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AUDIO FORUMS >> Vinyl >> Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
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Message started by DLM on 06/16/22 at 21:01:06

Title: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by DLM on 06/16/22 at 21:01:06

Who out there is using a SS phono stage with your Decware Amp / Pre-amp ? †Are you happy with the sound, or do you wish you had a ZP3 ?
While I wait for my Torii Mk5 or 300B Sarah, I need to figure out how I solve my phono dilemma. I know my Schiit Mani will not be able to live up to the rich/full sound of the new amp and I did not order a ZP3 at the time of my order.
Do I go back in line for a ZP3 or are there other phono stages I would be completely happy with my new Decware amp ?
I have a Rega P6 with Nagaoka MP-300 cart... †I might go to a HOMC like a Dynavector 10x5 in the future.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by Lon on 06/16/22 at 21:05:44

I had a ZP3 but sold it some years ago as I was not playing LPs that much. I bought a PS Audio NuWave Phono Converter as it had balanced outputs and I enjoyed that with my ZTPRE. Then I decided to try converting the phono signal to DSD and running it via I2S/HDMI into my PS Audio DSD DAC as I can do that with the NuWave. . . and I confess I really love the sound.

The ZP3 is a great phono preamp. I found myself continually playing with tube complements and that added a level of complexity that was in part responsible for my not playing a lot of LPs. If I had a better turntable I'd probably get on the list for another ZP3. . . but that won't happen for a while if it does at all.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by Dr3wman on 06/16/22 at 21:44:24

DLM -

Interesting question. I will have a similar quandary when my MKV arrives. I bought a PS Audio Stellar Phono amp 6 months ago, which I adore,  and am currently waiting on that exact Dynavector to mount to my new TT.

My brother-in-law has a ZP3 so I might be able to convince him to bring it down so I can swap between the two phono stages.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by chapsjon on 06/16/22 at 22:16:44

I think this is a great question. I have never heard a ZP3, so cannot tell you how a SS phono stage compares. As with most things, I think design and implementation is key. I have a ZP1 and Wright WPP100 for tube phono stages. They both sound great. The Wright is a warmer and has adjustable gain up to 60db, but it has some inherent tube rush and hum. The ZP1 is silent unless music is playing. I throughly enjoy both.

For SS phono stages I have the one built in to my Accuphase E-303, which is excellent and includes a head amp for MC carts. It is discrete SS and accurate to =/- 0.1 db. It sounds great. I haven't been able to play it next to the tube pre's as I am still in the process of PCSing.

Lastly, I have a Graham Slee Jazz Club. This uses an op-amp, which I am not a fan of in general, but Graham is known for his ingenious implementation in this case. The power supply is a big part of the great sound. I have used this extensively with my MT and it sounds fantastic. Also has capacity to customize the curve for older EQ that differs from RIAA, which is why I bought it.

In general, I would say SS pre's lose some warmth compared to tubes. In some cases, they can be more accurate. When well implemented, they can sound great. If I didn't have a ZP1 and Wright WPP100, I would buy a ZP3, though. I don't think I would be satisfied with only SS pre's.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by armstdav on 06/17/22 at 20:47:52

I own a Musical Fidelity M1ViNL that is all solid state and I've used it to great success with both my SE34i.2+ and my Torii Mk IV. It was their top of the line phono pre when built, and it's still a step up from the Schiit Mani and others I've heard in that price range. It's still in my current system on my second tonearm. My good cartridges run through an E.A.T. E-Glo Petit, which I used with the Torii but came after the SE34. It's the best phono pre I've used so far.

I've no doubt the ZP3 sounds amazing but I run low output MC carts and prefer not to use a step up. The M1ViNL and the E-Glo both give me what I want in one box, plus allow for gain and loading adjustments on the fly.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by DLM on 06/17/22 at 21:46:23

I've been looking at this SS phono stage to pair with my new Decware amp. Does anyone have any knowledge of Darlington Labs ?
Reviews look positive.

https://www.darlingtonlabs.com/shop/p/mp-7-discrete-high-voltage-j-fet-riaa-phono-preamplifier-high-end-performance

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by DLM on 06/17/22 at 22:09:01

Or the Kitsune LCR... † †I know Steve raves about the Holo dac's with his amps.

https://www.kitsunehifi.com/product/kte-lcr-1-mk5-mk5s-mc-mm-mi-lcr-riaa-phono-stage/

I don't want to be dissatisfied and go thru the entire process again.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by armstdav on 06/17/22 at 22:29:40

I haven't heard either of those, but I've read many positive things about the Kitsune. If you're jumping into the US$2K range, you've greatly increased your choices, and you'll get lots of different recommendations. Since it's nearly impossible to audition specific pieces, I buy used and resell the ones I don't like. In the long run, it's cheaper than buying new and having to take big hit if it doesn't work out.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by Same Old DD on 06/22/22 at 17:52:56

I have switched back to my '87 Yamaha preamp to use my phono and drive two early SE84Cs, because it sounds better than my Lazarus, with tube outs.
Wasn't really sure before, but I am now.

Yamaha has always used the expression "Natural Sound" and while their implimentation can be debated, this thing does seem to get out of the way quite well and allow for much better focus downstream.

I've gotten my room a bit more manageable lately and I have been switching lots of things in and out, finding some surprises along the path.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by DLM on 06/26/22 at 17:08:41

I think i'm going to keep it simple and get the TOTL Darlington Labs MP-7....
Fully-Discrete, Zero Negative Feedback, High-Voltage J-FET, Single-Ended Class-A Gain Stages, Passive RIAA equalization.
They also seem to be really good people to work with.
Should be a good match with my new Decware amp when it arrives.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by riknbkr330 on 06/28/22 at 16:16:16

Used to run a musical surroundings phonomenaII into my Racheal. Good preamp for the money.  Stepped up to the ZP3 and have not looked back.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by Mannytheseacow on 07/16/22 at 06:09:29

Iím using a Pass Pearl II with my zkit. Easily the best Iíve heard for the $, which only means there are probably better phono stages Iíve never heard.  The Pearl is an easy build but the FETs are getting hard to come by.

Itís an exquisite phono stage. I like that by changing R20 you can use any cartridge or drive your input as much/little as you like. For this reason it works well ahead of tubes.

Title: Re: Solid State Phono Stage with your Decware Amp ?
Post by Waxspinner on 08/29/22 at 22:09:18

DLM,

Did you ever get the phono pre?

If not, what is your budget?

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