Welcome to the AudioShark Forums.
Results 1 to 34 of 34
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    saṃsāra
    Posts
    700

    tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    while i know it is subjective and system-dependent, it is always good to hear others' opinions and learn from their experience...

    what do you prefer and/or recommend in terms of a phono-amp: tubes or solid state -- or even hybrid?

    what do you see as the pros and cons of each?

    is a tube phono-amp in a system with tube amplification too much of a good thing?

    thanks!!
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
    core audio designs
    plyKraft 3L | hifi racks ltd podium t5-iii

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
    Posts
    198

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    I have used both tubed and solid state phono stages in the past with varying degrees of success. What I have found to provide the best sound is a tubed phono stage with a step up transformer. The SUT eliminates noise issues that can exist with all phono stages when using low output cartridges. I have really appreciated the dynamic sound and additional micro details that the SUT has provided. Of course, some tubed phono stages use internal transformers in their designs so that might be another option as well. Just sharing my experience. Best of luck in your search!
    Morgan

    SPEAKERS KEF Blade 2
    SUBWOOFERS Four DIY Speaker Hardware 12" passive subs driven by Dayton SA1000 amp
    AMPLIFICATION Pass Labs X350.8, Cary SLP-05 w/Ultimate Upgrade
    DIGITAL Marantz SA-10, Sonore opticalModule and opticalRendu, Intel NUC Roon Core
    VINYL EAT C-Sharp, Hana SL, EAT E-Glo S w/LPS, Bob's Devices Sky 20 SUT
    POWER AudioQuest Niagara 5000, two dedicated circuits
    WIRES AudioQuest William Tell, Earth, Leopard, Tornado
    RESONANCE/ISOLATION Nordost Sort Kones, various Herbie's Audio Lab

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Front Row Center
    Posts
    2,501

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Whats most important is not if Your PP is Tube or SS , but if you have enuff adjustability to match( Gain , Pf, impedance and EQ) differing carts, ohhh and its all Discrete ...


    Regards ..

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Palm Coast, FL 'The Hammock'
    Posts
    4,153

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    I tried both, I stuck with my Manley.
    Chris

    (2 Chl): Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE Lumin D1, VPI Classic 1, Manley Chinook, Dynavector DV20x2L.exaSound e32 mk11, Marantz SA11S2. ( computer) Win7, Synology DS413 NAS ,Vincent SP-331MKII , Quicksilver LS,Vapor Audio Breeze, Rythmik F12se. Cables: Acoustic Zen, DL Labs, Blue Jean.. ,Bryston BCD-1,, OPPO 105, Timbernation Rack, Metrum Onyx, Bifrost 2, Orchid DAC, Bryston BHA-1

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Seattle Washington USA
    Posts
    999

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Have you read Myles review in PF. He loves the SS FM phono preamp. He's even smitten with a SS amp and preamp. His CJ appear to be sitting idle for the time being

  6. #6
    Audioshark
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    26,401

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    That FM Acoustics phono I bet is awesome. Would love to hear it.

    For me, even though I have arguably the best tube Phonostage preamp at home, I would say, overall, “it depends”.

    With my Avantgarde speakers, the tube Phonostage was the ticket. Added some meat on the bones and richness. But with my MBL’s, if I was doing it today, I would probably go for a SS Phonostage to provide some additional dynamics and separation and focus. I still miss my Vitus Masterpiece Phonostage. It was phenomenal.

    In terms of world class SS phonostages I would consider, the list is very short: 4 box CH, Soulution and the Boulder come to mind. I would love to hear that FM Acoustics Phonostage too.

    But my VAC Statement is just so good in other areas, it would be hard to part with and I love having four inputs, all adjustable, plus, it’s drop dead gorgeous.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, Esoteric, Estelon Loudspeakers, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  7. #7

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    I'm not sure the answer is to whether SS or tubes with respect to phono stages is definitive one way or the other. To paraphrase an experienced engineer I was talking with some time back, "There no bad materials, there only bad applications of materials."

    The same is true of phono stages; it really comes down to the skill of the designer and capability of the company during manufactuuring.

    Some of the best phono stages I've heard, e.g. the Zestro Andros Deluxe, are tube, and some of the best, e.g. John Curl's designs, are SS. And then there is Tim de Paravincini of E.A.R., who says he can design SS equipment to be indistinguishable with the qualities and attributes we like of tubed equipment. Having owned two of his phono stages, the tube E.A.R. 834P and the SS E.A.R. 324, he's right. And in the case of these two, the SS sounds better. Same thing applies to other components, including DACs. One of the best DACs I've ever heard was Gordon's Wavelength tube DAC with tube rectification, and one of the best SS DACs I've heard was the MSB Analog. Lampizator and TotalDAC are other examples.

    No disrespect here, but I see audiophiles all the time looking for definitive answers and generalizations. Is a bass-reflex box speaker better than a horn-loaded speaker? Are Amperex Bugle Boy 6922s better than GE/Jan? Answer: It's just as Mike stated above: it depends. So, it comes down to this...there aren't any definitive answers. High-end audio is too complex a set of functionalities and technologies as design embodments for fulfilling or delivering those functionalities, and our individual perception of music is too widely different for there to be definitive answers.

    Here's a way to decide: go and listen to some, and go with the one you like the sound of best. Simple.

  8. #8

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    Have you read Myles review in PF. He loves the SS FM phono preamp. He's even smitten with a SS amp and preamp. His CJ appear to be sitting idle for the time being
    Hi Rex,

    I don’t think anyone has read my review of the FM Acoustics phonostage for PF because it hasn’t been written.

    Yes, I did review the Goldmund amp and preamp for PF in which I detailed why I switched and went over to the dark side. I posted the link elsewhere on AS.

    And no my cj amp and preamp aren’t sitting idle. Unlike other people, I can’t afford to sit on gear. Someone out there is very happily enjoying those cj products.
    Myles B. Astor, Senior Editor, PF, www.positive-feedback.com
    ____________________________________
    Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, Goldmund Telos 280 amplifier, Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier, Doshi Audio EVO Phonostage, FM Acoustics 122 Mk. 2 phonostage, VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable/VPI 12-inch gimbal Fatboy, SAT LM-12 tonearms/Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, vdH Colibri Master Signature, Sumiko Songbird, Mutech Hayabusa and Fuuga Cartridges, Technics RS1506 with low inductance Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tapestage, Transparent Gen. 5, AudioQuest Dragon Zero, Audience, Ensemble, Skogrand, MG Audio, Kubala-Sosna, Audience cables, SRA Craz rack/platforms, Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    saṃsāra
    Posts
    700

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    thanks for all the posts! really hard to audition at this time -- so, just looking to generically know what others hear and don't hear in these two type phono-amps.
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
    core audio designs
    plyKraft 3L | hifi racks ltd podium t5-iii

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Front Row Center
    Posts
    2,501

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    Have you read Myles review in PF. He loves the SS FM phono preamp. He's even smitten with a SS amp and preamp. His CJ appear to be sitting idle for the time being
    That would be a very interesting turn , as for years Myles would fight me on how good FMA products were , even his sidekick MEP would pile in on the product ..

    Manny has always made top tier products and yes the PP is great ..

    Regards

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    zürich
    Posts
    502

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    had a kuzma tt and a fma full loom amplification some years back.
    played on the point like no other. very colorfull and freshness. shouldnt have sold it.
    these were theyr smaller models and i wished a bit more grunt.
    met manuel huber in the factory once. very respectful man! wouldnt have sold me anything directly but gave me a lot of time showing me his place. he explaind for example that his basic phona amp has the very same parts inside as the symetric version...actually twice the amount, so you would think it costs double in the worst case, but no, it costs tripple.
    he said the main costfactor is to match parts with closest measurements together. and to find the double amount that is that similar is 5 times the work. in the factory it was dead quiet, everything i saw were lots of people sitting and measuring. mr. huber kept saying it is all about selectioning and matching.
    samsung soundbar & subs

  12. #12

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Good thread. I have had an Einstein "The Turntable's Choice "TTC" (balanced version) for half dozen years. Have wanted to have some tube in my phono stage-- the Einstein is SS. But Einstein is very much a tube component mfg. The TTC was built to be as tube-like as they could make it. Excellent phono stage, it was Fremer's reference for many years in the 'oughts.

    I was looking to upgrade it, and chose the Ypsilon which as the C3G tube. But the Ypsilon would not play well with my Benz LPS which has internal impedance of 40 ohms, quite high for a low output MC cartridge. I'd have needed a custom SUT, so chose to abandon that transaction. (First time I ever backed out of an A'gon deal.)

    Someone suggested I should upgrade my cartridge instead, so after a lot of searching ended up finding an Etsuro Gold on the used market. But the Etsuro, with very low internal impedance, means I'd need to possibly get custom loading plugs for the Einstein. That led me to looking at other phono stages again, and after a visit to Mike Lavigne's place up in Seattle, I decided I'd go with a CS Port phono stage which, interestingly, uses the same C3G tube as the Ypsilon. The CSPort has great synergy with the Etsuro carts, as it is designed for low output MC carts <20ohms. CS Port solders the tube directly to the board, as the tube is supposed to have reliability in excess of 10,000 hours.

    So, I will post more once I finally have the CSPort and the Etsuro playing together. But if the Ypsilon uses that tube and it is as highly regarded as it is, and the CSPort also uses it (and I've heard that with my own ears) perhaps there is something magic about that tube and its implementation.

    As to saying goodbye to the Einstein... when I was considering something else I included even the ARC Ref10 in my short list, along with the REF3, and the Dag phono stage. I was told going to a tube stage I'd likely miss the speed of the SS stage, and the recommendation was the Dag as it had the speed of SS but gave up little to nothing to tubes. The only coloration of the Einstein, as I heard it reviewed, was a bit of emphasis of the leading edge of transients. Only when I compared it, in my system, to a Doshi phono stage (v3) did I hear the coloration, which is by no means unpleasant, it adds a wee bit of excitement, but it is, after all, a coloration. And I would say it is only heard in a direct comparison. When it came down to it I chose to stick with the Einstein vs. the Doshi as I felt the move, overall, would have been lateral. Give a little here, get a little there, but not a significant upgrade.

    So, SS vs tube--it really comes down to implementation. I would argue though at the lower end of the market it is easier to make a good sounding SS stage than tube. This comes from my having owned one of the SimAudio Moon LP3 phono stages when they first came out.

    The CSPort is, from what I hear and what I'm told, clearly a great value and can improve greatly with the choice of cables used.
    —Bob V.

    My system: Benz LPS (Etsuro Gold arrived!) , AMG v12 turntable with ‘12JT turbo’ tonearm’, Einstein Turntables' Choice phono-pre (dual mono version — being replaced with CS Port C3EQ), dCS Rossini, Audio Research Ref10 pre, Audio Research REF 160M, Wilson Alexia speakers. Transparent Ref MM2 & Gen5 signal cables, Shunyata SigmaNR, AlphaNR,
    Zitron Python power cables. Shunyata Hydra Triton v3, Stillpoints. HRS. Acoustic environment optimized by Dr. Bonnie Schnitta of SoundSense.

  13. #13

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    That would be a very interesting turn , as for years Myles would fight me on how good FMA products were , even his sidekick MEP would pile in on the product ..

    Manny has always made top tier products and yes the PP is great ..

    Regards
    Really?

    I am calling fake news on that one.

    What is true is it’s been at least five years and you hide in anonymity behind your computer screen and have never told us what equipment you own. All the time casting disparaging remarks every chance you can at other people.

    Nice try at trolling though.

    You can stop playing your passive-agressive games—like how you tried to be my friend on audioasylum.
    Myles B. Astor, Senior Editor, PF, www.positive-feedback.com
    ____________________________________
    Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, Goldmund Telos 280 amplifier, Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier, Doshi Audio EVO Phonostage, FM Acoustics 122 Mk. 2 phonostage, VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable/VPI 12-inch gimbal Fatboy, SAT LM-12 tonearms/Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, vdH Colibri Master Signature, Sumiko Songbird, Mutech Hayabusa and Fuuga Cartridges, Technics RS1506 with low inductance Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tapestage, Transparent Gen. 5, AudioQuest Dragon Zero, Audience, Ensemble, Skogrand, MG Audio, Kubala-Sosna, Audience cables, SRA Craz rack/platforms, Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Front Row Center
    Posts
    2,501

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Hahaha ,

    Project much ..?

    I guess integrity is not high in your quarters, MEP liked your post too , good pairing ..

    Anyway all your old Wallet post may still be available proving the liar both of you are, attacking me on and on about my FMA posts , MEP always felt it was the cheapest Radio shack looking chassis ever At the time , let me know if you want me to copy them here destroying your last ounce of credibility , or , you can run off and hide, like always let me know if you accept the challenge ...

    BTW Do you still have your speakers setup 3 ft apart ..?

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Front Row Center
    Posts
    2,501

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Myles just admit you and MEP were wrong and move on ....!

  16. #16

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    Myles just admit you and MEP were wrong and move on ....!
    Look more fake news from a audio troll. Always deflecting and never answering the question. Your MO.

    You mean this thread on WBF where you took a good beat down?

    FM Acoustics amps | What's Best Audio and Video Forum. The Best High End Audio Forum on the planet!

    Funny I read all 17 pages and you are as usual full of it.

    Or this one?

    FM Acoustics 268 preamp - the debate around its Linearizer | What's Best Audio and Video Forum. The Best High End Audio Forum on the planet!

    You take a good beat down there.

    Isn’t it funny I’ve posted tons of pics of my system, many people including manufacturers have heard it and they’ve always left being impressed. Impressed that they’ve never heard Magicos sound like this and so good. But keep up your BS. You, still hiding in mommy and daddy’s basement. And no they are not three feet apart. But would you expect anything more from a loser troll?
    Myles B. Astor, Senior Editor, PF, www.positive-feedback.com
    ____________________________________
    Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, Goldmund Telos 280 amplifier, Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier, Doshi Audio EVO Phonostage, FM Acoustics 122 Mk. 2 phonostage, VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable/VPI 12-inch gimbal Fatboy, SAT LM-12 tonearms/Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, vdH Colibri Master Signature, Sumiko Songbird, Mutech Hayabusa and Fuuga Cartridges, Technics RS1506 with low inductance Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tapestage, Transparent Gen. 5, AudioQuest Dragon Zero, Audience, Ensemble, Skogrand, MG Audio, Kubala-Sosna, Audience cables, SRA Craz rack/platforms, Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    saṃsāra
    Posts
    700

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    maybe you two should get a room? ...or, at least do us all a favor and just PM each other with all this pillow talk.

    now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
    core audio designs
    plyKraft 3L | hifi racks ltd podium t5-iii

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Front Row Center
    Posts
    2,501

    Re: Reviewing the reviewer

    What the spacing about 3 or 3.2 ft , you should try the Magico mini’s for such a small space , a little taller than you, but you will get over it eventually ..!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Front Row Center
    Posts
    2,501

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    maybe you two should get a room? ...or, at least do us all a favor and just PM each other with all this pillow talk.

    now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
    Hahaha , Nuff said

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    SE Pa
    Posts
    1,074

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    maybe you two should get a room? ...or, at least do us all a favor and just PM each other with all this pillow talk.

    now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
    agreed, it is amazing how ignorant some audiophiles can be.

    as for your phono-pre question I've had a Fosgate Signature in my kit for years now. Zero interest in changing ........
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Mobile, AL
    Posts
    118

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    I think you can find your desired sound / SQ in either category. Tubed, SS, SS that sound tubey, tubes that sound SS.

    There are a number of low priced phono stages (and tables) you could start with, and play around with vinyl for awhile. See if the romance continues with the rituals needed. If vinyl and you continue the relationship, then auditions might be in order to choose a higher end models.

    You could do a decent starter system, table, cartridge, phono stage, record cleaner machine, brush, needle cleaner, and records...

    I bought a few of my favorites in new vinyl, and trolled used stores, for awhile. I started with a semi broken table from my dad’s attic, and his old records, a Cambridge Audio phono stage, and the VPI record cleaner.

    It worked for me, a 61 year old guy, who grew up with records. I built a DIY kit - K&K Audio Maxxed Out Phono Amp, with silver Lundahl MC input transformers. It used at FET/tube hybrid design. Hard to beat. No longer available.

    It will depend on your preferences though. The phono side of audio is the most subjective, IMO.
    Amp : DIY FirstWatt M2x mono amps
    Digital : Bricasti M12, Oppo 203
    Analog : Technics SL1200G, DIY K&K Audio Maxxed Phono Amp
    Speakers : Daedalus Audio Muse Studio
    Headphone : BHSE + Voce

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    4,394

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    maybe you two should get a room? ...or, at least do us all a favor and just PM each other with all this pillow talk.

    now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
    More importantly, you are stepping over to the vinyl rabbit hole... I can tell you from recent personal experience, the hole is deep and dark and definitely knows how to steal your wallet ....

    Oh, you might want to consider Moon by SimAudio. I really like my Neo 310LP, and I have seen reviews where they put the 810 against most anything out there... even their little guy is pretty amazing for how cheap it is!!!!
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    The Neutral Zone
    Posts
    208

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    One of the key things missing in this discussion is MM vs. MC. I assume that everyone is talking about MC so let me start there.

    Technically due to high voltage noise from ALL tube amplification stages, large geometry Solid State front ends or step up transformers will have the edge in terms of noise performance with MC cartridges. That’s a given. Everything else will be in the specific implementation.
    Tom

    Audio:
    Amati Futura Mains
    Amati Homage VOX Center,
    Proac Response 1sc Rears,
    Three MC2301's for L,C,R
    MC 602 for the rears
    C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 77
    Nottingham Dais with Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation
    SurfacePro 3, JRiver, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

    Video:
    MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

    Lake House:
    Ohm F, MC 275V, C2300, MR 80, Rega P3

    OnDeck:
    McIntosh MAC 4300v

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    saṃsāra
    Posts
    700

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
    One of the key things missing in this discussion is MM vs. MC. I assume that everyone is talking about MC so let me start there.

    Technically due to high voltage noise from ALL tube amplification stages, large geometry Solid State front ends or step up transformers will have the edge in terms of noise performance with MC cartridges. That’s a given. Everything else will be in the specific implementation.
    thanks for pointing this out. pretty much all the tube phono-amps -- or at least the ones i have been paying attention to -- have internal step-up transformers as the first MC gain stage.

    although, i do see a number long-established and highly-regarded manufacturers only make phono-amps for MM as a matter of design choice requiring an external SUT for MC. i must say, i find this traditionalist approach somehow quite attractive... thoughts by those here using this method would be welcome!
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
    core audio designs
    plyKraft 3L | hifi racks ltd podium t5-iii

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Mobile, AL
    Posts
    118

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Amp : DIY FirstWatt M2x mono amps
    Digital : Bricasti M12, Oppo 203
    Analog : Technics SL1200G, DIY K&K Audio Maxxed Phono Amp
    Speakers : Daedalus Audio Muse Studio
    Headphone : BHSE + Voce

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Seattle Washington USA
    Posts
    999

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    I sometimes circle the hole on a new phono stage. For me it would have to be all in one. I don't want cables and extra boxes. I gather my Allnic H1201 is pretty good for the money. Just what am I going to get that is that much better in my budget. And then do I go SS or Tube. All my gear is tube. It may be nice to have some SS. But if I go SS, am I trying to make my TT sound more like my pretty darn good digital front end. I have considered Zesto or Audiospecial phonolab. But am I getting better, or just a little different. I have kind of hit a point where I don't feel much interest in something new unless its going to be a lot better. Spending money for a small change or horizontal move is a non starter at this point.
    First Sound Mark3SI preamp, Altec Lansing 1570B modded by Transition Audio Design and myself, Mojo Audio CAT Server running Win Server 2016 AO HQ and Roon, Mojo Audio Mystic 3 DAC, Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, Custom TT with Vertere Arm, Denon 103R Midas with sapphire cantilever line contact diamond, Allnic H1201 phono pre, Pure Audio Project Trio 10 with performance Solen air core chokes and Mundord Supreme oil caps, Power via 10 awg OFC cord from panel to custom distribution strip, Inakustik speaker and interconnect cables, Genesis Interconnect.

  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,965

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    You never mentioned your budget.

    Lots of good insights provided by many on this thread. There are fantastic SS and Tube PPs in the market. Just go out and listen. Hope your dealer(s) allow for some home listening.
    _______________

    Mike

  28. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    saṃsāra
    Posts
    700

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    pretty hard to demo in the current environment, but home demos are possible for a few i have been looking at. in terms of budget, $6-7K msrp is the high end of what i have been considering ...but, i agree there are many nice PPs well below that.
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
    core audio designs
    plyKraft 3L | hifi racks ltd podium t5-iii

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    140

    tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    More importantly, you are stepping over to the vinyl rabbit hole... I can tell you from recent personal experience, the hole is deep and dark and definitely knows how to steal your wallet ....

    Oh, you might want to consider Moon by SimAudio. I really like my Neo 310LP, and I have seen reviews where they put the 810 against most anything out there... even their little guy is pretty amazing for how cheap it is!!!!
    Agree on the Moon by Simaudio. I just bought Moon 610LP phono (solid state) with the 820S power supply. Great great phono preamp in my opinion.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  30. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    4,394

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Wow, that is awesome! Loving my 310 and I realize 610 is a major upgrade, especially with that power supply. Very nice!
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  31. #31
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    61

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    It would depend on the rest of your system and what you value. If you want ultimate quiet and high resolution, SS may be the way to go. If you favor a big sound stage, tonality, "air" around instruments and a more relaxed presentation, then tubes. Tubes will need replacing at some point however, but you can also chnage tubes to modify the sound of your phono stage. With SS, you are locked into that particular sound.

  32. #32
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Seattle Washington USA
    Posts
    999

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by RPM-123 View Post
    Tubes will need replacing at some point however, but you can also chnage tubes to modify the sound of your phono stage. With SS, you are locked into that particular sound.
    Preamp tubes last around 10,000 hours. Usually. I have owned my preamp 6 years and play thousands of hours each year. Still on the first set of tubes and they sound no different than a replacement set. They probably have 15,000 hours on them. My phono pre has about 6000 hours on them. Still perfect condition.

    Power tubes is a different story. And some brands drive their tubes harder than others.
    First Sound Mark3SI preamp, Altec Lansing 1570B modded by Transition Audio Design and myself, Mojo Audio CAT Server running Win Server 2016 AO HQ and Roon, Mojo Audio Mystic 3 DAC, Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, Custom TT with Vertere Arm, Denon 103R Midas with sapphire cantilever line contact diamond, Allnic H1201 phono pre, Pure Audio Project Trio 10 with performance Solen air core chokes and Mundord Supreme oil caps, Power via 10 awg OFC cord from panel to custom distribution strip, Inakustik speaker and interconnect cables, Genesis Interconnect.

  33. #33
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    4,394

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    Preamp tubes last around 10,000 hours. Usually. I have owned my preamp 6 years and play thousands of hours each year. Still on the first set of tubes and they sound no different than a replacement set. They probably have 15,000 hours on them. My phono pre has about 6000 hours on them. Still perfect condition.

    Power tubes is a different story. And some brands drive their tubes harder than others.
    This is true... I never had an issue with a tube in a pre-amp, but I did have power amp tubes require replacing. A friend of mine has some rather large VTL amps and he has to replace a few tubes every year. I have never seen an amp go through tubes like his does. His matching VTL pre never has had a tube go bad.
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  34. #34
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    EU
    Posts
    3

    Re: tube or solid state phono-amp ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    Preamp tubes last around 10,000 hours. Usually. I have owned my preamp 6 years and play thousands of hours each year. Still on the first set of tubes and they sound no different than a replacement set. They probably have 15,000 hours on them. My phono pre has about 6000 hours on them. Still perfect condition.
    Hi everyone, I'm new to these shores.
    Having said that, I can echo Kingrex above regrading pre amps tubes.
    Re, the original question, one of the best phono stages I have ever had was inside a CAT Ultimate pre; not to bore you with hi-end speak, the sound was outstanding on all fronts. The all-time best phono I have listened to is the FMA Phonomaster followed closely by the smaller FM122: the CAT comes close in resolution and dynamics --- and the noise is negligible.
    All of which doesn't really answer the question: tube OR ss...
    I'd say either can do the job, the best tube designs usually combine a warmish hue with explosive dynamics
    Digital: Musichi player on Minix; DAC: Ideon Audio Absolute (loan), MSB Select II, Ideon Audio Ayazi II, 2x Ideon 3R Master Time signal reclocking; Analogue: TT: Simon Yorke - Pluto 6 // Pro ject Xtension 12'΄; Preactive: Borbely Reference; Prepassive: Steven & Billington; Amplifier: Symphonic Line -- Kraft 250 class A; Speakers: Devore / vintage Etude; Cabling: homegrown, Bearlabs, Nordost Valhalla; Isolation: Neuance shelves, Nordost pulsars Rack: suspended devices

AudioShark - The Best High End Audio Discussion forum.

AudioShark forum is a leading forum site for High End Audio Discussion, Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater System Discussion, Best Home Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater Installation Discussion etc.

The AudioShark forum was created for sharing the passion of high-end Audio. We have Audiophiles from all over the world participating and sharing their knowledge. From novice to experts, you will find a friendly environment for discussing about High End Audio, Stereo System, Home Theater System, Home Stereo System, Home Theater Installation, Amplifiers, Speakers, Subwoofers, Integrated System, Acoustic treatments & Digital Room Corrections and many more.

At AudioShark, we also have incorporated an exciting Marketplace where members can peruse terrific buys on used gear, as well as meet dealers and discuss the purchase of new gear.

We are as crazy about this hobby as you are! So come on in and join us! Audioshark.org the Friendliest Audio Forum!

Industry Participation Disclosure : The owner and administrator of Audioshark is the owner of Suncoast Audio LLC in Sarasota Florida. Suncoast Audio has a full brick and mortar presence in Sarasota with several great show rooms with many world class brands. More information can be found at http://www.suncoastaudio.com

Audioshark is a community of like minded individuals. Audioshark welcomes participation from all manufacturers and owners of all brands and products. It is our belief that online forums provide a community of like minded audiophiles and music lovers to encourage the growth of this wonderful hobby.

Sincerely,
The Audioshark.org Team

tube or solid state phono-amp ?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •