Tom Evans Groove X, Aesthetix Rhea or JLTI

I've been looking at phono preamps over the past couple days. At this point it seems that my phono pre (Wright WPP 100c) may be the weak link in my system. So in the spirit of audiophilia it would seem that I should try to squeeze out another 2-4% out of my system.

I'm told that the Aesthetix rhea will be too noisy with my Benz Ebony L because of its very low .26mv output. A shame really since I found one at a pretty god price used. Then there is the Tom Evans Groove X, But I haven't been able to find much info on it. Then too the Groove does not have adjustable gain which I consider important. Therefore I am leaning towards the JLTI which has adjustable loading and gain. The JLTI, along with the TE Groove has a small footprint which will also be beneficial since I don't have proper room in my rack for a full size unit.

So i think I've answered my own question, The JLTI is also about $1k cheaper also. Therefore the JLTI may not be the final phono pre, but it may be a step up from the Wright and feed the Teres better until I can take a bigger step up. Is there something I may be missing. Is the JLTI a big step up from the Wright, which I also consider a great over achiever? Thoughts?
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Showing 4 responses by restock

I frankly preferred the JLTI in a direct comparison with the Rhea - the JLTI offered more detail, more refinement, more control in the bass with some of the best separation between instruments of any phonostage. Not quite the rich tonal colours of my Shindo phono, but the JLTI is still a great phonostage IMO. If you are looking for compact the JLTI could be an almost final solution.

P.S.: I owned a Wright WPP200C before the JLTI.
Artemus, I found the JLTI to be a significant step up from the Wright in terms of resolutions and detail. In comparison the Wright sounded veiled, closed in and very diffuse in spatial resolution.

I had the JLTI which uses the RCA loading plugs and I made myself several ones with Vishay resistors. With the loading plugs you are not really restricted in loading, just get the values you like and get a bunch of RCA Basic bullet plugs or so.
Artemus, the JLTI will certainly give you a different flavor and a taste of what resolution analog can have. Also although the upgraded PS is a worthwhile upgrade it takes away from the excellent value of the phonostage (as it makes the combo so much more expensive).
Jmcrogan - the reason why there was no mention of loading for the old TE Groove was that all of them were custom made with a set value for loading - no variable loading. Only the new models have flexible loading options.