Turntable to Black Cube Linear


New member
Aug 10, 2019
Hello. Long-time lurker, first-time poster :)

I've recently been introduced to the wonders of vinyl, and I have to say I'm really convinced. There's a certain beauty to the music that just isn't there with digital.

Currently, I listen to FLACs (CD rips or HDtracks.com "better than CD" stuff) on my PC using a Xonar Essence STX card (ASIO) which connects to a Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear amp. The headphones are AKG K701s which have seen about 200 hours or so of playback.

I love the amp/headphone combo, so I'd like to use them with a turntable.

Other than our old hifi "tower" that we had in the 80s (you know, the ones with the turntable at the very top), I have no knowledge or experience of vinyl.

I've been reading about and would like to start off with an entry-level turntable, probably by Pro-Ject (as audio affair have good prices on them). My questions are:

1 Would I need a phonostage between the turntable and Black Cube Linear? I've been searching about and I can't get a definitive answer - would the BCL not manage to amp up the turntable's output?

2 With a budget of say £300 max, what would you guys recommend as a set up for a novice like me? I like the look of the Project Debut MkIII, mainly cos it has a lid :) and I know there's one with a built-in Phono.

I'm not sure what's best really, and any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

BTW: If it matters at all, music will mostly be electronic/jean-michell jarre/kraftwerk and, if they have them, any lemonjelly LPs (not sure if they made vinyl - I gotta check).



Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
Well if you want new then try this. http://www.lintone.co.uk/special-offers/rega-p3-24v-turntable-black-2127-148-3168.php All you will need is a cartridge and you're away..... I think at that price you will be hard done by to beat it

If 300 is your max then maybe the project is the way to go as you will need a phono stage


I think the Black Cube Linear is just a line level headphone amp with no ability to preamplify a phono cartridge, you need a dedicated phono amp for that as the internal circuitry is different. Given that your listening through a PC the rest of your questions are difficult for me to answer espescially given your budget.

What I do know is that using a Project with built in preamp will never allow your records to sound their best, they'll always sound softer and warmer that any digital source you use. I can say this with certainty because I've been using the top of the line Project Tubes Box SEII as well as the budget Phono Box II. Compared to something like a Lehmann Audio Black Cube the sound was much softer, slower, with less bass and treble detail and a lot less dynamic. Through the Black Cube LP's have a very fast clean almost digital sound which I find ideal for groups like Kraftwerk.

If I were to go for a separate budget phono pre-amp I'd seek out the Cambridge Audio Azur 540 or 640, your choice of phono preamp will have a huge impact on the sound. At the end of the day its about what you want to spend verses your expectations, perhaps other here have better advice to give though.



Just to clarify, the PC will be taken out of the equation entirely. So, the idea is turntable - phone preamp - black cube linear.

Do I understand from your post that, because the BCL is a high-end amp, I need a high-end preamp as well? Meaning the budget of £300 really isn't enough?

Interestingly, in the BCL manual, it explains that you can use it as a single source pre-amp if you wanted, that's what made me assume it can do the job :|


I think they are refering to a line level source for example a CD player when they say you can use single source, a headphone amp and phono amp serve two different purposes. A phono preamp is designed specifically to work with the cartridge attached to a turntable. The signal from a turntable cartridge is very low in volume so it requires a special type of preamp (not headphone amp) to bring the volume up so it can be heard through an ordinary line level input on an amplifier.

You'll need a Turntable and dedicated phono preamp before you can hear it through the Lehmann, or as you suggested a turntable with built in phono preamp.


Latest posts