Parasound JC 3 Jnr
It’s 10 times the price of the phono stage above, but as noted, the phono stage is a critical element in vinyl replay, not only amplifying the tiny signals a thousand-fold, but also in charge of the crucial RIAA EQ applied to vinyl recording and reproduction. This is the third iteration of the JC 3 from Parasound’s owner Richard Schram and his designer John Curl, a full-width and full-depth component with all the options you should need for mm or mc cartridges — indeed the $2995 JC 3 Jnr allows a simple selection (via toggle switch) between ‘fixed’ input impedance (47kΩ) and ‘variable’ input impedance (50–500Ω), plus also between three gain settings: 40dB, 50dB and 60dB (gain selection is also via toggle switch). And the ‘variable’ setting is truly and unusually variable, because it’s accomplished via a rotary potentiometer, with the interesting advantage that it’s possible to fine-tune the impedance ‘on-the-fly’.
Straight out of the box, without any warm-up at all, the Parasound JC 3 Jnr sounded great. Stereo imaging was superb, musical delivery impeccable, indeed often breathtakingly beautiful.
More info: www.networkav.com.au
“The JC 3 Jnr shows the value of a fine phono stage — superb stereo imaging and impeccable (often breathtaking) musical delivery.”