The BEST Phono Preamps Under $500!

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“Audio advice we loved the vinyl revolution. We started over 40 years ago in 1978. 1978. Setting up turntables and we ve never stopped now for those of you just the fun world of vinyl or those of you getting back into it one item that may be a bit confusing is the phono preamp now this is a critical piece to your vinyl setup.

But it does have its technical side which without a proper education can be a bit daunting now in this video. We ll first explain why you need a phono preamp and then we ll conclude by recommending five great phono preamps that aren t going to break the bank and come in underneath 500. A turntable is different than almost all other types of playback devices. A tiny stylus follows the modulations and record grooves transmitting those little changes into the cartridge.

Now the signal. The cartridge produces from this is super low in level. It can be up to a thousand times less than what you would get from a cd player. Now obviously.

If your amp or receiver has a phono preamp built in that s compatible with your table. You won t need a separate phono preamp. Some turntables also come with a phono preamp built in now the first thing you should think about is that there are two main types of photo cartridges moving magnet. And moving coil now as a general rule most entry level to moderately priced tables come with a moving magnet cartridge moving coil cartridges have about ten times less output than a moving magnet meaning that they need a phone a preamp capable of amplifying.

The even lower signal from a moving coil. However these are preferred by audio files and music lovers. Because they are able to extract more information from the record groups..


When you were looking at phono preamps. You have probably come across a spec that talks about loading. This is the resistance. The phono cartridge seized from the phono preamp now for almost all moving magnets they want to see a standard loading of 47 k.

However moo coil cartridges are all over the map and can vary from a thousand to 10 ohms and what is ideal for them. Which depends on the individual cartridge design. Now that you understand what a phonon preamp. Is and why you need one let s take a look at our top fonna preamps underneath.

500. Now. This was quite the task as here at audio advice we have over 20 phono preamps to choose from from under 500. Now keep in mind prices in this video are subject to change so make sure that you click the link in the description below to each product for the most current and up to date price.

First up is the project m. In a project audio based in europe is the world s largest manufacturer of turntables. They also make quite a few phono preamps as well we feel that mm phono preamp is a great value for only 79. And that it is designed for moving magnet cartridges.

Only it has solid connections and is very low noise. Now the project mm has dual mono circuitry meaning each channel has its own circuit. This will give you great stereo separation..


The mm will not add noise to the signal. Because of its well shielded case and low noise circuitry. It is also very small in size and is able to hide behind your turntable if you wish to keep it hidden up next is the cambridge audio solo cambridge audio is one of our favorite brands at audio advice their home audio gear has a sound that really draws you into the music it uses surface mount components and a switch mode power supply to further reduce noise. We also like the fact that it has a built in subsonic filter that kicks in at 15 hertz.

Which is way below. Where 99 of speakers. Reproduce sound. Now sometimes a warped record or having your turntable.

Too close to a full range speaker can cause this subsonic rumbling. Which can be removed using this filter. Cambridge gear has such a warm and engaging sound just like you get from a great vinyl album we just feel closer to the music when we listen on cambridge audio equipment. Moving from that we had the mofa studio phone oh now mobile fidelity sound labs.

Got started in early 1970s. Making their famous original master recordings. Many of which are worth thousands today. If you can find one a few years ago.

They launched a line of turntables phono. Preamps and photo cartridges to complement their great recordings. The studio phono is our first pick that can handle both moving magnet and moving coil cartridges..


It offers a wealth of settings. That should line up with about 95 of the moving coils on the market. You also get an adjustable gain a mono switch and a switchable subsonic filter. Another.

Cool fact is that tim de pair vicini one of the most famous analog engineers out there assisted with its design this is our go to model for people who want to explore moving coil cartridges or when a great moving magnet. Phono preamp next up is the raiga phono mm. Now. Raiga is one of our best selling turntable brands here at audio advices.

They cover the full spectrum. All the way from entry level to state of the art. Now we included the phono mm. Because of the engineering team at raiga specifically designed the phono to be a perfect match to their great moving magnet cartridges.

We see on many of their reggae turntables. Although it s not feature packed as it s a specific match for raiga moving magnets. It sounds warm and rich with lots of detail and separation. Plus with moving magnet cartridges being so standardized.

It also works great with any brand of moving magnet. This is the third revision of the phono mm. Which has already won many best of european awards every year since the first version came out in 2014..


Every one of reyga s products goes through rigorous listening tests to determine the best signal design and the phono mm is no exception finally we have the project phono box ds2 now the ds2 ranges in price from 399 all the way up to 499. Depending upon the finish and if you want a phono preamp. You can grow with the dia offers up a ton of options for adjusting it to match with a huge variety of photo cartridges. It will do both moving magnet and moving coil cartridges and even gives you some fine tuning on capacitance adjustments for moving magnets.

The neat. Part is the settings are accessed on the front panel. So you can make changes on the fly. While listening to hear for yourself the differences now we have found with moving coils going up or down.

One level will make a difference in the sound. Most people can easily hear going up usually makes things leaner while going down. Usually gets a little bit warmer. The dual mono design of the ds2 assures you of great separation and we like the fact that projects spent time designing the chassis to be resistant to resonances all right this concludes our list of top phono preamps under 500.

But keep in mind as we said earlier in the video audio advice has over 20 options of phono preamps in this price range. So there are tons of different options for you to explore if you have questions on any of these products or any other audio gear feel free to give us a call chat with us on our website with one of our experts or stop in to our raleigh or charlotte north carolina locations thanks for watching and if you enjoyed this video and want to see more content like it please subscribe to our channel our channel is dedicated to showcasing the best audio gear from brands around the world. We do reviews comparisons setup guides and much more thanks for ” ..


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