Phono stage: Cambridge Audio or a.n.other

Anthony

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I need to get a phono stage but can't spend much at the moment.

currently my shortlist is very short at just one item: Cambridge Audio 640P

I'm prepared to buy this new (£59)because I want something soon and don't want to wait for one to appear on eBay.I can't find one elsewhere 2nd hand (except at Retro Reproductions who tried to sell me a second hand one for £55
shock.gif.7732780fe7e208b945ce79ca96402fca.gif
- talk about taking the piss
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)

It will likely eventually end up as a backup when i manage to find something a bit better.

before I take the plunge is there anything else I should consider around that price (new or second hand)?

thanks

 

Lefty

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The Cambridge is supposed to be a stonker for the price. Not heard one myself but don't think there's anyhting to touch it under £200 from what I've read. You'd proabably have to get something like the Graham Slee 2se to really better it.

I'd go for it. At £59 you can't really lose
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Lefty

 

Papa Lazarou

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Lefty wrote:

The Cambridge is supposed to be a stonker for the price. Not heard one myself but don't think there's anyhting to touch it under £200 from what I've read. You'd proabably have to get something like the Graham Slee 2se to really better it. I'd go for it. At £59 you can't really lose
smile.png


Lefty
My thoughts exactly.
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TIU

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{Right, at the second attempt after my Mac went all weird and back-deleted all my text one character at a time with me powerless to stop it!}
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I think you're pretty safe with the Cambridge 640P because, by all accounts, it performs well above its price. There's the Nad PP2 but I wouldn't buy one of those over the 640P.

Second hand there's the larger Rotel (can't recall the model number) which can be modded to a degree, but not sure if they go for above your budget. Likewise the Project Phono Box SE that I use which tend to go for £75 and over.

I have heard of the CA 640P sitting comfortably with high-end kit and doing a good job. It may become one of the hi-fi classics.

 

tkimages

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I bought one as a means of getting my LP12 into a Meridian digital system. Sounds fine to me, it has to go through an A-D converter as well, but that was a cheap one as well. I don't miss the Linn phono stage in the Kairn preamp. The sound is very very good for the money.

 

Anthony

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seems like the obvious option at that price point.

will see how much I can knock retro reproductions down, otherwise I'm off to Richer Sounds:party:

thanks ladies

 

dudywoxer

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I had just repled in your wanted thread, get the 640p, the MM side is very good, the MC side a gnats better. I changed for a Gram 2SE, which was a touch better, and had a bit more gain, but nothing earth shattering. Just get the 640 then wait for a real top end box to turn up at the right money.

 

Anthony

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dudywoxer wrote:

I had just repled in your wanted thread, get the 640p, the MM side is very good, the MC side a gnats better. I changed for a Gram 2SE, which was a touch better, and had a bit more gain, but nothing earth shattering. Just get the 640 then wait for a real top end box to turn up at the right money.
thanks buddy

i get cone wobble when walking across the floor so the subsonic filter may come in useful. does it affect the sound quality though?

 

dudywoxer

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Duno, never used it, concrete has its advantage, ask Borat- he has one

 

They call me Ron

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I briefly had the 640p and a Gram Amp 2 side by side. The 640p edged it for me, with a slightly more open sound and better build. And at half the price. It's a genuine bargain.

I'm even contemplating getting another one to take over from the stage in my Rega Mira. But… I… must… resist…

 

nsherin

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Not heard the Cambridge, but it appears highly regarded. The Rotel you mention is the RQ-970BX. Very nice bit of kit - I use one myself with a Pro-Ject Debut II.

I've not modded mine, as I've I've got the electronics/soldering skills of a chimp, but even in it's unmodded form, it still sounds very very good. I managed to buy mine for about £65 second-hand locally, but I've seen them go for more on eBay.

I know Sid & Coke has modified his one with very good results - perhaps he can advise more if you drop him a PM.

 

rabidlistener

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Bought one from a fellow Wammer at Xmas. When I first connected it I was underwhelmed to say the least and it sounded worst than the phono stage in my Magnum pre amp. Left it on for 10 days and then gave it a listen - what a revelation. Well worth the price and great value.

 

Anthony

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nsherin wrote:

Not heard the Cambridge, but it appears highly regarded. The Rotel you mention is the RQ-970BX. Very nice bit of kit - I use one myself with a Pro-Ject Debut II.I've not modded mine, as I've I've got the electronics/soldering skills of a chimp, but even in it's unmodded form, it still sounds very very good. I managed to buy mine for about £65 second-hand locally, but I've seen them go for more on eBay.

I know Sid & Coke has modified his one with very good results - perhaps he can advise more if you drop him a PM.
i had considered a second handRotel but unfortunately I don't have the space for a full size box. thanks for the suggestion though

 

hifienthusiast

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You may be able find to find a used Moth RIAA phono stage for about £100. It caters for both MM and MC cartridges, built with discrete transistors, designed by Stan Curtis of the original Cambridge Audio fame. It is a superb phono stage for its price, I prefer it to the Trichord Dino. The Moth has a full, warm sound and deep bass.

The Moth is also very narrow, but long. The transformer is housed in a separate plastic box.

 

johnniebaby

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nsherin wrote:

Not heard the Cambridge, but it appears highly regarded. The Rotel you mention is the RQ-970BX. Very nice bit of kit - I use one myself with a Pro-Ject Debut II.I've not modded mine, as I've I've got the electronics/soldering skills of a chimp, but even in it's unmodded form, it still sounds very very good. I managed to buy mine for about £65 second-hand locally, but I've seen them go for more on eBay.

I know Sid & Coke has modified his one with very good results - perhaps he can advise more if you drop him a PM.
Hi, bought a used RQ-970BX, with upgraded op amps from IANN a month or so bac £60 inc P&P sounds superb.
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