Phono pre-amp advice

FootHealer

Active Member
Hi all,

So, I have a Project Xpression turntable (no built in pre-amp) which I currently connect to the built-in MM phono-preamp of my Rotel A11 Tribute amp. It sounds good, but I am wondering if it would sound better with a separate external phono pre-amp. I have tried one before, a Project Phono Box, but, frankly, it sounded worse (it was second-hand and may have been faulty).

Is it really worth upgrading the phono preamp with a budget external preamp (less than £200)? Will it produce noticeable or any very slight changes in the sound? And if so, which ones would be recommended?

Thanks in advance.

Foothealer
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I suspect that you won't gain much at that price point and may be better off buying some source material to play.

The Pro-ject you've dismissed would have been the obvious suggestion. Another option might by the Cambridge Audio Alva Solo. The Alva Duo is over your budget, but it's worth stretching if you can. The NAD PP2e is a sub-£200 option.
 

musicphil

Active Member
iFi Zen is a fantastic phono stage.

In fact if they sold it for double the cost, it would still be a bargain!
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
@FootHealer - I have a Rega Fono MkIi (£200) connected to my Rega Brio, which is a well rated piece of kit.

It looks really cool and I’m told it’s phono stage from the Rega Elex but tbh I’d don’t hear a huge difference between the Fono and the Phono in the Brio.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
@FootHealer - I have a Rega Fono MkIi connected to my Rega Brio, which is a well rated piece of kit.

It looks really cool and I’m told it’s phono stage from the Rega Elex but tbh I’d don’t hear a huge difference between the Fono and the Phono in the Brio.
Hi,

That's my suspicion...is that it may make a very small difference, but not one worth £150. I am happy with the built in preamp of my Rotel. Was just wondering if a external pre amp would improve the sound enough to justify the cost. From your experience, perhaps not...
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Hi,

That's my suspicion...is that it may make a very small difference, but not one worth £150. I am happy with the built in preamp of my Rotel. Was just wondering if a external pre amp would improve the sound enough to justify the cost. From your experience, perhaps not...
Prior to the Brio, I had a Yamaha RN602 Receivers. Great piece of kit but a lot of features which all cost, so £ for £ the phono stage was a lot cheaper than that in the Brio and the sound was noticeable with the addition of the external phono stage.
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
I had Schiit until I found the iFi Zen Phono :rotfl::rotfl:
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Prior to the Brio, I had a Yamaha RN602 Receivers. Great piece of kit but a lot of features which all cost, so £ for £ the phono stage was a lot cheaper than that in the Brio and the sound was noticeable with the addition of the external phono stage.
My suspicion is that it'll be a upgrade that produces little real audible benefit for the money spent. Thought I'd check to see if I am wrong. The pre-amp in the Rotel is decent, and it's only 4 months old. Perhaps I'll stick with that then. I know there are far better pre-amps out there, but they will end up costing close to the price of my integrated amp, which seems silly.
 
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Ascotbilly

Active Member
“I know there are far better pre-amps out there, but they will end up costing close to the price of my integrated amp, which seems silly.”

- Agreed, I reckon I wouldn’t have bought the pre amp if I’d had the Brio first. Upgraditis certainly cost me there, as did possibly not upgrading speakers instead of amps.

All lessons learnt which taught me to think twice nowadays. Very happy with my kit but from experience and playing sources I’d probably select something very different if given the same spend tomorrow
 
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old45s

Standard Member
Schiit joke, dude!
The actual 'joke' was waiting 4 months for my Shiit Mani to arrive in Sydney from the U.S.
But.. well worth the wait!
Paired with my Ortofon Bronze it has no hums or hisses (as other people sometimes complain about) and.. I'm suddenly hearing real clearer percussion/cymbals and tambourines as opposed to 'recordings' of them.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
The actual 'joke' was waiting 4 months for my Shiit Mani to arrive in Sydney from the U.S.
But.. well worth the wait!
Paired with my Ortofon Bronze it has no hums or hisses (as other people sometimes complain about) and.. I'm suddenly hearing real clearer percussion/cymbals and tambourines as opposed to 'recordings' of them.
Postal constipation. No Schiit. No happy ;)

Glad it works well for you :) May try one of their products at a future point. 4 months is a long time to wait.
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
Postal constipation. No Schiit. No happy ;)

Glad it works well for you :) May try one of their products at a future point. 4 months is a long time to wait.
I wouldn't put up with that sort of Schiit. I would complain to the Mani
 

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