Phono Pre with regular Line Input

I hope you guys can help me out.

Does anyone know any Phono Pre that I can also use as a preamp? I'm not interested in a preamp with phono input. What I'm looking for is a unit that is phono first with an option of being able to plug in my CD player.

I understand that Manley Steelhead has a pair of line input, but I really cannot afford to spend $8K or ($4.5K used).

Will I be better off getting a preamp w/ phono input, such as CAT SL-1?

Thank you,
Wow... That phono pre has been under my radar. Thanks for info. Tube based phono pre is what I seek, and it looks very interesting. Thanks.
I'll tell you this. I'm running a Cary 306 Professional through the single RCA line in the Steelhead II, and its phenomenal. Much better digital front end than the Audio Aero Prestige running through its own internal preamp.
Thanks for your input Azaud.

Which phono input do you use in your Steelhead?
I know the benefit of SUT, but would like avoid it if SN ratio is low enough.

Do you use the MM input w/ LOMC settings? If so, how is the SN ratio?

I'm so going to try that now. This is my first adventure into analogue in over thirty years. The cartridge I'm using is the Shelter 501 II, so I think I can get away with it. Totally linear thinking on my part, being a newb. For what its worth, sounds very good through the MC jacks. Small amt of tube hiss; but I figured when I upgraded the cart, that I would go for one with a slightly higher output.
At least one EAR phono stage has a volume control but I don't know if any include line level inputs. Suggest checking their site or Audio Revelation, Jay may have your answer.
I have the phono cable in the MM connectors, and wow! What's interesting is that the audiophile in me is noticing this and that drawback; but it doesn't matter. Its as if a window's been opened to the soul of the recording! I'm hooked. Its 2AM in Phoenix, and it took all my discipline not to call my audio cohort and say "Get your a** over here!".
I'm not even using the highest gain setting! The 47K Ohms is unnecessary too. 200 is perfect.
Anyway, thread hijack complete. The Steelhead is something special.
Hijacking this thread is ok by me.
I assume you are using your Shelter 501mk2 in this MM setting.
How do you think of the noise level in MM setting (bypassing SUT).

I would love to hear your experience.
Thank you.
Hey Az,

Thanks for your reply,

I probably shouldn't need to ask you this, but is your MM gain level as same as your previous MC setting, say 60dB(MM) and 60dB(MC)?
This is turning into a thread that's going to lead me to purchase a used Steelhead!!!

I just don't understand how MM at high gain can sound less noisy than the MC setting.
I have not tried to use the Manley Stealhead as a preamp. But I will say that it is absolutely one of the finest phono stages in the world. I have owned most of them and the manley was the best in my system by a considerable margin. Here is a list of some that I have owned...

Tom Evens Groove+ SRX
BAT 10se with Super Pack and P-5
Aesthetix IO and Rhea
Sutherland PHD
Haggerman Trumpet ( I still own ) Absolutely the best for the money...Was better than the BAT, Aesthetix and Sutherland. It is second to only the Manley.

EAR 324 and 834p
Whest 2.0

You cant go wrong with a manley on the used market. I have by-passed the autoformers and extra gain stages. I placed the Bent Silver Mu's in front for further improvements.

Although, the manley by itself bested everything above. IMHO.
Hey Rudolffzigray,

Thanks for your input.
Of all you have listed, I have considered all except for Herron and that particular Whest(PS30DT looks interesting though). What is your reason using an external pair of tranny?
I've heard incredible things about the Bent Silver unit, but was noise of an issue?

Thank you,
Quick response to your Q to me.
Yes. I didn't like (or need) the gain at 65 on either MC or MM. It is at 60 and singing. I am going to purchase some Cardas plugs for all those unused RCA jacks, though.
Nice to hear it's working out nicely for ya.
I do not have experience with Cardas cap, but cheapo from PartsExpress need to be avoided.
Internal diameter of cap size is inconsistent and fits extremely tight.
Now, I just got to figure out how to remove them.


No.. noise was not an issue. The Manley is dead quiet on my 107 db efficient system. The Bent Silver Mu simply out performs the Auto formers and extra gain stages in the Manley. Don’t get me wrong, the Manley’s nickel core auto former is very good and so are its gain stages, but nothing seems to compete with the silver Mu's. Every phonostage I have owned was improved by the them. They are the most transparent device in audio, in my experience. I will never sell them....never. I will be buried with them.

Hey Guys,

Since then, I have discussed with Kevin from K&K Audio and he can add a pair of passive line inputs in his highly rated Maxxed-Out phono pre.
Are there other options I'm not aware of?

Thanks again,
Looks like the Coincident Statement Phono Preamplifier has optional line stage input. Perhaps $3K+ used?