Phono stage with gain control?


I think I remember a thread about this not long ago but can't find it.
What would be a good phono stage with gain controls so the preamp could be eliminated all together? I would like to keep the cost around $1000.00 or less. Would prefer tube as well.
Has anyone had luck with no preamp?
dean_fuller
Maybe I missed something, but a phono stage with a gain control is called a preamp.
PS Audio GCPH Phono Stage. $1000 new and very good.
The standard EAR 834p comes with a volume control. It is excellent.
PS Audio GCPH fits this request exactly. For better performance there are PS Audio approved modded units for $1300 or so. They are regularly advertised on Audiogon.
Wright Sound WPP200C. It's exactly what you're seeking.

There is one for sale now, but it has a sale pending. Too bad.
The EAR 834P comes with and without a gain control. I tried running my own vinyl setup this way, using a Moscode SuperIt with gain control directly into my power amps. Sounded like hell -- limited dynamics, no richness or body -- compared to using an active linestage. Good luck, Dave
My Wright Sound WPP200C sounds tremendous plugged directly into the preamp inputs of my Leben CS-600.

The Wright is designed to be used directly into an amplifier. It's essentially a single-source preamp.

At the used price, it's a zero sum game. Try it, and if it doesn't work as you hoped, then sell it for what you paid.

06-10-07: Eldartford
Maybe I missed something, but a phono stage with a gain control is called a preamp.
Yup. Wright Sound Company calls its WPP200C a phono preamplifier.

Works as advertised.
The Wright wpp100c is actually a better choice than the wpp200c. It uses tubes that are better suited to phono-stage usage, and are not in demand (thus: cheap!). the Framed-grid 6Er5 is a much better gain tube than the 12ax7 for this application. The only reason George changed to the wpp200c with different tube choices (12ax7s instead of 6ER5) is that he felt he didn't want to use up the world's supply of 6ER5s (though he maintains a nice stash for sale to wpp100c owners at ultra-cheap prices, usually about $8/ea).

-Ed
Ed_sawyer, I read that the WPP100C was inherently noisy due to the tubes used, which prompted the design of the quieter WPP200C. Never heard both. I own the WPP200C, and it's fine for my purposes.

I suppose a call to George would provide the definitive answer.
Tvad, how does the WPP200C compare to the Lehmann Black Cube? If I remember correctly from other forums, you have one.

Ed, do you own the WPP100C? If so, what's your impression? I just picked one up and am waiting for it to arrive.

-Mark
I agree with Tvad that the WPP200C is the way to go. I had both the WPP100C and the WPP200C at the same time. I, as well as others, whose opinions I trust found the WPP200C to be quieter and more involving with a bit better dynamics. These were compared side by side in my system with nothing changed but the phono preamp. There are lots of 6ER5s around. They are a very linear tube, used in UHF TV tuners. Sad thing is, they are a little noisy. I tried a number of different 6ER5s just to be sure. I kept the WPP200C and have no plans to change. Mind you, this was mine and others' opinion in my system only.
I own the GCPH and it doesn't quite have enough gain for my .5mv cart.

I run it direct balanced to my amps (balanced is 3db higher than the unbalanced out) and I still would like it a bit louder.

But if you have either a higher output cart, or are willing to get a transfomer step up, then the GCPH is for you. Modded it supposedly is on par with $3000 units. I compared it n a home demo against the new phono stage I eventually ordered (the Tron Seven phono pre @$4000) and you know what, the GCPH wasn't embarassed at all. For it's price and settings and convenience it's a fantastic piece for driving amps direct, as long as you have a higher output cart or step up.

Mingles, I cannot offer a quality comparison because I used the two phono pres only a short time with the same table/cart, but overall, I can say the Lehmann was a strong performer. I'd not hesitate to own another. The Lehmann was quieter. The Wright has a bit more "life" in the music provided by the tubes, but the diference is not night and day. Of course, because of the availability of tube swapping, the sound of the Wright can be tailored whereas he Lehmann's cannot.

I also like the dual gain controls of the Wright.
Eldartford, in the 'old days' we called them pre-preamps.

Salut, Bob P.
Eldartford, You are correct...unfortunatly now a days most preamps have no phono stage as you know. I was just thinking that if vinyl is the only source material I listen to then why have a preamp with all that extra electronics. Less is better in my opinion.
Inpepinnovations,,,That was what we called the extra gain stage that went in front of the preamp when using a MC pickup. Nowadays it is no great feat to provide sufficient gain for MC pickups without additional stages. And I don't think they had any gain control (that was in the preamp).

Dean_fuller...If your pickup yields sufficient volume when the power amp is fed directly from the phono stage there is no need for extra gain, which you will just "throw away" using the volume control pot.

Dean_fuller...If your pickup yields sufficient volume when the power amp is fed directly from the phono stage there is no need for extra gain, which you will just "throw away" using the volume control pot.
Eldartford (Reviews | Threads | Answers)
Which is exactly why I'm running my Wright WPP200C into the preamp inputs of my Leben CS-600.

Sweet.