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Looking for phono stage recommendations....tubes!

104.129.198.81

Posted on January 10, 2017 at 10:45:29
NuWave
Audiophile

Posts: 1812
Joined: March 22, 2002
Want to upgrade to a different phono stage, something completely free of harshness. I originally wanted one with MC options but I might be settling down with my Grado The Reference Reference for a while, so MM would be ok. Current ones I am considering are the Cornet 3, Transcendent, Pro-Ject tube box DS, and the Reduction/Eros/Seduction. This will replace a Bugle w/separate power supply I built about 10 yrs ago. I saw the K&K was highly recommended but I wanted to stay below $1k if possible, and the build might be a bit complex for me.

I know this shouldn't affect my decision, but I have a spot in my current setup for a smaller stage (like a Seduction or narrower). Anything larger and I'll have to build a shelf outside my cabinet or remove a component, and make/buy a longer tonearm cable. Ideally I'd like a Cornet 2 but Jim said those boards are gone, and claims the Cornet 3 uses the same circuit. Just wish I could find more feedback on the 3.

 

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Can't go wrong with a Parks Audio Budgie!, posted on January 10, 2017 at 12:08:55
popsy
Audiophile

Posts: 1831
Location: seattle
Joined: March 4, 2007
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
Great unit, nice sound, much nicer than say the Vincent Pho8...

 

RE: Looking for phono stage recommendations....tubes!, posted on January 10, 2017 at 12:45:06
teenage diplomat
Audiophile

Posts: 706
Location: burke, va usa
Joined: February 3, 2001
EAR 834p. It comes as either MM only or as Mm/MC at higher cost. You can't go wrong buying one used, and they frequently come up here on the asylum trader page, or on audiogon. Stock tubes are a bit dark, but a bit of tube rolling with NOS 12AX7 types can deliver sound of outstanding clarity and musicality. Lots of folks here have used one and there is no shortage of posts, so a search is your friend. Good luck

 

RE: forgot about that one......, posted on January 10, 2017 at 13:03:14
NuWave
Audiophile

Posts: 1812
Joined: March 22, 2002
Is that a full tube circuit, or a hybrid?

 

RE: Looking for phono stage recommendations....tubes!, posted on January 10, 2017 at 13:23:35
Basher52
Audiophile

Posts: 18
Joined: February 18, 2016
If you can find a used Grado PH1 in good condition, especially later production that came with a buffered "pc" type power supply instead of the basic and annoying wall-wart unit, that would be a wonderfully musical and synergistic pairing with your cart. And unless you are dead set on a tube amp, consider a home demo with a Sutherland Insight set to 40db gain. Compare what you hear in a venue offering live acoustic and preferably unamplified music. You might be pleasantly surprised at what a well crafted solid state circuit can do.

 

RE: Looking for phono stage recommendations....tubes!, posted on January 10, 2017 at 13:54:19
BCR
Audiophile

Posts: 1677
Location: connecticut
Joined: April 7, 2009
Contributor
  Since:
November 16, 2014
+1 EAR 834P!

 

EAR 834p for me too! nt, posted on January 10, 2017 at 14:11:01
Joe Backer
Audiophile

Posts: 299
Joined: July 10, 2011
nt

 

RE: Looking for phono stage recommendations....tubes!, posted on January 10, 2017 at 14:33:17
Judge
Audiophile

Posts: 3
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Joined: October 29, 2016
Decware ZP-3

 

Trinidad Connection, posted on January 10, 2017 at 14:40:51
Des
Audiophile

Posts: 1811
Location: Great Barrier Reef
Joined: August 3, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
August 2, 2000
Best Phono I've heard

Google Lionel Seemungal and Walter Yip

Des

 

RE: forgot about that one......, posted on January 10, 2017 at 15:10:36
dee eye why
Audiophile

Posts: 521
Location: so. ohio
Joined: March 20, 2003
The standard Budgie is an all tube circuit, but it is also available as a hybrid using SK170 JFETs. The standard has 6K-ohm output impedance. The hybrid is only 600-ohm output impedance. The hybrid is a better match for SS preamps due to the lower impedance.
The hybrid is not listed on the Parks website, but if you contact Shannon I'm sure he could supply one for you.
I have the hybrid version and feel no need to "upgrade".
Both are highly recommended.

P.S.- It is also a small unit (7"x5") so that is a plus for you.


.
Freak out...Far out...In out....

 

Vacuum Tube Audio has a few models, posted on January 10, 2017 at 15:37:15
Cuernavaca
Audiophile

Posts: 646
Location: NW
Joined: December 23, 2011
Contributor
  Since:
November 19, 2013
I have a VTA PH16, betters my Cornet 2 a little bit, and there a few other models. All under a $1,000.

Thomas
"In a democracy, uneducated voters get the leaders they deserve."

 

RE: Trinidad Connection, posted on January 10, 2017 at 15:50:50
Wojciech
Audiophile

Posts: 1090
Joined: June 23, 2009
Des , do you have link to the circuit ? Google search brings almost nothing.
Rgrds, W

 

RE: Trinidad Connection, posted on January 10, 2017 at 16:01:47
Posts: 564
Location: North East
Joined: November 13, 2010
How does the PH-16 better your Cornet II?

 

RE: Looking for phono stage recommendations....tubes!, posted on January 10, 2017 at 16:12:18
Uncle Mike
Audiophile

Posts: 2208
Location: Eastern Pa.
Joined: June 20, 2003
I'm a big tube fan but when it comes to an MC gain stage I'll have to say that you would be much better to look for a SS phono stage with a tube preamp. Implementing gain with tubes is messy business that often ends up with a noisy background.
Do a search on the amp/pre asylum for Allen Wright and see what he had to say.
I acquired and have since rebuilt a Classe' 6 just because of it's phono stage.
Find a nice stand alone SS MM/MC phono stage and run that into a good tube preamp. I think you will be happier and spend less in the end.

 

RE: Looking for phono stage recommendations....tubes!, posted on January 10, 2017 at 16:23:02
rockpassion
Audiophile

Posts: 458
Joined: July 9, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
January 4, 2006
I have built and used the Seduction and the Eros. The Eros is a major step up from the Seduction and approximately the same size. The sound is very clean with good detail and bass for both. But I believe the Eros presents a better and more accurate soundstage than the Seduction.

If you can handle a soldering iron and follow directions I think these are great sounding Pre's for the money. Plus, the Bottlehead community is there if you have problems or want to do any mods.

Richard

 

Take a look at this one. . . ., posted on January 10, 2017 at 16:50:42
Opus 33 1/3
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Location: D.C. Area
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  Since:
February 19, 2015









Opus 33 1/3

 

"Single-ended, Class A, all-vacuum-tube audio path ", posted on January 10, 2017 at 17:49:29
popsy
Audiophile

Posts: 1831
Location: seattle
Joined: March 4, 2007
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
n/t

 

RE: forgot about that one......, posted on January 10, 2017 at 18:27:30
vinyl survivor
Audiophile

Posts: 1156
Location: Southeastern US
Joined: November 28, 2007
What cartridge, turntable and preamp are you using with the budgie?

 

RE: Take a look at this one. . . ., posted on January 10, 2017 at 18:39:38
Tre'
Industry Professional

Posts: 11941
Location: So. Cal.
Joined: February 9, 2002
Can a 6dj8 function properly with less than 12 volts on the plate?


Tre'
Have Fun and Enjoy the Music
"Still Working the Problem"

 

RE: Trinidad Connection, posted on January 10, 2017 at 20:53:10
Des
Audiophile

Posts: 1811
Location: Great Barrier Reef
Joined: August 3, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
August 2, 2000

PM sent

Des

 

RE: Grado Reference Reference, Oracle Delphi mk2, Meridian pre, posted on January 10, 2017 at 20:59:42
NuWave
Audiophile

Posts: 1812
Joined: March 22, 2002
N/t

 

Cornet 3, posted on January 10, 2017 at 21:43:23
valvesonly
Audiophile

Posts: 683
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 27, 2005
I use a cornet 3 into Cinemags. Stock build is good but I upgraded caps & resistors in the signal path. Also using some NOS tubes but again stock were not bad.

Find it has a good musical sound. Not the quietest but it has a richness without overt colouration. Can't compare it directly to the EAR as I have not heard one in my system. The small Allnic is better and I suspect the Cornet fan base preferred the power supply to the wallwart.

At the price it is a must consider. OPUS has tried Budgie and Cornet so s second opinion is available

Time for more music.

 

With a name like that, posted on January 11, 2017 at 01:07:17
jusbe
Audiophile

Posts: 4964
Location: Brexitland
Joined: April 4, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
July 23, 2004
perhaps you could send details to me as well?

(being of Trinidadian extraction...).


Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

Dunno, but NOS 7DJ8s work fine in my Budgie. /nt\, posted on January 11, 2017 at 02:07:40
Opus 33 1/3
Audiophile

Posts: 2356
Location: D.C. Area
Joined: February 19, 2014
Contributor
  Since:
February 19, 2015





Opus 33 1/3

 

RE: With a name like that, posted on January 11, 2017 at 03:32:30
Des
Audiophile

Posts: 1811
Location: Great Barrier Reef
Joined: August 3, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
August 2, 2000
You don't accept mails

D

 

Love my 834p, posted on January 11, 2017 at 05:56:41
srdavis2000
Audiophile

Posts: 3338
Location: Deep South
Joined: January 11, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
December 16, 2004
I recommend the MM only version. And a step up for MC. I have the deluxe version, but don't like the built in transformer for MC. The MM section is excellent IMO.

 

RE: Take a look at this one. . . ., posted on January 11, 2017 at 06:24:21
Wojciech
Audiophile

Posts: 1090
Joined: June 23, 2009
They probably use voltage multiplier..

 

RE: forgot about that one......, posted on January 11, 2017 at 06:41:22
dee eye why
Audiophile

Posts: 521
Location: so. ohio
Joined: March 20, 2003
Current table in rotation is a SL-1200 with KAB mods. Cartridges are 2M blue, Denon DL-110, or DV 10x5. The preamp is a Yamaha CX-1.
The Budgie has dip switches for loading that allows the use of most any cartridge.
The hybrid version has 46db gain compared to the standard version at 38db.


.
Freak out...Far out...In out....

 

Eastern Electric MiniMax, posted on January 11, 2017 at 06:55:01
Jeffrey Lee
Audiophile

Posts: 583
Location: Louisville
Joined: September 24, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
July 14, 2011
You'd have to find one used to meet your price point but it would definitely meet your needs and responds very well to tube rolling.

I've used mine, which I bought used for $795, with a Grado Reference Platinum, Grado Reference Master, and Clearaudio Virtuoso through the MM input and with a Shelter 502 MKIII through the MC input.

It doesn't offer much in the way of settings, however, so I selected carts that I knew would work with it.

 

RE: oops, disregard my response, posted on January 11, 2017 at 08:28:57
NuWave
Audiophile

Posts: 1812
Joined: March 22, 2002
n/t

 

RE: hmmmm............, posted on January 11, 2017 at 08:36:44
NuWave
Audiophile

Posts: 1812
Joined: March 22, 2002
I guess that means the Cornet 2 is for sale? :-)

 

RE: Looking for phono stage recommendations....tubes!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 09:20:02
SpotcheckBilly12345
Audiophile

Posts: 300
Joined: February 16, 2016
Contributor
  Since:
January 5, 2017
Another solid recommendation for the EAR 834P.

I have the mm model and use it with an Auditorium 23 standard SUT for my DL-103's.

I didn't opt for the mm/mc version of the 834P because, IMHO, its step-up transformers are not quite up to snuff. If you're going to exclusively use a mm cartridge the standard 834P is all you'll need. Add a quality SUT if you decide to go mc.

Cheers,
SB

 

RE: forgot about that one......, posted on January 11, 2017 at 10:07:32
Self-Inflicted
Audiophile

Posts: 857
Joined: January 4, 2008
"The hybrid is not listed on the Parks website.

It is now.

Regards,
Mike.

 

Sorry..., posted on January 11, 2017 at 19:15:53
Cuernavaca
Audiophile

Posts: 646
Location: NW
Joined: December 23, 2011
Contributor
  Since:
November 19, 2013
I have 3 systems and it's still in use. They are well worth the money if you can find a used one.

Thomas
"In a democracy, uneducated voters get the leaders they deserve."

 

Hagerman Trumpet, posted on January 12, 2017 at 07:17:06
Analog Bob
Manufacturer

Posts: 164
Location: Billings, Montana
Joined: September 7, 2007
Contributor
  Since:
October 18, 2016
I am personally using the Hagerman Trumpet MM phono stage. To me, the sound is very clear, open and musically pleasing. I have replaced all 8 tubes with Dutch Bugle Boy tubes. I had been using a Krell KRC-HR preamp, but since my only source is analog, I have recently replaced the preamp with a passive volume control built with Vishay resistors.

 

RE: Hagerman Trumpet, posted on January 12, 2017 at 08:07:06
Posts: 564
Location: North East
Joined: November 13, 2010
I bought a Cornet II used which I am very happy with.I plan to upgrade some of the caps.as is advised on the Hagerman thread on Audio Circle.

 

RE: you lucky dog, posted on January 12, 2017 at 08:13:38
NuWave
Audiophile

Posts: 1812
Joined: March 22, 2002
That's my first choice if I can find one. A seduction recently came up but I passed on it.

 

RE: whoa........, posted on January 12, 2017 at 08:53:08
NuWave
Audiophile

Posts: 1812
Joined: March 22, 2002
That stage is about the cost of my entire system.

 

RE: is it worth the extra for the hybrid?, posted on January 12, 2017 at 09:01:58
NuWave
Audiophile

Posts: 1812
Joined: March 22, 2002
I would think adding more into the tube signal path would make it sound 'worse'. The description on the website states the opposite. Can you have TOO much gain for a MM?

 

RE: is it worth the extra for the hybrid?, posted on January 12, 2017 at 14:11:54
dee eye why
Audiophile

Posts: 521
Location: so. ohio
Joined: March 20, 2003
I have not heard the standard Budgie. I can tell you that the Hybrid is VERY quiet, and provides surprisingly "black" backgrounds with good bass response and dynamics. As far as gain...At 46db gain it is still lower in volume than my tuner or CD player but not by a lot. I don't think you will have an issue with to much gain.


.
Freak out...Far out...In out....

 

RE: yikes......, posted on January 13, 2017 at 12:17:29
NuWave
Audiophile

Posts: 1812
Joined: March 22, 2002
I keep looking at those bottlehead designs, trying to figure out how people create room on a shelf/rack and run cables vertically to the front and around those tubes. I don't know if I can accommodate one, otherwise it's one of my top choices.

 

RE: still looking.........., posted on January 16, 2017 at 15:01:35
NuWave
Audiophile

Posts: 1812
Joined: March 22, 2002
I am reconsidering the PH16 because after some measuring, I might be able to squeeze their 12" chassis in my rack next to my fairly narrow Meridian preamp. How is the sound of the ph16? I'm trying to find something the opposite of harsh. I need something without any glare.

 

RE: still looking.........., posted on January 16, 2017 at 19:06:01
Cuernavaca
Audiophile

Posts: 646
Location: NW
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Contributor
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November 19, 2013
My PH16 has plenty of detail, but I wouldn't describe it as harsh. I installed 4 GE smoked glass 6dj8's and Jensen copper PIO caps, which were a definite improvement. The Hagerman Cornet has a tad less detail in the higher frequencies but smooth mids, I prefer the PH16 for it's bigger soundstage and clear, smooth sound, if that makes any sense. I hate trying to compare 2 components using subjective words.

Thomas
"In a democracy, uneducated voters get the leaders they deserve."

 

RE: Looking for phono stage recommendations....tubes!, posted on January 19, 2017 at 14:39:11
Jim Hodgson
Audiophile

Posts: 344
Location: New York City
Joined: March 9, 2006
You might look for a used Wright WPP100C (which is the phono pre in my system). A few come up for sale every year according to HiFiShark, and price will be <$1000 -- which is about what they sold for when new. You'll get a phono pre full of tubes, with a sound "completely free of harshness," and able to fit into tight spaces (with its separate power supply).

 

RE: Looking for phono stage recommendations....tubes!, posted on January 19, 2017 at 17:12:39
Posts: 564
Location: North East
Joined: November 13, 2010
Is your Hagerman Cornet II stock or upgraded?

 

Tavish Audio Design, posted on January 29, 2017 at 22:20:35
Drew769
Audiophile

Posts: 150
Joined: April 24, 2011
The Tavish Audio phono preamps are really giant killers in their respective price ranges. For under $1K, you cannot go wrong with their classic. For $1600, their top of the line "no expense spared" phono stage is severely underpriced, and plays more like a $3,000 phono stage. I have an upgraded Rogue Ares (Blue Cinemags), and the Tavish made me sick to my stomach (because I could have saved a lot of money!!)

 

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