First table, second cartridge, ...

Hey folks,

Still relatively new to vinyl.

Sought and received some great advice here in a previous thread on my first cartridge upgrade on my first turntable.  This is a Rega RP8 fed by my "starter" phono stage (Vincent PHO 8).

I decided to trade in my damaged Exact for the Ania Pro.

I plan on using the Vincent for a while and listen for and learn about the differences going with a moving coil. But would like to start looking into upgrading that now.

Any suggestions for a phono stage upgrade?

Or would an SUT be an option?

Thanks everyone!




Welcome to the world of vinyl! Some of us old farts had no choice… way back when. But starting by learning what you have is a great idea. So spend time with it, understanding the sound.


Once you really know what your system sounds like… well, you have a world of better sound ahead of you.

After fifty years using turntables, my recommendation is to have a carefully chosen phono stage of no less than the cost of your turntable. Until I bought a Audio Research PH8 my phono-stage always held back my turntable. I would highly recommend a used one for your system… or better. Audio Research is a true audiophile companies and makes world class phono stages.

Raving reviews of inexpensive phono-stages are great, but never compete with true audiophile phono-stages.


What is the rest of your system? There is a place to show photos and I’d your components. We can help a lot seeing you system in it’s venue.


The move from the Exact MM Cart' to the Aria Pro MC Cart', will undoubtedly bring a new presentation, the Styli alone on the MC, will have a significant impact on how the replay is presented.

Note: Ogura Vital Styli, are quite reduced and really are best used with meticulously Clean LP's, if a typical longevity of usage is to be attained.

I am not familiar with your Phonostage, but can assure you the Phon' in general, as a device, is capable of elevating a Vinyl LP Source to levels of performance that are extremely impressive. The hurdle for the end user, is that there are quite a range of presentations on offer, even from circuits that are produced from quite similar Topologies.

If the usage of Vinyl is looking to be a Keeper, seeking out the Keeper Phon' is well worth taking the time to learn more about. My suggestion is to arrange a few demonstrations of SS, Valve/Hybrid and All Valve, to get to the design that really gels with your unique preferences. From this point on, it is a case of Turnover of experiences of your preferred circuitry, the correct one will be discovered.

So far, no encouragement to spend on equipment, but there is a place where you could direct a little money.

A TT when mounted in a manner that is correcting the impact on it, from the environment the TT is set up in, can prove to be extremely beneficial, and if changing from a usual mounting method, that can transfer unwanted energies to the TT,  to a bespoke thought-out mounting method that reduces / isolates the TT environmental impact, the differences that can be perceived in the SQ / Presentation, can be perceived as if there is a New and much improved TT in the house.            

Many folks prefer the SUT option. Personally, I've been really happy with well-built phono stages. You could go up the Vincent chain and check out the PHO-701. I've used that one and love it. Lehmann is another brand I really enjoy. Anyway, in my experience, I find the phono stages with multiple load options for MC carts an excellent way to go. Like the PHO-701, it has many detailed adjustments via DIN switches ranging from 99-1000 ohms, so you can really dial in the sound.

Look at the Goldnote PS-10 + PSU-10. It will run any cart and won't break the bank; and you can adjust everything on the fly from a single control knob. 

Welcome to the world of vinyl. We can all give you advice but only your ears can tell you what you like. As for the phono stage different cartridges need to be driven differently so some thing that allows you to change on the fly I believe is necessary. Then try different technologies SS, tube, and hybrid. I personally preferer tubes. Try the used market before you spend the big bucks. Did you have a budget in mind? But most of all have fun with it.  

You might want to look into any of the Whest audio phono preamps, or the Parasound JC3+

Thanks for the responses! 

Lots of information to go through. Started reading about some of the suggested units.

@pindac I took your advice and have scheduled an appointment for next weekend with a local HiFi shop where I ordered the Ania Pro. They will do a free turntable setup with the new cartridge. Then they will let me try out different phono stages with my turntable.

@ghdprentice A couple of audiophile coworkers just told me the same thing about phono stage price relative to turntable price. Really tempted by the Audio Research PH 8!

I am hoping to get some pictures soon. Just moved to a new place and still experimenting with placement in a 12.5' x 38' open attic room. 

Hopefully there will be a good representation of phono stages to try. I will keep in mind the suggestions and probably will be back with more questions!



ur phono stage is a ’91 accord. ur table and cartridge is a tesla. significant mismatch in quality and performance.

i suggest you audition
1. whaever rega has at the top of their phonos--theirs some fine synerg among rega components
2. tavish adagio
3. tavish vintage w/ SUT

4. darlington labs 7 w/ SUT

5. sutherland
6. parasound JC3, jr, etc

7. aforementioned gold note

8. this marantz 7 clone with a fantastic SUT; to outperform it you gotta spend $1k-$1800

9. whats audio research have these days?

10. hagerman trumpet

check out the return policies. a lot of the better small companies have satisfaction guarantees and 30-day trial periods.

@hleeid It is worthwhile getting to grips with the below information and seeing if there is room to adopt some of the idea. Today I view this work undertaken as selecting a Support for a Styli / Cantilever, as it these two parts that will be responsible for the Sonic received at the Speaker End.

Creating an interface, that is perceived by the listener, as being quite beneficial for the function of these Parts is a worthwhile endeavor. 

Clean Purified Vinyl is best to be used during Trial Periods of Materials, and the Manual Method contained within the attached file has proven to be the most satisfying cleanliness, I have achieved throughout time.


This advisory/instructional is a valuable asset to have at hand for Vinyl LP Care.

1, A TT, when mounted in a manner that is correcting the impact on it, from the ambient environment the TT is set up in. Can prove to be extremely beneficial.

2, If changing from a usual mounting method, that has potential to transfer unwanted energies to the TT, the result can be that this energy can be detected by the Styli/Cantilever and impact detrimentally on the SQ being presented from the Speaker.

3, A bespoke thought-out mounting method that reduces / isolates the TT from ambient environmental impact, is most likely going to yield improved results, where the differences that can be perceived in the SQ / Presentation at the Speaker End, can be perceived as if there is a New, or much improved TT in the house. 

Learning about different structures in use for mounting a TT on and learning of different configurations for materials used in the structure, is quite easy to be found from a search or inquiry. When observing the used methods, it will be discovered that there are very affordable methods available to achieve a very positive outcome.

As a guideline, experience in this subject is generated from a long-term interest and as a result, I have many materials tried.

As important, is that I have a history of visiting a lot of people who share a very keen interest in the usage of TT's, and have learned from these individuals their methods, as well as making available to them my findings, through loaning rated materials.

I have regularly loaned Supporting Structures and Platter Mats in various materials, and can claim without any reservation, that there is not a ubiquitous material, that is proved to be best in use in differing Set Ups and their unique Ambient Environments.

There are curve balls to be encountered, after Trials, I am selecting materials that when used on my system, are seen as quite valuable additions, and even though might present with a variation in Sonic to another material, the material is seen as beneficial in use when compared to another rated material.

I have experienced rated materials used in my Set Up and Ambient Environment almost rejected immediately in another Home, and when I have been present, I have been in agreement with the findings.

As said, to investigate and trial different structures / materials for supporting the optimised function of the Styli / Cantilever can be carried out on a Prudent Budget, to gather the impressions that can be made. It is not strange to participate in, as all forums are covering similar practices for nearly all devices.