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#45808 - 03/18/03 03:00 PM Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
daddy_guy Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 03/16/03
Posts: 67
Loc: Redwood City, Ca USA
I wondered if anyone has suggestions for a good phono pre amp to use with 950. I have kinda narrowed it down to Parasounds phono preamp, Sumiko Pro-ject phono preamp, Music Halls MMF Phono pack, or Creek OBH-8 (don't want to spend a fortune). Have an old Thorens TD 320MKIII turntable, with an Audio Technica( MM) cartridge...nothing super special, but sounds pretty good.....still love my vinyl.....what suggestions for the phono preamp with the best bang for the buck?

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#45809 - 03/18/03 03:02 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
charlie Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
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#45810 - 03/19/03 07:38 AM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
morphsci Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 02/15/02
Posts: 243
Loc: Charleston, IL, USA
I use the Parasound PPH100 with my old Dual CS721. It works well and the sound is at least equivalent to the phono input of my old Adcom GFP-565, which was very good.

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#45811 - 03/19/03 10:34 AM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
charlie Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
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#45812 - 03/19/03 03:37 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
seattleguy Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 17
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
You could always look for a used Acurus P-10. You could pick one up pretty cheap and they sound as good as anything else out there. I still use one that I purchased in the early 90s.

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#45813 - 09/24/03 09:34 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
old_school Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 43
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
I admittedly did not peruse all the various threads here...but one option would be to find a decent phono pre-amp (I'd suggest a DB Systems DB-1A which is one of THE quietest phone sections I've heard) and either take it direct via a spare analog in or a free digital in. You can occasionally find these (DB Systems) on ebay for around $100 to $200. They also make a moving-coil preamp for the phono stage. Again, you could always send it to either a free set of the analog inputs (i.e. take the TAPE OUT signal (which is fixed)) or if you prefer send the TAPE OUT signal to an outboard ADC and take that into a free digital input. Here's one source (for an outboard ADC) and I suspect there are countless others - warning...this is 'inforamtion-only' as I don't know a lot about this ADC...it's just to reinforce the concept:

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl...._ID=16156&DID=7

I would guess that the biggest effect on phono sound quality would be in the analog section (noise, RIAA equalization accuracy etc)...so I'd sink the bulk of the investment there (analog preamp) and get a reasonable ADC to digitize the resulting line-level RIAA-equalized phono signal(I know....heresy...but again...assuming you run out of analog inputs and end up having spare S/PDIF or TOSLINK inputs available).

Just my $0.02

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#45814 - 09/24/03 10:24 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
Jeff Mackwood Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/19/02
Posts: 427
Some time ago I went shopping for a phono pre-amp. Found lots of good stand-alone possibilities. Everything from the inexpensive NAD PP-1 on up. Then I got to thinking: in the glory days of vinyl some companies used to build in some very decent phono sections into their pre-amps. NAD, in my opinion, was one of them. So I turned to that trusty source, eBay, and picked up a used NAD 1130 pre-amp, in terrific condition, for less than the cost of a new PP-1. (~$60 delivered, if memory serves me right.) It has a great phono section that sounds perfect, to my ears, with the 950. Check out the NAD web site for old product lit and manuals, pick out a few possible models, and track one down on eBay. Worked for me.

Jeff Mackwood
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#45815 - 09/24/03 11:42 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
old_school Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 43
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Indeed...NAD was always a semi-minimalist company focused more on performance than useless fru-fru add-ons (you gotta love that). I've had great luck (still have it) with my NAD 517 CD player...had it for years with nary a glitch...and have heard (very) good things about the NAD 1130 preamp - especially in terms of value.

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#45816 - 09/27/03 09:00 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
gb Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 14
Loc: Parker, CO
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Mackwood:
Some time ago I went shopping for a phono pre-amp. Found lots of good stand-alone possibilities. Everything from the inexpensive NAD PP-1 on up. Then I got to thinking: in the glory days of vinyl some companies used to build in some very decent phono sections into their pre-amps. NAD, in my opinion, was one of them. So I turned to that trusty source, eBay, and picked up a used NAD 1130 pre-amp, in terrific condition, for less than the cost of a new PP-1. (~$60 delivered, if memory serves me right.) It has a great phono section that sounds perfect, to my ears, with the 950. Check out the NAD web site for old product lit and manuals, pick out a few possible models, and track one down on eBay. Worked for me.

Jeff Mackwood
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gb

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#45817 - 09/27/03 09:10 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
gb Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 14
Loc: Parker, CO
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Mackwood:
Some time ago I went shopping for a phono pre-amp. Found lots of good stand-alone possibilities. Everything from the inexpensive NAD PP-1 on up. Then I got to thinking: in the glory days of vinyl some companies used to build in some very decent phono sections into their pre-amps. NAD, in my opinion, was one of them. So I turned to that trusty source, eBay, and picked up a used NAD 1130 pre-amp, in terrific condition, for less than the cost of a new PP-1. (~$60 delivered, if memory serves me right.) It has a great phono section that sounds perfect, to my ears, with the 950. Check out the NAD web site for old product lit and manuals, pick out a few possible models, and track one down on eBay. Worked for me.

Jeff Mackwood


Jeff:

Sorry about the previous post (or lack there of). I have a 950 and 755 w/ 1 M200, and I run my turntable through an NAD PP-1, which works well.

I have an old NAD 4130 Tuner and NAD 1155 Pre-Amp that I once used with an NAD 2200 amp. I now have my old Denon 3801 (replaced by the 950/755/M200) in another room with the 2200 driving my Paradigm Studio Ref. 20's. The Denon 3801 tuner may be the worst tuner know to man. My question is, could I use my NAD tuner through the NAD pre-amp into an input on the Denon or the 950? Will I have any issues?

I appreciate your advice.

Best,

gb

------------------
gb
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#45818 - 09/27/03 09:19 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
daddy_guy Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 03/16/03
Posts: 67
Loc: Redwood City, Ca USA
That was my solution too, I am using my old Yamaha CX-2 Pre Amp for its Phono Pre Amp.....a great sounding, er, I should say very neutral Pre Amp, and it was the right price. I end up with two volume controls.....no big deal..........probably one of the best solutions going ......the idea of using an old pre amp built when turntables were the most important piece of equipment on our racks....makes sense....great idea!!!!Plus, some extra inputs/outputs now..........

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#45819 - 09/28/03 04:06 AM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
I have a Creek OBH-8SE. You can't do better for the money, IMO. Especially since I got mine used for a fraction of retail.
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If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#45820 - 09/28/03 12:47 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
Jeff Mackwood Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/19/02
Posts: 427
gb,

As daddy_guy says, it's not an issue - rather an opportunity.

I use the 1130's pre-out / volume control to balance the level to match the other components hooked-up to my 950. If I ever needed more audio inputs I could connect to the 1130.

However if you still have inputs left on the 950 it's probably best to go direct, to reduce the risk of adding any additional noise etc. (Although I must say that the 1130 is a very "quiet" pre-amp, and the chance of it degrading the sound by being in the loop is probably remote.)

Regards.

Jeff Mackwood
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Jeff Mackwood

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#45821 - 09/30/03 10:59 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
gb Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 14
Loc: Parker, CO
Jeff,

Thank you for the response. I will try this set up with my old (but still very good) NAD 1155 pre-amp and the 950 or the Denon 3801. Do you have a preference as far as which input into the 950 to use? And does it matter?

Thanks again.

Best,

gb
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gb

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#45822 - 10/01/03 04:42 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
Jeff Mackwood Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/19/02
Posts: 427
gb,

Any analogue audio input (except for the "Multichannel input") should do. Aux 1 or 2 are my choices since they are not labelled as something else (like "CD".) There should be no difference in sound for any of them. Just set-up your surround mode preference for whatever you are most likely to want to use most of the time. (PLIIM-CR is my favourite.)

Regards.

Jeff Mackwood
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Jeff Mackwood

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#45823 - 10/01/03 10:17 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
If you use any surround mode, you get extra A-to-D-to-A conversions. The whole point to lp, IMO, is to keep it in the analog domain. You should use 2 ch bypass.
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If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#45824 - 10/01/03 10:40 PM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
Jeff Mackwood Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/19/02
Posts: 427
Kevin,

And I can appreciate that mode of thinking. But why not take it a step further and eliminate a few analogue connections and a whole bunch of room effects as well? Just plug a good set of headphones into the old pre-amp's headphone jack. In the case of my NAD 1130 it claims to have a "powerful headphone amplifier circuit: no power amp needed for full-volume headphone listening."

Personally if I want to listen in stereo I agree fully that running the 950 in stereo bypass works great. But I kinda like what the 950 does with its processor as well; it produces a sweet set of 1's and 0's.

Either way works great.

Jeff Mackwood
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Jeff Mackwood

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#45825 - 10/03/03 01:19 AM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Jeff- I guess if the goal is to just have access to the content of an lp as opposed to a CD, then all the processing might be preferred. But if a person is truly trying to get the best sound they can, then 2 ch bypass is probably the way to go. As for headphones, just another way.
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#45826 - 10/10/03 10:22 AM Re: Phono Preamps for 950-any suggestions?
Hoots Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 53
Loc: Flower Mound, TX USA
I've read good reviews on Graham Slee and have had it recommended...nice price, too.

http://www.grahamsleeprojects.supanet.com/

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