Which entry level phono stage, Graham Slee or Pro-

Hi all,

I'm looking to get a decent phono stage, and in my price range it seems to boil down to the Pro-ject tube box or the graham slee amp 2 SE, both used. At the moment I'm using the om-5 cart that came w my pro-ject debut, so MM, and am not sure if and when I'll try MC. I've read the reviews of the graham which claim its dedication to MM gives it an edge soundwise over similar phono stages that cater to both. Have you all found this to be true? I'm also curious about how much of a tube sound one can get from a phono stage alone. Anyway, any and all help is appreciated.

I never tried the ones you mention but both are great choices as an entry level. I have a Project phono box SE and I really like it.
The tube box can be "improved" by tube rolling, it may be more versatile.
I´m afraid I can´t say much more
I have hte Graham Slee Era Gold IV and am very pleased with it. I bought it as a demo model. If you decide on a phono stage you will do yourself justice by upgrading your cartridge too. The stage will only sound as good as your cartridge.
There are a lot of good phono stages emerging in the $600-and-under category. For a long time Slee held the position for the $1K stage, but not necessarily the $500 one. Now there are many more and the Tube box is certainly one of them, but there are also the Creeks at $250 and $450 depending on whether you need MC or not, the new Grado PH-1, Musical Fidelity X-LPS V8, Clearaudio Smartphono, and especially, the Musical Surroundings Phonomena II, which has dual banks of DIP switches to optimize gain and resistance to a specific cartridge.

In its most recent analog issue, TAS seemed to really like the $600 Phonomena II, perhaps a bit better than the $925-1195 Slee Era Gold models.
Thanks everyone, I guess I should've specified my budget as closer to $200 used, which is what the Slee 2 SE and the tube box seem to be going for, roughly. Has anyone used both of these boxes and can comment on them? Thanks.
In that case, I'd look at the new Musical Fidelity V-LPS. There's a real good chance that this will equal or exceed the performance of a $200 used piece that was $500 five years ago. So far the units from MF's new V series are getting some enthusiastic reviews.
not to confuse the issue for you, but consider the Sim Audio LP3, which does both MM & MC, and for the money is considered a very good entry level phono stage. I've only used it with MM carts, but have been impressed. It is dead quiet, neutral, and fast. I've seen it offered in the $350-450 range used.
In the price range you're looking for, I'd suggest the Bellari VP129. I run one with my Merrill chassis-modified AR Turntable fitted with a Linn Akito arm, a Benz Micro Ace high output cartridge, and silver wire interconnects, and the Bellari sounds just fine. A google search will access reviews, if you need more reference on this little red tubed audio gem.

If you're diligent and act fast, you can pick a Bellari VP129 on the audiogon pages (I saw one here now!) for around $150.00.

Good luck, and good listening!
Graham Slee is wide bandwith very very hard to beat in SS phonostages ballroom