• Cam­bridge Au­dio’s phono preamps

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Cam­bridge Au­dio is cel­e­brat­ing the vinyl re­vival with a pair of phono preamps aimed to bridge the gap for those whose am­pli­fier has no ded­i­cated phono in­put — or for those de­sir­ing an up­grade from the medi­ocre cir­cuits of­ten used, es­pe­cially through years of vinyl de­cline.

There are two mod­els — the rel­a­tively bare-bones Solo phono pream­pli­fier for mov­ing mag­net car­tridges, and the Duo which, as its name sug­gests, also sup­ports mov­ing coil mod­els. The Duo (above right, with the back panel be­low) also adds a high-qual­ity head­phone am­pli­fier, so you could have it on the desk­top with just your turntable, en­joy­ing vinyl in per­sonal com­fort.

Both mod­els use a switch-mode power sup­ply and cir­cuitry which is al­most en­tirely sur­face mount, as­sist­ing ex­tremely short sig­nal paths. The left/right chan­nel bal­ance is ad­justable via a small po­ten­tiome­ter fit­ted to the rear panel, and the in­cluded sub­sonic fil­ter aims to elim­i­nate those em­bar­ras­ing low fre­quency rum­bles that can be caused by your turntable (Cam­bridge Au­dio as­cribes rumble to “im­per­fec­tions within your vinyl” but we’d beg to dif­fer.

In keep­ing with Cam­bridge Au­dio’s ‘green’ phi­los­o­phy, the units au­to­mat­i­cally switch into standby if un­used for 20 min­utes, in which mode en­ergy con­sump­tion drops to less than 0.5W.

Pric­ing here is $299 for the Solo and $449 for the Duo; we hope to have a re­view for you next is­sue.

More info: www.syn­er­gyau­dio.com

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