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In Reply to: Phono Stage recommendations posted by Spiral on April 22, 2007 at 11:22:52:
...the Rogue Stealth. Do youself a favor and ignore that recommendation. On the used market the Benz Lukaschek is nice (especially with your cart), the Acoustec stuff is also pretty good.
I have one myself but am open to improve and I was considering a Hagerman cornet, Using Benz L2 and Shelter 501 II carts on Aphason Xenon and Thorens 125 II. Amps and speakers little known but I think outclass the cartridges.
But to me the Stealth really lacked bass. It just wasn't where it should be, not up against the $200 Rotel, the Rega Fono, the Benz Lukascheck PP-1, the Linn Linto, the Ayre P-5xe, or the Joule Electra OPS-2. I've had all these in my system for at least a week, and the Stealth was way bass shy.
I also thought the Rogue lacked resolution in a pretend tube way that real tubes don't--although it occasionally sounded very nice with a particular piece of music, I always was aware that something was missing.
Sorry if this sounds defensive or self serving, but my experience with the Rogue Stealth varies drastically from yours. My carts are a Scheu-Benz LO (modified Glider) and a ZYX R20h. I tried the Benz-Lukaschek PP-1 expecting synergy with the Benz cart but was disappointed at its performance with both cartridges and preferred the Stealth by a substantial margin. The Lukaschek looks great in the box, but the shape and location of the input jacks made it inconvenient to deal with in my setup. It is notable that the Stealth and the B-L sell for about the same on the used market (~$600), but the retail price for the B-L is several hundred more suggesting that the Stealth is a better value. I also have tried the Dynavector P75, Lehmann Black Cube SE, and PS Audio GCPH but preferred the Stealth over all. I do not find it to be at all bass-shy or lacking in resolution as you suggest. Maybe if I were comparing it to the Joule or Ayre, costing thousands more, I might change my mind but even though it is no longer "flavor of the month" here on the VA, the Rogue Stealth still is a serious contender in the <$1000 range.
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