We just setup the JMF Audio PHS 7.3 phono stage in our reference system. I wasn't entirely sure how it might improve upon the sound quality, so I approached it with an open mind and zero expectations. I am using an SME 20/3 turntable with Series V tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge. The cartridge has been calibrated using the Adjust+ software. Connected to one of the MC-specialized balanced phono inputs on the PHS 7.3.

With my previous phono stage upgrades, I have heard better tonal balance, increased clarity with less smearing, more detail, etc. So it would make sense if the PHS 7.3 also delivered improvements in those areas. And it did so, but in a way that I wasn't really expecting. The reason everything sounded clearer and there was more detail to be heard is because everything sounded significantly more pure. You may have heard me or others refer to certain speakers as providing a purer sound. Sometimes people talk about speakers or electronics having a blacker background, not always referring to the noise floor. I'm not entirely sure how else to describe it, especially as I'm not really sure what measurement captures it.

Regardless, it was like a bunch of busyness was removed from the playback, which you didn't know was extra stuff because that's what you're used to hearing. A bit like when you hear something played back on a better piano. I heard soft details more easily. I could clearly hear background voices that were previously bunched in with the music. Imaging had better placement of individual sounds. I wonder if better transient response also contributed to making things easier to hear and understand.

I'm very impressed with the JMF Audio PHS 7.3 phono stage. Definitely have to go back through my favorite records for a fresh listen.