Phono Preamp Upgrade: Vincent PHO-8 or PHO-701?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Urobouros, May 31, 2018.

  1. Urobouros

    Urobouros Member

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    It seems the tubes and the digital out are the biggest differences between the two. Am I missing other key distinctions/differences other than price? I listen to blues, rock (both contemporary & classic), with a little country, alternative, metal & jazz as well.
     
  2. M Penny

    M Penny Well-Known Member

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  3. mcherry

    mcherry Lady High Chancellor & Moderator Extraordinaire

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    I unfortunately do not have experience with the 701. Hopefully others can answer this question.
     
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  4. folsom_lives

    folsom_lives Well-Known Member

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    Same as above here. No experience with the 701.
     
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  5. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    I'm only basing this off of reading, but I believe the tube element of the 701 is built in a manner where it provides minimal effect. Now if you're going to use that USB out, that might be of value. But in general I seem to recall the general consensus was if you're going for a tube preamp, this might not be the best solution.
     
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  6. Urobouros

    Urobouros Member

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    I got the sense from reviews that the tube effect was minimal but noticeable. I don't know that I want to get into tube rolling and the USB out, while very appealing, doesn't seem enough to justify an extra $200 at retail prices.
     
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  7. wooha

    wooha Well-Known Member

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    For the price of the PHO-701 you may want to consider the iFi iPhono2. Has been very well-liked around these parts.
     
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  8. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    If you’re looking for tubes, iPhono isn’t. But yeah price wise probably a better investment.
     
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  9. Urobouros

    Urobouros Member

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    I figure I'll get into tubes at some point down the road but it seems like you really need to get above the $500 mark if not $1K to get anything more than a lateral step from the SS options at half the price. Frankly, the HPO-8 seems like it will satisfy my upgrade bug...for now :)
     
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  10. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    @Urobouros

    Welcome!

    The PHO-8 will be quieter than the PHO-701.

    Inexpensive tube gear has a tendency to be noisier than solid state (transistors/ICs). The USB board may make it even noisier. The 701 isn't a true tube unit anyway- it is solid state with a tube output. The PHO-8 is the better move.
     
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  11. Urobouros

    Urobouros Member

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    Definitely the direction I’m leaning but now @wooha has me thinking about the iPhono2 :)
     
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  12. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    You came in just a hair to late. I just sold mine two days ago!
     
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  13. Urobouros

    Urobouros Member

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    I'm looking more at the iPhono2 as it seems I may end up there after the Vincent. That's led me to the iTube2 as well but didn't see much on it here. Is that just bells & whistles or does it make a meaningful difference?
     
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  14. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    Before I bought an iPhono 2 and an iTube 2, I'd look at a Sutherland KC Vibe.

    All the iTube 2 is is a vacuum tube buffer.
     
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  15. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    I really have only seen the iTube brought up by the digital side of audio. It's not really discussed on the vinyl side much, and probably for the reason @HiFi Guy pointed out - the price. You'd need a preamp AND the iTube, and if you're going iPhono + iTube at $800-900, your now in the price point of the next level of phono preamps. That puts you in the likes of contenders like Jolida, Phonomena II+, and of course our local favorite - the entry level to the Sutherland clubhouse (KC Vibe).
    Really not trying to knock the iPhono/iTube combo. I'm just saying at the $900 price point this is a new discussion.
     
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  16. Urobouros

    Urobouros Member

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    Thanks for the info! I think the iPhono2 is the winner :)
     
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  17. Urobouros

    Urobouros Member

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    Audio Advisor had a demo unit on a good sale so it'll be here next week. Woo-hoo!
     
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  18. Urobouros

    Urobouros Member

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    The iPhono2 arrived today but I won't be home until 9...Tom Petty was right ;)
     
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