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The Fives — separate phono preamp?


scdfndr
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I recently purchased a new TT (Pro Ject Debut Carbon Espirit) paired with the Fives powered speakers by Klipsch, to be used almost exclusively to play vinyl, with the occasional streaming via Spotify and my iPhone. When streaming music, the speakers sound very good. However, with vinyl (and I bought them for vinyl) they sound just okay. I’m no expert. So perhaps I expect too much. But to me, when playing records, even new, audiophile grade records,  The Fives sound a little muddy, sort of muffled. And I really want the true vinyl experience. The cartridge (Ordifon Red) came new with the TT. The TT has no internal phono amp. One of the reasons I chose the 5s was their built in preamp. (I since read one review that opined the phono preamp was the 5s weakest feature.) So I find myself contemplating a separate phono amp, perhaps a tube amp, based upon what I read. Pro Ject makes one (S2?) that plays to rave reviews, but it ain’t cheap. ($450). Am I destined to spiral down the bottomless audiophile rabbit hole called “better sound,” so often sought in vain? (You know you’ve done it.) Or should I give a separate preamp a shot? Or does someone more knowledgeable than I have any other ideas? Thanks in advance. 

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A search on Amazon showed me alot of brands, prices, etc.

Fosi, Technolink, Schiit, Project etc.

Worth a look as price not always a deciding factor.

Even if not a customer, some decent research.

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12 minutes ago, Dave1291 said:

I run a Linn turntable, Schiit Mani and it's killer with my Dyanavector 20x2.  Full Range loves his Puffin though.  You have a lot more options w/the Puffin and tbh it's prolly my next pre at some point.

 

Thanks all. This is very helpful. I’m curious about a couple of things, if anyone has any thoughts. I read good things about tube pre amps, especially for use with a TT. Can anyone address whether I should be considering that option. Also, is there a good pre amp that also will function as a headphone  input? I see components that look like preamps that also have headphone capability, but I can’t tell if these units are also phono amps. Schiit makes one. Let me find it and I’ll post link. 

 

https://www.schiit.com/products/vali-3?AC Adapter Type=510&&gclid=CjwKCAiAo5qABhBdEiwAOtGmbmYkuJ14wV2QO7UJlTNWaxA1tXEwjf8uavYEfIWb4YPzVjTtvlDVqBoCnCAQAvD_BwE

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7 minutes ago, Dave1291 said:

I run a Linn turntable, Schiit Mani and it's killer with my Dyanavector 20x2.  Full Range loves his Puffin though.  You have a lot more options w/the Puffin and tbh it's prolly my next pre at some point.

I have a very good sounding musical fidelity phono preamp but the Puffin has so many features than the musical fidelity do not. The ability to dial in volume balance has made it easy to put my sweet spot to right where I want it. I am lucky that my vinyl collection is still in very good condition but the Puffin using “clean” makes them sound almost brand new. Most of my collection is over 40 yo. Then you can dial in equalization if the recording itself was not very good. One of the best upgrades I have ever made to my vinyl rigs

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3 minutes ago, billybob said:

Fosi is one brand with tubes. Read the reviews.

I’m on it. Thanks.

Also, my previous post assumes the fives do not come with headphone capability. I’m pretty certain that is correct. But given that you can hook up everything else short of a toaster to these speakers, I’m surprised. If I’m missing something, don’t hesitate to tell me.

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1 minute ago, scdfndr said:

I’m on it. Thanks.

Also, my previous post assumes the fives do not come with headphone capability. I’m pretty certain that is correct. But given that you can hook up everything else short of a toaster to these speakers, I’m surprised. If I’m missing something, don’t hesitate to tell me.

Answers are coming... members are coming in with their takes.

Guessing you want one for headphones too...?

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5 minutes ago, Fido said:

I have a very good sounding musical fidelity phono preamp but the Puffin has so many features than the musical fidelity do not. The ability to dial in volume balance has made it easy to put my sweet spot to right where I want it. I am lucky that my vinyl collection is still in very good condition but the Puffin using “clean” makes them sound almost brand new. Most of my collection is over 40 yo. Then you can dial in equalization if the recording itself was not very good. One of the best upgrades I have ever made to my vinyl rigs

A common complaint about the 5s is no EQ. (Although Klipsch says such a feature may be coming and available as an update.) This lacking may make the Puffin all the more suitable. And I don’t mind spending the money (within reason). I just want to make sure the money I spend is spent well. Sounds like the Puffin is a good investment. Will look today. 

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1 minute ago, billybob said:

Answers are coming... members are coming in with their takes.

Guessing you want one for headphones too...?

 

This forum is great. There’s nothing more dangerous than a budding audiophile with a credit card. This stuff is so difficult for a novice like me to navigate. (Don’t get me started on vinyl record identification!) I’m most appreciative!

 

Yes as to headphones.

 

 Thanks so much! 

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"They" say IF your running tubes then ya should run tubes in a phono pre.  I figured for $150 after reading the reviews and eyeballing it on youtube I'd give it a shot.  Pretty amazing so far.  Couldn't figure out why a tube phono pre into tubes.  Tubes enter into the equation AFTER the phono pre.  Yea, yea I know what's coming neixt from a few of you.  I say BULLS*e^!  Sounds great to me and that's all that matters.  The skies the limit sooo have at it!   😂   😎

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26 minutes ago, Dave1291 said:

I run a Linn turntable, Schiit Mani and it's killer with my Dyanavector 20x2.  Full Range loves his Puffin though.  You have a lot more options w/the Puffin and tbh it's prolly my next pre at some point.

nice gear , you got there ------, I 've had a Sondek since 78  with an SME arm  ,  very hard to beat , even after + 40 years-

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1 minute ago, RandyH000 said:

nice gear , you got there ------, I 've had a Sondek since 78  with an SME arm  ,  very hard to beat , even after + 40 years-

Well ya learn something every day in here I guess!  You have yours updated?  Put the trampoline on w/the new Dynavector so thinking about getting pricey w/some of the other thingy's this summer.  If so how's it sound or pm me.

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33 minutes ago, Dave1291 said:

"They" say IF your running tubes then ya should run tubes in a phono pre.  I figured for $150 after reading the reviews and eyeballing it on youtube I'd give it a shot.  Pretty amazing so far.  Couldn't figure out why a tube phono pre into tubes.  Tubes enter into the equation AFTER the phono pre.  Yea, yea I know what's coming neixt from a few of you.  I say BULLS*e^!  Sounds great to me and that's all that matters.  The skies the limit sooo have at it!   😂   😎

 

Thanks a million! So when you say “give IT a shot,” do you mean this one?https://www.schiit.com/products/vali-3?AC Adapter Type=510&&gclid=CjwKCAiAo5qABhBdEiwAOtGmbmYkuJ14wV2QO7UJlTNWaxA1tXEwjf8uavYEfIWb4YPzVjTtvlDVqBoCnCAQAvD_BwE

 

Does it also function as a phono preamp? (Sorry, be warned, I’m in too deep.)

 

I think the Puffin is just out of my price range, right now anyway. It sure sounds like the way to go, though, from what I’ve been reading. Still pondering. 

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