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MeloManiac

Need advice on phono stage for Leben CS300

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My Made-in-China "I am Nobody' phone stage is going to move to my den to accompany my TubeCube 7. 

I need phonostage to meet the quality of my Leben CS300 better, to connect it with my Pro-ject Essential 3 (Ortophon OM10 stylus).

I have two or three well-reviewed candidates that fit my budget, but I cannot make up my mind:

  1. The iFi Zen Phono: https://ifi-audio.com/products/zen-phono/ 149 euro
  2. The Rega Fono Mini A2D: https://www.rega.co.uk/products/fono-mini-a2d 129 euro

 

And then there are the various Pro-ject phono preamps, Phono Box 'whatever' in the same price range. 

 

The Zen Phono is for both MM and MC needles, but most reviewers say you need something much better if you ever buy an MC needle.The Rega comes with a usb port for digitizing albums, which I will never use.

Help and insight would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi --- not sure about the ones you mention. I looked at the Pro-ject tube box, but decided in favor of the VIncent PHO-8, which was on sale online. I'm happy with it's performance. Might want to consider or add to your list to research.  The Rega also gets good reviews. The Vincent has an eternal power supply and supports MC or MM.

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And you may never use a MC either but come mostly standard nowadays just in case.

Either of those, or one just mentioned should be exotic enough. Good return policy let's you explore.

Would say to use a tube type but, may colorize your tube amp the wrong way. Will be interesting to hear.

Would have thought your new to you tube amp had a phono section.

Thanks!

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You might consider the Schiit Mani. It's in your price range and get's very good reviews. 

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Just now, wetowne said:

You might consider the Schiit Mani. It's in your price range and get's very good reviews. 

 

The Mani was on my shortlist too, but here in Europe, retail price is 189 euro ($200), which is a bit steep compared to the competition. Also, I 've read some negative experiences with after sales support.

2 hours ago, Sam S. said:

VIncent PHO-8

The Vincent was used by the previous owner of the Leben CS300. I'll definitely look into that.

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Actually used a Technolink awhile back with features. Inexpensive but was decent. There is alot out there to consider.

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You might like the Puffin, by Shannon Parks.

 

http://parksaudiollc.com/

 

He used to design and sell wonderful tube amps/boards.

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10 minutes ago, Marvel said:

You might like the Puffin, by Shannon Parks.

 

http://parksaudiollc.com/

 

He used to design and sell wonderful tube amps/boards.

I just bought a Puffin to replace my Musical Fidelity phono preamp and I much prefer the Puffin playing thru my technics 1200 mk2 and Denon d110 mc cartridge. The Puffin is very versatile

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2 hours ago, Marvel said:

You might like the Puffin, by Shannon Parks.

 

http://parksaudiollc.com/

 

He used to design and sell wonderful tube amps/boards.

 

I looked at it and it is a very interesting product. I live in Europe, Belgium. When I click on 'buy international' I immediately am diverted to the PayPal site. There is no information on postage and taxes/import duties. I contacted them for  information about that. I don't want any unpleasant surprises afterwards.

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Heard it is around 500 US dollars.

Puffin...

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I would support Shannon parks... Message him, he is really good about getting back to you and I am sure he would be thrilled to have more units in Europe.

Also, ask about the power conversion...

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@MeloManiac  Hi Ivan ....just a quick chimm in to clearify some basics....Your TT is limited for better pick ups than a Ortofon 2MBlue or the OM 20. The tonearm is not designed to carry heavier pick ups than 7 gramms. Of course the are MC´s in this weight class available , but even entry class only. So you better keep your eye on a real MM phono pre like a Graham Slee GramAmp2 for good 200 € ( see details in the link, scroll down ) . Than upgrate your TT with the Ortofon 2M Blue like you attended to do it a couple of weeks ago before you bought the CX 300 Tube amp. I think this is the only and real listenable upgrate with you new tubeamp.

 

 

 

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