Lounge Audio MK-III LCR Phono Preamplifier

MWalt

Active Member
I just bought one of these. Every review I read was stellar. I thought, "hell, why not, it's only 300 bucks". And yeah, I know, this is a "budget" MM phono preamp. I plugged this thing in right out of the box and let 'er rip. I am floored! It has far surpassed my expectations. It is better than the phono section in my ARC SP16. This friggin thing kicks ass!!
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
MWalt;n15036 said:
I just bought one of these. Every review I read was stellar. I thought, "hell, why not, it's only 300 bucks". And yeah, I know, this is a "budget" MM phono preamp. I plugged this thing in right out of the box and let 'er rip. I am floored! It has far surpassed my expectations. It is better than the phono section in my ARC SP16. This friggin thing kicks ass!!

Wow....that's high praise indeed.

What does it do better than your ARC?
 

MWalt

Active Member
The biggest difference is the low end and over all dynamics. I can say that this unit provides great bass, a wide and deep soundstage, and a black background. I was surprised by the noisefloor or lack of it. It is very musical and has none of that "grainy" tint that some pre's have. Of course, I was using the ARC with it. I am going to try a bunch of different types of carts over the next few days to get a better perspective. I am also going to go LOMC and a SUT and try that also.
 

MWalt

Active Member
It is simple, simple, simple. Fixed 40db gain, no resistor switches, no gain bump switches, etc. It is the LCR RIAA correction circuit that makes this little phono preamp shine. ​LCR (L=Inductor, C=Capacitor, R=Resistor). ​
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not surprised by your experience. Mine has always been that the simpler, the better with regards to audio circuitry. I'll have to look into this pre.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Agreed. I've also found that, in general, the simpler the circuit the clearer and more direct the sound. Seems to get you closer to the music.
 

MWalt

Active Member
Why, David? 40 db is about standard for MM carts. For me to use any of my LOMC cart, I need to use my SUT, but for my MM carts it is fine as is.
 

TamiYates

Junior Member
As per my experience the biggest difference is the low end and over all dynamics. I can say that this unit provides great bass, a wide and deep soundstage, and a black background.
I was surprised by the noise floor or lack of it. It is very musical and has none of that "grainy" tint that some pre's have. Of course, I was using the ARC with it.
I am going to try a bunch of different types of carts over the next few days to get a better perspective. I am also going to go LOMC and a SUT and try that also.

pcb assembly
 

Sarchi

Registered User
I used the Lounge extensively, and almost exclusively, with LOMC and SUT's (Altec and Cinemag). My review from last year linked below.
 

David

Moderator

MWalt;15127 said:
Why, David? 40 db is about standard for MM carts. For me to use any of my LOMC cart, I need to use my SUT, but for my MM carts it is fine as is.

Because the AT I have is extremely low in output that my SUT isn't quite capable of handling it without a good gain phono.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

MWalt

Active Member
That was a really good review Noam! I share the same impression of the LCR that you do. I have it paired up with a $1900.00 turntable (another incredible value) with a Denon DL103 LC II cartridge on an 18 gram Koetsu headshell and a rather pedestrian Denon AU-300LC SUT. It sounds first rate at the moment, but I do intend to get a better SUT down the line. Thanks for sharing your excellent review.
 

MWalt

Active Member
David;n25266 said:
Because the AT I have is extremely low in output that my SUT isn't quite capable of handling it without a good gain phono.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

​I totally get it David. I have been there before myself.
 

MWalt

Active Member
David;n25279 said:
So still in love with this phono?


The Merrill Poly Table with the 10" Jelco 750 is as good of a buy in it's category as the Lounge Audio LCR is in its category. I have a modest system in comparison to many, but I am close to the point of diminishing return and spending HUGE bucks to better it.
 

David

Moderator
MWalt;n25281 said:
The Merrill Poly Table with the 10" Jelco 750 is as good of a buy in it's category as the Lounge Audio LCR is in its category. I have a modest system in comparison to many, but I am close to the point of diminishing return and spending HUGE bucks to better it.


Knowing what a legit giant slayer Jasmine phono was, I'm not really surprised that you've found a budget phono that bested the ARC. Would love to hear this Lounge phono myself.
 

MWalt

Active Member
The ARC SP16 preamp is a wonderful piece of gear with a pretty nice phono section, but I have to call it the way I see (hear) it. The LCR is preferable to me.
 
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