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  #1  
Old 08-31-2020, 08:27 PM
Amadave Amadave is offline
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Default Cartridge / Phono Pre-amp Recommendations

Currently, my system has a Rega RP10 turntable with the original Apheta cartridge with a Rega Aria phono pre-amp. I find the sound lively and very forward. Looking for some options for a more relaxed and natural sound. I am not opposed to tube based options.

My budget would be $5,000 to $10,000 for both. My amp and pre-amp are McIntosh MC452 and C50, respectively. Speakers are Rockport Atrias.

Last edited by Amadave; 08-31-2020 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 08-31-2020, 08:50 PM
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PierreB PierreB is offline
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I have the Modwright PH 9.0 and very happy. It’s a tube preamp. 4400$Can.
I find it very naturel, nice high, more than my ex Simaudio 310LP + 320S
I have a Rega P8 and an Apheta 2.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:09 PM
Jdsmoke Jdsmoke is offline
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Have you tried the phono setting of the C50? How does that compare to the Rega? What do you like about the Rega sound? Personally, given the sound you indicated you wanted and your system, I would update you Cart and Phono. I would get the McIntosh MP1100 phono (used if you can find it) and put the rest towards a new cart. Lots of options in the $3-4K range which would par nicely w the Rega and Mc phono.
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:39 PM
Amadave Amadave is offline
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Originally Posted by Jdsmoke View Post
Have you tried the phono setting of the C50? How does that compare to the Rega? What do you like about the Rega sound? Personally, given the sound you indicated you wanted and your system, I would update you Cart and Phono. I would get the McIntosh MP1100 phono (used if you can find it) and put the rest towards a new cart. Lots of options in the $3-4K range which would par nicely w the Rega and Mc phono.


Originally, I liked the forward sound, but it was before I heard any tube equipment. Even though I have not made the switch to tubes in my system, I found the tube sound more to my liking. I have experimented with using the phono preamp in the C50, but didn’t like the sound. It seemed too muted to me.

For what it’s worth, the tube equipment I preferred were BAT and VTL. I thought Audio Research sounded closer to SS than the others. I have never heard an all Mac tube system.
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:53 AM
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Regarding the cartridge, the Rega Aphelion is a logical upgrade from the original Apheta. Smoother and more balanced than the Apheta without sacrificing detail. For that matter, the Apheta 2 is a nice upgrade from the original, and is smoother than the original. For phonostage you might look at the Zesto Andros 1.2.
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Old 09-01-2020, 01:48 AM
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Default Cartridge / Phono Pre-amp Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonmb View Post
Regarding the cartridge, the Rega Aphelion is a logical upgrade from the original Apheta. Smoother and more balanced than the Apheta without sacrificing detail. For that matter, the Apheta 2 is a nice upgrade from the original, and is smoother than the original. For phonostage you might look at the Zesto Andros 1.2.


I am very keen to try a Zesto Andros 1.2, but no UK distribution. George and Carolyn Counnas have been very helpful in the past, but we are still to find a way around this problem.
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Old 09-01-2020, 11:50 AM
Amadave Amadave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonmb View Post
Regarding the cartridge, the Rega Aphelion is a logical upgrade from the original Apheta. Smoother and more balanced than the Apheta without sacrificing detail. For that matter, the Apheta 2 is a nice upgrade from the original, and is smoother than the original. For phonostage you might look at the Zesto Andros 1.2.


Thanks for your thoughts. I will look into these options.
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Old 09-01-2020, 01:30 PM
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Amadave - all good options mentioned above. Are you open to lightly used gear? If so, a NM condition Audio Research Reference 2 SE would be awesome. Comes in both black and silver and sounds amazing. I had one last year I sold for around $5,000 so that would leave you with some room for a nice cartridge if you were to find a nice deal.

- Buck
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:38 PM
Amadave Amadave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy3107 View Post
Amadave - all good options mentioned above. Are you open to lightly used gear? If so, a NM condition Audio Research Reference 2 SE would be awesome. Comes in both black and silver and sounds amazing. I had one last year I sold for around $5,000 so that would leave you with some room for a nice cartridge if you were to find a nice deal.

- Buck


Certainly open to quality used gear. Most of my system has been built with demos and floor model equipment. Only a couple of pieces were new.
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonmb View Post
Regarding the cartridge, the Rega Aphelion is a logical upgrade from the original Apheta. Smoother and more balanced than the Apheta without sacrificing detail. For that matter, the Apheta 2 is a nice upgrade from the original, and is smoother than the original. For phonostage you might look at the Zesto Andros 1.2.
I'll second the recommendation from Tony on the Zesto Andros 1.2 for a phono stage.
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