phono pre-amp

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew Beck, Dec 21, 2001.

  1. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    I have an outlaw 1050 reciever which does not have a phono pre-amp. My turntable is a denon dp26f which has a built in phono preamp, although i don't think it's of too high a quality. I don't want to spend a whole lot because I don't listen to vinyl very often but would there be anyway to improve the sound for $50-$100? maybe even buying a vintage 70's reciever, preamp, or integrated amp on ebay just to use the phono stage?
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Andrew, take a look at the NAD PP-1 phono pre-amp on www.nadelectronics.com . I use one between my Sony PS-LX350H turntable and NAD C 370 integrated amp that has no built-in phono pre-amp. The C 370 retails for around $125, but I got one for $85 from Sound City (1-800-370-3156) about two months ago. They are an authorized NAD dealer.
     
  3. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    they have it listed on their website for $129
     
  4. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    I'm starting to feel like an Audioadvisor.com sales rep this week. But they offer a few low-priced quality phono preamps, starting with a Parasound unit for $120. Plus, they have a no-hassle refund policy if you're not happy with your purchase.

    Happy Holidays!
     
  5. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    those both look like great pre-amps... they seem to be a little bit of an over kill though with my turntable... is it worth it too hook up a $150 turntable to a $120 pre-amp...

    of course with one of the pre-amps and a high quality cartridge i bet the thing would probably start to sound pretty good.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Andrew, you have to call Sound City for their best prices on NAD gear. Many manufacturers will not allow authorized dealers to advertise low prices. $129 is the retail price for the PP-1.
     
  7. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith,

    I notice your turntable is probably a step up from my denon. do you think that the nad would be overkill for me. Or would using it and possibly an upgraded cartridge do alot for my sound?
     
  8. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Andrew,
    Go to www.audioasylum.com and search the Vinyl Asylum's archives for "little rat". Radio Shack sells a $25 preamp on their website (it's only available online) that is truly excellent - people think it's quite a bit better than the NAD PP-1 (someone did a direct comparision), and someone also compared it to a $400 Monolithic PS-1 and thought it held up pretty well. It's battery powered, so if you plan to use this for a while, you might want to invest in NiMH batteries and a charger - all in all, about $50 in total, for excellent sound. I bought one a few months ago as a temporary phono stage to tide me over until I saved up for a real one, but that temporary period has been extending for a while now.
    Give it a shot, I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed. Also, if you don't like it, RS will take it back in 30 days.
    The other options under $100, new or used:
    NAD PP-1, as stated
    QED Discsaver, identical to a Music Hall preamp - this is also battery powered, you can find it at J&R, I think
    Sumiko Pro-Ject phono box - $120 new, I think, this is supposed to be pretty good
    In terms of vintage equipment, if you can get something from NAD's 1020 series - the 1020 preamp, or 3020 integrated, or 7020 receiver, those are supposed to have killer phono stages - some say, the best NAD ever made. These units are starting to become expensive on eBay though.
    Once again, based on reputation and other peoples experience with these units, I think the RS unit will be comparable to, if not better than, any of the above mentioned units.
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I would personally recommend Parasound, Rotel, and Creek over the NAD.
    Soundwise, as well as the NAD has those little *built in* RCA cords that might not be long enough for you.
    (I was just in the same boat, but splurged and got the Creek OBH-8SE.)
    I also did searches on www.audioasylum.com , and I came to the conclusion that the NAD is OK, but there are better preamps out there. $129 is list. Should still be able to find a brand new one for $100. ebay, audiogon, etc...
     
  10. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    The cords are the least of my problems [​IMG]
    I'm going to try to look at all the ones you've mentioned... hopefully i'll find something used on ebay... i really don't want to invest too much money in the turntable... i'd rather buy a new amp and some new speakers [​IMG]
    the little rat sounds intriguing, but i don't want to mess with the batteries...
    another thought, anyone know how hard it would be to make a phono stage? I've a degree in EE so i could probably do it pretty easy if there were schematics.
     
  11. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Andrew,

    I bought the "little rat" for $31 w/shipping and think it's great. It certainly produces quality sound for me.

    I wouldn't worry about the battery thing, it's just a 9 volt battery. I use an alkaline battery. The "little rat" also has an on/off switch to conserve on battery power when the turntable isn't playing.

    I bought a two pack of 9 volt alkalines, been through about 20 playings so far in the last month and still no problems with the first battery.

    BruceD
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    My Sony turntable isn't high-end by any means, so the NAD PP-1 works just fine for me. Truthfully, I didn't demo any other phono pre-amps. I just called Sound City, and for $85, simply ordered the PP-1 and called it a day. [​IMG] One of these days, I may upgrade the Sony turntable to the Music Hall MMF-5 or a Rega P2 or P3, which will give me good cause to revisit phono turntables. This is not going to happen for awhile, however. The Sony/NAD combo works very well for me right now.
     
  13. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    A little while ago, I demoed the NAD, Parasound, and Sumiko phono preamps. The Sumiko was my favorite by a slight margin, but then I got a chance to buy the Parasound unit for $58 new at a bankrupcy sale, and so that's what I got. So far, so good as it seems to be a pretty good match for my Pioneer PL-707 18 year old turntable. I have heard that the Creek was a nice unit also, but never tested it personally.
     
  14. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    I have an old BSR turntable and just purchased the Sumiko
    Phono box mm/mc. which you can plug in to and also run your own wires out of it, and it comes with its own power supply.
    It really made a big difference in the quality of sound out of my 25 year old turn table especially the bass. [​IMG]
     
  15. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    Bruce,
    the battery thing still scares me... i just now i'm going to get calls at work from my gf saying the record player doesn't work [​IMG]
    at $85 the nad seems like the best deal so far... of course I'm going to look at putting something together myself. I've always wanted to build something for my system, but don't have the tools to build speakers or the time to build amps... a phono stage could be a nice easy start.
     
  16. Eric_M

    Eric_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok this is probably a stupid question but why can't you hook up a record player to another input on your reciever like say AUX or whatever else?

    Shouldn't it work fine still?
     
  17. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    Andrew,

    Check out the Sumiko phono box it's a fantastic box for the money and comes with it's own power supply and it improved the sound from my old BSR turn table you will love it.
     
  18. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    Vinny,

    I've looked at the sumiko... but it's $119 and unless i can find it used I think that's more than I want to spend. I think $50-$100 is more in my range the lower the better.
     
  19. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  20. ryan_m

    ryan_m Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric,

    Someone can probably answer this better, but as far as I know the signal coming out of a turntable is very low and needs to be amplified. A phono input on a receiver is doing this amplification but the other inputs are not. I believe there's more to it, but that's the gist of it.
     

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