Upgrading my phono stage

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I am listening to my first bit of Christmas music, not that the average listener would recognize it as such (including me). Pipe organ of Westminster Abbey and even not all that cranked up it sure sounds like it. Five days in on the iPhono3 and when I think it can't get any better, it does.
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Tlarwa

Junior Member
I've owned a bunch of phono preamps ... Rogue Audio, Parks Audio, Coph Nia, Lounge, Dynavector, Jolida, etc.. I finally built a Tubes4Hifi PH16, and it's an end game phono pre (for me, anyway). I prefer a tubed phono stage though, and this one is a winner. Plus it was a fun build. Something to consider if you are looking for a project, and plan on using a SUT if you run a MC cartridge (it's MM only). I am running a Soundsmith MI cartridge with it and it is excellent, and dead quiet on my horns.
 

MWalt

Active Member
One could buy the Iphono2 for $549 and the iPower X power supply (same one the 3 uses) for $109 and have a really nice phono preamp. $1000 for the iPhono3 puts you in a different class. What other phono preamps compare to the iPhono3 at that price point?
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
One could buy the Iphono2 for $549 and the iPower X power supply (same one the 3 uses) for $109 and have a really nice phono preamp. $1000 for the iPhono3 puts you in a different class. What other phono preamps compare to the iPhono3 at that price point?
Ones I’ve seen mentioned are the Graham Slee Reflex M or C (mm or LOMC specific) and Musical Surroundings Nova. There’s others too. The thing is that there are a lot of choices and the choice becomes very personal as everybody seems to like a different take on vinyl. I like a more precise/neutral sound- my systems add the bit of warmth I like elsewhere. I like very neutral sources. The iPhono2 is very neutral (but not cold). But I also use the Primare R32 that I mentioned, and the stage in my Luxman L507ux. Oh, and a Juicy Music Tercel II (tubes) with the microtrans SUT. They’re all sort of in the same camp. I guess I would say the Tercell/SUT is my reference but it’s ground switch needs a repair. If the iPhono3 is a bit better than the 2, I’d guess that it would be in the same class as there’s not a lot of daylight between any of the stages that stayed around here.
 

MWalt

Active Member
I looked at the comparably priced phono preamps as well as the EAR834 clones. What won me over was the greater adjustability.
 
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