Tavish Vintage vs Bottlehead Eros


My AES PH-1 just doesn;t have the gain for my Soundsmith Otello cartridge. I've gotten down to these two phono preamps and would love any input on them. I like a warmish musical sound with a large well defined stage. Good detail retrieval helps, but a little less won't sink the deal. Cool, analytical or a flat stage is a definitely a no go....
Tavish uses the same 6SL7s and I love their sound. They'll also tweak a build for me to bring the MM gain up to suit my needs - pretty sweet.
Bottlehead Eros is a little unknown to, but looks and reviews to be outstanding for the price. The gain is fine at 50db
If anyone
budburma
I have been using the Tavish Design Vintage with the upgrade Tung Sol tubes for about 6 months.  It repacked the IFI Iphono2.  I find it to have a wider deeper soundstage and to be very quiet. Detail is better than the IPhono 2 which is good for its price. I can’t say much about the warmth because I think that’s system dependent.  I’ll just say I don’t plan to replace the Tavish anytime soon.

I'd go with the Tavish. Good reviews and more easily resold if necessary, and you like the tubes. Isn't the Bottlehead a kit? 
I too have the Vintage with the Tun sol tubes. Also have had it for about six months. This is a great phono amp. Very clean and great tone and sound stage. I’m keeping mine also.
Tavish it is! That all makes great sense.
Yes, the Eros is a kit, but there are a couple already built ones for sale now 

Thanks - I really appreciate the input.

I’m pretty psyched: Scott’s going to adjust the and I live close enough to pick it up to boot. Sweeeet!
That's cool! I picked mine up on ebay for $350. I could not believe it or pass it up. I think You will be happy with it. I'm using it with a Music Hall MMF-7.3 TT and an Ortofon 2m Black mm cart. Very good clean detailed and just plain "musical" sounding for lack of a better word. Enjoy!
Soundsmith Otello

I have one as a backup cart. I prefer MC.
The Otello is a great performer, especially for the price.

The Otello works fine with typical MM gain.


My set up ran out of volume/gas w/the 38db of the AES and was much better with the 45db from the internal MM stage on my VPI 299d. Not so fond of the SS sound out of that set up though. Too bad - the AEE is pretty great sounding. The Otello is a goid match with the SME arm and modded vintage Thorens.

I’m looking forward to some enjoying some tunes! $350 is a great buy. I often wonder who gets those deals - an EAR 834p just th it snatched for $450....right place right time! Timing isn’t personsal, just everything 
The Tavish should sound quite good.  How do I know?  I just looked at the schematics, and it is a dead ringer for my Cornet design (at least the tube part of it).  They modified EQ a tad by adding R105 and R110 to reduce variation caused by tubes, but paid a price for it with added noise and increased Miller effect.  
@hagtech I've been looking at, considering and mulling over your Cornet for some time.  It is very much on my sonic mind and comes up consistently in my musings. That said, I really like the 6SL7 sound. so your tube rectified octal version was really attractive to me (...except for the gain...). So is your Cornet3 actually. I'm a bit of a tweak geek and when I see the 3 and the kits that came before, I start looking at the upgraded cap and resistor path right away to warm and round the sound...one of my many symptoms. 12ax7's cost for NOS these days is also a drag.
Mods are not so easy without the kit being available and my solder jockey retired...However, the Cornet3 does have the gain I'm looking for and 6SL7's are generally lower in the 38db range - the Tavish offers a preceding jfet stage (modifiable) to add a little gain which can be modified to order and so, there it is "like so much fish guts on the table"
budburma 

I have a Tavish Designs Adiago with 44db gain going thru a passive preamp and was using a MM cartridge with an output of 5.5mv .
I have wanted to try a Soundsmith cartridge for a long time 
but few used ones ever came up for sale , 
at the same time I was hesitant because of the low output of 2.12mv .
When a used Carmen ES MKII came on the market I jumped at it 
and to my suprise NO problem with the lower output ,
as a matter of fact my volume setting only went up from 
12-13 to 13-14  when I was expecting it to be up to 18-20 out of 24 !