JollyRaja

Phono Stage Advice for SME10, Bryston amps and PMC fact8s

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Hi folks,

I'd like a bit of advice please. I managed to grab (what I think is) a bargain on a second hand turntable and need some help on the choice of phono stage.

My set-up is:

SME Model 10 turntable with Model 10 tone arm and Ortofon Cadenza Blue cartridge

Bryston BP-25 and 4BSST amplification

PMC fact8 speakers

I'm looking for something that gets my foot tapping maybe at the expense of 100% tonal accuracy. Any suggestions?

The dealer I bought the turntable from suggests either a Tom Evans microgroove or an iFi iPhono - these are just the only two items they sell in the price range. I've also heard good things about the Moon 310LP and I can get one of those from another local dealer.

Any other suggestions? Maybe something with valves ....

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Lotus340r who advertises on here has/had a Tron seven line stage advertised on his website. See http://www.lotus340r.net/stock.htm

or get in touch with Graham at Tron and he can make one for you. http://www.tron-electric.co.uk

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Moderator

Leema Agena without a doubt will deliver exactly what you're looking for and works well with Bryston amps.

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Trilogy 907 it roundly kicks arse. Detailed yet very musical and configurable.

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Trilogy 907 it roundly kicks arse. Detailed yet very musical and configurable.

It certainly kicked a Tron's ass at a bake-off. The Trilogy is very good and small.

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Thanks very much. This is exactly what I was after. Lots of food for thought. I like the Trilogy as rack space could quite possibly be a determining factor.

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kicked a Tron's ass sounds like something from Dan Dare!

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Listen to as many as you can with your kit, phono's are a game changer in a system and can be the difference between listening to your hifi and not. I tried about 8 last year that varied in sound and price wildly.

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I have an Art Audio Vinyl 1 and it is good for foot-tapping. Can be tweaked a bit as well and tubes can be rolled if that appeals. I wouldn't call it warm, but it is punchy and tonally accurate which is not to be sniffed at for long-term listening.

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It very much depends on cartridge matching as well. If you want to experiment with cartridges and retain flexibility then you will need a phono pre that you can adjust values on. If you have a clear cartridge strategy then you could then perhaps explore valves. Music is a very personal thing but your system is on the lean side for my tastes so valves or a fruitier cartridge like a Dynavector VD20 might also be an idea. I like Croft and Audion valve phonos.

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It certainly kicked a Tron's ass at a bake-off. The Trilogy is very good and small.

Not representative of the current model I am afraid. The Seven was significantly updated in 2010 after 4 years in production. The new Seven is a big improvement over the original model in every respect.

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Get a 2nd hand Ps Audio GCPH (cullen modified) for less than $1k on USA audiogon. Has volume control so can be used direct into power amps or active crossovers. I use this with PMC MB2 XBD-A and brinkmann record playing system. Easily beat a TEAD groove/vibe combo at a tenth of the cost (as it cuts out the pre leading to huge gain). Into a pre it is equivalent to the microgroove. Cutting out the pre brings a HUGE gain. Put the remainder of your budget to to a sale of the pre and SME10 and upgrade the deck. I recommend a Brinkmann deck - even the cheapest will kill the SME 30.

If you need to use a digital source then get one with its own inbuilt volume control and then run the dac and the phono into a switch before the crossover or power amp.

This will lift your system into the next league or three

Not interested in flame wars with trolls. This is my opinion like it or lump it guys

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It very much depends on cartridge matching as well. If you want to experiment with cartridges and retain flexibility then you will need a phono pre that you can adjust values on. If you have a clear cartridge strategy then you could then perhaps explore valves. Music is a very personal thing but your system is on the lean side for my tastes so valves or a fruitier cartridge like a Dynavector VD20 might also be an idea. I like Croft and Audion valve phonos.

Thanks Jupiter4. I feel my system in on the lean side too. I have no cartridge strategy - it's my first turntable - but I might need one as I think (but I could be completely wrong) that valves are more suited to MM and need a step-up transformer.

I'm probably talking rubbish ... I had to Google "Dynavector VD20" to realise it was a typo and it should have been DV20!

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