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need a solid phono preamp for a SL-1200MK7

N72826

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I’m quite new to the audiophile realm and the amount of knowledge you guys have is truly admirable. It’s precisely why I decided to start a thread, I want to exercise as much restraint as possible when considering purchasing a phono preamp or whatever is required in order to utilize my current setup when attempting to play vinyls.

So I’ll paint a picture and you guys can give me advice/tell me how wrong I am for thinking this is the way it should be done and we can go from there.

I have a pair of HD6xx’s and a Topping D90 with a bottlehead crack I built, along with it’s speedball upgrade.
So this christmas I received the SL-1200MK7, some vinyls that I hope to be able to listen to on my setup without a hiccup, and a Topping A90.

So my current setup is:
usb out from pc->usb in on D90->rca outs on D90->rca ins on bottlehead crack->hd6xx

I have much more to learn in the art of turntables but so far I know that, since there is no internal preamp in the turntable(which is honestly an advantage since I’ve heard some pretty bad things about them in the previous iterations), I will need a solid phono preamp.

I recently learned that phono preamps are required when it comes to turntables because when I tried to go from :
SL-1200MK7 rca outs directly to->rca ins on A90 ,
The audio was way too quiet even maxxed out. The next thing I tried was piping the rca outs from the A90 to the rca ins on the bottlehead.
Which, sounded a little louder but still definitely lacked that much needed bassy punch since I could max them both out with little change.

I then experimented and thought maybe the A90 was nerfing the signal somehow so I went directly from the MK7 to the bottlehead, cutting out the A90. This was similar to just using the A90 in that I could max out the volume no problem and still feel there was room for more loudness.

Mind you, this is all before I discovered what a phono preamp was, and now that I do know what they are used for, I’m stressing over the prospect of breaking the bank just to get that desirable loudness out of the hd6xxs.

Apologies, I didn’t know how else to figure this out other than googling for hours on end. And even then, most who have turntables have a completely different setups and some part of me desperately hopes theres a way that I can still use the bottlehead in conjunction with a preamp.
Best thing I have found so far is this thread on the forum which gives plenty of suggestions, but I would just like to hear what someone has to say given the context of my situation without pulling the trigger on some random preamp. Thank you.
 
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Blumlein 88

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I'd suggest two as good for not huge money. Both reviewed here by Amir.

An Emotiva unit with some nice features, and good performance at $199.

Cambridge Audio Duo for $299.
 
OP
N

N72826

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I'd suggest two as good for not huge money. Both reviewed here by Amir.

An Emotiva unit with some nice features, and good performance at $199.

Cambridge Audio Duo for $299.
Thank you man this is heavily appreciated. I just finished reformatting my post since I was on mobile when I posted, sorry you had to read that mess before it was spaced out. no room to breathe lmao
 
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abdo123

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I recommend the parks audio puffin since it has real-time de-poping or de-clicking and the option with the digital Toslink output allows you to route it via your AVR or digital signal processor for room correction. Basically you have a lot of options with that device.


I have the cambridge phono duo and while it’s phenomenal i would pick the puffin for the real-time de-clicking.
 

Bob from Florida

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I’m quite new to the audiophile realm and the amount of knowledge you guys have is truly admirable. It’s precisely why I decided to start a thread, I want to exercise as much restraint as possible when considering purchasing a phono preamp or whatever is required in order to utilize my current setup when attempting to play vinyls.

So I’ll paint a picture and you guys can give me advice/tell me how wrong I am for thinking this is the way it should be done and we can go from there.

I have a pair of HD6xx’s and a Topping D90 with a bottlehead crack I built, along with it’s speedball upgrade.
So this christmas I received the SL-1200MK7, some vinyls that I hope to be able to listen to on my setup without a hiccup, and a Topping A90.

So my current setup is:
usb out from pc->usb in on D90->rca outs on D90->rca ins on bottlehead crack->hd6xx

I have much more to learn in the art of turntables but so far I know that, since there is no internal preamp in the turntable(which is honestly an advantage since I’ve heard some pretty bad things about them in the previous iterations), I will need a solid phono preamp.

I recently learned that phono preamps are required when it comes to turntables because when I tried to go from :
SL-1200MK7 rca outs directly to->rca ins on A90 ,
The audio was way too quiet even maxxed out. The next thing I tried was piping the rca outs from the A90 to the rca ins on the bottlehead.
Which, sounded a little louder but still definitely lacked that much needed bassy punch since I could max them both out with little change.

I then experimented and thought maybe the A90 was nerfing the signal somehow so I went directly from the MK7 to the bottlehead, cutting out the A90. This was similar to just using the A90 in that I could max out the volume no problem and still feel there was room for more loudness.

Mind you, this is all before I discovered what a phono preamp was, and now that I do know what they are used for, I’m stressing over the prospect of breaking the bank just to get that desirable loudness out of the hd6xxs.

Apologies, I didn’t know how else to figure this out other than googling for hours on end. And even then, most who have turntables have a completely different setups and some part of me desperately hopes theres a way that I can still use the bottlehead in conjunction with a preamp.
Best thing I have found so far is this thread on the forum which gives plenty of suggestions, but I would just like to hear what someone has to say given the context of my situation without pulling the trigger on some random preamp. Thank you.
Ifi Zen Phono at $199. Get it from Crutchfield or Music Direct and you have 60 days to try it.
 
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N72826

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I recommend the parks audio puffin since it has real-time de-poping or de-clicking and the option with the digital Toslink output allows you to route it via your AVR or digital signal processor for room correction. Basically you have a lot of options with that device.


I have the cambridge phono duo and while it’s phenomenal i would pick the puffin for the real-time de-clicking.
The Cambridge Audio Duo should have you set forever.
So I was definitely considering the cambridge since three of you now have suggested it, the thing that's holding me back is I want to buy a preamp only. this is because I already have the bottlehead crack and supposedly the amp on the cambridge is kind of weak. so I was thinking of just ordering the preamp component if I were to go the cambridge route, as long as it's no different.
but abdo123, if you already have the cambridge and suggest the parks audio puffin for that delightful audio pop removal feature, which additionally if I must say, looks damn beautiful. I might just go with that.
Ifi Zen Phono at $199. Get it from Crutchfield or Music Direct and you have 60 days to try it.
Thank you very much bob, depending on how much money I feel like spending, all of you guys have pointed me in the right direction and I am forever grateful.
 
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N72826

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I recommend the parks audio puffin since it has real-time de-poping or de-clicking and the option with the digital Toslink output allows you to route it via your AVR or digital signal processor for room correction. Basically you have a lot of options with that device.


I have the cambridge phono duo and while it’s phenomenal i would pick the puffin for the real-time de-clicking.
In a video I found about the puffin, a guy with the toslink version mentions being able to pipe the audio through his topping dac. Is that the recommendation to clear up the audio further? Or should I go directly from the puffin to the Bottlehead? Im assuming it’s TT->Puffin->D90->bottlehead.
 

abdo123

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In a video I found about the puffin, a guy with the toslink version mentions being able to pipe the audio through his topping dac. Is that the recommendation to clear up the audio further? Or should I go directly from the puffin to the Bottlehead? Im assuming it’s TT->Puffin->D90->bottlehead.
it doesn't matter honestly, the puffin will always be the bottleneck.

If it helps you control the volume easier by routing it to the D90 then go ahead.
 
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N72826

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it doesn't matter honestly, the puffin will always be the bottleneck.

If it helps you control the volume easier by routing it to the D90 then go ahead.
Thanks man. You have been a massive help to me. I’ll let you know how everything ends up! I was dissatisfied with how quiet the output was without a phono preamp and knew I was doing something wrong. I’m excited nonetheless, first time hearing directly from a vinyl and it was very cool despite the lack of bass. The puffin seems like the ultimate phono preamp! I appreciate it bro.
 
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