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Which phono stage with P8/Apheta 2?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Nagraboy, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    Bought a Rega Planar 8/Apheta 2 this week, but now need a phono stage. It’ll be going into my Leben CS300XS/Harbeth P3ESR combo which I’m very happy with.

    I’ve tried the VIDA - which is superb - but don’t want to spend that much again, and I have a Croft RIAA MM stage here to which I could perhaps add a SUT.

    I’m happy to spend whatever’s appropriate, so what should be about on my shortlist?
     
  2. thebigfredc

    thebigfredc pfm Member

    Aria is the obvious choice.
     
  3. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    Maybe, but seems a bit of a waste having two phono stages in one case when I’ll only be using one.

    I find Rega’s phono stage - and integrated amp - range quite strange compared with their turntable and cartridge range. If you have one of their amps, but choose an Ania or Apheta, you have to go for the Aria with it’s uneccesary second MM stage, or the price-inappropriate Aura. Very odd. They need a good MC-only stage for around £1000 really.

    I might just go for the Fono MC as a short to medium term option.
     
  4. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    Seeing as you really like the Leben/Harbeth combo, I'd honestly say to put your name down for the RSL phono stage loaner, it's amazing, even more so at the money. The air, space and timbre are the best I've heard - granted, I've not heard any of the super stages at silly money but they'd have to be a pretty bloody big leap to be worth the extra over the RSL stage.
     
    Nagraboy likes this.
  5. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    I’ve not heard of that one Matt, I’ll have a search. Thanks.
     
  6. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    Nagraboy likes this.
  7. CB4

    CB4 pfm Member

    I agree with Matt, it's a great phono-stage. I was so impressed with it, that I bought one. I am now eagerly awaiting delivery.

    Colin
     
    Andrew Williams likes this.
  8. thebigfredc

    thebigfredc pfm Member

    How about Dynavectors P4, it pissed the recent shoot-out HIFi Choice.

    Ray
     
    Jhenry and Nagraboy like this.
  9. Hound

    Hound pfm Member

    I have the same turntable as you and went with a naim superline, sounds lovely
     
    Nagraboy likes this.
  10. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    Trying not to spend that much really. I demoed the P8 with a Stageline and XS2, I think (?)
     
  11. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    The Longdog MCJ3 really is superb. I reviewed it recently and ended up buying the unit.

    https://hifiwigwam.com/forum/topic/...lve-phono-stage/?tab=comments#comment-2377467

    According to the specs of the Apheta, it should be a perfect match. The only downside of the Longdog is that it doesn't have adjustable gain, but the 64dB it has will be just right for your 0.35mV cart.

    At a lower price, I would leave your doubts about the Aria behind. It's a lovely phono stage for MC carts. The Longdog is a significant step up, but I still think it's remarkably what Rega are providing for under £1000.
     
    Nagraboy and alan967tiger like this.
  12. Olsen

    Olsen pfm Member

    Isn't the electronics very similar as Aria MC section apart from the psu of course
     
  13. alan967tiger

    alan967tiger pfm Member

    I use a Whest Audio PS30.RDT and before that the PS30 - you can buy a PS30 used for £700-800.
    But in the context of your system, I agree with Elephantears; the Aria seems a perfect match.
     
    Nagraboy likes this.
  14. JustJohn

    JustJohn pfm Member

    Now that I've got the wires and settings sorted out, I'm rather impressed with Fono MC. This is with a more lowly P3/AT-F7, but it sounds lovely. In fact, I'll be using it later to listen to Polypores' Flora! In your case, if I had the dosh, I'd be looking at the Aria. Just think of the MM side as a freebie.
     
  15. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    Ha! My copy is waiting for me at home for when I return from Poland. I'm in Gdansk right now.

    If I had the Aria, I might get a P3 and a mono cartridge...
     
  16. Ptah

    Ptah pfm Member

    I use the Apheta 2 with the RP8 and have just purchased the Exposure XM3, which I prefer to a number of others. Also MC and MM, v flexible, simple half-width case and from past experience of Exposure ultra-reliable. Some £160 less exp than the Aria.
     
    Nagraboy likes this.
  17. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    Jut to clarify, I was saying the Longdog MCJ3 would be a perfect match, although of course the Aria would be too. I also think a P30R is a great second hand buy. I don't know if Danny (Duvet) from the Wam still uses one, but he did for ages and it sounded great in his system.
     
    alan967tiger likes this.
  18. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    Have Glenn Croft upgrade your Riaa to Riaa R and try a well-known SUT such as a Puresound or a Rothwell Headspace. If you like the sound you can upgrade to RS spec later, sell off the Puresound / Headspace and buy an EAR MC3/MC4 or a better headamp.
     
    Nagraboy likes this.
  19. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    RIAA R + Hashimoto HM3 may be the best phono stage I've had; I would put that up against the Longdog and expect it to have even greater richness, but not be as tight and clear (pure guesswork though, and very context determined). I only moved it on because the loading was a bit low for my Miyajima, so it was a little rolled off for my taste.
     
    Nagraboy likes this.
  20. lordmortlock

    lordmortlock pfm Member

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