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If you go with the Mani, you may want to consider an inexpensive linear power supply; it does make a difference. I purchased the Mani last year, as I also did not want to spend much, and the Mani receives great reviews. And those accolades seem well founded.
I felt after months with the Mani, although very good, I knew I could do better, so began a search for a new pre at a much higher price tag. Then I learned about the Mani being used with a separate linear power supply and it’s supposed increase in performance (which some say doesn’t make sense per the Mani’s power circuitry design). I ultimately decided to gamble and try that instead of purchasing another pre. Well, I must say, it’s almost like a new preamp and very happy with the results. Yes, the linear power supply cost almost as much as the Mani, but the two together still seems like a great deal regardless vs what is out there for the same overall cost.
Just a thought, not required by any means, but know that there is a way to get even more performance out of this great bargain of a phono pre either now or in the future.
I actually ordered one (un-named/labeled) from AliExpress. The most popular one I read about was a company called Swagman, based I believe in China/Hong Kong, but after contacting them, they seemed to indicate they were having shipping issues since the virus. So I tried another option. Yes, via AliExpress it was also coming from China/Hong Kong, but they didn’t indicate shipping would be a big problem. So, I took a chance. It took about 10 days to get to shipping, but once shipped was here within a couple days. Not bad overall.
There are many folks selling various versions of these linear power supplies, so you need to do a bit of homework, and select a seller with a good rating. All which I did, and also asked some questions of the seller just to see how they would respond, and how quickly. I also selected one with an R-core transformer, as I understand a poorly designed toroidal transformers could create unwanted noise, and R-Cores are known to be typically quieter. There are a bunch of these out there, you just need one which comes in 16v.
The company who provided/built mine was called ‘SENGTERBELLE HIFI Audio World Store’.
Using parts from the non-working pair, and patience, I successfully got one of the Mitsubishi Vertical TT, LT-5V looking good and working well. Zero tracking error, extremely stable speed, probably due to the balanced Platter/Flywheel design.
It came with a Stanton 600 cartridge with ____? Stylus, unknown condition. Happily it played my sacrifice test LP nicely. Removable headshell, any 1/2" cartridge, IF 18mm height can be achieved.
Put my AT440 Microline on it. Great luck on size, it matches the 18mm height specified. Tracking weight needed help, I had to add 4g brass weight to the very light AT headshell to first get ’0’ then add 1.5g tracking weight via moving the weight 'out' which is forward of the pivot point in the vertical arm, couldn’t be easier.
Ridiculous how cool it is and how good it sounds, the automatic features I need for my intended use.
The Technics Vertical TT SL-V5 I didn’t get is limited to P mount, I like this better, and I will get another headshell/mono cartridge ready for this in my office eventually.
LT-5V is now running downstairs thru my beloved McIntosh mx110z MM phono and primary system. I love the sound of it. I use the Shure V15vxmr body with new Jico SAS stylus my main system. Audibly, they both are terrific, I always go with the Shure over the AT, due I am sure having a pre-disposed functional bias toward Shure’s brush. Jico stylus has a brush, but it is not ’stabilized/dampened’ like the Shure brushes are.
OK, best I can figure out so far:
Two TT, single phono preamp (avoid separate A/B switch)
MM AND/OR MC seems to be the solution.
single switched input or two separate inputs individually selected
rear or front switching
most phono preamps that include both MM and/or MC have a single input, and a switch to send that input to it's internal mm or mc. Single TT only,
some phono preamps have two separate inputs, MM and MC, allowing attachment of TWO TT, you select which input/which TT to use via switch
Location of switch is most often in the back, a few have front switch to choose which input to use.
These three have front switch to make it easy to change and remember where it was left.
Cambridge Audio, $300.
Music Fidelity, $240. black or silver
phonopreamps, $75. black or silver
Soooo, I can use P mount MM on the Technics Programmable Compact, SL-J33, seller took my $90. offer for this 'fixable' one
and use 1/2" MC on the Mitsubishi Vertical LT-5V. Swapped with Bill, got one working wonderfully, mice had their way with the other's wires. I was blasting it in the main system yesterday, it is amazing technology and sounds as good as your cartridge. I will need to move it to compare it's linear tracking to my 12'5" long pivoted arm. (very similar cartridges, Shure SAS/AT ML
reminder, 2nd office system, often just proving cleaned LP's for sale have no problem. It will be accessible while starting LP, but it will be blocked by my monitor, so looks are not important in this situation.
reasons not to go for $75. unit?????
ok, the office system ended with just 1 TT, Mitsubishi Vertical LT-5V, MM cartridge, so I do not need dual phono inputs or MC stage.
And, after research, and my MM sounding so good on the office TT, I again resolved to stay away from MC.
I received the very small $14. Pyle MM phono unit I ordered just to hear it.
and call me deaf if you want, it's MM sounded equally involving (invisible) as the $300. Cambridge Duo, so the Duo is in the box to go back.
However, I just called Bill, he will bring up two MC cartridges, a SUT, and I still have the Duo, we could try it's MC stage before I send it back (or change my mind). Via my Acos Lustre GT801 arm with removable headshell in the main system. I could easily use it for either Mono or MC Stereo. If I turn out liking MC, it should be in the main system, not my office.
I love the Pyle's small size, no power switch, and linear cable arrangement thru the ends, not the back. It easily tucks out of sight behind something.
Inexpensive Phono EQ. Main system: now I prefer the phono stage of my Mcintosh Tube Tuner/Preamp, mx100z, but previously, when I had McIntosh SS C28 Preamp, I actually preferred the dinky built-in phono in the Audio Technica TT I was using. I had the C28 fully serviced by McIntosh, it had no defect, just didn't find it preferrable. Based on that, I had some hope for the Pyle unit, and am quite happy it sounds so invisible.
just to pass along this curious Denon, 1 phono with either MM or MC
This Vintage Denon Integrated has one phono input and front switched internals for MM 2.5mv sensitivity and MC .125 mv sensitivity.
Very clean, you would need to get seller to ship if for far less money
Denon excerpt: Phono 20-100k, 0.2db
The MC/MM super equalizer is carried and the broadband characteristic of 20Hz-100kHz�}0.2dB is realized.
Composition consists of the NF form direct-current amplifier and CR form equalizing filter by newly developed low noise dual FET, and the first rank serves as dual FET differential amplification of the direct direct-current servo system.