Hagerman Audio Labs Cornet MM Phono Preamp

If it’s Independence Day, it must also mean it’s independent gear news update time — and thus, we’re putting our patriotic spotlight on Hagerman Audio Labs today.

Last fall, we gave you the scoop on Hagerman Audio Labs’ fourth-generation Bugle MC ($249) here, and now it’s time to update you on the company’s latest 4th-gen upgrade. This time, it’s for their vaunted Cornet MM phono preamp, which sports an SRP of $589. According to HagAudio head honcho Jim Hagerman, “It’s an all-new product with the same name. The Cornet now comes in a metal enclosure with optional wood panels.” (Said enclosure is shown below.)


Here’s more about the Cornet. Its circuit topology features common cathode Class A gain stages with no feedback, passive equalization, and cathode follower output buffers with constant current sink loading. Power is supplied by a regulated wall-wart driving a boost converter — which, according to the company’s site, runs at about 50kHz — generating the high-voltage rail required for “proper” tube biasing.


Hagerman further points out that, if MC cartridges are utilized instead, the matching Piccolo MC headamp (seen above) can be duly deployed, and it has an SRP of $289. The Piccolo’s active circuitry uses low noise matched discrete JFETs in a no-feedback gain and buffer configuration, which is said to offer “very low noise and distortion” and that “the sound is extremely neutral, leaving no sonic signature” (their words). Both loading and gain are adjustable, which is said to provide “extreme flexibility.”

Additional Cornet MM specs are provided below. For more information about Hagerman Audio Labs in general, and how to get your own Cornet MM and/or Piccolo MC, go here.




44dB gain (1kHz)
47kohm input impedance
1kohm output impedance
±1dB RIAA accuracy (30Hz to 30kHz)
15Hz to 130kHz bandwidth (–3dB)
77dBA signal-to-noise (ref 5mV)
30dB overload (ref 5mV at 1kHz)
Dimensions: 6 x 10 x 6 in (with tubes)
12AX7x2, 12AU7x1
15Vdc power supply and tubes included


rwp's picture

I could identify any of your posts without seeing the byline; "to wit".