Onboard phonostage vs external phono amp

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
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Any thoughts on how the MM phonostage in my Marantz PM8003 amp would compare to a good quality external phono amp?

I used to have a cheap Pro-Ject Phonobox (circa £80) that did a sterling job when running my deck through a Naim Uniti last year. I thought then that for £80 it was a great little performer, but since then I've moved on but I'm constantly wondering whether the admittedly decent sound I'm currently getting, could be enhanced a notch or two with spending say £200/£300 on a new phonostage?

Your thoughts as usual would be most welcome.

.
 

Thaiman

New member
Jul 28, 2007
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I don't know how good the Marantz phonostage is but in general, people seem to think standalone Phonostage is better. I would argue with that though, I am using the build-in Phonostage in my Mastersound PH-L5 Preamp with Silver wired Step up transformer and the combo is so much better than most standalone stage under £3,000 that I compared with.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
DIB said:
Any thoughts on how the MM phonostage in my Marantz PM8003 amp would compare to a good quality external phono amp?

I used to have a cheap Pro-Ject Phonobox (circa £80) that did a sterling job when running my deck through a Naim Uniti last year. I thought then that for £80 it was a great little performer, but since then I've moved on but I'm constantly wondering whether the admittedly decent sound I'm currently getting, could be enhanced a notch or two with spending say £200/£300 on a new phonostage?

Your thoughts as usual would be most welcome.

.
Little like TM I've not heard the Marantz phono stage, but they usually reflect the amp quality. From personal experience Arcam produce some of the finest in their price bracket. I've, over the years, retailers and they say unless your prepared to really 'spend' the built-in one is as good as they get - can't see Marantz being much different.

So the point I'm making is: you do get variations with different brands (some a little better than others), and unless the amp has the quality to make a dedicated outboard stage sound good, then stick with in-built.
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
159
31
18,620
Thanks for your comments. They sort of back up my own thoughts that to gain any significant improvement I would have to spend a disproportionate amount of money.

As I say I'm happy with the PM8003's phono performance, but you are always wondering where the next improvement can come from.

.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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Some pre-amps and integrated amps come with really good phono stages. Some don't.

For example with MC cartridges I strongly prefered the phono amp section of a Quad 99 pre-amp to my standard EAR 834p phono amp.

You could always organise a phono amp bake-off. Where you invite people to come along with phono and pre amps to compare them in your system.
 

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