I recently purchased the ARCAM rPhono and use it with an Ortofon 2M black. The HiFi+ review is what I experienced. The build quality and range of adjustability without having to go into the unit is quite remarable for the price, especially since Partsconnexion has it for $299.99. Note that ARCAM has discontinued the item. One item to note, its pretty tight on the back, the RCA inputs are pretty close, so no firehose RCA cables. But it is a nicely finished full aluminum housing, and the base is solid rubber (no feet) so although pretty light, it stays put on the shelf.
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yes I saw it on parts connexion and the price is very good. I did not know that arcam has discontinued it. but I did check on parts connexion and they have quite a few in stock . the arcam did have some good reviews and so did the sim audio lp110 v2 . the musical surroundings is priced higher but used is just a little higher than the sim and arcam. the only difference is the sim has is 0 pf capacitance switch and no on off switch. the project ultra 500 has discrete technology but no reviews I can find.
@kully560 - I have a Simaudio Moon LP5.3 RS phono stage - which is very much like the current LP610.
The nice thing about Simaudio as a company is, they flow all of their latest "developments" DOWN to their entry level products as time goes by, as opposed to designing entry level products from scratch, so the LP 110 is actually a very good phono stage based on the developments in their TOTL products.
Simaudio products are
- whisper quiet even at full volume (i.w. while not playing)
- extremely well made
- very musical (to my ears at least)
- respond positively to the use of good cables/power supply
The 110 comes with a separate 24v DC power supply, so it would be very easy to upgrade the power supply provided to a more robust linear power supply for improved performance.
Here’s a review
BYW - I leave my phono stage turned on 24/77 and have not encountered any issues in over 3 years
Hope that helps - Steve
Look for a phono stage with optional loading, the best way is RCA plug-in load resistors (in parallel). Very expensive phono stages designed this way (like Herron), but you can buy a decent solid state phono stage for MC and MM cartridges with rca plug-in load resistors from JLTi. With this phono stage you can load not only MC cartridges, but also your MM.
Most of MM cartridges are better at 100k Ohm instead of 47k Ohm, especially when you feel they are too dark in your system.
Very few manufacturer will give you an optional loading for MM !
You can ask Joe at JLTi to make a mod inside the phono stage to have this option, this is what i asked for after reading old post from well educated a’gon user. The internal resistors inside the JLTi have been changed to 500k Ohm, in this situation a plug-in RCA resistors on the back can be whatever value. You can unload your MM using 100k Ohm, or you can load your MM lower than 47k Ohm, or you can always use standard 47k Ohm. With LOMC cartridges you can use absolutely whatever value. This is a great phono stage! The latest mk5 version available for US$1034 including shipping from Australia.
P.S. iPhono is very low quality (made in china) with a lot of problems, many users reported about defective items and even after some big online shops replaced one item to another they are appeared to be defective again, crazy story. Very low quality control, i would never buy an iPhono 2 or whatever from this company.
I have been chasing this stuff since the early 70s and some times you are happy and some times you are up all night thinking haha!!!!! been out of the vinyl for some time, and being my system is all finished except the vinyl portion it is just a excuse to start some were else for now. I guess it will never end .
thanks for all the help from this great forum . I decided to go with antinn suggestion on the arcam r phono. I did a lot of reading and with all the reviews on the arcam and at the discounted price of $299.99 from $600.00 it was a steal. I received it today and gave it a 2 hour listen this is a nice preamp for the money. it will be very tuff to beat at the price . I was using a bugle 2 that my brother and I built. it is a very nice preamp but it did not move me that much so I stayed away from my vinyl. this arcam is a little warmer sound and has more bottom end, with better define highs. the bugle 2 does has better separation and a bit on the bright side for me which I did not like. the adjustments on the back of the arcam are also nice for future use. it is a very well made piece and also has some weight to it . it does has a rubber bottom so I install isolation pads under it which right of the bat I heard it tighten up the bottom end . I am now thinking about an upgraded linear power supply as they are on ebay for under $100 across the pond . it would be tough to built it for that price and it just might push this little wonder of the edge. I have a bp17 cubed preamp and a 14b cubed amp. and I still do not like my volume with the phono as compared to my cd transport and tuner. I know the phono is going to be lower but my cartridge puts out 5mv which is plenty high. maybe it might be my balanced cables with on the bryston amp it runs 6 dbs lower in the balanced mode .
If you check www.lowbeats.dem, they tested the 2M ortofon and they yielded 10 mv. I ran the rPhono at 30db with the 2M black and plenty of gain with the volume conrol at a good level, the 2/3rds range. Otherwise, if you dig deeper into this unit, and look at the circuit board photo you will see some real quality. You will see some WIMA resistors which are high quality, and you will see some VISHAY components which are also superior items, and you will see that the electrolytic capacitors are rated 105C. The normal price point caps are rated 85C, the 105C higher rating with low op temperature is good reason to suspect the unit will last decades. Also, if you pull the part number for the TI board, its cost is $50 on its own. Also, of all the units you were reviewing, the rPhono has the largest power supply, 12vdc and 2amp equals 24watts. All the other power supplies were only 0.5amps. I did not want to do a hard sell, but thd Arcam is at $299 is a real steal. Power Holding Inc is a seller of Keces power supplies from Tiawan, and they have a very nice 12vdc unit for $349. However, I am not sure of the real value. Say what you wish of non-linear power supplies, but Sutherland has used them to great reviews, and if you zoom into some of their board photos and pull the vendor and part number, you will see an industrial item that costs less than $30 but has a mean time between failure (MTBF) of over 500,000 hrs.
I can not run the r phono at 30db, I tried it and the volume control would be at full level. at 40db my volume control is at full volume as compared to my cd player at 2/3 thirds volume. 50db gain gets distorted, the ortofon bronze should be at about 36db and I could not imagine being any lower in volume. I can live with it at the 40db range and be very happy but it still bothers me why the big difference. I use the 120 capacitor setting which is great and any higher and things start to get to bright. I did drop my tracking down to 1.45 grams which gave me a little clearer top end also. have you given any thoughts about upgrading your power supply?
My version of the 2M BLACK is circa 2016, which would coincide with the version that lowbeats.de tested, and my preamp gain is only 6db. I suspect your version of the 2M Bronze is more recent, and Ortofon may have corrected the output voltage to spec 5.5 mv, especially as evidenced by your Bryston preamp gain 12 db single ended, and 18 db balanced. My 2M black was in need of a retip, but instead of replacing, I just purchased a new Soundsmith Carmen MK2 which Elusive Disk had on closeout at $699, and with future retip cost of only $199 beats the 2M black at $570, and just dialed in sounds great, and Soundsmith cartridges are known for their tolerance of record noise, which the Ortofon 2M Black is not. Otherwise, for now all is bliss, and you know the old saying, if it's not broke, do not fix it. However, if my upgrade itch flairs up, I would consider a power supply upgrade such as the Keces (my radar bleeps when buying some unknown foreign power source, no interest in a fire or being electocuted), but for now just enjoying the music. Otherwise, this arrangement I have is for a 2nd tonearm (VPI JWM 10), that was done on a tight budget. I did not want to replicate my primary. My primary is VPI 12-3D, Soundsmith Paua and Moon LP5.3 with the external power supply. Yes, the Paua/Moon sounds better than the Carmen/Arcam, but its not 4 times (list price difference), better.
I bought my 2m bronze late 2016 - early 2017. yes I am not jumping to buy a power supply yet, but my wheels are all ways turning and I enjoy researching equipment and upgrades. I do not buy unless I do all my home work / research . in this hobby it is very easy to go in the wrong direction fast . thanks
The Arcam at 40db will multiple the input signal 100:1, so a nominal input of 5.5 mv will output at 0.55 volts. The nominal signal ended output from a cd player per redbook is 2 volts. So, the Arcam will need more volume. I did a quick look at your 14B3 amp, and it has a two gain settings. High sensitivity 23db which is 1V for 100watts, or low sensitivity 29db which is 2V for 100watts. If your volume is 2/3 with cd, is the amp set for 29db? If yes, setting to the 23db high sensitivity may give more volume control, just a thought.
hi antinn I believe you have it reversed the 29db for 1v most amp gain and the 23db for 2v. the owners manual recommends which I run balanced cables is the 23db gain setting [ noise -119db]. the singled ended [rca] is 29db for 1v [noise of -115db]. I use all balanced cables and also aes/ebu digital cable.I found these sound the best for my system. I may flip my gain setting to the 29db and leave my sub woofers off and see how it sounds . I all ways new the vinyl will play at a lower volume but is should not be at 1/3 more on the volume control .thanks for checking for me I let you know how that works out. also on a side note to the linear power supply. my research came up with the r-core transformer being much better than the toroidal transformer type so it seems .
hi antinn, thanks for all the help and suggestions . it work out well at the 29 db gain setting much more control over all on all sources. my cd player is at 1/2 volume and the turntable is at 3/4 volume much better . it seems that I have more authority to my speakers [ little more punch] very happy now . I also rebalanced my subs and was able to lower the crossover point from 60 hertz to 48 hertz . my speakers roll off at 48 hertz anyway . if I further decide to build or buy a linear power supply and try it I will let you know how it works out . king regards kully
Schiit Mani is really the Schiit!
I use it with the Rega P2/Goldring E3 combination. It will give any phono pre a run for its money (under $1000 price range). Ignore its cost, it performs at a MUCH higher level. If you don’t like it, and I highly highly doubt that could be the case, you can always flip it at a minimal loss.
I have the Sim Audio 110lp v2 and it seems to be working good.
I am running it with a 2m Blue Ortofon cart.
I have not used any other phono stages, so I can't compare and contrast but it seems to be a solid unit with good reviews.
It does not have a power button, so the blue light on the front will stay on. Simaudio recommends to just leave it on 24/7. I have gotten used to the light, so it does not bother me.
The unit has dip switches on the bottom to accommodate different carts (MM and MC).
Hope that helps.