Phono Preamp to pair with Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC


New member
Jun 22, 2014
Hey guys, I'm going to be pretty thorough, but I'll stick a TL;DR at the end.
I'm looking to get a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC w/ 2M Red (the new DC version has fixed the motor hum issue that has been following the table around for years, a problem with US power supply), and will want a phono preamp to pair with it. The signal path will be (for the time being, of course- we all know how easy it is to change and add on things to our systems) TT -> Phono -> Marantz nr1403 slim-line AVR (50wpc stereo into 8 ohms, no phono stage) -> cheap biwire cable ->Quad 12L's (6 ohms, 125W max). Down the line I will invest in a separate stereo 2.1 receiver and relegate the AVR to preamp duties and surround, but for the time being the AVR has enough resolution and power to do the speakers right. My current phono stages under consideration are the Cambridge Audio Azur 651P, Musical Fidelity V90-LPS, Bellari VP130 (all three between $220 and $275 on Amazon - I would upgrade the bellari stock tube and am ok with the added price) or for a more cost effective option the Schiit Audio Mani ($129 on Schiit's website). If the phono stage picked has a headphone output, I'll be using it with V-Moda M-100's, but this isn't a major factor as my AVR and Dragonfly computer DAC can cover my headphone listening. I am 23, and just starting out in the hobby/obsession, so I'm trying to keep this under $300 US, but i'm open to any other suggestions. My current musical tastes are fairly broad, but center around indie rock, singer/songwriter, classic rock, some electronic, and some blues and jazz. When listening, I prefer some heft at the bottom end but not nearly as much as most my age- mostly, I enjoy a wide soundstage and realistic guitar and voice resolution. I play guitar, so pick action "thump" tends to stand out when reproduced incorrectly- well recorded electric guitar should have a strong physical leading edge that I find important to recreate. That all said, as I lean so heavily towards rock and similar styles warmth is not something I'm avoiding (especially with such analytical speakers as the Quad's). Worth noting is that the Quad's cut out around 50 hz, but I'll be getting a sub once I leave my apartment next August. TL;DR - suggestions for phono stage under $300US? Thanks for reading, and for all your help. -Parker
Your list just about covers it for your budget. I assume you will be sticking with Moving Magnet type cartridges.

The 651P is a very good buy considering it's price and the Schiit Audio looks very good also although I have never heard one.

It really depends on whether or not you really need that headphone amplifier when it comes to the Bellari but it does give you more room to 'tweek' the system when, and if, you like to do a bit of tube-rolling.

If it were my money it would be a 'toss-up' between this and the 651P because this also has a limited Moving Coil compatibility.


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