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02audionoob
02-19-2012, 02:04 PM
What do you folks think of the EAR 834P phono preamp? I have no way to audition one, as far as I know. I figure if I buy one, I'll buy it used. That has always been a good way to get a component in and back out for a minimal cost hit.

This would go in with the Rega P5 and Audio Research CA50. The cartridge for the moment will be either the Dynavector 10X4 or high-output Goldring Eroica, but I have a low-output wood Benz getting a retip at SoundSmith.

frenchmon
02-19-2012, 03:05 PM
I have heard that its a great phono amp. Those over at audioasylum rave about how great it is. Don't know if you know jsawyer09 over there, but he first owned the EAR 834P. He then some time later purchased the Graham Slee Reflex M Phono Stage and said while it was cheaper than the 834P, it was better as well.


This is an exchange he and I had over at Vinylengine.


Re: Does anyone know why my Speed Box II has burnt ?
by jsawyer09 15 Dec 2011 22:00

frenchmon wrote:
jsawyer09 wrote:
frenchmon wrote:
frenchmon wrote: jsawyer09....I see you have a Thorens, u still got the Pro-Ject?


jsawyer wrote:Hello again sir! Yeah, the TD-125 MKII...ah, I loved that deck. I sold it about a year ago. Since then I bought another Linn LP12, sold it (too much hassle), then bought the Pro-Ject. Still have the RM-10, yes. It is my last stop TT, I think, for years to come. It is just so solid-sounding.

I just bought a Graham Slee Reflex Phono and absolutely love the combo (used with a DV-20X2L and Cinemag SUT).


frenchmon wrote: I thought you had the EAR 834P at one point? If so, how did that stack up to the Reflex?


jsawyer wrote: I do have the EAR; it is with a friend for a while (guess which one I prefer now, given that it's with him at the moment). Between the 834P and the Reflex, they are quite different presentations. The Reflex, IMO, is probably the best phono pre I've owned to date in my system. I should do a write-up about it some time. It is just stunning. There have been reports that sum it up quite well in that it sounds neither solid-state nor tubey. It's hard to define, but it's almost as if the Reflex offers up the best of both worlds, though the EAR definitely excels in the midrange (no surprises); however, the Reflex's is quite liquid and dynamic. It's overall presentation is exceedingly quick, transparent, hyper-extended at both extremes and incredibly three-dimensional. I know I said (not too long ago, in fact) the EAR is staying for good; but I have a feeling it's going to be sold to my friend in the near future. I just cannot get over how beautiful this thing is sound-wise. The EAR is very pleasing, and makes me want to just take out record after record. The Reflex makes we want to do the same, but rather than anticipate what it will do on the next recording I pull out, I focus (or more like don't focus...just relax) more on just enjoying what I'm hearing until it's done and the next album in the lineup is ready to be played. A bargain, indeed.

jsawyer09
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02audionoob
02-19-2012, 06:50 PM
Thank you for the reply, frenchmon. I did do some searching at the other forum but still wanted to see what you or JohnMichael might say about it. I saw some old Audiogon threads where the ARC PH3 seemed to be more highly regarded than the EAR 834P. That surprised me. The idea of the Graham Slee being better is a little surprising, too. I was also a little concerned that a reviewer thought it was a little tubby in the lows and lower mids.

Fred70433
02-26-2012, 03:31 PM
One of my audio club members owns one. I got to listen to it for a few hours. He has an all tube system with the VPI Scout TT. I seem to recall his cartridge was the Dynavector 20X (20 something, I can't remember) and a pair of Merlin speakers. I was impressed with the EAR. His was the Chrome version and it was very much larger that I expected it to be. Photographs from the internet do not do this unit any justice. I would own one myself, but prefer a phonostage with more loading options.

Good luck and happy hunting. :)

02audionoob
02-26-2012, 04:18 PM
One of my audio club members owns one. I got to listen to it for a few hours. He has an all tube system with the VPI Scout TT. I seem to recall his cartridge was the Dynavector 20X (20 something, I can't remember) and a pair of Merlin speakers. I was impressed with the EAR. His was the Chrome version and it was very much larger that I expected it to be. Photographs from the internet do not do this unit any justice. I would own one myself, but prefer a phonostage with more loading options.

Good luck and happy hunting. :)

Thanks for the insight. The lack of loading options concerns me, too. The same is true with the Audio Research PH3, but they addressed it with the PH5. I think I want to avoid any warm coloration from the phono preamp, but I'm not 100% sure how critical that will be.

frenchmon
02-26-2012, 05:29 PM
Are you getting tired of the GCPH? I am really thinking about the Moon 110LP to go with the 2MBlack. What are your thoughts?

02audionoob
02-26-2012, 06:46 PM
I'm still happy with the GCPH. It's just that I feel like experimenting with more gain and maybe with tubes. The reality of it is, I need to wait until I get my LOMC Benz and then see how I like the GCPH. I actually expect to be very happy with the combination. I thought getting a Rega Saturn would get me off of vinyl for a while, but that's not really happening. I bought 9 records, yesterday.

I like the idea of the 110LP with the 2M Black. I wouldn't mind trying the 110LP, myself. It has just the right gain and load, so you obviously wouldn't need a highly adjustable model like the GCPH. There are others in that price range I'd like to try. Several good options under $1k.

Have you considered the 2M Bronze? At another forum, I've been seeing comments about the Black being very sensitive to surface noise...although I assume there must be a solution. Maybe they need to try some adjustment to the tracking angle and force.

frenchmon
02-26-2012, 08:36 PM
I'm still happy with the GCPH. It's just that I feel like experimenting with more gain and maybe with tubes. The reality of it is, I need to wait until I get my LOMC Benz and then see how I like the GCPH. I actually expect to be very happy with the combination. I thought getting a Rega Saturn would get me off of vinyl for a while, but that's not really happening. I bought 9 records, yesterday.

I like the idea of the 110LP with the 2M Black. I wouldn't mind trying the 110LP, myself. It has just the right gain and load, so you obviously wouldn't need a highly adjustable model like the GCPH. There are others in that price range I'd like to try. Several good options under $1k.

Have you considered the 2M Bronze? At another forum, I've been seeing comments about the Black being very sensitive to surface noise...although I assume there must be a solution. Maybe they need to try some adjustment to the tracking angle and force.

I've heard some very good CDP's lately and some very expensive ones as well. But there is something about the sound of records that always keeps me spinning more records. To my ears records have a more natural sound and greater sound stage. I hope the LOMC Benz and PS Audio works for you. That way
you can buy more records rather than gear. This hobby is expensive. I've yet to hear a LOMC, but I will after I play with the Black a while.

Yes I have heard that about the Black, but I got it for such a cheap price, I decided to go with it. All reviews talk about the reputation Simaudio has with their phono amps has me really wanting to try one. I will be matting it with a Welborne Labs power supply rather than the wall wart supply that comes with it. Welborne Labs (http://www.welbornelabs.com/psphono.htm). Same phono/power supply as JohnMichael. I could also get the Graham Slee Era Gold V for $699 and then the Welborne supply, but decided on the 110LP. I have been speaking with Indydan over at Vinyl Engine about his 110LP and 2MBlack. He seems to love it. This is what he told me:


I absolutely love this combo! Nice wide 3D soundstage. Plenty of detail. Nice separation of instruments. Female vocals sound great. I play all kinds of music: jazz, rock, disco, blues, etc. It all sounds great. I have compared the same songs on this setup, to the same music on SACD. The vinyl sounds much more natural, more alive.

I am very happy with this setup.

I think he feels the same way about records as I do.

02audionoob
02-27-2012, 06:11 PM
I've heard some very good CDP's lately and some very expensive ones as well. But there is something about the sound of records that always keeps me spinning more records. To my ears records have a more natural sound and greater sound stage. I hope the LOMC Benz and PS Audio works for you. That way
you can buy more records rather than gear. This hobby is expensive. I've yet to hear a LOMC, but I will after I play with the Black a while.

Yes I have heard that about the Black, but I got it for such a cheap price, I decided to go with it. All reviews talk about the reputation Simaudio has with their phono amps has me really wanting to try one. I will be matting it with a Welborne Labs power supply rather than the wall wart supply that comes with it. Welborne Labs (http://www.welbornelabs.com/psphono.htm). Same phono/power supply as JohnMichael. I could also get the Graham Slee Era Gold V for $699 and then the Welborne supply, but decided on the 110LP. I have been speaking with Indydan over at Vinyl Engine about his 110LP and 2MBlack. He seems to love it. This is what he told me:



I think he feels the same way about records as I do.


I don't think how much I shop for gear affects how much music I buy...just maybe the format. I shop for music at least a little bit almost every week either at a store or online. I go to Half-Price Books to look for records very frequently, because you never know what's going to come in. The nine records I bought over the weekend all had February dates on the price tags. Most of the tags were less than a week old.

The jazz records at my local Half-Price Books have really seemed to stagnate, lately. I picked up Coltrane's Wells Fargo on new re-issue vinyl, not too long ago. But the used stuff is pretty weak. I'm sure I'm getting beaten out my the early birds, store employees, and hipsters, so I stay as vigilant as I can.

Enochrome
02-27-2012, 10:19 PM
I don't think how much I shop for gear affects how much music I buy...just maybe the format. I shop for music at least a little bit almost every week either at a store or online. I go to Half-Price Books to look for records very frequently, because you never know what's going to come in. The nine records I bought over the weekend all had February dates on the price tags. Most of the tags were less than a week old.

The jazz records at my local Half-Price Books have really seemed to stagnate, lately. I picked up Coltrane's Wells Fargo on new re-issue vinyl, not too long ago. But the used stuff is pretty weak. I'm sure I'm getting beaten out my the early birds, store employees, and hipsters, so I stay as vigilant as I can.

I feel ya noob. I shop every week too and my friends think I'm crazy, but they spend money on tattoo's and weed, so they shut up when I point that out. My local spots have been super dry lately, even the monthly swap meet, which is usually the city wide bonanza. Most of them are also getting cocky with their prices considering the condition. Here in L.A. the hipster fever is bad and the expendable cash in this is town is obnoxious to the point of driving all gear and records prices pretty high. I can't get deals like you guys can in other cities.

frenchmon
02-28-2012, 06:26 AM
I get all my records online. The only place that has a nice selection of mint and new records around here is like 50 miles away from me. So I usually shop the online stores....buying about 3 albums every week. I still do order CD's every now and then.

Fred70433
03-10-2012, 08:29 AM
Just some food for thought, but Manley just announced the release of their new Chinook phonostage. It appears to be a scaled down version of their Steelhead. If it comes close to those sonics, then I'm not sure any other phonostage in the 2k range will be able to touch it.

I intend on upgrading phonostages at some point late this year. My focus is on the aforesaid Manley and the Fosgate Signature.