements. don't. you'll get burned. sure the stuff is good, but there's better. guaranteed. some of the best equipment you read about in stereophile. because of politics and money. long story. there's also better cartridges then the benz. i'll tell you about them.

speakers green mountain 1-719-636-2500
cables and plc audio magic I can help you there, possible get you a great deal too 1-303-556-4064 (i'm not selling these to make money, it's because they're the best and i love them and own them and have for years, way before starting selling them (demos ). plc is a killer, guaranteed!
cartridges ortophon, new one, benz,
tt--email me, i'll help you there as well. your arm is good.
amp --edge --is dynamite
preamp -- not my strongest area, but i own the sim audio
phono stage--this is an absolute must--you have to get one....the best for the money and absolute little phenom, E.A.R. (but you need new tubes and cabling, once again, audio magic)
there's probably other areas and we can walk thru those. if you don't want to lose your money, listen to one that has already walked down the road you're headed on.
speakers, get the best and everything else will be a breeze to judge from, your choices,,,that's the truth. it starts with the speakers. best are Green Mountain 1-719-636-2500, talk to the owner, Roy Johnson, he's the best and he'll walk you thru all this whether you buy from him or not. trust me, this will be the best and cheapest call you'll make. he walked thru all of it with me as well. he loves doing this, it's his job. you don't have to buy from him either. he only sells speakers and he's not high pressure at all. he hates to see people get stuck. please tell him Bob Mager talked with you. he'll steer you right and give you great advice on what ot look at and most importantly what to stay away from. he's saved me thousands, millions!

good luck and will love to talk later with to buy records.

303-556-4064 or email
the 3a with a phono is likely the best option...make certain that the used piece you buy is reliable and have it retubed immediately...try to get the latest version of the volume controls