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Ruben1
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Need advice on a phono stage

Can anyone familiar with the Cambridge Audio Azur 640P phonostage let me know if this unit is good enough for a newcomer to vinyl? I am just getting into vinyl and don't want to spend much on a phono stage in case I don't care for it. On the other hand I need to get a unit good enough to let me hear the wonders of vinyl to see if this is for me.
I don't want to spend more than $200.

My associated equipment is as follows: Linestage: BAT VK5i, CDP: Primare CD21, Speakers: Klipsch Epic CF3 (first series) ,Amps: GTA SE-40 driving the horns and B&K M200 Sonata driving the woofers.

Thank you

jackfish
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Re: Need advice on a phono stage

For under $200 I would consider in order the Graham Slee Gram Amp 1 for $199, the ProJect Phono Box Mk2 for $160, and the Music Hall PA1.2 for $150.

Of course if you can muster another $50 I would always recommend the Bellari VP130.

Drtrey3
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Re: Need advice on a phono stage

I have to concur with Jackfish. I have the Bellari and am quite happy with it. It is a little tubby with my rega and Grado cartridge, but the mids and highs have a bit of tube glow about them that I really enjoy.

Trey

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Need advice on a phono stage

See if you have a local dealer who deals with the recommendations here and find out if he has a liberal trade-up policy.

I am pretty sure with your system you will want to move up to a better unit rather quickly.

rvance
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Re: Need advice on a phono stage

FWIW: My Bellari 530 /Grado combo has been superb. But I did have to return the unit when I couldn't fix the buzz (could have been system specific). They graciously replaced the power supply with a more robust unit. I gave my son a Bellari 130 for a grad present and he loves it.

ncdrawl
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Re: Need advice on a phono stage

this is very good.

http://hagtech.com/bugle.html

Ruben1
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Re: Need advice on a phono stage

Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I should have also mentioned thet the TT I have is a Systemdek IIX with a Sumiko Premier MMT arm and a grado ZF3 cartridge. I live in the Atlanta area so i am now looking for some dealers to go audition some of the recommendations made here.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Need advice on a phono stage

Head up thru "Spagetti Junction" to Audio Alternative in Lilburn Up I-85 toward Gwinnett. They will treat you right.

www.yeswehaveawebsite.com

JohnMichael
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Re: Need advice on a phono stage

I own the Cambridge 640P. I also own a Rotel RQ970BX and a Graham Slee Fanfare 3. I use the 640P with my Ortofon OM20 and Grado Red. I was disappointed with the 640P when I used it with my Benz MC Gold low output cartridge. As a moving magnet phono preamp I would say it is very good for the money. The Fanfare is only for low output cartridges and is superior with the Benz.

I also noticed a change in the sound when the subsonic filter was used. The sound became a little edgey. So this is a qualified rec based on only using it for high output cartridges and without the subsonic filter in use. The 540P which is only for high output cartridges and lacks the subsonic filter and is cheaper might be of interest.

Ruben1
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Re: Need advice on a phono stage - UPDATE

Thank you Jim for the advise regarding Audio Alternative. I did visit them and purchased a few items but no phonostage I cared for within my price range.

I do have a related question I hope someone here can help me with. Jolida is currently selling direct the JD9 phonostage for $279 with shipping included. Apparently they are coming out with an MKII version and are selling off cheap the the current model. My question is this; is the current JD9, regardless of price, a good piece such that the audiophile whom is into vinyl would concider this unit a good/great performer worthy of purchasing and keeping or is this unit concidered cheap (cheap sound and built quality) and not something they would purchase and hold on to for a main system? I realize much of the answer is based on subjectivity but this is OK. I am interested in people's opinions.

Thank you.

jackfish
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Re: Need advice on a phono stage

The Jolida JD-9A is considered by many to be a bargain at $450. Might be worth jumping in eyes (ears) closed at $280.

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