The Cornet would be an upgrade IMO, and if you're looking for a real killer, get the K&K kit.
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Divo, I wouldn't say the K&K easily surpasses the Hargerman Trumpet. I have had both in my system and each has its positives and negatives in comparison to one another. Overall the differences were pretty subtle. The K&K SE is quieter, with tighter bass, and is a bit more dynamic. However, in comparison to the Trumpet the soundstage is a bit smaller. The Trumpet had better mids and high end extension. I would say the biggest negative of the Trumpet in my system had nothing to do with the sound, but rather its footprint. It was hard to place, which is why the K&K is now in my system as it easily fits on a rack and does offer a MC option, another bonus.
Thanks guys for your feedbacks.
Would really like to hear from AES Ph1 owners (or previous owners) who have upgraded to any of the aforementioned Tube phono stages.
Don't get me wrong, the AES PH-1 is NOT a bad preamp.
I just need more gain and looking to better it with existing tube phono kits out there.($500-$1500 range).
Hopefully there's somebody out there who has taken this route.
I've read a lot of reviews on the mentioned phono stages (Cornet2, K&K, Tercel, Seduction,& Wp200C) but none on direct comparisons yet w/ the Audio electronic Supply Ph-1 by Cary Audio.
Not being difficult here just clarifying.
Got similar results from Audio Asylum post.
I am ashamed to admit I did'nt build it, but the K&K is the best stage I have had in my system. It is quiet and abolisherd the RFI problem I had experienced with every other stage I have had. Nice sound , but not lush and tube like, good across the frequency exchange. As a bonus, Kevin is great to deal with. I don't know why, but the owners of so many small US companies seem so good to deal with, Tyler, Daedalus, K&K, Ridge street, all were patient and very helpful. Perhaps it's because they are all enthusiasts too.