phono pre suggestions

my system consists of a Rega P3-24 with Elys2. the rest is consumer level and needing to be upgraded. the table i can see getting replaced also for a vpi or clear audio on day.

i am not really looking at upgrading everything now. neither am i interested in buying something to hold me over.

i am looking for a preamp in $1000-1500 area. considering the PSAudio gcph. also looking at the manley chinook or ear 834p...but that is about a solid $1000 over what i would like to spend and i would need a good reason to stretch to it....however i want something i can keep for 20 years and enjoy. but please dont offer suggestions past that....over 2500 is way to far and all the other components in my system would probably have to be upgraded passed where i intend. i like nice things but dont really want to be going to a price point where you have to spend 3x the price to get any real gain. seems 2500 would be about the limits before it starts going into the stratosphere.

i intend to spend about 2-3k on a tube power amp. pre is up in the air. 2-3k on speakers.

here is my concern....some phonos offer more loading options via resisters and/or capacitors..and varying amounts of gain.
i want it to sound good with rock music mostly..with lots of acoustic stuff. never used a MC but it seems any new tanle i would end up with on of those possibly.

so pros and cons for tables between 1000 and 2500. nothing over...2500 is already a stretch.
Liberty Audio B2B-1 and Yes I do make them :-)


Good Listening

I've had the 834P and the Chinook, there's no comparison, Chinook all the way. It's great for rock. There's a used one now for $1795 OBO on the site now. I'd grab that in a second and you won't have a need to upgrade later.
Now that we have the obligatory. "Liberty Audio, I make them" comment out of the way (a feature of every "What phono stage?" thread these days), I will plug the Avid Pulsus, which is the best phono pre I have heard in my system. I preferred it to the SimAudio LP5.3 with optional external power supply I had. Just under your stated budget is the new entry level Avid phono preamp. Haven't heard it, but mighty curious about it.
Check out the less costly versions of the K&K Audio Maxed Out the Kevin sells. They can be upgraded to Maxed Out status and will perform very well against everything that has been mentioned.
how important are the cap, resistor, and gain settings? it seems odd that at 1500 to 2000 if they add a couple caps or resistors they might as well add the others. gain staging seems a bit more complex.
is there any carts i wouldnt be able to get working good with the EAR or the Manley?
The EAR seems nice if i skip a line pre and go straight to a power amp as i am 100% vinyl and am unsure if i realky want to run movies thru my rig.
but if i ever add a pre, then i have a volume knob tied to the power switch it seems and i feel i will be fighting optimal levels on the phono/pre having a volume on each rather than the phono being set. maybe i am wrong?
Find a GAS Thaedra or Thoebe @ auction, then send it to Mike Bettinger at for upgrades. You won't be disappointed.
I wouldn't worry about two volume controls possibly down the road, but running a phono pre direct to your amp is a whole nother world. you need to have a higher gain amp and the impedances matching well for it to work properly. The Manley is far more adjustable than the EAR. The EAR has a little more gain for the ultra low MC carts, but the 60db of the Chinook would be fine.
so the Avid Pulsus has my interest peaked. what would be the tonal difference between this and the Chinook?
Haven't heard the Chinook, so no help there. Other than guessing that general tube vs. SS differences would apply.
Well I snagged a Pulsus last night on here for a very, very good price. I was fairly set on the Chinook, but this was such a good deal I couldn't pass it up. Now to wait for shipping.....
With $6,000, you can have a system like mine. BAT vk-60 ($1500), BAT vk-30 with phono card and remote ($2000), and Tyler Linbrook signature systems speakers ($2500), all used.
I doubt any other system at $6K would be much better than mine.
I picked up a Manley Shrimp last week here for about 1200. I am very pleased with how that sounds so far. I also picked up an Adcom 555 to hold me over until I get the funds for a nice pair of mono blocks. But the money I save on this and the Manley will open the doors a bit more on the amp selection now.