Top 10 Best Phono Preamps 2020 – Ultimate Reviews & Buyer's Guide

There is no doubt that you’ve come across a phono preamp. The phono preamp is essential to playing your old records. These preamps are all about enhancing the sound of these different records. If you do it right, you can be sure that you are always having a great time.

We can help you find the best phono preamps on the market right now. All of the models described below are designed to help you find one that will work for you.

Let’s get into the reviews already.

Best phono preamplifier
Photo by Aylwyn

Top 10 Best Phono Preamps 2020 Reviews

1 LEHMANN Audio Black Cube Phono Preamplifier

When looking for one of the best phono preamps you should think of Lehmann’s line. The brand is known for its phono stages and other diverse products that it makes. The good thing about a reputable brand is that you always get a performance product. That’s why we had to check this out.

This model has an advanced circuit. This is critical to overall performance. You don’t want to end up with a model that doesn’t produce the best sound. The circuit comes with high quality operational amplifiers which ensure that there is enough power for amplification. They also last longer so you don’t have to change them more often.

The manufacturer has also defined several options for customization. You can rest assured that it will provide the best performance that will match the user’s cartridge and the amplifier below. Every time you use it you will feel like it was worth buying one for yourself.

The most common way to adjust the preamp function is to set the gain low or high. These two can easily be reached by moving the magnetic cartridges or the coil types. This is done through the miniature switches under the product. They may be hard to get to, but they are critical to providing more functionality.

The model is about being professional and emotional at the same time. You can enjoy the sound you get from the model. It belongs to a leading league of phono preamps where the goal is to bring quality sound to the user. With its unsurpassed quality, you will undoubtedly have no problem using the model from today.

You’ll love the compact size too. It may be compact, but it’s still powerful. You can feel that it is better than some other large or expensive models on the market.

LEHMANN Audio - Black Cube MM / MC Phono Preamplifier

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

(4.5 / 5)

advantages

  • Strong construction
  • Compact
  • Powerful preamplifier

disadvantage

  • The sound quality could be better

2 Marchand LN112MC tube phono preamplifier

If you are the person who loves things made or assembled in the USA then this should be good for you. This often means that the product is of high quality. Even if you touch the preamp, you will feel like a lot of work has gone into making it. Well, you might see that it has a simple wood design, but it’s definitely worth the money you are spending on it.

The overall design and circuitry is another top thing that you will love. It will provide precision amplification that works for everyone. You will now receive a model that offers you the best sound quality. To make it even better, it uses the RIAA correction for moving magnets and moving coil cartridges. With such features, you can be sure that the model will always offer the best functionality.

That’s not all, as the model still has an 8 Hz subsonic filter. The goal of this filter is to suppress all frequencies below 8 Hz while leaving the in-band audio signals untouched. You can see that the manufacturer has done a good job keeping the unwanted noise down.

The model’s subsonic filter is also important to reduce the unwanted cone motion caused by record distortion. The sound quality never has to be a problem with this one.

The manufacturer also uses the high quality parts in the manufacture of the product. This includes the transformers, resistors, capacitors and more. There is no doubt that when it comes to high quality products, you never have to worry about replacing your preamp.

LN112MC tube phono preamplifier for moving the coil cartridge

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

(4.5 / 5)

advantages

  • Great design
  • Impressive sound
  • Quality parts

disadvantage

  • Expensive for its properties

3 Emotiva Audio XPS-1 phono preamplifier

The model is all about providing high performance to the user. Thanks to the various features that they offer, you can be sure that you will be able to enjoy it. The model can easily support both the moving coil and the moving magnetic phono cartridges. With this versatility, you should always find a use for such a product. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about the price. The manufacturer made it affordable for many to use.

The model also accepts the standard RCA inputs and outputs. This makes it great for working with various devices that have line-level analog inputs. You can be assured that you will always have ease of use when it comes to general use of the preamplifier. The versatility you get with features like this makes it worth every penny spent on it.

The model is about an advanced design that is important for exceptional performance. This preamp builds on the brand’s general reputation for making some of the best models on the market. You receive the high-quality components over the entire signal path of the preamplifier. It now provides accurate RIAA equalization and extremely low noise for the low power cartridge.

Since there is little sound distortion, the final output is always great. No need to worry that your sound quality may not be what you want.

The model comes with circuitry that provides optimal gain and noise performance. You can use the moving magnet and moving coil cartridges. This is a recipe for good performance for any application.

Emotiva Audio XPS-1 phono preamplifier

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

(4.5 / 5)

advantages

  • Versatile preamp
  • Great construction
  • Affordable

disadvantage

  • Some power issues

4 Musical environment Nova II Battery operated dual mono

The model comes from a brand that has established itself as one of the best. The brand delivers the best value for money. You can now be sure that the model you get from them is working great at all times. The model was built in California which means that it meets US quality standards. You should have a great time with this model today.

The model is battery operated, which can also make it flexible. This is ideal if you want to use it in places where you cannot access the electrical outlet. If you’ve used the Nova phenomenon, you’ll like this one even more as it replaces this model. This means that there are more new features to help you get the best experience.

It comes with an improved chassis design to accommodate more parts than you would have liked. The model has dual mono and discrete circuitry. These are important when it comes to comprehensive reinforcement and loading flexibility. You should have some good times when it comes to using this type of model.

The switches and other controls are located on the back. Since this is a compact product, these switches shouldn’t be difficult to access. You can adjust the gain and many other settings related to the application you are thinking of.

The model has RIAA equalization, which is about always giving you the best functionality. You never have to worry about sound quality when you can get the best signal-to-noise ratio from the model.

Musical environment Nova II battery operated dual mono MM / MC phono preamplifier

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

(4.5 / 5)

advantages

  • Good performance
  • New and improved chassis
  • Better signal-to-noise ratio

5 Parasound Zphono phono preamplifier

This model is all about great performance that you need for sound quality. It’s made by a brand that specializes in making preamps. With this experience, you can be sure that you will always receive the highest quality product that you will like. There is no doubt that a great phono preamp will improve listening to your music.

The model works great with all mains powered preamplifiers. It’s one of the most important things you can have. With that ability, it should be able to deliver the best performance you have always wanted. It also remains a versatile product that you can enjoy today.

Thanks to the RIAA construction, the model is also ex
cellent in terms of sound quality. This feature is all about keeping the sound as good as many want it to be. It is possible for multiple users to enjoy the ultra-low distortion sound provided with the model. You don’t have to worry about the sound quality being compromised.

It also comes with switchable gain. You can easily switch from moving magnet to moving coil cartridges and vice versa. You can rest assured that it is a model that will be great for many users to have in their homes.

To make it even better, this one comes with an exclusive AC polarity switch. This function is important to avoid hum when using the model.

The op amps used in the model are ultra high speed and low noise. This is a great combo that is all about bringing you the best quality sound every time.

Parasound - Zphono - Phono preamplifier

Our rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

(4.4 / 5)

advantages

  • Very little distortion
  • High quality components
  • Low noise operational amplifiers

disadvantage

  • A couple of complaints about the loud fan

6 Music Hall Mini MM Phono Preamplifier

You never have to worry very much about getting the best performing product when such a brand is available. Music Hall works with some of the best engineers to ensure you always get the best sound quality. You can be sure that many people will now feel comfortable getting a model for themselves.

If other models cost users thousands of dollars, this one is different. It is an affordable product that should make it easy for many users to get one. It’s under a hundred dollars which is a steal when you compare what you’re paying to get the other models.

The model appeals to the different users for its size. It’s compact, so you can easily set it up anywhere you want. The large size makes it more fun for people to continue using the model. Thanks to the overall performance, you will always have a lot of fun with this type of model.

You will like the solid state phono preamp feature with this model. In this type of structure, the movable magnet and the movable coil cartridges are used with high performance. Thanks to the impressive performance of the model, it is possible to have a good time with this type of model.

The model was also developed to amplify the RIAA-balanced phono signal. This ensures that you get the high level signal in the end.

The functionality of the model allows you to use it with the various electronic components that lack a built-in phono stage. You can easily set it up and start using it in no time.

Music Hall Mini MM Phono Preamplifier

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

(4.3 / 5)

advantages

  • Great all-round preamp
  • Compact in size
  • Cheap

disadvantage

  • Some believe the shelf life could be better

7 U-Turn Audio Pluto Phono Preamplifier

There is no doubt that you will have a great time in the end using a powerful phono preamp. This is what you get when you use this model. It’s one of the best models you can get on the market right now. The best part is that you don’t have to pay a lot of money. It’s an affordable product that you can always use for yourself now.

Some of the things that you will like about the model should be the sleek design. The model looks simple yet stylish. This is great for making sure you have a great time doing it all the time around the house. You can put it anywhere and it should blend in with your existing decor easily.

The design isn’t the only elegant thing as the circuit is on a different level. You will always have a great time with this type of preamp as it provides the best performance that you can use. Manufacturers use the high power gain stage and subsonic filter to remove the low frequency noise. Rest assured that today you will have a good time with this type of model.

It comes with a number of impressive precision components. The goal is to make sure you are getting a model that will perform the best. This model has a RIAA equalization network made up of WIMA capacitors and precision resistors. When the components are performing at their best, you can be sure that the sound will be that good too.

U-Turn Audio - Pluto Phono Preampl
ifier

Our rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

(4.2 / 5)

advantages

  • Elegant circuit design
  • Impressive precision components
  • Strong construction

8 Pro-Ject Audio Phono Box DC

This model should never be missing from any list of phono preamps. It’s not that reviewers are biased, but it just belongs on the lists. The overall design of the model makes it one of the best when it comes to using the model. Now you can always take advantage of some of the best features.

The manufacturer has made the model so compatible that it is compatible with the moving magnet and the phono cartridge with moving coil. This further shows that the model is very versatile. You can be sure that the various uses are easy for you.

The model also allows an external power supply. This is important to reduce noise and interference. If noise and interference are kept as low as possible, you should be ready. There is no doubt that from today you will always enjoy using this type of phono box. In the end, you always get clear sounds as the noise is kept to a minimum.

This model has the gold-plated input and output jacks. The aim is to protect it against corrosion in the long term. The construction is also great for keeping the model solid. You never have to worry about the overall performance of the model in the long run.

The signal-to-noise ratio is kept within acceptable limits. This is to ensure that you always get more and more in terms of the best sound quality. You can easily set up and use the model in minutes. The guide is still useful to make sure you don’t have any problems at all.

Its compact size makes it ideal for various applications.

Pro-Ject Audio - Phono Box DC - MM / MC phono preamplifier with line output

Our rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

(4.2 / 5)

advantages

  • Low noise level
  • Impressive response accuracy
  • Gold-plated input and output sockets

disadvantage

  • Slow response from customer support

9 SPL Phonos ProFi MM / MC Adjustable phono preamplifier

If you are looking for a top product in the market, you can always go for this product. It’s one of the best on the market, and it delivers the best quality sound that makes more people want one today. A compact high-end design makes it attractive to different users. You can know today that it won’t have a huge footprint.

The model should be versatile. This is because it works for turntables that use either the moving magnet or the moving coil cartridges. So it’s important to make sure it’s something you want. The model has the best power requirements you could possibly need using a preamplifier.

The model has an RIAA-based regression curve. It shows that the model has been suitable for use with the record since 1954. You can be sure that it will perform at its best at all times.

The manufacturer uses the highest quality components to ensure the model is great too. It will take a long time to make sure you can use it for different applications. High quality components no longer make it necessary to change them frequently.

The control parameters are adjustable at the front. This is something that even makes you want to use it even more. You can be sure that they are easy to adjust for the best sound.

The subsonic filter is important to ensure you always get the best quality sound. Don’t worry about the noise anymore.

SPL Phonos ProFi MM / MC Adjustable phono preamplifier

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

(4.5 / 5)

advantages

  • Great sound quality
  • Subsonic filter
  • RIAA compensation

10 Musical fidelity MX-VYNL

As soon as you take it out of the box it will feel like one of the best models around. It’s firmly in the hand with some of the smartest machined faceplates. You will find the controls have a positive feel that should make them great to keep using.

The model offers impressive flexibility. This is in relation to the gain switch. This increases the sensitivity for cartridges with low output power. If you need that kind of functionality, now you know which model to check out first.

It is possible to switch between the IEC and RIAA regression curves. This is done through the front panel, which is one of the easiest things to do for you.

The different ports make it great to be used by the vast majority of decks. You can be assured of having a good time when it comes to overall performance of this model. You’ll always have a good time knowing the model is performing the best.

The sound, on the other hand, is the best you can get with this model. You will feel that the sound is transparent and detailed all the time. You can always have fun listening to music. Most people love dealing with the vocals. One even appreciates the old music.

MUSICAL FIDELITY MX-VYNL BALANCING MM / MC PHONO PREAMPLIFIER

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

(4.5 / 5)

advantages

  • Impressive transparency
  • good sound
  • Impressive workmanship and workmanship

Best Phono Preamps Buying Guide

Phono preamplifier purchase guide
Photo by Aquiles

Passive compensation

You will find that most phono preamps have a built-in equalizer mode like the RIAA. They will help correct the signal coming from the cartridge so that it gets better. It is important for people to understand how the model works to ensure that the balance is in place. Some of the other popular compensation brands are Decca and Columbia.

size

The size is always crucial so that you can use it the way you want. This is for those who may need to carry it around more often. It is important that you choose a top performing model that is still compact for ease of portability.

Inputs and outputs

The input and output connections determine the number of devices that can be easily connected to the preamplifier. You need to make sure you are getting a model that will provide the best number of inputs and outputs. Depending on these ports, you can find one with more ports than others. More ports make the model more and more versatile for different applications.

The intent

There is always a need where and why you need the preamp. It doesn’t have to be a complex phono preamp when you just have to do a few simple tasks with it. Depending on the intended use, you may have to spend even more to get the proper phono preamp. Make sure you choose a model that suits your needs.

price

It is great when you can get a model that fits your budget. For a model that costs more, you can always expect it to have more features than you need. You can always pick one that is within your budget and offers a bit of flexibility to spend more. This does not mean that you cannot find quality preamps at affordable prices. With the right research, you should have the best preamplifier you can use today.

Conclusion

When it comes to overall performance, you can be sure that choosing a great preamp will be easy. From the list above, you can easily see what you can and can’t do with a model. It is always important that you choose the best that suits your needs. Even if you’re on a tight budget, we’ve still included models that are cheaper. You can be sure that the list includes products for people with different budgets.

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