Under-$600 Phono Preamp Suggestions

To Doug Schneider,

I am rediscovering my LP collection. I am using the phono preamp section of an old Yamaha RX-1130 receiver connected to an all-Bryston electronics system.

I am looking to improve the sound with a dedicated phono preamp. Would you have suggestions for a budget of $600?

I am using an early-’80s turntable with an Audio-Technica moving-magnet cartridge.

Thanks in advance,
René Fortier

You actually have many options, but if I were in your shoes, the first phono stage I’d look at is the Simaudio Moon 110LP v2, which costs only $399. Thom Moon reviewed the 110LP v2 for SoundStage! Access last November, where he not only raved about it, he ended up buying one for his system. Furthermore, it had a Reviewers’ Choice award bestowed on it at the time the review was published, and was also chosen as one of our 2018 Products of the Year. Please read the review to learn how versatile the 110LP v2 is -- it has support for moving-magnet and moving-coil cartridges, as well as numerous switches for adjustment -- and how good Thom found it to sound.

I also encourage you to check out our new SoundStage! Expert videos about phono stages that are on YouTube (there are six on this topic, all less than two minutes long). These were filmed at Simaudio’s factory. They should give you more insight as to what Simaudio knows about the product category. . . . Doug Schneider