Question Phono stage recommendation

Petherick

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Oct 29, 2008
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Hi all
Some time ago I incorporated my 'hi-fi' into my AV system and I've been using a Yamaha RX-V677 as my main amp. I now plan to update this and most AV receivers no longer have phono stages. So I will need to get one for use with my Thorens TD160S/Audio Technica AT1100/Goldring 1022gx combo. I realise that it's not perfect to be using an AV amp but for the sake of household unity, that's the plan.
Any advice or recommendations please. Thanks.
 

camcroft

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Jan 12, 2012
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Depends on what sort of quality sound that you are looking for against how much you are willing to pay for a phono stage and what the end result will be sound wise. It would be such a shame to use a naff phono stage with the Thorens turntable.
 
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Petherick

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Oct 29, 2008
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Thanks camcroft
Cost is a factor but I don't want to buy something cheap and then regret it.
I'm quite drawn to the Edwards Apprentice, but have never heard one. Would this give an improvement over the phono stage in a typical integrated amp?
 
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camcroft

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I think it is quite a minefield in that price range. I have a Schiit Mani phono stage which I had to buy from the USA there is a UK stockist but they are normally out of stock. I myself was looking at the iFi Zen Phono £149 but I don't know if it would better the Mani it was reviewed on this site recently but only got 4 stars. Reviews are exactly what they say reviews I have the iFi Zen Blue and it is a fantastic product I have 2 in fact and their stuff is very good in my opinion but to me the question is Zen Phono or not Zen Phono spend money or make do and save money.
 
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Petherick

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Thanks again camcroft

One of the reasons I am leaning to the Apprentice is that it has an internal power supply; I don't know if that's good or bad in terms of the sound, but it means it can be turned off when not in use.
But the Zen Phono does look a good option, and if I put aside the PSU issue, the Rega Fono Mini is also on my list. Do you have any experience withe the Rega?
 
The Rega fono mini, is that the Mini A2D?
If so you're probably paying for a function you are not going to use, unless you do plan to digitize your vinyl
Haven't heard the Zen phono yet but it does appear to be getting good reviews
 

andybebbs

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I have the edwards apprentice plugged into my yamaha as701 and it works great was also thinking of more expensive options but settled on the edwards.
 
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toon10

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Jan 14, 2021
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I've just bought the Graham Slee Communicator Gram Amp 2 with PSU1 power pack. Together they are about £400 but I bought on eBay and got both for £190. I can't comment on the other options but the Slee reviews well and I'm blown away with how good my records sound. It's plugged into an expensive amp so that may be the reason but it's miles above the built in phono stage on my old Yamaha amp (which was very cheap to be fair.)
 
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I've just bought the Graham Slee Communicator Gram Amp 2 with PSU1 power pack. Together they are about £400 but I bought on eBay and got both for £190. I can't comment on the other options but the Slee reviews well and I'm blown away with how good my records sound. It's plugged into an expensive amp so that may be the reason but it's miles above the built in phono stage on my old Yamaha amp (which was very cheap to be fair.)
not much help as finding another might prove difficult and what you paid is already £100 over and above the item the OP was looking at.
 

toon10

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Jan 14, 2021
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not much help as finding another might prove difficult and what you paid is already £100 over and above the item the OP was looking at.
the op is looking for a preamp and some of the options mentioned above are the schiit mani and rega phono. I also had these in my shortlist.

They are in line with the price of a new Graham slee. They cost about £200 new and I easily found one on eBay for £100. (I was watching 4 of them). You don’t need the optional psu1 which I bought.

I’m happy for the op to clarify his budget but at £100 I don’t think the slee is way over.

Maybe moving forward your replies could be a little less antagonistic and a little more helpful? Just a thought anyway.
 

Petherick

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Oct 29, 2008
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Thank you to everyone for your responses. It's given me a lot to think about!
I think I've settled on Sony str-dn1080 as my new AV receiver and I know it probably won't do full justice to the TT but as part of the change it would be nice to try to improve on the compromise. I can stretch the budget a bit if it's genuinely going to be worth it. My current front speakers are Wharfedale Diamond 10 so there will be only so far I can go before other limitations on quality become apparent.
 
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Delrtm

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Jan 24, 2021
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I've got a Marantz NR1200 arriving on Mon. Bought as a music mainly amp but we do watch films through the current old Sony AV Receiver and didn't want to lose that. The Marantz has a phono stage built in. Hoping it'll wound ok with my Rega PL1
 

camcroft

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Jan 12, 2012
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The ifi Phono only got 4 stars on this site but I watched a podcast on AV Forums and one of the reviewers said that he had been looking at it for a forthcoming review and he said that it is a fantastic phono stage. So what do we make of these reviews all of the ifi stuff gets rave reviews so they must be doing something right and its nice to see its a British company.
 

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