MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Room to arrange and discuss bake-offs
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antonio66

Re: MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Unread post by antonio66 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:26 pm

Over on AoS Flatty has had the Arkless on home dem, but as yet no write up. Would be interesting how it performed against his JVC built in stage.

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:30 pm

I thought he said they were on a par, or maybe the Arkless a bit better, but said the difference wasn't worth buying it.

I sent him email offering for him to hear a real phono stage, but he just ignored me.

herbie07
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Re: MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Unread post by herbie07 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:54 pm

My impressions
As as newbie, whilst web-browsing Saturday night (after Usain Bolt had lost his 100m race), I came across details of this bake-off and decided to attend as I'm in the market for a new phono stage. I did not make prior contact with anyone nor did I have any knowledge of background history. Also, I did not make any notes at the bake off, so these are recollections of my emotions and a fallible memory.

Walking into the room, there was a glittering array of desirable hifi - Dave and Nick deserve considerable plaudits for making available the very high standard of equipment which contributed to the favourable impressions of the bake off contestants.

So in listening order:-
1) MFA phonostage - blimey, the more you listened the more it disappeared........
2) Firebottle OTP - good, nothing to criticise, look at the price difference (to the first one) great vfm
3) Phono 1 - very similar to 2), maybe slightly livelier (could just as easily have been down to the music chosen) nothing negative, great vfm
4) Akai receiver - worst so far (sorry Lindsay), kinda wooly - having said that I was really pleased to hear it as I beginning to question my hearing (everything sounding so good).
5) Furutech - better than the Akai but behind 2) and 3), impressively flexible component though.
6) Albarry - wouldn't work (head amp not a phono stage)
7) Phono 2 - first kind of wow moment, drew me in, stopped eating the donut, how much?
8) Phono 2 + extra PS - expected a slight improvement - wrong. Second little kind of wow moment, put the donut down, how much more?
9) Firebottle Tron - very good, but 8) was livelier and more engaging.
10) Firebottle Kin preamp (= Vivant phono stage). Very similar to 9).
11) Longdog JFET - doing that disappearing act again, could listen to this for a looong time, probably the best of 2) to 11)?
and a couple of works in progress (Phono 3 + BB and NWA phono) that were very impressive.

Overall - much, much better than I expected, very high standard, great facilities.
Honourable sidetrack mentions - Dave and Nick's TT and Dom's 401 with NWA MC cart - both sounded superb.

Upshot - all things being considered (price, performance, availability etc, etc, etc) I have ordered a Phono 2 and today joined this forum. Richard asked me to write a review, so here it is. :guiness;

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:16 pm

Ta ! good stuff.

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Classicrock
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Re: MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Unread post by Classicrock » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:44 pm

Interesting. I have heard Nick's JFET a few years ago and was impressed. It had ability to totally kill some bad surface noise and didn't really sound of anything (notable for anything including valves). Would like to hear this back to back with NVA2. Considering the price difference the NVA is a no brainer. I could have predicted the two top designs without attending though it sounds like the crazy expensive MFA brings some more to the party as it should for that money.

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Quarknosis
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Re: MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Unread post by Quarknosis » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:57 pm

Bigman80 wrote:
Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:22 pm
Have I been moderated again! Sweet Christmas! That joke was funny.

C'mon guys.

I respect the verdict and to be fair, I can see where they are coming from. The Phono 2 was very good. As I said, if I was looking that's what I'd buy.
Bigman has been looking, he's apparently bought a Jolida JD9 rather than the NVA Phono 2 :roll:
NVA AP70sa - LS6 - Doc Mod JPW P1 - Lenco/Jelco/Denon DL110 - Cocktail Audio X30 > Rega DAC. TIS & SSC

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savvypaul
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Re: MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Unread post by savvypaul » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:49 pm

Quarknosis wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:57 pm
Bigman80 wrote:
Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:22 pm
Have I been moderated again! Sweet Christmas! That joke was funny.

C'mon guys.

I respect the verdict and to be fair, I can see where they are coming from. The Phono 2 was very good. As I said, if I was looking that's what I'd buy.
Bigman has been looking, he's apparently bought a Jolida JD9 rather than the NVA Phono 2 :roll:
Has he found a private seller that gives a 30 day trial and no-quibble refund? ;)

If he bought a Phono 2, Marco & Fireybum would shoot themselves in a suicide pact.
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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:08 pm

You shouldn't believe a word the man says, he would never buy a NVA. The interesting thing is he must have resigned as Fireybums Shill in chief, so sadly we can't take the piss out of him about it again. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for the fall out.

I know nothing about the Jolida, but there is a planned phono stage bake-off being organised for East London, hopefully he will bring it there, but doubtful as I doubt he could take another ego stomp. Only kidding haven't a clue how good the Jolida is, or is it just not as bad as the Fireybum :lol: :lol: :lol:

antonio66

Re: MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Unread post by antonio66 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:17 pm

Was the Fireybum phono bad Doc, or just not as good as NVA?

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: MC Phono Stage Bake-off

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:32 pm

Its all relative, and remember I am biased, but I will try to call it as I saw / heard it. The cheapish new one that Bigman is selling was poor, not as bad as the Arkless one but still poor. The all valve more expensive one that came later wasn't bad, in fact quite good, but not in the class of Nicks efforts or the NVA Phono 2. I am saddened that the Phono 1 didn't go on again as I would put it as competitive to that, but they weren't compared. The cheapish one was pretty naff IMO, so Bigman is right to get rid of it.

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