Phono Preamp Reviews

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Michael Fremer  |  Jan 14, 2019  |  15 comments
Cambridge Audio's Duo is a compact, attractive, lightweight (2.1 Lbs) low priced phono preamplifier that will surprise you with its solid sonic performance as well as its low price. It certainly surprised me! It also features a headphone amplifier so it makes for a great desktop or dorm room accessory.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 04, 2017  |  16 comments
CiAudio (better known as Channel Island Audio) is an American-manufacturer of high quality, moderately priced electronics that you can explore at the company’s website. The PEQ 1 MKII is built to an unexpectedly high standard given its $995 price tag and American heritage. The outside is a sturdy milled aluminum chassis unusual at this price point as are the highest quality panel mounted Cardas™ RCA jacks. Inside is a dual mono design with each input jack going to an identically laid out, independent mono circuit, which helps to eliminate crosstalk.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 03, 1999  |  0 comments
At a hi-fi show in Germany a few years ago, an audio club had set up a room filled with a dozen well-known turntable/tonearm combos. I recall seeing the Clearaudio/Souther, Immedia RPM-2 and arm, VPI TNT Mk.IV/JMW Memorial, Basis 2500/Graham 2.0, Oracle/Graham, Linn LP12/Ittok, SME Model 20/SME V, and some others I can't remember, including a few not exported from Germany.
Michael Fremer  |  Feb 24, 2018  |  14 comments
First released in 2010, Parasound’s JC 3 MM/MC phono preamplifier began as a dual-mono John Curl-designed phono section retro-fit for its JC2 line stage. With vinyl’s popularity on the rise, Parasound’s Richard Schram figured a stand-alone version priced right might find an audience.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 21, 2017  |  1 comments
Posted stories go to the bottom of the page and then disappear but the eight phono preamps compared story lives on and there's still time to vote for your favorite in this blind listening test.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 10, 2005  |  0 comments
Michael Fremer wrote about the EAR 834P Deluxe in August 2003 (Vol.26 No.8):

I've been meaning to review this Tim de Paravicini design for years. Finally, egged on by readers, here goes.

Michael Fremer  |  May 04, 2017  |  12 comments
Here’s a comparison of eight phono preamplifiers incorporating a variety of features and ranging in price from $399 to $4500. The adjacent “vote” story includes files made using each of them so this write-up will not contain sonic comparisons. Those will follow when the voting closes. When that happens depends upon how many readers participate and how quickly they vote.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 30, 2017  |  24 comments
AnalogPlanet asked the question Should You Buy a MM Only Phono Preamp If you are using a MM cartridge? and then provided readers with capsules of 8 phono preamps followed by 8 unidentified 96k/24 bit files, asking readers to listen and vote "blind".

Michael Fremer  |  May 27, 2014  |  16 comments
While in excess of 6000 people read the story and many thousands downloaded the files, for some reason fewer than 100 analogplanet.com readers chose to vote for which phono preamp sounded best reproducing a short segment of Mehmet Ali Sanlikol's big band album what's next.

Michael Fremer  |  May 27, 2014  |  1 comments
You've had the files to listen to, compare and vote on for some time now so here are the capsule reviews.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 30, 2004  |  0 comments
I don't know Graham Slee from Gram Parsons, or which House he was in at Harry Potter's Hogwarts School, but let me tell you: If you'd just been listening to a bunch of budget phono preamps, as I had, then came upon the GSP Audio Era Gold Mk.V, you'd think someone had switched out not just the phono preamp but your entire system. You might think you were listening to a different pressing or a different cartridge. How can this be?
Michael Fremer  |  Apr 25, 2019  |  28 comments
For almost two decades now British phono preamp manufacturer Graham Slee has been designing, producing and selling specialized high quality phono preamplifiers. His latest is the $1449 Accession, an unusually versatile model that includes a volume pot, which means the Accession can be used as preamplifier to drive a power amplifier. If all you plan on doing is playing records using one turntable and a moving magnet cartridge (or a high output MC or moving iron), the Accession obviates the need for a separate preamplifier.
Michael Fremer  |  Mar 19, 2000  |  0 comments
This is an era in which products and websites are "launched," but in the past two years Herron Audio has sort of oozed its way into the public ear. With little visible promotion or splashy advertising, Herron is now spoken of within an ever-widening audiophile circle.
Michael Fremer  |  Jun 23, 2014  |  50 comments
Swan Song Audio (www.swansongaudio.com), newly arrived in the audiophile electronics market will make its show debut at October’s Rocky Mountain Audio Festival 2014. Earlier this year Anthony Crocker (who I think at this time is Swan Song Audio), emailed and offered for review his Cygnet Phono Preamplifier.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 18, 2009  |  0 comments
In an ideal world, I'd have every phono section I've reviewed in the past 16 years on hand to compare with these three and with all that arrive in the future. But because I have a life, I don't, and I wouldn't even if I could, though some readers (and one retailer) have insisted that that's the only way that I could possibly be of any use to them. Ha! And for those who are concerned that I've neglected the Manley Steelhead, not so! It's still my reference.

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