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admin's picture
Last seen: 5 days 13 hours ago
Joined: 04/09/2013 - 14:19
Posts: 51603
Phono Stage Question


Relatively new into the whole Hi-Fi Seperates (lifestyle - because that is what it's slowly becoming), I would like some advice using external phono stages.

Basically, I am looking at slowly upgrading/buying new kit and I have been told a phono stage would be a good place to start with. I only tend to listen to vinyl hence the lack of other seperates at the moment, so was wondering how much difference would I expect to hear purchasing a good phono stage rather than using my Yamaha AS-500s phono output .

Any replies would be welcome and please excuse if I have missed anything (this is a first post after all).


nopiano's picture
Last seen: 21 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 15/02/2009 - 19:25
Posts: 2776
RE: Phono Stage Question

Welcome, sparky!

Are you using a MC pre-amp or transformer not listed in your signature?  AFAIK the Yamaha has a good MM pre-amp, but your Ortofon is a low-output type, so definitely needs more help.  This will make a HUGE difference!

Alternatively, consider upgrading to a newer cartridge - the Vivo Red is £200, but you'd get 25% off if you px your old model (in the UK).  How old is your MC15 super?



Generally, a separate phono preamp will give you better sound and greater refinement, but by the same token will open the window wider (so more muck flies in).  I'd imagine that say £300 on a decent preamp might be better spent of a new cartridge or upgrading the TT - near to a RP6 - with power supply and belt tweaks.  On the face of it, I'd improve the TT first, then the cartridge and then the preamp.  By then, i might be considering upgrading the whole amp....!      


Michell Tecnodec/Rega/Grado record player, Marantz SA14s1 SE SACD player, Primare I32 amp, Hitachi tuner, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Chromecast audio, Sonus faber Concerto Grand Piano spkrs. Qobuz Sublime sub.

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