Oh no , not another phono stage rec

Yes friends it is but with a twist .

I am seeking a phono stage with a warm presentation that will warm up , or come into its own , in a rather short time .
Let me explain . I am currently using the Music Hall MMF 5.1 turntable and their 2.2 model phono stage which is SS .
This 2.2 phono takes @ 7 hours to start to warm up or come into its own to sound decent . My tubed integrated amp takes about 30 minutes and by tubed CDP takes about 45 minutes to get to a nice listenable state . I do prefer tubed equipment for its sound and adjustability .
I live in paradise...central Florida , the lightening capital of the country ! Leaving my equipment plugged in is not an option and that is the twist !

So , a phono stage (tubed ?) that will produce good sound on the warm side of neutral and do it in a time frame commensurate with the other pieces , about 30-45 minutes .
I am using a MM cartridge and would like to keep the price under $1,500 , new or used . Does such an animal exist ?

Thank You
All tube phonosatges are noisy at any price point. AudioResearch PH3SE is the only hybride SS-tube component I regret once selling and hihgly would recommend. It's a true bargain for the used price.
I have really enjoyed my Hagerman Cornet II. I think it warms up pretty fast and with some mullards its a rich sounding photo stage.

The other stage which was a bit to rich, warm for my tastes for most all around listening was the Wright WPP 200.
I have been exploring the sonic views afforded by under $100 moving magnetic cartridges with a Technics SL-1200 MkII table this summer and I bought a pre-owned Bellari VP130 phono stage, rolled some tubes and settled on a Telefunken ribbed 12AX7 I had. This stage is VERY warm, reaches full performance in a few minutes, and if you like bloom and three dimensionality, it will certainly do that and do it well. I leave it on constantly as it burns very little juice. It is a true high end BARGAIN (as is the Ortofon 2M Red cartridge).
I think a better way to do it would be to just get a phono stage you like the sound of, regardless of how fast it warms up, and list it on your fire policy. Its pretty rare a house gets struck by lightning. Its far more likely you will have a problem with surges and power spikes. So if you get a surge protector and good insurance, your system will be safe and you can just listen to it any time without dealing with warm up.
The Hagerman sounds like a nice piece . I am checking into it with the manufacturer .

Stevecham ;
The Bellari certainly is affordable . Have you had some other phono's that you can compare it with ?

Have you any knowledge of what affect a surge protector does to the final sound of the equipment ?

Thanks people . Any more ?
Have you any knowledge of what affect a surge protector does to the final sound of the equipment ?"

Yes. Anything. The results you get with power products seem almost random. Personally, I don't like power products that make big changes. If I need to change something in my system, I prefer to do it in other ways. That's why I like the Furutech. Its a very high quality product that doesn't do too much to the sound.
Sorry. I just messed up my last post. I got this thread confused with a similar one from earlier today. The first part of my answer was meant for this thread. The part about the Furutech was for the other one. The Furutech is not a regenerator. Sorry about the mixup.

Your concern as to the effect of what power products will do to your system is definitely valid. That's why I suggested Cable Co. If you do it that way, there's no risk. Also, I don't mean to sound negative. If you get the right power products, they can be a nice upgrade. I just recommend caution because the results can vary quite a bit.
K&K Audio Standard MaxedOut MM - $1349 kit, $1649 assembled. With the latest improvement which involved replacing the input JFETs with MOSFETs the sound has been much improved: increased delineation of space, more transparency, more natural timbres. A steal at its asking price. And it can be retroactively upgraded to MC inputs, better transformers, parts, etc. when the need arises.
Try the Liberty B2B-1

From its maker

EZ - EAR 834P
Ditto the EAR!
Doak & Yogiboy ;
Can you tell me about how long the EAR takes to warm up to a full listening point ?

PBNaudio ;
How long does your unit take to warm up ?

Thank you
I'm listening within a very few minutes. May take 10-15 to reach equilibrium.
"However, if your tastes run more to Ella Fitzgerald and acoustic jazz in general, and depending on the rest of your system, you might find the (Liberty) B2B-1's sound a bit too surgical, and not quite liquid or "fleshy" enough."

This does not describe "warm."

Its all a matter of what one choose to focus on, I choose these (quotation marks replaced with - as quotation marks seems to cut the post where the first one is placed. Below excerpts from the same review that you quote.

- in MM mode, the Liberty Audio B2B-1 delivered as advertised: It was extremely quiet, fast, and ultradynamic. It produced the blackest backdrops of any phono preamp surveyed here, from which sprang the widest dynamics.-

-the Liberty is your ticket to paradise without spending crazy money-

-That said, and without a minute's warm-up, the Liberty Audio B2B-1 ($1749) was clearly superior to and more authoritative than the PTE ($1595). Fitzgerald's voice was more focused, compact, and just plain believable, with cleaner sibilants and less electronica. Backgrounds were blacker, and images were projected out of that black in the way you'd expect from more expensive phono preamps. The horns sounded more natural, and the drum kit behind Fitzgerald had greater transparency and clarity, particularly the cymbals. The Liberty slowed time in ways that one usually expects from more expensive gear, and bass lines were deeper and tauter, improving the rhythmic drive.

-Made in America but inspired by the work of legendary Hungarian/Norewegian electronics engineer Erno Borbely, the Liberty Audio B2B-1 is one of the best-measuring phono preamplifiers I have encountered. Nice. Very nice-

One can read this review in its entirety Here

And there is another one Here

And yet another one Here

Good Listening

Nothing better than a dealer using the forums to sell product.

Yup, that's class.
Saki: I have the Liberty B2B and it is now my reference for a solid state MC stage (I haven't yet tried it on the MM setting but will do so this weekend). I have also had the EAR834p, Aesthetix Rhea, Krell KPE and (currently) Manley Chinook. Of those, I would say the Bellari most closely matches the sonic attributes of the EAR834p, with it's warmth and tube bloom. The Manley is more like a solid state sound, at least in my system.

The B2B is BY FAR the quietest phono stage I have ever owned and, with Lyra cartridges (Delos or Helikon) is a perfect match. I had a second Chinook and sold that in favor of this phono stage for the sound in my solid state system; the other Chinook I kept for a separate tube based system.

Judy: Peter is the manufacturer of the the B2B phono stage and, like Jonathan Carr at Lyra, is welcomed here. I recommend that all who are interested or are looking for a new phono stage at least try his phono stage in their system, as I did. It is a very fine piece of audio componentry and you just might find that, as I did, it is a keeper. Like I said, if you want an extremely quiet stage that has wonderful balance, warmth and resolution, this might be the ticket. No, I am not affiliated with PBN Audio. Just a satisfied customer. Read my review.

I've commented on this before but will again. The OP was asking for phono stage recommendations, It's is one of my jobs to create product awareness about the products I make so therefore I post in forums like these. Please note that I posted - try - not - buy - the Liberty B2B-1 then stated my affiliation, no accolades, no advertising etc. That is about as benign as it gets.

If the OP chooses he can then seek more information on the B2B-1, order one up and try it risk free, other than shipping, in his own system in his own environment and if it does not tickle his fancy send it back for a refund- how cool is that ?

However when a post like Doak's and your's show up, I have to rebut, plain and simple. As posted before Im extremely proud of the little B2B-1.

Good Listening

The Heed Quasar is nice sounding unit. I have it in my second system, and it's very enjoyable. I consider myself a tube guy also. Giant slayer for around a grand? Who knows, but it's worth a shot. Dale at Eugene was a pleasure to work with.
And the promotional, free btw, behavior continues.
It's your job to do this in the forums?

Yes really, Why and what do you think is wrong with it ?

In my first post, 6 words long btw, I prompted the OP to take a look at something I make, let me again state no accolades etc. this gets you bent out of shape, Really ?

Good listening


If Peter were recommending his products without proper disclosure, so that a reader might mistake his views for those of an unbiased observer, we'd all be protesting.

But he didn't, so your complaint is pointless. The OP was made aware that Peter is recommending his own product and can judge accordingly. Picking a fight without contributing something constructive seems unhelpful. (In fact, by prolonging the discussion you've added to the buzz about Peter's products. Are you a plant for PBN? lol)


In the way of being helpful, consider a used conrad-johnson preamp. Something like my PV-11 (still going strong after 22 years) would provide exactly the warmth and fairly rapid warm-up you're seeking. So would most other c-j preamps. Used prices range from $500 upward depending on model and condition.

Happy hunting, and happier listening,
Thank you Doug;
I've read & heard good things about the PV-10 but nothing on the 11 . Is there much of a difference ? How is the extension on the top and bottom ?

Happy Tunes
Personally, I wish that MORE manufacturers would get on here and directly help with these discussions. I want discourse and honest dialog about the whys, insides and outs of component philosophy design and construction. I want to be able to ask designers and manufacturers QUESTIONS.

These all should be encouraged as part of contributing to the decision making process. In my humble opinion, we need more representation from those designing and making this stuff.

In other words, I want to be INFORMED by consumers and makers alike. I'll bet I'm not alone.
For me, the more that a poster writes in attempts to defend himself about a subject that has no direct relevance to the OP, the more I question the intentions.

Having said that, I think that Saki70's OP is unusually clear and succinct. I think he describes the 834P's traits perfectly; including warm up time which I would put at about an average LP side to sound relatively stable, one entire LP to sound at close to it's best. I like the PV11 recommendation.
Grinnel ;
Do you have any idea how to contact the Hagerman company ?
I have emails out to him with no reply .
The Cornet 2 looks to be what I am looking for but I don't seem to be able to contact them . I need it to be fully assembled as I am not able to do it .

Frogman ;
Do you have any experience with the Ear with fast complicated music such as rock ? I've read one review stating that it is a little off with the PRAT and doesn't do well with this type of music .

I have an integrated amp and am not able to use a full preamp which would eliminate the PV 11 .

Thank you all for the rec's. Please keep'em coming .
Well, I listen mostly to jazz and classical (mostly far more complicated, but
not necessarily all fast); but also a fair amount of fusion jazz and classic
rock. The EAR has PRAT in spades according to my definition of PRAT;
that is, ability to let music be rhythmic in a natural way, and not the
"time stands still", rhythmically and dynamically dead feeling
that I hear in other (mostly solid state) pieces of gear. Now, if for you a little
softening and warming of the sound means reduction in PRAT, then the
EAR is probably not for you. But, it sounds like that is what you are looking
for. I hear the softening primarily in the bass where it can sound a little full
and round compared to others. Soundstaging is stable and generous, and
vocals sound great. It is not thin and bleached-out like a lot of electronics.
The thing about the EAR (and probably the reason it has been popular for
so long is that it has that elusive quality of letting you stop is tending for hi-fi
effects and listen to the music). It has tons of gain (I use it with a passive
pre), and resale value seems to be very good. Good luck.
Frogman ;
By PRAT I meant the speed of the playback , I guess . I once had a CDP , quite well respected , that actually played fast complicated music at a slower pace or rhythm than the original recording . It also did not quite sort out all of the individual notes sometimes .
What experiences have you had with tube rolling ?

Well I finally heard back from the Hagerman company . Guess I caught him at a bad time ! WOW !
That Ear unit is looking better and better .

Thank you .
I know semantics makes these discussions difficult, but there is no way that an amplification device can slow down the tempo or speed of music. They may sound rhythmically lethargic, but not slower in speed.

I've done a lot of tube rolling. Favorites (in order) are: Telefunken 12ax7, Raytheon 7025, GE5751.
That's cool , thanks for the tube recs .
Does anyone here use a Jolida JD-9 ?
I would like to know about the warm up time period .

There seems to be some question as to whether the tubes are an actual gain stage or a buffer . I would 'guess' that if the tubes are just a buffer that the warm up time would be that of a SS unit , which is much longer and what I am trying to avoid .
I lived with the Jolida for a few months while my EAR was being modified. It is pretty amazing for the money. However, it is not in the same league as the EAR when it comes to natural timbres and natural rhythmic flow. IMO, it is not particularly warm sounding nor as naturally smooth and suave like the EAR. But, it is quite PRAT(Y) although it tends to sound rhythmically aggressive all the time. If you listen mostly to rock this might be the ticket for you. I don't remember the warm up time to be particularly long at all and overall I consider it to fall more into the ss camp than tube camp, sound wise; and it will give you some of the classic tube dimensionality and a little of the warmth. Good luck.
At this price point, I recommend the Dodd phono preamp. Since it runs on batteries, it runs quiet. It quickly comes up sounding good. Probably designed that way since it runs on batteries. With Amperex Orange Globe tubes in the input stage, it sound incredible. Easily besting my Minmax phonostage with NOS Mullards or Telefunken smooth plates.