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Advice on turntable, phono tube preamp
9/8/2014 3:06 PM
I got back into audio about two to three years ago so I understand where you’re coming from. There’s so much out there and very few places to actually listen to equipment before purchasing. I’m also finding that what some people rave about ends up being a disappointment to me. To each his own I guess.
The PrimaLuna DiaLogue Three looks like it should be an outstanding pre-amp. Dual mono I think will eliminate cross-talk. It’s also nice to have a remote. I see it comes with a phone pre-amp option for $199, but I would skip it because it is only good for MM cartridges – looks like more of an afterthought to me.
About there being too much of a tube sound, maybe I’m not the one to talk to, but I’m currently of the opinion that you can’t have too much tube equipment. Also, wasn’t aware that CJ was getting away from the tube sound – they do make some SS gear, but mostly tube stuff I believe. Anyway, I have the CJ Classic 60 and the CJ line stage pre-amp and am happy with the sound. I had the Creek Audio Destiny II for a short while and Jack at Spearit Sound let me trade up to the CJ separates. I had the Creek and CJ here at the same time so I was able to compare. The CJ separates are way better.
As far as turntables, you might also consider a vintage table. I bought my Luxman PD-300 turntable from Jesse Garcia who is a member of the club. He repairs turntables and he did have a couple of Sota’s at his place when I picked up my TT. I’m quite pleased with the Luxman TT and hardly ever listen to my Esoteric UZ-1 universal CD/SACD anymore. Back in the day, the TT’s I heard the best things about were Thorens, Linn Sondek, and Sota. Someone who I regard as knowledgeable thought the Sota was the best of the three. Sota also offers refurbished TT’s at http://www.sotaturntables.com/refurbished.htm . I am thinking about someday getting a Sota Sapphire with maybe a Jelco or a vintage SME tonearm.
If you have an interest in Magnepans you will want to read about the Peter Gunn mod’s before considering a purchase. http://www.indiespinzone.com/mag/mag12.html Wish I had known about this before buying.
I’m in the processes of modifying a pair of M1.7’s with wood and maybe I’ll add some high grade by-pass capacitors as well. Will let you know how that turns out.
8/29/2014 1:17 PM
Hey - THANKS so much for the reply!!! It has been a while since I was involved in all this and I am so out of date!!!
While I am looking at CJ eq - it is NOT the ARC (WAY TOO expensive). I had on my list to look more at the Jolida - I have read a few reviews about it but have not heard any one that has one. I talked with Mike Allen of Jolida yesterday for about 45 minutes - very informative - talking about upgrades and cables. I love the "tube" sound which apparently the Jolida has - the CJ equipment is getting further and further away from this sound - this I dislike.
So now I am turning to the preamp - another key to a lot of what you hear (many say the MOST important component). Since I have the OPPO 105, my thinking is to incorporate some tube sound with it via the preamp. One highly rated preamp is the PrimaLuna DiaLogue Three - looks good from what I have read - but do you think I would get too much "tube" from both the phono amp and preamp being tube?
I like your system. I heard such great words about the Mags - and everywhere I read people own them - must be really good. I haven’t decided on speakers, but obvious I need to deal with that at some point.
Again, I am so thankful for your previous comments! Anymore let me know.
Grace to you today!! Carl
8/28/2014 9:37 AM
I'm using the Jolida JD 9 II Upgrade and I am happy with it. Before I purchased it I talked to someone who sold it and the IFI. He said the Jolida was hands down better.
If you check on line the Jolida has gotten a fair amount of love. If you are into DIY some are claiming big improvements by changing the caps, tubes, op-amps, power chord, etc. Since you are considering the ARC and CJ this phono preamp, especially w/o the DIY upgrades, may not quite cut it for you. But imho worth considering.
I'm running a CJ Classic-60 amp, CJ Line Stage preamp, Magnepan 1.7, Luxman TT with a Sumiko FT3 Tonearm and a Denon 3 mk II Cart, Zu audio IC's, and Kimber Hero speaker cables.
Hope this helps.
8/27/2014 10:58 AM
I am looking to add a turntable to my system (see below). I have read all about many varieties - VPI Classic I, Pro-ject, Rega RP6/8, Marantz TT1551, ClearAudio, etc. I am leaning toward the VPI but would like to hear any comments to help make a decision.
With the new turntable, I feel I need to use tube phono preamp to give the clear mellow sound I so enjoy - mainly easy listening, light classical, Dean Martin, etc. Tubes seems to warm up my Emotiva mono-blocks. (I tried the Emotiva new XSP 1 preamp with phono turner built in - but too tinny - not full, crisp, airy sounding). I have looked at the Audio Research's new SR20 but it is expensive ($9000). Looked at Conrad Johnson ET3 SE ($5500) but requires 220 power, no balanced output, and while cheaper, still expensive. Also a tube preamp (or phono turner/preamp combo) might warm up my OPPO.
I would like to hear from users as to what others have used and liked. Thanks!!!!
Eq- OPPO 105, Emotiva XPS - 1L (monoblocks), Vienna Mozart Grand speakers (to be upgraded soon)
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