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pumpkinpie2013's picture
Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: Oct 23 2013 - 5:56am
Best preamp under $500?

 I just upgraded my stereo system and my VERY entry-level preamp is a sore thumb. It's the next component I'd like to upgrade, so I'm looking for advice about which one to buy.

My other components:

Technics SL-1200mk2

Pioneer 5-speaker + subwoofer set (Andrew Jones's series)

Shure M97xE cartridge

Sony STR DN-1040 receiver

Current preamp: Rolls VP29

Listening preferences: classic rock (trying to perfect the sound quality of my collection of first pressing Beatles albums), 90s/00s indie rock, a bit of classical.

Budget: ideally, under $500


JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Last seen: 1 week 22 hours ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
phono preamp

There are quite a few suitable ones available for less than $500. Check, . They have just about the largest selection on phono preamps you'll find anywhere.

Worth noting:

Pro-Ject Tube Box S $449 (I'm a tube fan, works with MM and MC cartridges)

Clearaudio Nano $400 (works with MM and MC cartridges)

Vincent Audio PHO-8 $400 (nice two box unit with separate power supply, works with MM and MC cartridges)

All three of these work with both MM and MC cartridges. This is a plus in my book. If you ever want to replace that M97 with something better you will be able to consider a MC cartridge.

Although I have a Shure V-15IV with a Jico SAS stylus I prefer either my re-tipped Ortofon MC-20 Super or Sumiko Blackbird. Both of them are MC cartridges and IMO sound better than the Shure. The Shure is a better tracker especially at low tracking force.

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