Recommedation for Phono Pre for my modest rig




Hi there:

I have the following TT rig: Rega Planar 3 (2016), metal sub-platter, Michell Tecno-weight, Rega white belt, Delrin platter, Rega TTPSU 2, Shelter 201 and lastly Art DJII preamp. The latter was a stop gap until I could find a more suitable pre. I don't foresee the day where I would run a LOMC so a MM only pre would do me just fine. This is the final piece of the puzzle then I am focusing solely on collecting LP's, please consider this the last pre-amp I am ever going to buy.  

My preference is something that if it can't be absolutely neutral than it be more center-right (warm/euphonic) than center-left (cold/analytical). And of course cost should be commensurate with the system it will be a part of. 

Thanks in advance. 



anacondastan
For MM cartridge this phono stage is amazing and reasonably priced, not every phono stage will give you the opportunity to change load resistors (rca plugs on the back) and this is superb feature! You can ask Joe (the designer) to add internal resistors of the higher value than 100k (not 47k Ohm by default) and then when you plug-in the lower value to load your MM cartridges you can have the total load at whatever you want, it’s worth to try 30k ohms, 40k ohms, 50k ohms ... 100k ohms to fidn out that is the best for your MM cartridge. This phono stage has MC input too, so you got both in one! The MC stage with high gain designed to run 0.20mV cartridges! 

http://www.customanalogue.com/jlti_phono_stage.htm
You might want to look at the GRAHAM SLEE - Era Gold MK V Phono Preamp. If you are looking for a great sounding MM this is one. Of course YMMV but you can buy from Music Direct and try it out. If it doesn't work for you you can always return it. Good Luck
Musical surroundings NOVA ll $1200 or the Phonomena II $600 would be a perfect match for your rig! And you can play any cartridge through either with almost infinite settings. Great sound too! I don’t think you should restrict yourself to MM, if this is going to be the last phono pre you buy then this should be the one. Great company too.

Matt M
I also think the Graham Slee Era-Gold would be a very nice choice. If you join the Slee forum you can audition the Gold for 2 weeks for just the price of shipping. Well worth a try.
I can very highly recommend the K&K Audio Trio. It punches way above it's cost. I've been in this hobby for 3 decades, this is my last phono preamplifier. I bought one in the last year. Not sure if Kevin is still making them though. He is excellent to deal with.
+1 on the Croft RIAA. Superb phono stage.

I'm running Shuguang Custom12AX7 LS tubes in mine.
Simaudio Moon 310LP gets my vote every time

But it's little brother - the 110LP is also extremely good
http://www.simaudio.com/en/product/40-phono-preamplifier.html

It handles MC and MM and is extremely quiet - even at full volume

I have an older version of the 310LP and I won't be selling it any time soon simply because it is superb.

The 110LP shares many of the design principles of the 310LP - it has a great lineage

Regards


I would also consider the least expensive phono stage by Sutherland, called Vibe, I think. $900 new, I heard that it is very smooth and sounds real nice. There are no discounts on Sutherlands. It is available on-line with the possibility of return.
I"m using an iFi Phono2 now in my system.  For $500 I don't think you can beat it.  Fremer reviewed it on Analog Planet recently.
If you are interested in a tube based phono pre you should consider the K&K Audio Trio. The most recent addition to the K&K stable is a budget priced kit that "errors" on side of slightly added "warmth" at the expense of less analytic detail. I have built one for a customer of Kevin's and had a chance to listen to it in my system. I was very impressed, very musical and easy to listen to. Check out the details here: http://http//www.kandkaudio.com/trio-phono-stage/