LKV Research Introduces "Veros One" Phono Preamp

North Conway, New Hampshire-based LKV Research introduced at T.H.E. Show Newport 2014 the Veros One, a brand new "upscale" phono preamplifier that uses premium parts, greater user friendliness and improved power supply regulation and filtering among a host of upgrades to the already excellent Phono 2-SB.

While the Phono 2-SB was sold "factory direct", the $6500 Veros One will be available from dealers and distributors in the U.S. and overseas, though the press release says that "initially" the Veros One will be available at MSRP directly from LKV until an adequate dealer network has been established after which website sales will "likely" be phased out.

While the insides were impressive, the homely-looking fascia was anything but, though most of us would prefer that most of the money went inside rather than out.

The company also introduced a $3500 dual mono, zero feedback, fully differential line section called the Line One that also uses premium parts throughout.

For more of the Veros One's circuit design details take the "guided tour" with designer Bill Hutchins here:

Ortofan's picture

Will wait to see if they release a version with an R-core power transformer, as used by Parasound, McIntosh, etc.
Another example of John Curl's observation that "Most commercial manufacturers don't keep up with the latest developments."

Since the design is dual-mono, a mirror-image layout for the two circuit boards and back panel would have been a nice touch.

JohnnyCanuck's picture

Both good points. Any R-core based power supply would almost seem to be mandatory in such a low signal, high gain environment.

The mirror image may be nicer cosmetically but perhaps there are practical reasons for using identical boards.

figaro's picture

to build with two identical PC boards than using mirror boards.
Sorry to state the obvious.

Bill - LKV's picture

Michael, Thank you so much for making and posting the video. I really appreciate it.

And thanks as well to Ortofan and JohnnyC for your interest and thoughtful comments. They give me a welcome opportunity to discuss an important aspect of the design I did not cover in the video: transformer selection. I have no criticism to make of the R Core transformers. R Core is a very good approach. But good design is, in substantial part, the art of selecting the right component for the particular role it must play in the overall circuit. That is what I did in selecting the excellent toroidal transformer made to our specifications by Toroid of Maryland.

I chose this toroidal transformer because it gives us exactly what we need in the power supply of the Veros One: correct AC voltages, positive and negative, without any noise or spurious artifacts that we do not eliminate with the extensive power regulation and filtering in the Veros One. The result is stable, quiet DC power rails that contribute mightily to the excellent noise and distortion performance of this design.

As for the suitability of our toroidal transformer for the low signal/high amplification environment of a MC phono preamp, the ultimate tests are listening and measuring. Give a listen to the Veros One and decide for yourself if it isn’t astonishingly quiet and capable of retrieving even minute detail from your LPs.
Comparison of typical measurements will demonstrate that the Veros One is at least as quiet or quieter than highly respected competing models that cost far more. If anyone is interested in seeing such a comparison, please send me an email ( and I will send you the data with citations to tests John Atkinson has published on other phono preamps and printouts of the tests we have made with our Audio Precision analyzer.

Thanks again to both of you for joining in the fun,

Bill Hutchins

Ortofan's picture

Thank you - I'll send you an email to request the comparative data you have available.
What, if anything, do you do to avoid saturation in the toroid from DC offset on the AC line?
Does your toroid have a shield between primary and secondary windings to reduce coupled noise?
How is the noise performance of your preamp versus the design described here:

JohnnyCanuck's picture

I have sent you an email requesting that data. I look forward to receiving it.


Jim's picture

Thanks, Michael, for the video. I recently upgraded my ancient AR preamp to the LKV 2-SB, based in part on your review. It was a decision that has yielded much enjoyment, for this unit really sings. Unbeknown to me before, I can appreciate that a snare drum actually has a tone and that the lower and middle registers of a clarinet in a Mozart piece have a vivid richness that rivals a live performance.

Given the level of performance by the 2-SB, is there any chance that you might consider writing a comparative review of the Veros One?


Michael Fremer's picture
Hope to at some point…once the literal STACK of phono preamps diminishes
DigitalIsDead's picture

As someone from Jackson, that's a couple of towns over from North Conway, I was shocked to read LKV had setup shop there. I'll be home soon for a reunion so I may have to stop over if that's possible.

Bill - LKV's picture

We would love to meet you. We won't be back in NH for about a week. But please give us a call when you are in the area. Bill

Bill - LKV's picture

The comparison of noise levels in the Veros One to those in other, well respected phono preamps can be found on the LKV Blog site:

Bill - LKV's picture
Bill - LKV's picture

I had originally meant to post the chart here. But the formatting would not work. So, here is a very much abridged version. Click the link above for the full chart with all the data, test conditions, explanations and caveats.

Boulder 2008, $38,000, ST Class A+
MM S/N ratio - 58dB; MC S/N ratio - 49dB.

Vitus Audio MP-P201, $60,000, ST Class A+
MM S/N ratio - 54dB; MC S/N ratio - Not Given

Boulder 1008, 13,000, ST Class A
MM S/N ratio - 77dB; MC S/N ratio - 60dB

Parasound Halo JC-3, $2995, ST Class A
MM S/N ratio - 78dB; MC S/N ratio - 67

Abingdon Music Research PH-77, $11,995, ST Class A
MM S/N ratio - 70/73dB, MC S/N ratio - 60dB to 70dB
(depending on gain)
LKV Research Verso One, $6500
MM S/N ratio - 82dB, MC S/N ratio - 63dB

Bill - LKV's picture

Several folks have asked how our $2500 LKV Phono 2-SB would stack up in this comparison. The answer is very well. The 2-SB's MC S/N ratio typically measures 61dB (with 59 dB gain, un-weighted audio band). Its typical MM S/N ratio is 81dB (40dB gain, un-weighted audio band). These measurements are made in the same fashion as those in the chart. These measurements, and those of the Veros One, are better than our published specs. We like to give our customers more than we promise them.

Bill - LKV's picture

We have revised both the Veros One and the Phono 2-SB so as to make them even quieter than the results quoted above indicate. The Veros One now has an audio-band, unweighted signal to noise ratio of about 68-70dB referenced to a 0.5 mV input with 70 dB gain balanced out and 64dB gain single ended out. The 2-SB has an audio-band, unweighted S/N ratio of 64-66dB referenced to 0.5mV input at 65dBb gain balanced out and 59dB single ended out. Price increases, including a more than doubling of the cost to us of the jfets we use in all gain circuits, have forced us to increase the price of the 2-SB to $3000. We have managed to keep the price of the Veros unchanged.