Vinyl playback systems are all the rage nowadays. With vinyl making a comeback in the playback systems, turntables are being used increasingly. Preamplifiers are used to connect a weak electric signal by boosting it into an audible output signal. Preamplifiers are literally used in a hundred sound systems and sound producing products and phono preamps are just another example of them. Phono preamps or phone stages use the same amplification. We have compiled some of the best phono preamps under $500 below in this publication. We recommend you have a look at them.
Phono preamps or phono stages are one of the most important parts of a vinyl playback system. The job of a phono preamp is to boost the signal coming from our turntable sufficiently to certain level suitable for connecting it to a sound system, like any other audio system. Phono preamps are making home listening quite sophisticated. Due to their increasing use and popularity, phono preamps are selling like hot cakes and if you want to take your music playback system quality to the next level, you are surely going to want to invest in one of these beauties.
Any music lover and high-quality sound enthusiast who want to convenience themselves for an at home audio listening should put phono preamps on their wish list.you choose to listen to your audios. This is an investment that will work out for you and surely, in the long term, will prove to be a useful one. If you are looking to buy a phono preamp to upgrade your sound system, are a music enthusiast with a penchant for buying all the top, popular music related systems and are a lover of all things analogue, here are a few side things and features you might want to consider before making your decision.
Turntables are the first and foremost of the equipment needed for a vinyl sound system setup.Check you turntable before you choose to splurge on phono preamps. Some turntables have phono preamps built into them.
A cartridge is the second thing you will need in order to set up your turntable. You can either buy them separately or they are sold together with some of the preamps.
Your output device is what you will hear your sound through. It can either be active speakers (speakers with a power cord, headphones or a computer. Some phono preamps are sold with an output device.
Grounding wires are important and needed for the turntables which are not already equipped with a phono preamp. If grounding wires are not used, a humming or buzzing sound will be produced.
Although increasingly in demand, using systems with phono preamps can get heavy on the pocket. If you are looking for preamps and don’t have deep pockets, you have come to the right place. To help you all get your premium home listening experience without selling an arm and leg, we have compiled a list of the best phono preamps that won’t break the bank and that you can easily buy in under 500 dollars, making good sound systems an easily available and accessible commodity.
Now let’s start with the phono preamps we have on here.
Best Phono Preamps Under $500 (Comparison)
|Bellari VP130 Phono Preamplifier||2 lbs||Check Price|
|Cambridge Solo MM Phono Preamplifier||1.5 lbs||Check Price|
|Clearaudio NANO V2 Phono Preamplifier||1.10 lbs||Check Price|
Bellari is a known and trusted name in electronics with an affordable price range. Here we are particularly looking at their phono preamp model VP130.
Starting with design of the Bellari VP130, it is shiny and rectangular and comes in a bright red color that makes it look really cool and stylish. Its size makes it comfortable and feasible to carry and work with along with looking very good. This product gives a good make and model at a reasonable price making it a good buy. Also, if you are looking for an extra pop of color which is usually missing in electronic audio equipment, especially phono preamps, the Bellari VP 130 MM tube phono amp is the product for you.
The VP130 phono preamp features a built-in headphone amplifier that is suitable for use with moving magnet as well as high output moving coil cartridges. This phono amp is designed to amplify an RIAA signal to a high level signal. This preamp compared to solid state amps produces output signal that is warmer and more musical. The Bellari VP130 Tube phono preamplifier comes boasting a wide variety of eye-catching features which include compact phono stage equipped with RIAA equalization which give it value for money. Along with moving magnetic and high output cartridges to complete the turntable essentials, the Bellari VP130 has an output tube with specifications 12AX7.Its headphone output allows variable level control making it feasible to use. Coming in a bright fiery red, the Bellari VP130 weighs almost 2 pounds which make it lightweight and portable with its dimensions being 14 x 8.9 x3.9 inches. The VP130 Preamp is Made in USA.
When it comes to performance, the little red Bellari VP130 is delivers a decent enough. It can be described as a go to phono preamp especially for beginners bringing good performance, attractive make and good quality at a very reasonable price. Also, it is one of the few phono preamps that along with having an affordable price, come equipped with their own headphone amplifier which is why it has found its spot in our list of the best phono preamps under 500 dollars.
|Affordable||Power Supply Not Good|
|Easy To Use|
If you are looking for good quality and easy usability in a portable product with bright looks and low rates, the Bellari VP130 MM tube phono preamplifier is the one for you.
Cambridge Audio is an established and reliable name in Audio technology with their mission being to produce high quality audio equipment to deliver stellar services in audio technology. This British brand has been delivering excellence in the field of audio equipment since almost 50 years and can be implicitly trusted in all things related to audio which is why we are going to be discussing one of their products, namely the Cambridge Audio Solo MM Phono preamp.
Talking about the design and make, the Cambridge Audio Solo MM phono preamp is sleek, stable and elegant with a rather functional look. Shaped like a rectangle, this solo MM phono preamp comes in silver color. The design is simple and non-fussy made for premium performance. The dimensions of the product are 1.9 x 6.9 x 5.2 inches making it a comfortably usable size; not too small not too big.
The Cambridge audio solo MM Phono preamplifier packs fast responsiveness, high Output capabilities, excellent audio precision, and low-Noise operation with warmth and clarity all in one to give a high-quality hearing experience. Able to wring the musicality, warmth, naturalism, and dynamics from vinyl LPs, the MM-only Duo features a cutting-edge switch-mode power supply for excellent quality and perfect performance. Solo preamp features surface-mount technology when it comes to PCB board – resulting in cost-belying accuracy, black backgrounds, and short signal paths. The steel-and-aluminum construction exudes stability and elegance. And if you are not into moving-coil scene, Solo lets you save more cash and you’d have more money to spend on records. The clarity and sleek playback offered by this Preamp surpasses that of many built-in phono preamplifiers, the ultra-slim Solo makes high-end analog magic affordable and addictive. The Cambridge audio solo MM phono preamp is 100% Music Direct Guaranteed. Feature such as Switch-Mode Power Supply, Surface-Mount Technology and Switch-mode power supply make the compact overall design of this preamp possible that too with short signal paths. By specifying switch-mode power supplies, Cambridge Audio has been able to maintain & improve the power-output levels by employing smaller transformers and Switch-mode power supplies and software control has also resulted in improved energy efficiency. Solo automatically switches to standby if unused for 20 minutes which is rather a unique quality where phono preamps are concerned.
In terms of performance Cambridge audio solo MM phono preamp delivers all that it promises; excellent audio, sound clarity and no buzz which is a big problem with most preamps. All these features along with easy accessibility make it one of the preamps on our list.
|Low Price||None That We Could Find|
|Good Power Supply|
If you are not willing to compromise on quality and are looking for noise free audio, the Cambridge Audio Solo MM Phono preamplifier is the preamp you are looking for.
Clearaudio Electronics are a manufacturer of quality audio products based in Germany with dealers worldwide. Clearaudio has proven to be a haven for music lovers and has delighted its customers with high quality audio products and equipment.
In terms of design, the Clearaudio Nano V2 phono preamp is very simply made. Resembling a silver square, the Clearaudio Nano V2 phono preamp weighs about 500 grams with its dimensions being 85 x 106 x 25 mm.
Starting off with the features of this phono preamp and it’s features include high amplification ranging from 54 to 68 dB (MC – Mode) – 34 to 48 dB (MM – Mode). The inputs and outputs are asymmetrical (RCA).MM / MC – input is switchable at the bottom with an input load of 47 kΩ or 220pF. The printed circuit board is embedded within a resonance-free chassis that is formed using a CNC-machined aluminum block. For noise free sound production this preamp features latest sophisticated surface-mount technology which is used in conjunction with precision electronic components and extremely short signal paths. This preamp features separate left and right switches for input as well as gain control and MM / MC selection, and a subsonic filter. This preamp has the capability to extract the best results from any phono cartridge.
In terms of performance, the Clearaudio Nano V2 delivers classical outstanding results with little or no faults. This product is a real steal in terms of price and value for money.
|Good Quality||MC Mode Noisy|
If total noise cancellation along with good quality build is what you are after, then the Clearaudio Nano V2 is exactly what you should have your eyes on.
Phono preamps are a long-term investment for music lovers. The preamps listed in our article deliver quality in affordable prices which make them the best choices.