slide in phono stage for Accuphase C-2450 preamplifier - is it any good?

I am working on the purchase of an Accuphase preamplifier (C-2450) that can accept an optional slide-in phono stage - either the AD-2850 or the newer AD-2900.  

Are these decent phono stages, and is there any real advantage in the newer AD-2900 over the AD-2850?


think long, I suspect nearly everyone will recommend keeping your phono stage separate.

also, thinking long, think both MM, MC, and optional gain and separate optional loading. Perhaps multiple inputs for two or 3 tonearms, and Pass for MM

Good point - thx.  The slide in units are not inexpensive, and the choice of separates would be much greater.

But given how Accuphase is meticulous in their design, engineering, and production, I am still wondering how the AD-2850 or AD-2900 perform in an Accuphase preamp such as the C-2450.

You are very unlikely to get an informed opinion here regarding the two choices of Accuphase phono modules, unless perhaps you tell us more about them. Because I doubt any one here owns an Accuphase preamp with phono.

Fair enough - I think the two Accuphase phono stages are very similar, it is the general concept of a built-in phono stage that I am grappling with.

I have owned two Luxman integrated amps (L-509u, L-595A) that have built-in phono stages - and they are very decent. There are more compromises and challenges with a phono stage in an integtrated amp than with a pre-amp, so I imagine the Accuphase option is as good or better.

My Little Luxman SQ-N150 in my office has built-in Phono, MM and MC, sounds darn good, however, no gain or impedance options for MC input. I've only used it's MM for AT440ML.

toronto, I am a proponent of "phonolinepreamps" when they are designed and built to a high standard, as is likely the case with Accuphase. From an audiophile point of view, they offer phono function without the extra chassis, which eliminates output and input jacks (RCA or XLR) and the interconnecting wires. (Also saves money, often.) They also permit a very short path between the output of the phono and the linestage, which has additional benefits regarding impedance matching. However, it is fair to point out that a built-in phono may provide fewer options for variable capacitance or resistive loading, as Elliott is pointing out. So in one sense it would depend upon how the offered features fulfill or don’t fulfill your needs as regards your choice of cartridge and any future plans you may have as regards cartridges.

On the other hand, if the phono module works fine for your particular LOMC cartridge (for example), you can always add an outboard phono in the case where you want to add a high output MM or MI type cartridge and plug it in to an AUX input.

Thx @lewm - you make some very good points.  

I have a MC cartridge and the Accuphase phono stage has MC load settings that are selectable from among 4 values “10Ω/30Ω/100Ω/300Ω” on the front panel of the pre-amp. 

I am sure that the optional Accuphase phono stage is well designed and built to a high standard, and it should work well.


Thanks to all for your advice and input. Here is my update:

I installed a current production Accuphase AD-2900 phono unit into my C-2450 preamp. It is a substantial unit that is very well built, was easy to install and works flawlessly.

The preamp has controls on the front panel for selecting the phono stage, choosing MM or MC, and varying the MC load from 10, 30, 100 and 300 Ohms. It all works seamlessly.

It is hard for me to compare it to my previous set-up as I am using a different amp and preamp in addition to a different built in phono stage.

Suffice it to say vinyl sounds wonderful - very musically rich, detailed, fluid and engaging.