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Phono Stage Upgrade


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Been a few more days of listening with my new phono stage and still enjoying it. From the first day I did realize the bass was much better than the one I was using but vocals did seem somewhat bright for my taste. This changed when I swapped out an excellent preamp for my power amps to just the Firstwatt B1 buffer. Big difference with vocals when I did this. Lovely sounding now. It seems the iFi is not a good match for the first preamp. Using the B1 buffer, which is an active volume control device with no influence with the sound. At least that is what engineers say. It is said that you have to install many buffers in a circuit before you will notice a difference in the original sound. In effect what I am now listening to is the cartridge, iFi, then the power amplifier. This buffer has no gain and works well with our speakers which are so efficient. It is my go to volume control where I can listen to the difference in sound of my many amplifiers. Excellent sounding now. I am building another tube preamplifier and when I finish it I will post how it sounds with a power amplifier using the iFi phono stage. I expect this combination to work great with a SS amplifier. Well worth the $200 I spent for it. 

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As much as I enjoyed my Schitt Mani (original, not the 2), as soon as I built my Bottlehead Reduction + Integration with a few upgrades the Mani went on the chopping block.


But....you have to be willing to DIY, live with tubes, and given the price increases over the past 18 months and lack of sales from Bottlehead I'm not sure the value proposition still exists with the Reduction, particularly if you don't already DIY.

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  • 1 month later...

My ma252 integrated had a nice sounding phono stage but when I bought my EVO 400 it had no built in phono stage. I got a musical fidelity phono stage that sounded fantastic but I wanted to check out the Puffin and with my MoFi Fender TT and Puffin my vinyl experiences are better than ever.


Synergy Synergy

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