Add Threshold to your list...glory years for Nelson Pass...for both amplifiers and preamplifiers.
10 responses Add your response
Take this for whatever it might be worth. I agree with Mcpody to add Threshold to your list of candidates. I have a FET-10 which I took to a phono stage shoot-out at a friend's house. The benchmark was a Manley Steelhead. Out of six audiophiles present, three preferred the Threshold. For under $1K it would be hard to beat.
Mcpody, no. My FET-10 is the only Threshold phono stage I have experience with. A friend built a fully regulated power supply for me and that takes performance up a step - I assume similar to the later version of the FET-10. I was told the differences with the later model were power supply and balanced output (?). All I can say is that mine sounds very good in either high gain (MC) or standard gain (MM).
Loydc: I don't have any experience with the specific DB Systems preamp you are using but did use for a few years David Hadaway's DB 8HG for low output moving coils and still have his standard DB 8 standard phono pre for moving magnet in use in a 2nd system in the house.
The DB Systems stuff is, I think, generally very good and flies under the radar because it is directly marketed and perhaps too cheap to gain much respect.
I upgraded to an Aqvox 2CI using a low output MC in a balanced configuration with the Aqvox in my main system and that was a significant upgrade over the DB Systems. The Aqvox, however, has pretty much doubled in price from when I bought it to around $1500-$2000.
My guess is that your DB Systems will be competitive with most of the separate phono stage offerings into the $600 or so price level (it may not better all of them but I would expect that it wouldn't be embarrassed either) and that you would probably have to jump into the $1000 or more price range to really get a huge, significant improvement.