I dont believe that is enough gain for your Shelter.
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I am extremely happy with my Eastern Electric Minimax phono. Especially after adding some NOS tubes that I got from Vintage tubes. I think that it is a great match for the 501. I think that it does work best with MC where the step up transformers are required. I think that they are running a sale here on Audiogon that brings it into your price range.
The 834P would be one of your best choices and you can easily find one used here on Audiogon for well under $1100 (around $600 in black). They are plentiful (for good reason) and easy to resell should you wish to try something different. I've owned two of these in the past (one with volume control, the other without) and they are an exceptional product. Nickt is mistaken about there not being enough gain for your Shelter. The 834P will handle cartridges down to .22mV and your Shelter is .4mV. I believe the MC gain is 68dB, more than enough. As to impedance, the MM section is set at 47K ohms and the MC is under 100 ohms. You will have no compatibility issues.
I was a little skeptical of the posting on the Aqvox as well, but now that it's been recommended and some credibility questioned, I figure I may as well chime in as I'm not a new member and just bought one.
I actually paid a bit more than the current price listed on Audiogon, but I did have the opportunity to audition the piece before I bought it. I don't have alot of experience with high end stages, but I have difficulty believing anyone would be unhappy with the Aqvox. Sound quality is superb (I'm using it with a Denon 103R on a Gyrodec/FT-3 and it sounds fabulous even though the TNT review suggested it might not match up well with the plain Denon 103-a member at Audioasylum is also using the Aqvox with a 103R and is very happy) particularly running into the balanced input; I'm running fully balanced all the way to my integrated and the sound is very good. The Aqvox is also incredibly flexible in terms of both gain (fully adjustable from 40-75 db) and loading, although using the balanced "current" input, loading essentially becomes a non-issue with any high output or low output moving coil.
There are a number of very positive reviews: Hi Fi World has it listed as one of their best phono stages and I see that someone at Positive Feedback has nominated it as "Product of the Year" and feels it would be an outstanding phono stage at twice the price.
I'm not shilling, just saying that I am extremely happy with mine. Just (if you are using a moving coil) make sure you use the balanced input to get the most out of it and, if at all possible, the balanced out as well. For $750 U.S., I think it would be very tough to beat.
I am going to use in a kombination With a Rotel RC 1090 Prem (at the monent, the new one wil be Placette Audio Passive balance)
My speakers is a Martin Logan Ascent I
Speakerkable: NLE 50
Signalkabel: NLE 53 Balance
Amp: Mark levinson 334 (grunded)
Voyd, splitface power supply, tre motors, Helius Omega 2 silver wire
Mictor Noisfilter (grunded) (only Power supply Voyd, Pre am, tuner, Martin logan)
CD-player (not at the moment) Looking for one, Not Arye cx7e
Ummm, brand new member? I don't post on the forums, but if you look at my feedback, you'll see I have a purchase from 2004.
I purchased the Aqvox a few months ago and HDM's expressed everything I've found about the piece. Basically, my satisfaction with the Aqvox is the only thing that's compelled me to post over these past few years.
In Rick's defense, (I did not realize this at the time that I posted or I would have covered it then), if you look at the forums at Canauck Audio Mart (the Canadian version of Audiogon) he uses the same username both here and there and he posted regarding his satisfaction with the Aqvox almost two months ago. I also posted to that thread (my username at Canuck is my first name) because I had read about it online and was curious. As it turns out, the Audiogon seller is in my hometown and I ended up auditioning and buying it.
So I think it's fair to say that speculation regarding shilling here, either on Daemon or Rick's part, is off base.
MiniMax Phono pre, used $1000.00. See the 6moons review;
"And when I was using the Shelter 901, the experience was borderline religious - so smooth, expressive and non-mechanical. I believe my system reached a new landmark in realism with the Shelter/MiniMax combination."
Thanks for the respons!
I have be reading reviews on all the Phonon pre
and it seems to me that the MiniMax Phono pre is
Number one Because it´s very clear, neutral, and a very god 3D Sound stages, very god voises.
Number to Ear 834p very good 3D soundstage, very god voices female, gorgeous in the midband. Not so neutral.
Number tre AQVOX like the balanced input, it´s but my arm don´t support it.clear,uncolored midrange.very god at pris.
Thanks for the help.
Daemon, you should simply be able to have your tonearm leads reterminted with balanced connectors (XLR's) which is what I did to take advantage of the Aqvox's balanced input. There are very few tonearms which are not compatible with the Aqvox's balanced in, the Rega arms being the major ones. The info is on the Aqvox website. Also (I'm not sure where you are-possibly in Europe?), if you can arrange an audition of the Aqvox it comes with RCA to XLR adapters allowing you to use the balanced input.
I bought a Nottingham SpaceDeck w/ Spacearm, heavy kit, and Shelter 501.2 cartridge as a combo last week. In a separate deal, I also acquired an EAR 834P w/ stock JJ tubes. I placed these in my secondary system with a Cary SLI-80, Sonus Faber Concertino Home monitors (on SF stands), and Audience Maestro cabling all around (except PC, which are BPT on the amp and Cardas Cross to the phono).
At first, the sound I got was thin and soundstage very small. I got rid of the Boston mat sitting on the platter and the sound filled out some and soundstage increased. Perhaps it was assembled to track without the Boston mat.
Now, I still feel the sound is quite thin, especially as compared to the way I heard a similar Nottingham rig sound with a Benz Glider L2 and the same EAR phono.
Do you think it could be the rest of my system causing this thinness? I'm running the EAR in MC mode. The phono cables are proprietary Nottingham.
Any comments anyone has I would appreciate hearing.