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Don’t overlook the Phono Stage…

Often an after thought in a Vinyl based system, the humble Phono Stage can have a huge impact on the performance of your turntable.

Turntables cartridges output a very small signal, much lower than from your CD player and this needs amplifying up to several hundred times the size before it is loud enough for your amplifier. If any noise creeps in before or during amplification, it will become increased in volume detracting from the potential audio quality.

To connect a turntable to an amplifier you will need to pass the signal into either an on-board phono pre-amp input (usually marked Phono on the back of the amp) or through an external phono stage to increase the level.

Many (but not all) amplifiers include a “phono” amplifier internally, enabling a direct connection from a turntable. This pre-amp stage is usually a compromise, subject to noise from power supplies etc. A dedicated off board Phono Stage however generally allows greater scope for fine tuning for a particular cartridge and can offer a profound difference in performance, particularly when using a Moving Coil Cartridge .

Rega Aura MC Phono Stage £3999

We keep a selection of Phono Stages for Moving Magnet & Moving Coil cartridges that are designed to get the best from your turntable.

Southend based Turntable specialists Rega produce a range of Phono Stages from their modest £90 Fono Mini A2D MM, right through to the brand new, fully configurable, Aura Moving Coil stage @£3999. Designed to squeeze the very best out of your cartridge at their relevant price point, they obviously have a natural affinity for Rega cartridges but work well with any brand.

If you need a little warmth in your system, Pro-Ject Audio have the perfect solution with their valve based Tube Boxes. The Tube Box S2 is a modestly priced (£325) MM & MC pre-amp that offers a big step up from an amplifier on-board or budget phono stage. Plus it looks really great with its retro styling.

Pro-Ject Tube Box S2

It’s bigger brother in the range, the Tube Box DS2 offers exceptional performance at a fraction of the cost of some valve based pre-amps.
The Tube Box DS2 is compatible with both MM and MC cartridges, and is fully customisable for Gain and Capacitance settings, as well as boasting a continuously adjustable impedance dial – taken from the flagship Phono Box RS – that can be adjusted during playback. There is also a switchable subsonic filter, for greater room-matching abilities.

This is one of our in-store favourites that has the ability to make any cartridge/Turntable combination sound sublime.

Tube Box DS2 £600

The Dynavector P75Mk4 is one of the most innocuous and unassuming phono stages to look at. It is, however, a Goliath in terms of presence and performance. Designed in New Zealand and built in Australia for Japanese Cartridge specialists Dynavector, this little box is fully configurable via internal jumpers, allowing it to be tuned to any cartridge. There’s a special Phono Enhancer (PE) mode setting enabling you to fine tune even more to extract maximum performance, especially when using a Dynavector cartridge. This one never moves from its place in our demonstration room!

Dynavector P75 MK$ £799

This is just a small selection from the range of Phono Stages available. Call us for more information on finding the most suitable solution for getting the very best from turntable setup.

we also carry a wide range of Cartridges, Turntables and Vinyl accessories as well as a selection of records.