the ps audio mark 4 preamp mm/mc phono section is great. pre also has active/passive, external power supply with other bells and whistles for an older unit. used 100.-150
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Elevick makes a very good point, particularly in light of the many fine low output cartridges around these days. I owned a Marantz 3650 once that had a pretty damn good phono section and allowed for MM and MC. Might be worth nosing around for one if you want to go that route.
Opinions on the 3650 to be used today?
Audible Illusions M3A is one of the better pre-amps around, plus it has the "standard" phono section for MM and the "Gold Board" upgrade for cartridges which have less than one mV of output.
What's the rest of the system your working with- table, cart, amp, speakers? What's your budget? What kind of music? What are you trying to accomplish with the addition of a pre- upgrade, just play some records, etc.?
thanks for asking the millon dollar question...
i recently acquired a sota star III, ET 2 tonearm and Audioquest B200 cartridge.(vaccum holddown and electronic flywheel)
so i am looking for:
2 sets of interconnects ( please suggest)
phono stage ( please suggest)
junction box (din or rca) ( please suggest)
the rest of my system:
pse hl-1 hybrid pre
pse studio v monoblocks
alon II speakers
straightwire crescendo ic's
mit 750 plus s3 on top
van den hul revealtion hybrid on bottom
(in case you havent heard - pse, the gear is very similar sonic signature to the muse line- neutral, transparent, dynamic- the hl-1 pre bettered the bat vk 5i in my system)
i am new to analog and would like start off with a used $300 range phono stage ( either a ps audio 5.5, 5.0, or audible 2) and evently move to audio research ph or audible illusions III).
my musical taste is very broad....classical, 60's, 70's (popular and rock) and new albums.
as much as i like my marantz i would like to start collecting analog....there is more music out there that sounds better than digital and cheaper.
i try to buy musical and reasonabley priced components and your suggestions would be appreciated.
I use an early 90s vintage MFA Magus with some mods, which has about 46db gain in the phono stage. It has 20db gain in the linestage. It has an excellent phono stage that is highly regarded for its price range(under $1500) new. All tube, except the power supply which is in a separate box on an umbilical. Two 12AX7, one 12AT7, and one 6922.
Does the trick very nicely for me, and they can be had for under $800 used. Sometimes you can find them around $600 or $700. Re-capping, re-jacking, and re-wiring can be beneficial on these models.