Best Phono Preamps: Top Choices For Your Budget

gear reviews

Robert Halvari, Creator at Notes on vinyl

What is a Preamp? A preamp is a device you can find installed in different kinds of audio equipment.  The best phono preamps actually have a dual purpose. While they focus on boosting the signal, it is also important to concentrate on RIAA equalization.

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How Do They Work? A preamp adds a gain of some sort to the signal so that it can be received by the amplifier and/or receiver and then projected forth through them and the speakers. The amount of gain added is quite astronomical sometimes.

1.  Rega Fono Mini A2D MKII (Best Best) This offering from Rega already comes highly approved by critics, having won several awards for its preamp performance, seamlessly blending cost and performance. In terms of bang for your buck, this is likely the best phono preamp on the market today.

2. Pyle Phono Turntable Preamp PP444 (Best Budget) If you are looking for real value and are not about owning a bunch of tube phono preamps, then the Pyle PP444 is most definitely your match.  When tested against the built-in phono stages of a Denon receiver, it is quite difficult to tell the difference. Yes, indeed, this preamp sure is an over-achiever, unlike most phono preamps.

3. Schiit Mani 2 Phono Preamp (Runner-Up) Much like the Rega Fono Mini A2D MKII, the Schiit Mani 2 is easily one of the best affordable preamps available on the market today. This is a preamp to invest in once, which means you will likely not have to think about upgrading for some time. In terms of its quality, it really is the kind of preamp that you are likely to keep for life