Phono preamp help

BigbangBigbang Posts: 188
edited February 3 in 2 Channel Audio
I need some advice on a decent phono preamp. I purchased a great little Thule pre that does not have one built in.

I’m not sure of a budget because I have no idea what one might cost but if I could find something under 100 that would be great.

I have an ortofon omega mm cartridge

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

David
I like to listen, tinker, listen and repeat.

Comments

  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,184
    $100 would be tough. If that’s the budget, I’d probably buy a $20 one off Amazon to get by as you save some funds.

    $300 is probably the price range for a decent used one. I have been more than happy in the $400-$600 price range, but of course there are lots of options costing much, much more.
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,184
    What is the rest of your system? Turntable, amp, speakers...
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 1,280
    Suggesting a 400-600 dollar phono for a 36 dollar cartridge seems a bit overkill. Find yourself a used Cambridge Solo/651p or the like. The art dj pre on amazon gets lots of attention for the money
    2 Channel - Major reduction complete

    KEF LS50W I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Rega Fono MC I Audience Ohno ICs


  • BigbangBigbang Posts: 188
    The system is on the budget end

    Uturn turntable
    Adcom 545
    SDA-CRS
    SQB Touch
    Goodwill CD player
    I like to listen, tinker, listen and repeat.
  • BigbangBigbang Posts: 188
    I did see the DJ pre as well as the lititle bear 7 just to dip a bit into tubes. Thanks for that.
    I like to listen, tinker, listen and repeat.
  • displaynamedisplayname Posts: 409
    I would go for the UTurn Pluto at $100, about half that used - give/take.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Sony CDP-CE375 / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > JBL Studio 580 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • BigbangBigbang Posts: 188
    Good suggestion at .005 THD
    I like to listen, tinker, listen and repeat.
  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,184
    edited February 3
    stangman67 wrote: »
    Suggesting a 400-600 dollar phono for a 36 dollar cartridge seems a bit overkill. Find yourself a used Cambridge Solo/651p or the like. The art dj pre on amazon gets lots of attention for the money

    If he has his system listed in the sig, I can’t see it on my phone which is why I followed up with the gear question.

    Now seeing the gear, I agree.
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • tlainharttlainhart Posts: 66
    A lot of folks have recommended the Schiit Mani.

    I had a Hagerman Bugle that I liked, and was an improvement over the phono pre that I had in my Rogue Audio Sphinx at the time.

    Both are a little over your budget, but their versatility will allow you to change cartridges.




  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 8,237
    Get a used Parasound z-phono, you can get those for a hundy. Great bang for the buck. Not the USB version, just the regular z-phono.
  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,794
    Hey @Bigbang - I just bought Zach's Lounge Audio and it will be replacing my Cambridge Audio 651p. If all works out, I'll be listing the Cambridge for sale. I bought it off of Rick88 about a year and a half ago for $125 shipped (actually gave him more than his reduced price since he was needing to sell stuff quick to raise cash). I'll be listing it for $100 shipped. I don't have any current pictures, but here's the original ad. It's exactly the same condition as in those pics.

    https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/177236/fs-cambridge-audio-651p-mm-mc-phono-preamp#latest

    Let me know if you'd be interested and I'll give you first 'dibs' when I get around to swapping in the Lounge!

    No pressure, as there are a lot of other great suggestions above too! Just throwing it out there.

    -Al
  • BigbangBigbang Posts: 188
    edited February 5
    Al,

    I just ordered an art dj pre last night. It was 50 bucks and I’ve heard really good things about it although probably not as good as a Cambridge Audio 651p. I really appreciate the thought. I’m sure it will sell quick and if not Amazon just might get the dj returned.

    Thanks Al.

    David
    I like to listen, tinker, listen and repeat.
  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,794
    David - no worries! That Art DJ Pre looks like a neat little preamp. The adjustable gain is nice, and the price is great! If it doesn't work out for you, let me know. I'll give you first dibs on mine. I might have other interest as well, so no worries if you pass.

  • BigbangBigbang Posts: 188
    I did buy one. I like it. GE tubes sounds way better than the supplied tubes from China. Gotta ground it and sounds way better on low gain.

    Take all of this with a grain of salt because while I’ve listened to very high end systems this is the best I have owned to date so I have a somewhat limited range to compare.
    I like to listen, tinker, listen and repeat.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,310
    edited March 1
    These walk all over those GE tubes. By far the best tube i ever ran in my tube buffer.

    https://tubes-store.com/product_info.php?products_id=955

    Western Electric 403b was another but they are 40+$ a pair
  • Mikey081057Mikey081057 Posts: 6,586
    My New Year's resolution is 3840 × 2160

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  • Dr_WuDr_Wu Posts: 158
    Might I suggest MoFi's StudioPhono? Get an open box from Crutchfield for less than 250USD. Very flexible and great bang for your buck.
  • pitdogg2 wrote: »
    These walk all over those GE tubes. By far the best tube i ever ran in my tube buffer.

    https://tubes-store.com/product_info.php?products_id=955

    Western Electric 403b was another but they are 40+$ a pair

    Hey pitdogg2 do they match the tubes from tube store if you buy multiples or are they just all manufactured the same? I was checking out riverstone below and they match the specs but they are getting very old stock and checking them all. Makes sense to me but I’m just dipping my toes into this tube stuff. I bought a new to me B&K pre several months ago with no phono in so trying to get back to my vinyl. Thanks!

    https://www.riverstoneaudio.com/pair-of-ge-jan-5654w-vacuum-tubes
  • pitdogg2 wrote: »
    These walk all over those GE tubes. By far the best tube i ever ran in my tube buffer.

    https://tubes-store.com/product_info.php?products_id=955

    Western Electric 403b was another but they are 40+$ a pair

    Hey pitdogg2 do they match the tubes from tube store if you buy multiples or are they just all manufactured the same? I was checking out riverstone below and they match the specs but they are getting very old stock and checking them all. Makes sense to me but I’m just dipping my toes into this tube stuff. I bought a new to me B&K pre several months ago with no phono in so trying to get back to my vinyl. Thanks!

    https://www.riverstoneaudio.com/pair-of-ge-jan-5654w-vacuum-tubes

    Also, I really like the price of those Russian tubes! I need all the deals I can get with three kids. 😬
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,310
    I have not purchased from them. I used them for picture purposes. I bought mine off ebay from across the pond... Ukraine I believe. I paid much more for mine and I had no complaints. They were available matched from US sellers from time to time.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,984
    edited March 2
    FWIW...

    I bought some cheap-ish Rooski (well, Sovietsky, I suppose... NOS) tubes for the infamous flammulatory Monoprice hybrid amp from The Tube Store (https://www.thetubestore.com/ , not "The Tubes Store" https://tubes-store.com/ ) and I was very happy with the whole purchasing experience (and the tubes). I know nothing about The Tubes Store other than that they always come up when I search for certain tube types via Google. :)

    Getting matched tubes requires someone to match them (with a transconductance-type tube tester like a Hickok TV-7, etc.). All vendors that I know of include at least a nominal charge for so doing.

    Matching tubes is only really critical in cases of power (output) tubes that operate, e.g., as push-pull pair in a fixed-bias circuit, sharing a bias supply. In that case, the two tubes must operate extremely similarly, else one will be stressed due to its inbalance with the other.

    B)
  • Great thanks for all the info guys! So it looks like its not a big deal that these aren’t perfectly matched for the phono preamp listed above. I will check out the new site listed above by mhardy6647 and probably buy some rooski tubes today. I was going to look at buying last night but fell asleep listening to my new Floyd SACD and woke back up at 4am. 🤦🏻‍♂️ I guess that may work out cause now I’ve got a new web site to look at. 👍
  • One more question: 😬
    So what do do you guys think about these (links below)? I read somewhere today (I can’t find where now) that these Phillips blue glass were hard to get and really good but I don’t know I’m not an expert in this stuff. I know pitdog2 really liked the Voskhods and they’re about $20 more. Then there’s the Mullards?? 🙄

    Any additional advice is much appreciated thanks!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Matched-Codes-Pair-Philips-Blue-Glass-NOS-5654-6AK5W-EF95-Tubes-Mullard-BEL-LDot/153397647777?pageci=807e3aff-b8c6-4f9e-81ac-dff233607e17

    Or

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-VOSKHOD-6ZH1P-EV-6j1p-ev-5654-ef95-Matched-Pair-Little-Dot-Amp-III-IV/252223475771?hash=item3ab9b0d03b:g:MoAAAOSwucFalBJG

    Or

    https://www.thetubestore.com/mullard-6ak5w-5654
  • vcwatkinsvcwatkins Posts: 1,909
    I bought a Schiit Mani for an econo-rig for guests at the beach and have been trying it out temporarily in the den rig lately. I'm shocked at how much enjoyment I get out of it. I have not felt an urgent need to return to other available phono preamps (Jolida, Belles, PSAudio NWPC). Not that those are dream team comps or anything; but, with the AT cart and Budgie SUT, the Mani is very adequate and extremely enjoyable. Not really remarkable in any category except musicality. It's just fun to listen to. I've been on a Bill Evans tear lately and, after many albums, still want to listen with that little box in the loop.

    There are several here who dismiss Schiit gear for various reasons, but IMO the Mani is ridiculously good for the money. No idea how it might sound outside (stepped up) MM settings; but, given the return policy, I see no reason not to try one in your own rig.

    As background, I should add that I do own and enjoy other Schiit gear. I'm not gaga or anything - well, maybe I am a little in love with the Yggy - but I really like the sound and value provided (Magni 3, old-as-hell Asgaard used by my son now, Valhalla, Saga, and Yggy).

    I recommend you try one out.

    Craig
    Den: Rega RP6 * AT33PTGII * Budgie SUT * Jolida jd9 * Roon (Sonic Transporter) * PS Audio DirectStream Jr. * Joule-Electra LA-100 mkIII * Sunfire Signature II * PSAudio Power Plant 3 * MIT S3 * Polk SRS 1.2
    Office: Roon * Sonore UltraRendu (LPS-1, WW Plat7, Iso Regen, Lush) * ProJect Pre Box S2 * Pass ACA * PSA Dectet * DH Labs Q10 * Brines Folded ML-TQWT RS 40-1354
    Beach: Music Hall MMF5.1se * Speed Box II * DL103r * Lounge Copla/LCRIII * W4S Sonos * Schiit Yggdrasil * Belles 20a Pre * First Watt F5 Clone * PSA Dectet * MIT S3 * Polk SRS 2.3tl
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,310
    Those Voskhod's also have gold plated pins. FWIW

    Some mullards are new Russian manufacturerd. Those appear to be older before Russia bought the rights to manufacture them. The flying saucer/UFO getter is a dead give away to Russian tube.
    I have no love for the Russian 6ak5 Mullards i bought them twice and both times they were HORRIBLE ...

    Western Electric 403b
    Tung-Sol
    Seimens
    Hytron

    All were great tubes
    FWIW
  • BigbangBigbang Posts: 188
    edited March 3
    All great information vc and pitdogg. If I may ask vc what does your beach/den/budget system look like? I’m always interested in finding the most bang for the buck. 15k speaker cables are great I’m sure but a novelty to me. I’m interested in 85-90% of the sound quality for 10-15% of the cost.

    Sorry to hijack my own thread.
    I like to listen, tinker, listen and repeat.
  • vcwatkinsvcwatkins Posts: 1,909
    Bigbang wrote: »
    All great information vc and pitdogg. If I may ask vc what does your beach/den/budget system look like? I’m always interested in finding the most bang for the buck. 15k speaker cables are great I’m sure but a novelty to me. I’m interested in 85-90% of the sound quality for 10-15% of the cost.

    Sorry to hijack my own thread.
    Sorry, due to heavy post-Tarheel-victory wine intake, I completely missed the fact that you got the Art, hehe. I did enjoy my time with the black (forget model with ADC) Art and DL-110. Never rolled tubes.

    Not sure what that guest rig will end up looking like. Possibly a Sonos ConnectAmp, Amazon Fire tablet, Music Hall 2.1, DL-110, and DefTech SM45. Just wanted to add vinyl for the young Airbnb crowd. May do a retro rig with Marantz 2270 and Polk CRS+ "4.1tl" instead.

    But my current, much-loved, budget rigs are Project Pre Box S2/DIY Pass ACA/DIY ML-TQWT (office) and Dayens Menuetto/Dynaudio Audience 50 (beach den). I am mesmerized by that office rig every single day. Working on another set of single drivers and ACA monos which may boot the Dayens/Dyn combo to the bedroom.
    Den: Rega RP6 * AT33PTGII * Budgie SUT * Jolida jd9 * Roon (Sonic Transporter) * PS Audio DirectStream Jr. * Joule-Electra LA-100 mkIII * Sunfire Signature II * PSAudio Power Plant 3 * MIT S3 * Polk SRS 1.2
    Office: Roon * Sonore UltraRendu (LPS-1, WW Plat7, Iso Regen, Lush) * ProJect Pre Box S2 * Pass ACA * PSA Dectet * DH Labs Q10 * Brines Folded ML-TQWT RS 40-1354
    Beach: Music Hall MMF5.1se * Speed Box II * DL103r * Lounge Copla/LCRIII * W4S Sonos * Schiit Yggdrasil * Belles 20a Pre * First Watt F5 Clone * PSA Dectet * MIT S3 * Polk SRS 2.3tl
  • pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Those Voskhod's also have gold plated pins. FWIW

    Some mullards are new Russian manufacturerd. Those appear to be older before Russia bought the rights to manufacture them. The flying saucer/UFO getter is a dead give away to Russian tube.
    I have no love for the Russian 6ak5 Mullards i bought them twice and both times they were HORRIBLE ...

    Western Electric 403b
    Tung-Sol
    Seimens
    Hytron

    All were great tubes
    FWIW

    Well I just bought the Voshkods and with the EBay pop up discount they were $31 shipped. Now the wait....they’re coming from Moscow so I’ll probably have the pre amp first. I guess that will give me time to try the factory cheapies that come with it first I’ll let you guys know how both sets sound in about a month LOL Thanks for all the great info!!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-VOSKHOD-6ZH1P-EV-6j1p-ev-5654-ef95-Matched-Pair-Little-Dot-Amp-III-IV/252223475771?pageci=132e415a-881d-41a1-9a52-5992719643d6
  • BigbangBigbang Posts: 188
    Great tube info. I’m new to tubes so any info is great. Nice rigs vc. I like the simplicity of the marantz and crs system. Where might this musical Airbnb be located? Sounds like a Polkies vacation spot.
    I like to listen, tinker, listen and repeat.
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