phono stage or preamp suggestions

Trying to get a fresh insight about phono stages. Are there any sleeper good sounding used units that are readily available? Using a high output Dynavector 10x mk2 cart. Suggestions would be appreciated. Thor
I use a Pass Aleph Ono phono preamp and I am very happy with the performance. The unit has been on the Stereohile Class "A" list for awhile (not that that means anything in particular). It will probably fall off on the next list as it has been replaced by the Xono. The unit is very flexible with internal switches allowing MC loading to be adjusted from 5 Ohms to 47,000 Ohms. Output is adjustable from 62 dB to 76 dB of gain. Sound wise the unit tends toward the detailed and analytical side with a large, deep, precise soundstage. With the replacment of the unit it will probably start to show up used now, I believe I saw one here on Agon recently. Good Luck, Doug
I sold a CAT SL-1 III with factory simplified signal path and went to an AHT DM-P phono preamp, which I built a super high quality stepped attenuator into (making a chassis that held them both). In general, if you can do this or have it done, I'd recommend a good phono stage with sufficient gain (like the Pass Aleph Ono) and NO active preamp, just a stepped attenuator built in (in the sense that no additional cable or connectors are used). I've never looked back with any regrets, though people rave about the CAT's phono stage. I couldn't put up with using its inferior volume control. I can get away with no active preamp, however, only because my CD player goes straight into a power amp, which lots of them do these days. And I do have to change cables between CD's and LP's, which some would regard as too inconvenient.
Try to find an older Counterpoint SA-9 AKA Magnum Opus. These are real sleepers, not found very often used but worth the search, can drive any cart, has both mm and mc inputs for those who use two tonearms, volume control, can switch loadings on the front and they look cool. Should be about 2000.00 to 2500.00 on the used market. Never figured out why these didn't get more press.
Thanks for the interesting information,I will keep looking for a phono stage. Thanks for the effort on my behalf, Cheers Thor(from Vancouver B.C.)
Hi Thor,
All of the above are failry expensive. There are also many good models available for $1000 or so...some are less (EAR, Benz, Audiomat,etc). You can also find a Lehmann Black Cube for about $600 new and $450 used. Those are a great bargain.
if on a budget the black cube is nice for the price. i just switched from my black cube to a preamp w/phono stage that a friend of mine suggested i try. it is an old advent 300. it contains a tuner, preamp and amp. the tuner is actually ok. i have not used it's amp, but it's phono stage imho smoked the cube. this piece is an anomally(sp) of sorts. some "famous" engineer whose name i dunno designed it. i think in the prehistoric 1970's. comparing it to the cube:
the cube added a solid state edge to my system (melos tube preamp used with an audionics of oregon/david berning designed ba-150 tube amp, rega 3, grado reference master cartridge, old (and venerable) kef series 105.2 spkrs). i pulled it out and went to this $150.00 advent and voila! no more edge and all the detail/soundstage/clear mids etc etc etc that i found attractive in the black cube. smooth sound. good luck!!
hi thor,

see my post (and all the others) on the "fono-stage - please help" thread adjacent to this one...

doug s.