Phono Preamp Suggestions


I am looking to upgrade to an external phono preamp. Recently, I auditioned the Rogue Ares as well as a Sim Audio Moon 310lp (no external power supply). I preferred the Sim Audio (solid state) to the Rogue (tube). 

I would like to hear from others out there that prefer a solid state preamp for a tube power amp or a tube preamp paired with a tube power amp. Why is this your preference? To me, the tube on tube was a little heavy and I thought the solid state provided balance and played well with my amp.

Additionally, I would like to know what type of difference there is between a preamp in the $1800-$2000 range such as the ones I auditioned vs. something like a Pass Labs XP15 or Whest Sig. 3. Is there a big jump from a $2K preamp to a $3K model?



VPI Scout 1.1
Soundsmith Zephyr MKII
Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum (KT120)
Zu Soul MKII
Zu Cables  
I think you're on the right track by auditioning. Maybe try Music Direct. They have many phono preamps and a money-back guarantee.

I think a $1000 budget is more than sufficient.
In my humble opinion, SS works best in the phono stage, where the signal is smallest.
If you can, try to find a Klyne phono stage, they are really incredible bargains.
There is a 7PX3 for sale on Audiogon right now. I have no relation with the seller.
I prefer a tube phono stage. I use this with my low output Grado’s. I think it would be a good match with the Soundsmith .BTW,it is as quiet than any solid state that I have used.
I personally prefer a tube phono stage and have not had any SS phonos that would float my boat in my system, with that said in your price range the Allnic 1201 is a great and could be an end all phono stage. There is a guy in Dallas that advertises on Audiogon that will deal and I have seen them used, rarely, for less than 2,000.00 in like new condition. I have had about 7 tube and 5 solid stage phonos in my system in the last 3 years. Settled on the Allnic H1500 SE II after owning the 1201 and sold it to get the 1500 based solely on the performance of the 1201 and am not looking anymore and it will play any cart that I thru at it.