Michael Fehlauer loves vinyl! The Audiospecials Phonolab is the culmination of his years spent developing a ‘dream’ phono preamplifier. What was the result? A state of the art double-stereo preamplifier designed with modular ‘input cards’ that can be ordered with MM, MM-SUT or MC specification. Once you have matched these inputs to your cartridge selection, the ultra-quiet preamps may be adjusted for gain and loading. For MC you have a gain range of 58/61/65/68 db and a load range of 15/20/50/60/70/80/180/250/500/1k ohms. For MM-SUT you have a gain range of 38/41/45/48 db and a load range of 14k/16k/20k/24k/32k/47k/100k ohm. Lastly for the MM you have a gain range the same as the MM-SUT and a capacitance + load range of 47k + 480pf/380pf/280pf/160pf / zero added pf or 66k/zero added pf. The transformer-balanced outputs may be set for 1:1 or 1:2 allowing an additional 6db of gain if needed for a total MC gain of 74db! Lastly a unique feature of the Phonolab is the set of front panel controls called the Recompizer, used to subtly adjust low and high frequency response/dynamics in the case of less than ideal pressings. To make this circuit Mr. Fehlauer made a study of vinyl mastering studio practices and equipment. The Phonolab PSU1.2 power supply may also power a second Phonolab or the new Monophonic mono specialist phono preamp. Speaking of the single channel Monophonic, how does continuously adjustable eq curves to accommodate nearly any standard ever cut to disk, as well as a wide gain range of 31/41/47/58 or 68db sound?
Best of all is the modest cost given its very high level of performance. Priced in euros to avoid adding a currency hedge. Some reviewers have named the Phonolab the best solid state phono preamp available! a few key features:
- Super low noise floor with outboard power supply. Not many preamps are this quiet at any cost.
- Two individual stereo phono preamps, in one chassis. Each input may be ordered for MM, MM-SUT or MC.
- Remote controlled switching between inputs for easy comparison of cartridges.
- Balanced XLR outputs standard, configurable for 775mV or 1.55V reference level. RCA also of course…
- Balanced mini-XLR inputs standard. RCA also of course…
- Optional remote-controlled volume module for direct connection to amplifier or powered speakers.
Phonolab (2x stereo) with PSU1.2 €6600
Monophonic (single input, variable curve for historic recordings) with PSU1.2 €5900
Monophonic without PSU1.2 (if user already has Phonolab ) €inquire
Balanced mini XLR (Lemo) inputs €600
High quality (4x) XLR – Mini XLR adapter + €225 (handy if you have xlr phono cables already)
Remote-controlled volume module + €775 (if you are vinyl-only the phonolab can directly drive your amplifiers or powered speakers!