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I have a need to add an MM phono stage for my system.  I have an Ariston RD80sl with Basik Plus and Goldring 920IGC (150-200pF loading) with a Jelco stylus.

I use the turntable about 4 times a year, so I just want something functional that will do a good job and not be an embarrassment :)

Budget is £150 and new or used is fine.  I have considered the following - what are views of the group on these products and I have I missed anything that should be on the list?

Rega Fono MM (used or refurbished)

Schiit Mani (used)

Project Phono Box S2 (new)

Lejonklou Gaio (original, used, but even this may not be in budget)

Tisbury Domino (new)

Thanks

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Posted (edited)

Cambridge Audio. Have a look here.  Not sure how much this one costs in the UK

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-cambridge-audio-duo-phono-preamp.6901/

Cheaper:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/cambridge-audio-solo-phono-preamplifier-review.9666/

Several other  phono stages tested on that site.

Edited by al2002
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Posted (edited)

Thank you pdcman and al2002

Unfortunately ASR is full of measurements, but you can't measure the way music makes you feel.

Edited by sunbeamgls
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I've been using a Lejonklou Kinki for some time, which is a cheaper alternative to the Gaio if you can find one. 

Another approach is to go for an Arcam Alpha 6-8 integrated :) Great value and great fun, with a phono stage that boogies. No idea how the Arcam compares to the Ariston, but I've built turntable systems for my eldest two kids around the Arcam Alpha 6 and I enjoy playing them in my office until the kids take them away. 

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Hi SunbeamGLS

I use a Gaio (original version) and have done for several years. I had a Kinki 3 before that. Both are very good. I've used mine with an Addict, Ortofon 2m (Black) - which is the current combination, AT VM95e and very recently with the Shure V15iii and Pickering XUV (D4000). So, although Lejonklou make a lot of noise about it being Adikt specific, it actually works well with a wide range of MMs). I bought a second one off eBay 2 days ago and paid £203 for it (you may even have been responsible for bidding it up)! I went Lejonklou from the Rega Phono. Rega Phono is very good for under £200 - I just preferred the Gaio.  It's also worth looking at a Trichord Dino if you can find one cheap enough. They are OK with the supplied PS - They are much better with the Dino + PS. If you use Ethernet over Mains then dont go the Dino route though as they pick up noise from the EoM (The Diablo doesn't - but that's way out of price range).

I'm quite a fan of Schitt stuff - generally speaking they are clean and bright sounding. I used their decent mid range DAC and a Valhalla as the headphone route off an ADSM (E) for several years (they take up rack space though -which is why they were moved on (they were much better than the Fiio K5 that has replaced them).

Personally I'd hold out for a used Gaio as they are fantastic for their used price - the original is fine but not upgradable. The Gaio 2 is upgradeable (I think all the way to current spec)

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19 hours ago, sunbeamgls said:

Unfortunately ASR is full of measurements, but you can't measure the way music makes you feel.

Toe taps per minute? Amplitude and frequency of booty shake? :)

I'm a fan of Amir. He is an electrical engineer. He specialized in digital signal processing. He is an audiophile. So two out of three isn't bad. :)

As for his reviews, I just treat them as more data points, not the final say, for sure.

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ASR is not where you want to hang out, unless you believe in their dictum...which is..: if it measures well and sounds like hell- it is great, if it sounds great and measures poorly- it is worthless"....:o

You think Amir is an audiophile..??

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Update:  used Rega Fono on its way for just under £100.

Thanks all

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 29/05/2021 at 16:05, sunbeamgls said:

Update:  used Rega Fono on its way for just under £100.

Thanks all

And what are your thoughts on the sound quality? 

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5 hours ago, mskaye said:

And what are your thoughts on the sound quality? 

I can't really comment, sorry.  I play records about 3 times a year at most, so all I can really say is that it works.

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I used to have a Rega Fono - measured well and sounded very good with Rega TT and Nait 5i.

I’m sure it will be ideal. 

When I upgraded I went for a Dynavector P75. 

Edited by Nestor Turton
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I used one too, before switching to use the Akurate MM stage.  Worked just fine, no hiss, hum or buzz, and that’s still a surprisingly common issue with turntable installations.  A few years ago the dealer I bought the TecnoDec from said you’d need to spend over £400 to beat it. And then he threw in his ex-dem Rega Fono mini to get me started.  Later I bought the newer Fono II but could scarcely say it was better, apart from having an off switch!

Edited by Nopiano
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