What are your comments on the Karan Ph2?


I wonder if anyone is using this phono-amp and can advise comments or opinioins. It seems rare on the market and I'd like to know where it stands in the scheme of things.

Thank you.
First and foremost I am the North American Distributor of Karan so take anything I say with a lot of salt. I have listened to the Karan Acoustics PH2 on and off for over a year, both in its original form and the new upgraded version, the MK II. I have compared it to a number of other phonostages, more and less expensive. The build quality is superb and it is adjustable (though these are internal and the adjustments are not infinite). The original version was very musical and quiet but not as wide a soundstage as I would like. As we carry a number of other high end stages I did compare it to them and it was most favorable. A customer compared it to another high end stage and chose it over his existing stage, in part due to the fact it had no issues with rf interference, a significance with his previous unit. The KA Ph2 has recently been upgraded to a mk II status and this is a significant improvement. The upgrade can be done on older models. The soundstage has opened up much more. As with most Karan Acoustic gear, it has a very liquid, tube like quality. As to whether you will like it, phonostages are one of the most subjective pieces of equipment and the only way you will know is to listen to one in your system. Again my apologies for being overly positive or sounding like a sales pitch, it is not perfect, but as most people won't have had experience with it. We are planning to show at CES and hope to remedy this. I hope this is of some help.
Best of luck

Thank you for your comments, it was most helpful.

Could you tell me what were the high-end stages that you compared them to? You don't need to do a one-to-one comparison, just to know the brands in the group. If you could, tell me where the Karan rank in your preference.

I had the opportunity to audition the Karan PH2 MK2 for a 2 week period against my resident ARC PH5

My system comprises LinnLP12/koetsu mc, Acoustic art preamp, ARC VM220 mono-blocks and Apogee signature loudspeakers

While I am a guy who generally prefers tube amplifiers, I have recently (reluctantly) found well designed solid state equipment to be just as good or better.

The Acoustic Arts pre-amp for example was a revelation and totally superior to my previous ARC SP11 in resolution, soundstage and bass extension. The AA preamp is also slightly warm and rates highly on the musicality scale.

But I needed a lot of convincing to consider replacing the PH5.

I found the Karan provided a much more rewarding musical experience. Improved resolution, tactility excellent soundstage with an overall warmth that's hard to resist. The Karan also provides a balanced output and more gain than the PH5 which I consider beneficial.

Amazingly there are virtually no reviews on the net so I hope this post encourages others to provide their views on the Karan PH2.

The ARC PH5 is superbly engineered and still a very good phono stage. It provided a HUGE step up over my previous SP11 phono stage. But to my ears the PH5 is a tad veiled and micro dynamics are a bit lacking compared to the Karan PH2 MK2.

It cost me real money to change over to the Karan PH2 but I found the sonic improvement too great to resist.

If you can find one of these phono stages you will find the audition very worth while!