vinyl-only setups

I'm wondering about the type of setups that some of you might be using in a vinyl-only situation?

I originally intended for my vinyl setup to be a headphones-only affair, but it has since taken on a life of it's own. Now I rarely listen to cd's on the system that was the "main" setup in my living room.

I've been successful at running a Musical Fidelity X-LPSv3 directly into a Sony N55ES power amp that has it's own attenuator. I'd like to upgrade these pieces, but would like to keep the setup simple. I like the idea of having a phono-pre directly driving a power amp. I doubt that I would use need of the inputs available on a line stage/preamp/integrated.
You might want to reconsider the 'phono only' setup. Nothing more satisfying that recording that precious vinyl on to Open reel. My wife hasn't played a record in 25 years, she does however use the reel to reel regualrly. Use a high quality preamp.. you won't miss a thing. Oh, and you also might want to try dubbing your favorite CD's on to open reel. I don't know why, but they suddenly become listenable. I know many, many others who do so and have experienced the same thing.
Thanks, Norman

It seems that the this kind of setup would limit the number of gear choices that are available. Not many phono preamps have attenuators. They also may not have adequate output to properly drive a power amp.

I just might end up going with a tube integrated - even though I don't need all of the inputs - and run my phono pre into that.

I don't own an Open Reel deck, but it sounds like fun :)
The EAR 834P comes with a volume control, and sounds excellent.
Would the EAR 834P w/volume control have enough output to drive a power amp properly? I guess that it would depend upon the input sensitivity of the amp. My X-LPS will drive my Sony power amp, but probably not as well as a true preamplifier.
I don't know the specs, but I drove many amplifiers using the EAR as a stand-alone unit, once I rolled the right tubes in it sounded very dynamic and exciting. Would very likely be a considerable step up over the X-LPS too, it's dead quiet and does MM/MC.
Johnnantais -

I strongly considered looking at the EAR, but I'm not sure that my current power amp would do it justice. At the moment, I'm looking at a tube-integrated as being the simplest (cost effective) solution.

When I do decide to upgrade the Phono-Pre, the EAR will definitely be on my short list.

Thanks to all that posted or e-mailed replies :)
The manley stealhead has 2 MC inputs, 1 MC input & a line level input. Volume control or fixed output. It will work great for you and it sounds great when used alone as phono and preamp. If I were doing TT only I would have purchased it. I need pass through for my setup and felt the Nagra VPS sounded better in my system.
For vinyl only I use the single-ended inputs of the MC 275 MK IV tube power amp that have high quality attenuators so can drive a top phonopre like Graham Slee Elevator+ Revelation, Tron Seven or Tom Evans Groove +. It is better to have the volume control at the end of the chain to degrade less the sound IMHO. The result compared with signal passing through a linestage (ARC LS 25 MKII in my case ) is: much more transparent, increased inner details on the whole spectrum, faster transcients better PRAT,increased dynamics. The quality of interconnects is very important( PAD P Provectus).
Curiously the digital and tuner does not benefit of direct amp connect, so I use the XLR inputs of the MC 275 for Linestage with those, so I can benefit of remote control with digital, perfect because not for careful listening.
So for me the Mc Intosh Mc 275 MK IV represents the perfect "vinyl only" amp not to say that it is a bargain for the wonderful sound it delivers, even more with tube rolling !