Your Nominations: Top Phono Stages under $1,000


Replacing a Pro-Ject Tube Box ll...New table and cart: VPI Scout 1.1 with Ortofon 2M Black. Can I make a significant improvement and spend less then $1K?
larseand
Should mention I'm not opposed to used owned equipment.
Here ya go!
http://www.needledoctor.com/Croft-RIAA-Phono-Preamp?sc=2&category=73182
How about the  ifi Micro iPhono 2 at half your budget?

 A used Fosgate Signature phono stage. All tube and supports MC cartridges. It is an excellent sounding phono stages and goes for around a thousand used.



"A used Fosgate Signature phono stage. All tube and supports MC cartridges. It is an excellent sounding phono stages and goes for around a thousand used."

lostbears- really,around $1K?!!  I have the V.2  purchased new 6 year ago.
Got mine for $2k. Great unit which I preferred over another popular model-Manley Chinook. I see those go as low as  $1400ish.

I hate to face the reality of most audio gear-this stuff just doesn't hold value!
Great for the buyer.

Addressing the recommendation- look for the the V.2 model. It doesn't have the cheesy blue lights under the tubes, and circuit improvements over the V1.
True all tube-rectifier included. No step up Xfrmr-active gain for LOMC.
No, those 2 cans aren't step up transformers.
Surprisingly quiet, but not like the Manley, which does have a transistor is the gain path. 



Dynavector P75, I have one that I used for 5-6 months. I would let it go for $400.

 $1000. to $1200. I saw one go for $900 not that long ago. An excellent phono stage for that kind of money.


Vincent pho-700 with a nice, affordable, vintage rca clear top tube...very nice.
$900!!  Ouch, I'm never selling mine! That's a great buy. An even better buy for the 3rd owner if it were sold. I'm curious if the right compnents were upgraded, 
could the Foz sing a tad sweeter?

With a tube swap and power cord,the Foz will convince most ears tubes are the only way to hear a record. I'm sure a 5k unit is yet another step up, but the 
diminishing returns factor becomes quite apparent, especially in the wallet.

Moon LP110. sounds very good and is adjustable for both MM and MC.

Could not pass it up at $325.00 from Music Direct.  

Lounge Audio phono w/matching Copla step up amp.
@sunnyjim - I completely agree. That is a great price for the 110. I thought about purchasing one, several times, when it was on sale. Unfortunately, after being available at that price for several months, the price has gone back up to $695.
@yogiboy Yep, I second that recommendation!  The Croft is excellent.  

The iPhono2 is also a fantastic phono amp, but it really needs a linear power supply, which adds to the cost (but still keeps it under 1K).
+1 for the Lounge Audio phono stage w/matching Copla step up amp or a previously enjoyed LFD LE phono stage.

AudioResearch PH3 is still a champion under 1k.

Not too user friendly, but adjustable by re-soldering resistors and same with capacitors. This tube/hybrid can kill big giants and sounds far better than all tube.

I replaced the Tube Box II, which I liked, with a used Linn Linto. Far better, IMO. Absolutely not solid-state harsh, but more overall realism. And, no adjustments to screw around with. I have had the Linn for several years and have no desire to upgrade.  There is one up for sale on Ebay now, with a bid of $295 as of now.  I bet you could snag it for $600 or so.  
I have tried the Musical Sourroundings Phonomena Nova, Jasmine/Mockingbird LP2.5DU, Lehmann Black Cube, Dynavector P75 and Rega Aria.  I am most impressed with the Dynavector and the Rega in their respective price ranges.
My vote goes to the PS Audio GCPH. Highly versatile and sounds really good. Own 2 of them in my second system. Running accuphase LOMC (0.2mv) with no problems at all. Best of all it has a remote, mono and phase switch. 
Trilogy 906 phonostage is a superb phonostage. Heard it recently with a top spec Lp12 on a Wilson speaker.
Used Simaudio Moon 310 LP
For $1,000, the Croft RIAA phono stage is hard to beat.
For 499$ Van Alstine Vision is hard to beat ,
The Croft is excellent and you can roll tubes. The Van Alstine has a great reputation and uses ICs. 

BUDGIE! http://parksaudiollc.com/budgiepreamp.html
roll some NOS RCA or Russian Rockets in there and it sounds really impressive.

I also have a VPI Scout 1.1 and the Ortofon Bronze 2M....

db
I replaced my tube box with a Jolida JD9. $700 or upgraded for $900 new. I've been very pleased with my Mk I. If you find one used, that would be a great value. 
Hagerman Bugle 2. I have tried better, but always go back to the Bugle 2. Great pre, not only "for the price", but just great. No affiliation.
http://superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/ray-samuels-audio-f-117-nighthawk-giant-killer.17...
Lockheed called. They want their name back.
Post removed 
Just tell the dealer you have no intention of buying anything from them 
 "Just tell the dealer you have no intention of buying anything from them "
Don’t forget to take advantage of the free coffee and donuts from the dealer!
Luxman makes several standalone phono stages that sound very good. I use an E-200 and find it sounds excellent and will work in nearly any application with almost all cartridges. You don't see them used that often but they are under a grand when you do.

As a number of others have mentioned, the Croft is a wonderful unit. I replaced my Tube Box S with the Croft about a year ago, and am quite happy with the change.


I'll second that ARC PH-3 recommendation. Crazy good for the money.
Lounge Audio
By all accounts a used Sutherland, Tom Evans Microgroove would be worthy of your consideration. There's also the EAR 834p that depending on the version/vintage will sell below your maximum.
Own two iFi iPhono II's - versatility of loading via ( small) switches and the quietest phono stage I've ever had in my home. Own 2 Lounge Audio LCR III and one  Copla MC stage. In the last couple of months the Lounge Audio stuff has sorta landed and stayed - there's nothing "tube like" about the LCR - but great imaging both laterally and in terms of depth plus a simply beguiling ease  or flow to what comes thru these very inexpensive phono pre-amps. It's also really nice that they will build you a LCR with a 100kOhm input and lower capacitance (47pF in my case) at the cost of only having to wait a couple of extra days for the unit to ship.
Thanks for the shout-out Stonedeaf!
another vote for Croft - I have the RIAA-R in a vintage system with Apogee stage and i have to say it works incredibly well with my Grado.
I much preferred it to a Phenomena II+ ( yes I know it is 2x the money)


The phono stage without ability to change load resistors (not only for MC , but also for MM) is a waste of money. If you have never changed the load resistance for MM cartridge then you don’t know the sound of your MM cartridge. The best buy would be high gain MC/MM JLTi phono stage from Australia, everybody missed that one in the comments. User can change loading via resistor fitted RCA plugs (amazing feature). The price in USD is something like $750 (in Australian dollars it’s 990). This is the first phono stage i would recommend for anyone with limited budget! It’s the simpliest circuit based on "diamond" transistor. The older "premium" version was $1750 and review is here http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue28/jlti_phono.htm But the new version sounds even better, but looks not so "premium" to save cash in your pocket. 
Lehmann Audio Black Cube SE II used.
Just to throw another one out - Leema Acoustics Essential.
I've had it about a week and a hundred albums or so and I am very happy with it.
One reason the I got it was Art Dudley's review in Stereophile and his use of a DL-103D - probably my favorite cartridge.
I've got it paired with a 103D on a VPI Aries 2 on a RB900 arm and I can't find any weaknesses with it - quite and detailed with a big sound stage - it has a lot of everything.
Compared to any of my other preamps (Vincent PHO-8, ATA - Aural Thrills, Yaqin 23B and a custom build), it's in different league.

Art also like the Tavish phono stage. I own, and enjoy the Croft phono integrated. As mentioned a few times here, maybe the Croft phono stage. Off subject: runaround- I just bought my first Denon, but it is the Charisma (Denon) 103. It really is very impressive. It's just breaking in, but does especially well on rock. It's full bodied, and has this sweeping dynamic swing that is addictive. I haven't ran it through it's paces with other types of music quite yet. Back to the regularly scheduled programming.  
Parks Audio Budgie or Lounge Audio.  Different schools of thought, but both excellent.
Larseand another one to help confuse you even more. The Graham Slee line of phonostages should have something in your budget. The cool thing is if you join the forum they will let you listen to it in your home system. The cost is just the price of shipping. Not to mention the Old School Era Gold just won Michael Fremmer's phonostage shoot out. Not too scientific but a win in the column is a win. Well worth looking into.
https://www.analogplanet.com/category/phono-preamp-reviews/
https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/about/try-before-you-buy.html