Phono preamp is for cartridge, not for turntable. If you have Moving Coil cartridge look at the cartridge output first and then look for MC phono stage designed to run a cartridge with such output. Almost any dedicated phono stage will be better than Yamaha, the rest depends on your budget.
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That is an extremely nice cartridge on what is a very nice table. Yes, you will get much more out of it by moving to a standalone phono stage. Frankly, you would get more out of the Ortofon 2M Bronze as well.
Budget is relevant. I run a cartridge that is not much more expensive and put it through a $5K phono stage. You could see significant improvement with a $500 phono stage though and just about everything in between.
Are you interested in tubes or SS? Any space constraints? Does it need to be small or do you want a full size component?
If it would make a significant improvement, I could see spending up to $1K on a separate phono pre amp. Can I run both TT out of such a pre amp? I have not thought about size, but I don't think it would be of concern, unless it was huge. I've looked at the specs of the cartridge, I see it's low output, but with limited knowledge, I'm a little over my head. Thanks for the response.
There are are some great units that you can attach two turntables too. Do you need silver or black? There is an awesome unit that has been discontinued from Musical Fidelity that would do the job and be a little above your budget shipped but is only available in Silver as they are running down stock. The M6 Vinyl. There is a new unit that has taken its place.
There are others but this would would be obscenely good for what you need as it supports different tables and is easily switchable on the front of the unit.
Great phono stages below $1000 are easy to find. Most support one table. Not sure how may will support two. If the MF interests you PM Me as I can get it quickly. I am an MF dealer.
At the more expensive end of the spectrum I love my Zesto Andros 1.2. There are lots of reviews to find online. It has separate MM and MC inputs so it could accommodate both tables. Easy access to controls and loading on the back, no dip switches. Lots of gain available.
I have a VPI Prime / JMW tone arm and a Soundsmith Sussorro MKII ES cartridge. I'm very happy with the sound. When I originally got the Zesto I was using an Ortofon Quintet black, which I think is closer to what you have in price point. That cart was also a great match with the Zesto. If your looking for a destination phono stage that sounds great with a wide variety of cartridge price points and is very flexible and full featured I suggest it wholeheartedly.
chasda, I won't contradict any of the above posts, but in my experience vdH cartridges come in wood boxes. Inside the box, on the underside of the removable cover, you will usually find hand-written specs for that particular cartridge. Those data are what I would use for a reference, not whatever anyone else here got off the internet. What you want to look for is "cartridge output" and "compliance". Output will be stated in millivolts (mV) in relation to a stylus velocity. Since stylus velocity is standardized at either 3.54cm/sec or 5.0cm/sec, we can disregard the velocity for now. Just tell us what is the output in mV. Likewise, what is the compliance in terms only of the numbers given? The cartridge output gives you a guide to know how much phono stage gain you need. The compliance will help to optimize tonearm matching. You will get more help here if you provide that information.
If its .65mV that's medium output not low and just about any phono stage will have enough gain. For around $1k you should be able to find a good used Audio Research PH3SE, a darn good phono stage, good enough I was very happy with mine for a good 15 years. Only upgraded to Herron VTPH2A two years ago. My PH3SE was used with medium output Benz Glider, Ruby, and Koetsu Black Goldline, all with nearly identical output to yours.
Other than that there's lots of good new phono stages for under a grand, and as others have said they will ALL be a massive improvement. Massive. As in what you heard going to the VPI that made you so happy all over again. Just like that.
Don't forget though that with a phono stage you will also want to use a very good quality interconnect.
So vdH is making the calculation for you in recommending a tonearm with 14g effective mass. That should not be taken as a firm directive. 12 to 16g would be fine. Note that effective mass should include the weight of the headshell, the cartridge itself, and the screws/nuts that hold the cartridge in the headshell. Most tonearm effective mass specs will include the mass of the OEM headshell. Since all those other items are out on the end of the lever, they can pretty much be added to the mfg spec by simple arithmetic. If you use an aftermarket headshell that differs in weight from that of stock, just add or subtract accordingly, in grams. I've got to disagree with MC on the idea that "any" phono stage would be adequately driven by 0.65mV output. Just off the top of my head, I would say you need at least 55-60db gain. My main point is that a typical MM phono stage will not do the trick. Those typically supply 40 to 50db, max.
I’m very happy with my Tavish Design Classic phono preamp. Cheap by high end standards, dealing with the owner of the company is a pleasure.
I’ve been using a Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL phono stage for several years. I went through several stages before that, including the GCPH from PS Audio, but I have a hard time imagining how any stage at any price could "sound" (it has no apparent intrinsic "sound") or function better. It’s fully balanced with both balanced & unbalanced inputs AND outputs, easily adjustable and configurable for both MC & MM carts, and it’s built like an anvil. It can even be powered by a battery pack, although I could hear no difference. It may no longer be in production, but it retails for $1,000 new and in my (limited) experience it was/is a steal at the price. Worth looking for and a BIG step up from the Yamaha stage.
Get the tube box ds2 by pro-ject. It can handle both mc and mm as well as two turntables. Its a Tubed phono preamp and it is a wonderful piece of kit. I own one with the wood sides, eucalyptus. Its beautiful.
This is just one of many phono stages I possess. Another great one is the Tavish design the classic or the vintage. Made in the USA by Tavish design, NY. Also a Tubed phono stage. If using a low output mc cartridge, I would highly recommend that you also purchase a step up transformer. The jensen SUT’s are fabulous for about $600. Made in USA. Positive feedback has a wonderful review of the Jensen mc 2RR-L. Take the output of the transformer and connect to the mm section of either of the two above phono stages, or whichever you settle on. This is the Best way to utilize a mc cartridge. However the aforementioned ds2 does allow you to adjust the mc cartridge load on the fly by utilization of the front mounted knob. Pretty neat actually. Lastly... A very cheap but yet very good option is the musical fidelity lx-lps. It too can control two turntables and is equipped with both mm and mc inputs. It has a very beautiful midrange. It is very well built and small. Getting a bit scarce but still available.
Just a heads up, the best bang for your buck moving coil cartridge is the Hana EL. It's the new "103" so to speak.
The graham slee era gold v is a fantastic phone stage. It does only mm though, but hook up a great mc to a SUT and into the era gold and it will sound terrific.
I have a brand new still in box Graham slee fanfare 3 dedicated mc preamp for sale if interested...😁 graham slee makes some great stuff. I'm loving my Novo headphone amp. Still breaking it in....
+1 MF Mx-vynl .
Excellent phono stage , lived with one in my system for a couple of years, still available new (sold mine 2 months ago for $500 with an sbooster power supply 🤯 )
easy to operate with switches on the front for mm mc use and a +6db on or off . A dial for load setting.
Got my hands on a used moon +3k range lp 5 or 6?? Something ,could be 610 didn’t look so close since my jaw dropped after 5 seconds in on the first record I played...
Point is, don’t be afraid of trying used in the same price range as new . And don’t set a max $1000 because you might regret it .. the VanDenHul cartridge deserves a good phonostage !
Why not try the new ps audio stellar phono
Or maybe cyrus audio phono signature
Cyrus has 4 chanel input each with individual settings.
Don’t buy before you try ,and try alot! I suspect most members here would agree on that..
Another very good affordable is the Parasound Zphono XRM at $600 or the one I use as a backup the iFi Phono 3 Black Label outstanding value at $999
Second Sutherland. I have a VDH MC ONE Special with the Sutherland Insight - one step up from the Vibe (I got it used for under $1K, but it lists for $1400). I used to play it through the phono input of my integrated Plinius that had a high gain/low gain switch. The improvement was tremendous. It has many different impedence and gain settings and they are adjustable with shunts, not cheap dip switches or unnecessary noisy electronics. Supposedly a comparable quality tube PS would be much more expensive.
Interestingly, the specs on VDH's web site says the output is .65mV and on the inside of my wooden box is says .75mV, (but it is very new, so it may have changed) so I guess they actually test every one and give accurate readings. I have it set to 100 ohms and 60dB gain after trying 200. VDH doesn't prescribe; it gives recommendations and says you should adjust to your liking. I got the linear power supply which is internal, so no extra power cords.
Plus Ron Sutherland is the nicest guy and picks up his phone. He just designs phono stages - that's it. No marketing, manufacturing, or anything - just him. Made in Kansas City. He stayed on the phone with me for 45 minutes guiding me on the installation of the Linear Power Supply upgrade that cost $350. Tell me one other person who would do that. He couldn't care less if I bought it used - he was honored to have his equipment running in my system. Customer for life.
I have an old an old Oracle Alexandria II with an Ortofon MC30 Super cartridge. I used to have it go directly into my Quad 44 preamp, but that phono stage was not great, and thus bought a Parasound Zphono, That made a wonderful difference. Great value to me. I then changed the cable to one specially made by Marc Stager; a Pure Silver shielded/sleeved phono cable with KLE Silver connections, that improved the sound (detail) significantly. All for under $1k.
The Zphono only has a single input, so the Zphono XRM might make better sense for you.