Which sub $1k phono stage to go?

Right now I am in the market of a sub $1k phonoe stage, and I need some advice. My setup is VPI MK IV, Rega RB300, and Benz Micro Glider. The rest of the system is YBA integre Delta DT and Atlantis Seolane, harmonic teck wires all through. I am using Musical Fidelity X-LP (the older can model), and I feel it is the bottle neck in the whole system. It lacks the resolution and details, and bass is not satisfying either. While I can't audit all the phono preamps out there in the market, so I am wondering if you can point me to the right direction on what phono stage I should audit, and also if there is anything I need to do to improve the rest of the system. Thanks a lot for your time.


i'm using a glider l2 on a scout/jmw-9 combo, and for the last month or so have been blown away with the dynavector
while it can accomodate any cart, it has advanced technology for it really shine with low output mc's. it's fairly new to these (US) shores, so you won't find much about it, although if you do a search in the audio asylum, you'll see some very positive comments. can be had for $595 at music direct. and here's dynavector's link:

Wright WPP-100C.
Thanks Sberger, did you compare dynavector to other phone preamps?
used a phonomena and grado ph-1. both have their positive qualities, but ultimately, no match for the p-75.
Did you read where the Graham Slee Era Gold mKV made class A in stereophile. I couldn't agree more!
I am currently doing a demo of the new Blue Circle BC27. MSRP $595.00
I took home the one Gilbert Yeung brought to CES.

I like what I hear. Clean, quiet and musical like most Blue Circle gear.

I am writing up comments, which I will post as a Audiogon review very shortly..
Try some good power filtration on your phonostage and watch what will happen to resolution, details and bass slam.
Just bought the EAR 834P and I like it.
Psychicanimal, can you elaborate a little more on this?

Start looking into modifying your 834P. You have time, there is no hurry and in the mean time you are getting to know the sound. Once you do modify your unit you will really appreciate how much performance you have purchased.
Now that I have all this gain,my speakers are doing the bounce bounce again. I may have to get a shelf and mount it to the wall behind the entertainment center. This would make the old lady quite happy.

Antique Sound Lab valve phono preamp at less than 300 and easily modified. Nice unit and it looks cool, too.

Here is a link to the unit:
This was the one I chose. Todd The Vinyl Junkie has a 30day return policy, also some of the other models. Suggest you demo what ya can, and decide which is best value. Some of the less expensive ones may have better synergy with your setup/cables, wont know til ya try. Common sense usually applies on things like power supplies etc...
Please post your findings on the ASL phono preamp after you've had time to play with it once it is broken in.
If it is the high-output version, the Graham Slee ERV Gold MkV is hard to beat. I'm using it, and it is nothing short of breathtaking. It also was just ranked Class A by Stereophile. If its low-output, move up to the Graham Slee Elevator EXP. I'm using the combination with a Shelter 501 MkII, and the sound is incredible.
This may not be for you, but I've built one of the Nelson Pass/PassDIY Pearl phono stages. You can find techincal details at www.passdiy.com.

For about $250 in parts and a case, I've got an excellent phono stage with low noise and fabulous dynamics. If, howeve, you're not comfortable with a soldering iron and less-than-detailed instructions, this may not be your best approach.

I'm *really* impressed, however, with the results.


I have a MF XLPS can also and just bought a used Acoustech PH1P for 1000$ and could not be happier,what a difference albums I could not listen to before sound good now and ones that were good sound great now
I have the ASL mini phono and it sounds smooth and natural music with Mullard 12AX7 tubes. The bass is not punchy and fast as SS phono stage but the mid and high have more details. I owned EAR 834P, Sonic Frontiers SP-1, and various SS broadcasting phono stages and the ASL has the most natural musical sound. For less than $200 used, the ASL is music to my ears. The suspension of the phono stage is critical, it can really improve the sound . Please provide any modification if you awared of.