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Offline cleveland clive  
#1 Posted : 01 August 2021 14:16:06(UTC)
cleveland clive


Rank: HIFI Newbie

Joined: 27/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 7
United Kingdom
Location: Cleveland

Good Afternoon, I have an Audio Note TT3 turntable with A N tone arm, IQ3 mm cartridge and A N PSU 3 . The phono stage is mounted in my ATC SCA2 pre amplifier, changing settings is not possible externally. The TT etc is only about 6 months old and I was thinking about a mc cartridge at some time but I am also considering what if I went the way of a stand alone phono stage instead .

To help me make the right choice I would like to hear members opinions on how they rate the ATC phono stage, it was fitted about 11 years ago, one year after I bought the pre amp new. The stance of ATC at the time was the phono stage was the equal of anything out there, I think this was based on the fact it complied precisely with the RIAA stipulations. ATC state there are no upgrades to the board.

If the Chord Symphonic phono stage did both MM and mc cartridges I probably would not be posting this as I would be reasonably comfortable in getting a noticeable upgrade (the Chord Huei maybe not) and if I then still wanted at sometime to go to a mc cartridge I could get a home demo and make an accurate choice.
Of course I have looked at phono stages from Clear Audio, Lehmann, Project etc. I'm afraid Audio Notes offerings start with a phone stage for mm cartridges and then go onto what are virtually pre amps with a phono stage which is a waste of money in my eyes.

Should anyone want to suggest other phono stages or comment on Lehmann, Project, Clearaudio they will be most welcome, my speakers are ATC active 50's. Thank you.

Offline Peter M  
#2 Posted : 02 August 2021 11:35:23(UTC)
Peter M


Rank: HIFI Novice

Joined: 22/06/2011(UTC)
Posts: 28
Location: Cambridge UK

Thanks: 2 times
Some years ago, I, too, had a had an ATC preamp, the same as yours and also driving ATC active 50s. My preamp also had a phono stage installed. After a while, and after much head scratching, I came to the conclusion that the phono stage was poor and I replaced the ATC preamp with a second-hand Audio Research SP9, which included a phono stage. The phono stage of the SP9 was vastly better than that of the ATC, in my view.

I greatly enjoyed my active 50s and my examples were only let down by rough tweeters. I understand that more recent active 50s are fitted with much improved tweeters. I still miss my active 50s; when it comes to dynamics, I have never heard their equal. But I do not miss my ATC preamp and its poor phono stage and dodgy powered volume control.

I hope that this helps.

Peter Maguire
Offline cleveland clive  
#3 Posted : 03 August 2021 11:37:19(UTC)
cleveland clive


Rank: HIFI Newbie

Joined: 27/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 7
United Kingdom
Location: Cleveland

Thanks Peter, my 50s are the latest spec, went from active 20s, quite a game changer, no regrets at all. I am now looking at Musical Fidelity Nu Vista phono stage if any members own one or have done and would like to comment please do so.
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