Phono's $2100 to $2600

Dear all I would be interested in hearing your thoughts for a phono upgrade.  What is driving this is that I recently got a Lyra Delos and a Nordost Heimdall phono cable as presents- the sound is simply in another league than before (prior cartidge was Benz low output glider).  So now hooked- all I want to do is spin vinyl all day and all night!

The rig is VPI Aries 1 with upgraded footers, separate flywheel, and synchronose drive- the phono stage is a Trigon Vanguard II and this in turn is hooked into Prima Luna Dialogue premium (using nos 12au7's).  The amps are Pass labs xa60.5 mono's driving Thiel 3.7's.

For a long time I was looking to upgrade the preamp but now I think I will got for the phono 1st and consider a new line preamp later on unless I find a full function preamp to do it all in one shot- obviously I would have to up my budget.

Anyway, assuming I just look at the phono I think I have narrowed my choices to the following with my budget:
1. Zesto Andros (about $2.1k used)
2. Sutherland 20/20 ($2.2k new)
3. Allnic 1202 ($2.6k used)

Potentially I could also look at the PS Audio Stellas phono (the advantage here is that I can trade in my trigon for full retails $500).  And lastly, completely out of left field I have to say I have this urge to try a Sutherland PHD which just sounds like a wonderful phono that made a mark (and would be about $1k or so).

I should also add the Herron that seems to have quite a following but they simply do not show up used so I have put that one aside for the time being.,

I realize I should listen to these in my system but if buying used I can't always do that so I would very much like to get your opinions.   The system sound good but I would like better soundstage depth and texture/detail- but without going overboard on the latter.

I paid two Benji's under your upper limit for my Andros 1.2,.  It was an Agon ad for a brick and mortar store in the Boston area that's been around forever.  Made an offer and they accepted.  As a buyer and seller, phono stuff does not fly out the door.  What I found as a seller is that very few people make offers.
I like tubes in my phono pre's but having had a lot of tube equipment, I know that I have a weakness to tube roll and wonder how much life was left.  I had a tube tester so you know it was bad.  The NVO and something like the Aesthetix Rhea would drive me bonkers.  The Andros is pretty simple and ECC83s are cheap.  All the units mentioned in this thread will give you listening pleasure and based upon your description of what you listen to and listen for are what you want.  I believe the PS Audio unit will give you the most flexibility for the future, be reliable and provide ease of service being made in the US.  Good luck with your decision. 
As barlobrain as mentioned,  you can find the earlier model Zesto Andros, every now and then in the listings. I liked what I heard, when I had one, in my system. Just wasn't groundbreaking, compared to my current unit.

barlobrain also mentions the counteroffer. If you're buying a used piece, NOT making a counter is like leaving money on the table. I never pay listed price. If a seller balks, move on. You would be surprised.Now and then, after just hearing crickets for awhile, they may contact YOU, to "make a compromise"

Used is used. It's not worth whatever a buyer is asking, whatever they think.

Just to get it out there, anyone with the NVO SPA II for $2K shipped, I'm ready to hit the buy now button.

Yeah, ridiculous offer, but just in case.....?

I'll offer $2001!! :-)

Tablejockey- you are using a Fosgate right?
I will also look into the modwright and chinook.  On the latter I kind of got the impression that maybe the zesto might be a better choice- that said a chinook popped up at the right price I would seriously consider it.
I had a Chinook and Zesto 1.2 for several months and favored the Zesto by a fair margin. I sold the Chinook.

I now have the Zesto and just received the Allnic H1202 which I’ve been using almost nonstop since it arrived a few days ago.
The Allnic is in a different league than the Zesto IMHO. It’s a fantastic phono, I wasn’t expecting that level of performance given that it’s less expensive than the Zesto.
I’m using a ZYX Ultimate 100 0.24mv and it’s dead quiet on the highest gain setting and sounds fantastic.
 I have an Allnic linestage too so maybe there’s a synergy thing happening.

Anyway, I reviewed the Chinook and Zesto side by side on and I’ll review the Allnic alongside the Zesto in a couple  weeks. The Allnic is awesome, if you can find one within your budget grab it.

If anyone wants a mint Zesto Andros 1.2 then pm me or contact me through


"Tablejockey- you are using a Fosgate right ?"

pgastone-affirmative. They pop up now and then for cheap.This thread peaked my interest when I was shopping. I purchased mine when the V2 was introduced a year of so, later.