new toy has arrived: Phonomena II+ phono pre

pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
edited March 7 in Electronics
I got a great deal on a Musical Surroundings Phonomena II+ phono pre on eBay a few days ago: $352, which I think is a steal at that price. I have been looking for a Phonomena or Nova phono pre for a long time and patience finally paid off! It just arrived yesterday - Seller sent it via 2-day priority mail, packed great - and it is in mint condition. I am very excited to get it set up and running in my system today or tomorrow. This will bring my vinyl to another sonic level (and it will also allow me to soon offer my previous phono pre, a Cambridge 640P, in the Flea Market at a good price).

One question for those who have experience with the Phonomena II+:
What settings should I set it on for use with a Shure M97xE cartridge (and Thorens TD 160 tt).

Thanks!

Here is a pic
:oedi1lvc0gqw.jpg


Comments

  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,506
    New toys are always fun! Congrat's.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
    treitz3 wrote: »
    New toys are always fun! Congrat's.

    Tom

    Thanks, Tom.

  • 55SLA7055SLA70 Posts: 22
    Nice phono pre, congrats!!
    Old Name: 55LS70
    Preamp: Decware CSP3 w/ 1 x Amperex 7308, 2 x OCK Rockets 6N1P's
    Power Amp: Cary SLA Signature 2 X Mullard GZ32's, 2 X RCA 5691's, 4 X Tung Sol 6550 reissues
    Analog: Rega Planar 3 w/ P2000 motor, Deep Groove sub platter, Incognito tonearm wiring, JA Michell counterweight, Tangospinner feet, Dynavector 10 x 5 cartridge, Parks Audio Budgie Hybrid phono stage w/ 2 x BEL 6922's.
    Radio: HH Scott 330D tuner with HH Scott Type 335 multiplex. Both modified by Mapleshade.
    Digital: Cambridge Audio 640C V2 CD player with Cambridge Audio DACMagic DAC.
    Speaker Cables: Kimber Kable 8TC's
    Interconnects. Tuner: Audioquest Black Mamba II's, phono stage: Kimber Kable Hero's, PreAmp/Amp and Digital: Audioquest King Cobra"s
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,507
    Recommended Load: 47 kΩ; 250 pf.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
    55SLA70 wrote: »
    Nice phono pre, congrats!!

    Thanks.
  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
    edited March 7
    F1nut wrote: »
    Recommended Load: 47 kΩ; 250 pf.

    Thanks, Jesse.
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 8,794
    That’s a steal
  • phipiper10phipiper10 Posts: 916
    Congrats! Can't wait to hear your thoughts after hooked up.
    Analog Source: Rega P3-24 Exact 2 w/GT delrin platters & Neo TT-PSU
    Digital Source: Lumin T2 w/Roon
    Preamp: Rogue Ninety Nine Magnum
    Amp: Rogue Stereo 100
    Speakers: Audio Physic Tempo Plus (Tyler Linbrook Signature Monitors)
    Cables: Audio Art IC-3e & SC-5 ePlus, Signal Cable PCs
    Misc: APC H15 line conditioner, Noise Harvester, VTI rack, GIK acoustic panels
  • gmcmangmcman Posts: 1,560
    I cannot comment on the 2+, as mine is the 2, but for some odd reason the 47K is omitted and the closest is 50K, may be the same on yours and likely not a huge difference. Never understood why a historical constant value would not be one of the settings, other than that, I've enjoyed mine.
  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
    gmcman wrote: »
    I cannot comment on the 2+, as mine is the 2, but for some odd reason the 47K is omitted and the closest is 50K, may be the same on yours and likely not a huge difference. Never understood why a historical constant value would not be one of the settings, other than that, I've enjoyed mine.

    I just checked and the II+ does have a 47k setting.

  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
    edited March 14
    F1nut wrote: »
    Recommended Load: 47 kΩ; 250 pf.

    Jesse: I am going to finally set up the Phonomena II+ phono pre in my system today and have one other question: what would you recommend for the gain setting?

    The factory default gain setting is 40db and I am thinking of going with that lowest gain setting, especially as my EE MiniMax pre has pretty high gain, but I'd appreciate your feedback about the proper gain setting.

    I set the capacitive loading setting to 200 (there is no 250 setting; only 100 or 200 settings) and the resistive load setting to 47k.Those should be good so I now only need to set the gain setting, install it in my rig, and spin some vinyl!

    Thanks again.



  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
    edited March 15
    I finally got the Phonomena II+ set up in my sytem yesterday afternoon and I spent a very enjoyable 6 hours listenting to vinyl. Overall, I am very impressed with this phono pre. The detail and soundstage are incredible.

    I listened to a variety of records, including a few reference records of mine, to be able to judge the attributes of the Phonomena II+. I put on some Mosaic jazz lps (Tina Brooks, Thelonious Monk Live at the It Club). I think certain jazz styles and recordings are a great barometer of how well a phono pre pulls out the details of music. For me, that is especially noticeable in the percussion parts: the tap of a drumstick on a cymbal or the passing of a brush across a snare drum. The Phonomena II+ did a wonderful job pulling out all those little details and of separating the instruments in space. Listening to the Monk live lps made me feel like I was in the jazz club sitting near Monk himself. I also played some other music to see how well it would do with different styles of rock: a Grateful Dead live lp, Dylan Blood on the Tracks, Judas Priest Sad Wings of Destiny. The Phonomena II+ did a great job with all of those as well. I am very happy with it and would highly recommend it. It does a superb job of bringing the music to life (very dynamic) and capturing all of the details in a musical piece.

    The only minor issue I noticed is that it has high gain, even at the lowest 40db factory default setting which I had it on. My EE Minimax pre amp also has high gain so it may just be that the two together present higher gain than I would have expected. I used to have to turn the volume knob much higher with my prior phono pre (as well as the phono pre in my Yamaha CR 2020). For example, setting the volume at 8 or 9 o'clock with the Phonomena II+ gets the same volume that I used to get at 10 or 11 o'clock with my other phono pre amps.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,507
    Sorry, I missed your post from 3/14.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 1,388
    I would try the 100pF capacitance setting on the phono pre-amp. Cabling adds about 150, so you have to add the two together for desired total...or as close as possible.

    It doesn't hurt to experiment.

    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
    F1nut wrote: »
    Sorry, I missed your post from 3/14.

    Jesse: No problem. I got it set up and running yesterday so all is good. Thanks.

  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
    jdjohn wrote: »
    I would try the 100pF capacitance setting on the phono pre-amp. Cabling adds about 150, so you have to add the two together for desired total...or as close as possible.

    It doesn't hurt to experiment.

    Thanks for the info. I will do as you suggest and try it at the 100 setting in the near future and see how that changes things.

  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
    edited March 15
    One cool thing I just noticed yesterday after reading the manual...the previous owner had put his original sales invoice at the back of the manual, along with the warranty form. He bought it new at the end of April 2017 (he paid $749 for it so I got a great deal), which means it still has over a month left on the original 3-year warranty.
  • minerminer Posts: 1,305
    ....if warranty transfers from original owner.
    [
  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,855
    edited March 16
    miner wrote: »
    ....if warranty transfers from original owner.

    Actually (and I should have stated it in my prior post) the original owner never sent in the warranty form...it is blank. I am not worried about the warranty though...if it has performed flawlessly up until now...I am sure it will be doing the same in a month (hopefully not famous last words, lol).

    Thanks.

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