Phono Stages of the Year

“The Solo proved a fine and re­li­able base-level mov­ing­mag­net phono stage, de­liv­er­ing clean and clear am­pli­fi­ca­tion.”

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If your amp doesn’t have a phono in­put, or if you want to up­grade it (few things af­fect the del­i­cate out­put of a turntable like your phono stage), the UK’s Cam­bridge Au­dio re­leased this ex­cel­lent en­try-level phono preamp this year, the $299 Solo. It’s al­most black-box sim­plic­ity in terms of use — it’s for mov­ing mag­net car­tridges only (a ‘Duo’ is avail­able if you also need to han­dle mov­ing coil car­tridges), and it has a non-de­feat­able rum­ble fil­ter which we found as­sisted its clean and clear am­pli­fi­ca­tion, es­pe­cially for turntables with any bear­ing noise. De­spite fears of bass loss or phase dis­tor­tion from such a rum­ble fil­ter, the Solo de­liv­ered no au­di­ble ill ef­fects, and proved a fine and re­li­able phono stage. More info: www.syn­er­gyau­dio.com

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