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NAD PP 2e Phono Stage Review

Rate this phono stage:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 39 28.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 70 51.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 23 16.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 4 2.9%

  • Total voters
    136
The market for this device appears to be the casual vinyl listener, not the audiophile market. NAD has wide distribution to peddle these phonos when the casual listener needs one to augment a new turntable purchase.

I think the inclusion of MC in the device is a marketing ploy more than a serious offering - more casual listeners may buy a MM/MC capable one than MM alone, but it’s inclusion appears to be largely aspirational and maybe a lift from an earlier phono circuit design.

I would not be surprised to see the circuitry being similar to that within my NAD 1600 preamplifier from decades ago. Julian Hirsch tested the 1600 at A-weighted noise
level of -86 dB for MM phono and -81 dB for MC phono. So, again, the PP-2e could have a “value engineered” power supply causing mischief.
 
How hard can it be these days to make a phono preamp that exceeds the limits of vinyl as a technology? I would think dead simple given the progress in headphone amps the size of a matchbook. Sure the input signal is lower but the output signal can also be pretty low. A Schiit magi heretic for turntables…

Heck, one could put the turntable in through a good adc before amplification to preserve the signal and apply the riaa eq in the digital domain. Then just convert it back with an internal DAC or give users the option of using an external DAC. Heck, such a thing may be possible to fit in an rca or din dongle, eliminating the cable and potential noise from TT to preamp. Or one could use dual adc and DACs, one for each channel for a differential topology with balanced outs.

Though I guess that would be an anathema to purists…but if done properly I bet it would preserve the signal coming out of the tone arm far better than this thing does.
 
The market for this device appears to be the casual vinyl listener, not the audiophile market. NAD has wide distribution to peddle these phonos when the casual listener needs one to augment a new turntable purchase.

I think the inclusion of MC in the device is a marketing ploy more than a serious offering - more casual listeners may buy a MM/MC capable one than MM alone, but it’s inclusion appears to be largely aspirational and maybe a lift from an earlier phono circuit design.

I would not be surprised to see the circuitry being similar to that within my NAD 1600 preamplifier from decades ago. Julian Hirsch tested the 1600 at A-weighted noise
level of -86 dB for MM phono and -81 dB for MC phono. So, again, the PP-2e could have a “value engineered” power supply causing mischief.
Phono preamps have to have reached SOA maturity as a technology a long time ago and surface mount components would drive down price and shorted signal paths. So not too surprising.

as such power supply issue is simply inexcusable. I voted headless.
 
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