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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: I need a “second-type” phonostage.
Post Subject: The price of excellencePosted by Paul S on: 5/24/2007
I am with you on this one.  I am also very suspicious of gigantic, 4-chassis phono stages if only because I just wonder why the need for all those damn noisy parts, along with concommitment connections?

So it really pisses me off to admit that the "best" phono stage I have heard is probably the Boulder, which costs more than most cars!  I suppose it's common knowledge that the Boulder uses ultra-spec op amps, just like the ($$$$!) Palcette "Active" buffer amps; but then, so does that little English jobbie, "The Goof", or whatever they call it.

Otherwise, I find that it's always a matter of choosing my problems versus available strengths, and then just plugging away at it, just like most of my other components, so why over pay going in?

I don't entirely trust my aural memory, but I will make the offhand observation that - other than that stupid Boulder - I have not heard any real "improvements" in phono stages since the first Berning pre/phono hybrid.  Not that it matters, but this one typically had +/- .25 dB RIAA, and I can't help but wonder why others seem to have so much trouble with this.

I have looked at and wondered about the DACT, along with its super-quiet power supplies, whether it could be tweaked into something usable.  It is quite small, that's for sure, and not too expensive.

IMO, "high end" phono stages are right up there with "high end" cables, running neck and neck for the most ridiculous claims and pricing vs actual cost.  But then, most of the audio "manufacturers" these days are primarily marketing agencies, anyway.

I am currently trying the K&K, which at least keeps the cost down by no ads/direct selling from the actual designer/manufacturer.

Generally, I can't think of another place in audio where one can so consistently pay more and get less.

Best regards,
Paul S

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