Iím curious, has anyone here compared these two phono preamps? Phonomena ii vs Parasound JC3 Jr
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  1. #1
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    Iím curious, has anyone here compared these two phono preamps? Phonomena ii vs Parasound JC3 Jr

    Iím curious, has anyone here compared these two phono preamps?
    Musical Surroundings Phonomena ii vs Parasound JC3 Jr

    I have the Phonomena ii and donít have any issues with noise or what have you except hard to access dip switches for capacitance and loading.

    I was looking at the Parasound JC3 Jr and reading about it in consideration. While I primarily use MM carts which would use capacitance over resistance loading with the lack of that adjustability on the JC 3 Jr, I am not sure it is really a deal breaker given the gain adjustments available. On the JC3 Jr the adjustments are easier access though. The JC3 Jr has an ice connected power supply amply shielded (no pun intended) while the Phonomena ii has a wall wart, but no issues for me there. The JC3 Jr does have a mono switch as the Phonomena does not. I have a few mono records, but not many however such a switch is still quite handy. The Jr also has balanced ports as does my pre and amp.
    I am torn trying to determine if the JC3 Jr would be a step up from the Phonomena or not.

  2. #2
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    Re: Iím curious, has anyone here compared these two phono preamps? Phonomena ii vs Parasound JC3 Jr

    Yup, sticking with my Musical Surroundings Phonomena ii. Itís very rare that one needs to adjust load, gain or capacitance in my experience. So ďif its not broken, donít replace itĒ is the motto to live by on this. Just missing out on the mono switch, but I only have about 9 or 10 mono records anyway.
    .....next....

  3. #3
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    Re: Iím curious, has anyone here compared these two phono preamps? Phonomena ii vs Parasound JC3 Jr

    Quote Originally Posted by Audiophobiac View Post
    Iím curious, has anyone here compared these two phono preamps?
    Musical Surroundings Phonomena ii vs Parasound JC3 Jr

    I have the Phonomena ii and donít have any issues with noise or what have you except hard to access dip switches for capacitance and loading.

    I was looking at the Parasound JC3 Jr and reading about it in consideration. While I primarily use MM carts which would use capacitance over resistance loading with the lack of that adjustability on the JC 3 Jr, I am not sure it is really a deal breaker given the gain adjustments available. On the JC3 Jr the adjustments are easier access though. The JC3 Jr has an ice connected power supply amply shielded (no pun intended) while the Phonomena ii has a wall wart, but no issues for me there. The JC3 Jr does have a mono switch as the Phonomena does not. I have a few mono records, but not many however such a switch is still quite handy. The Jr also has balanced ports as does my pre and amp.
    I am torn trying to determine if the JC3 Jr would be a step up from the Phonomena or not.
    I used to own the Phonomena. I replaced it with its newer sibling the Nova II.
    I recently bought the jC3jr and sold the Nova II.
    I find that the JC3jr is a better preamp than both of those. The Jc3 is easier to adjust (rotary knob versus flipping switches on/off); it is quieter; and it just sounds better to my ears. Also I much prefer balance XLR connectors to RCA and only the Jc3 has balanced outputs.

  4. #4
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    Re: Iím curious, has anyone here compared these two phono preamps? Phonomena ii vs Parasound JC3 Jr

    Thanks for your info.
    I’ve read that the JC3 Jr is quieter than a lot of others but, I’m not getting any noise from my Phonomena either.
    I mostly run MM carts, so load selection does not come into play there.
    While I would prefer easier adjustments such as on the JC3 Jr, I also find that I don’t use them anyway (the Phonomena has capacitance adjustments as well). I just set it and forget it, which is likely partly because of the hard to adjust selections on the Phonomena but, oh well. My pre and amp have balanced ports, but my sources do not.
    Outside of a mono switch, I can’t justify replacing the Phonomena ii. (I only have less than 10 mono LPs, so the mono switch is not that important). I have one MC cart and the rest MM. (I prefer MM carts from a cost perspective and to me they are just as good as MC carts, depending).
    So the way I figure it the JC3 Jr for me would be an expensive lateral move at best. The Phonomena ii does its job, so replacing it at this time makes no sense. When it stops doing its job will be the time to replace (something tells me it will not be in my lifetime).

  5. #5
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    Re: Iím curious, has anyone here compared these two phono preamps? Phonomena ii vs Parasound JC3 Jr

    Totally understand your situation.
    BTW, what I mean by "noise" is floor noise. With nothing playing, when I raised the volume to what typically will give me 90db when playing a record, I would a hear a faint but constant noise through the speaker. That is what I am calling "floor noise". In my system, that "floor noise" is much lower using the JC3jr. That in turn results in a higher dynamic range.
    Of course the floor noise can result from many sources. And if you hear no noise at all, kudos to you!