Tube phono pre amps

Awaiting my Origin Live Resolution TT I recently paid for. The Resolution was $1000 more than I anticipated spending for a tt. This puts me financially in a position to spend no more than approximately $1500:for a phono pre amp. Thinking of a tube phono pre to pair with my Willsenton R8 which I love. Listen to Jazz and classical . Any thoughts ? 
Thank You All.


As always, finding a very good used one will get you more than buying new.

hifishark is a great place to find used equipment

here is ’tube phono’; USA only; sorted by first seen, new first. (to snap something you know you want before someone beats you to it).

after that, I switch to Canada, a lot of good stuff up there.

you can sort by price, and you can put a range of prices, min/max. I do suggest viewing a few hundred over your budget, sometimes a very desirable item pops up

. For protection, I ask and get answers in writing; then use PayPal, and I fund PayPal with my best credit card which gives 2 layers of protection as well as the written answers you received..

These are pretty good and they are on sale.  Only a wee bit more than your target. 


Hagerman Cornet II  great sound for a good price


I went through 4-5 tube phono pres before landing on this on

He can get a Hagerman Trumpet MC (better than Cornet, though I'm sure that's a great value too), still well under budget at just under $1300. Stupid good, fun sound for the money. Responds very well to tube rolling (not all tube phono stages do).

OP - Congrats on your TT purchase.

I had the Resolution Mk4 and an Illustrious arm for a spell and they’re excellent.

Also, Mark and David are good to deal with if you need any support.

You’re on the mark thinking about a tube phono for the Resolution as I found mine to err towards detail retrieval and dynamics, perhaps at the expense of a little body in the mids and heft in the bottom end. Very minor quibble and I found it easily addressed by having tubes in the chain, and of course, the right choice of cartridge.

There’s an Allnic H1201 floating around for $1400 which is a good deal. I have one of those and it worked really well with the Resolution/Illustrious. I also ran a Manley Chinook with the Origin Live deck and that has even more warmth and body.

I think a used Chinook is in your price range..

Congratulations! A seriously cool looking table.


Tube phono stage good idea. Spend as much as you can, they really make a huge difference. I don’t know that price range so I can’t make a recommendation for a new one. I would recommend used… Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, VAC, or Presto.

For a couple of reasons I am temporarily back with my Quad 24p (four 6111 tubes). It handles MM and MC carts and has both fixed and variable outputs (so you don’t have to use a pre-amp if you are vinyl only!)

It is warmer and richer than my NuVista Vinyl, but doesn’t have all the various loading options. You have to trust Tim deParavicini (RIP) to make the right choices, and I think he did. Even though I use a 4-way switchbox to use two MI and two MC carts with it, it makes me wonder why I bought the NuVista. It’s about $1700 new, so a used example should be in the right range.

Thanks Hoytis for turning me on to Softone. The few reviews I’ve read by owners all are happy. May pull the trigger in the next couple of days. 


He can get a Hagerman Trumpet MC (better than Cornet, though I'm sure that's a great value too), still well under budget at just under $1300. Stupid good, fun sound for the money. Responds very well to tube rolling (not all tube phono stages do).

+1 Don’t really think you can beat it for the $. And can improve upon it as you get your feet wet. Tubes, power supply….

I have my Origin Live Aurora and Zypher connected to a Black Ice F159. And then connected to a Cayin HA-300B. 

The combo sounds fantastic. While listed above what you you’ve stated, they sold it to my for just under $1,500 new. They were just demoing this at FLAX. So lots of info out there. Black Ice makes excellent gear right in Maryland. If these things are important to you. 


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I would check out the PH16 kit. If you can solder, will be the best bang for the buck. If you can't solder, then you can have it assembled and tested just under $1K.

This one has interested me for a while for $800

Vincent PHO-701 MM/MC tube phono pre w/ outboard power supply

@detroitwing Prior to purchasing a new Phon', I would suggest the R8 is investigated a little further, as there is a lot to be offered, if the 6SN7 Tube is exchanged for the Psvane CV181T-MkII Tube.

A Phon' will still be available with the remaining funds, I would look at the Mr Nixie Digna, it is designed / produced by a very competent EE, with a time served history in designing Audio/Recording equipment.

For myself to find a Phon' that was to compete with the Digna, it took a few long round trip travels to Bake Off Events. Where it was competing with Phon's up to the £10K purchase Value.

It took Phon's with a £4K+ Value at Bake Off's before it was noticeable something as attractive or more attractive was in use, usually the Phon's exceeding this value were the ones that showed there were differences worthy of consideration.

It took a Bespoke Built Phon' produced to my own custom finish to have the Digna used as very enjoyable and regularly put to use second Phon'.

The Designer Producer of the Bespoke Phon' I own, was talking of £10K for that Phon' if it was to be marketed, which it nearly was, but along came COVID and a Investor pulled out.

Throwing figures around is not ideal to give a assessment of a device, but it does help show where there is real value for money, and when a device punches well above it weight.

When in use, I have the Digna and the Bespoke Phon' almost used in parity, the Digna excels with a SUT and Head Amp along with its multi adjustable MC Stage, so a lot of very enjoyable experiences can be attained from one unit for a extremely fair price.    

Appreciate all the thoughtful responses. Recently saw a YT video of Herb Reichert talking about a Sun Valley All purpose phono eq . It’s what he uses for his turntable. Anyone have any experience with this phono pre ?  It can be purchased as a kit or fully assembled ( which I would prefer). He also has a review in Stereophile with glowing remarks. 
Thank You one and all.