The discontinued CJ PV9a has one the the best phono stages ever in a CJ one box unit. It sold for $3000 new, used I seen it between $800 to $1200. If you liked your PV-5, I think the model progression is PV-5, PV-8, PV-11. I have not heard the new PV12
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i don't have 1st-hand experience w/the cat, but i understand it's an excellent piece. no reason why ewe shouldn't be able to use the electrocompaniet fono-stage w/it, or any other line-stage. i have an old electro ec-1a preamp, & its fono-stage is excellent, imho. *my* choice of preamp would be the melos music director. i got one recently & i think it's outstanding - has all that tube euphony, but mellow it's *not* - it has incredible drive & dynamics, & is as transparent & detailed & accurate as *any* solid-state piece, imho. it works great w/my electro amps! ;~) i was previously using a linn kairn w/its latest power-supply, which is as detailed & transparent & accurate as solid-state gets, imho, and the melos hangs right with it here, but is far more dynamic, & has way-better soundstage depth. soundstage width & height is excellent w/either... i know of a music-director that may still be awailable, if yer interested. the guy had two pre's for sale, the sonic-frontiers line-3 & the melos; he wanted to sell only one, preferably the s-f. well, he sold the s-f, so he dint wanna sell me the melos. he contacted me about a month later asking if i was still interested in it - he decided to sell that, too. but, i'd already found one. i tink he wants ~$2k for it. if ewe want to contact him, lemme know. oh yeah, they also have remote-control volume/balance. doug. ps - there's a couple melos ma-333's f/s on audiogon, which are earlier versions. some say they actually sound better than the music director, cuz of their photentiometer volume-pots, but the pots were not reliable, which is why melos ditched 'em. melos is back in bizniz & can upgrade/service these units.
I have a CAT SL1 III with phono for sale, but it's special, since I had the factory simplify its signal path, cutting out the Balance, Tape Monitor and one Input switches. It handles one line level source and phono, and has a lot less solder joints and switch contacts in the signal path than other CAT's. Its phono stage is acknowledged as superb. I'm a passive preamp fan these days, but my CAT has elements of glorious tube sound that I'll miss. [email protected] if you're interested, price negotiable within reason.
A Krell KSP-7B on the used market is fairly inexpensive and has a wonderful phono section that is fully adjustable for cartridge load. They are built like tanks,dead quite,dual mono in design,polarity switch.....etc. For a grand or less they are very hard to beat for digital and analog....I know because I own 2 of them.(second one was less than 2 yrs. when I found it at my local mid-fi dealer under market price,,,they had no idea what they were sitting on :)