Phono tube or not to tube?


Chief Journeyman
Jul 28, 2011
Wise, Virginia
The YAQIN MS-12B ain't too shabby if you want tubes.......I love mine and it stands tall with anything I have used...ever...

There is a used one on the Bay for 180 now but new they cost


Dec 24, 2019
If you like Accurus gear, you should try to find an Aragon 47k. It's solid state to answer that question, but it's an old Mark Levinson (well, one of his techs) design that has trickled down.

You set loading and gain internally via jumpers- zero knobs or switches externally. Quiet and nice. I'm very happy with mine, and when I did a "deep dive" to try and "upgrade" internal components, I was met by a "who's who" of high-end components (there are very few components overall- all Audiophile and/or MilSpec). There are two large no-name capacitors that MIGHT benefit from a boutique hand-made, small-car priced, pair of capacitors, but I sort of doubt I'd be happy after dropping big bucks to find there is little to no change in sound... Maybe I'm wrong too... And they probably wouldn't fit inside the 1U case either.

The power supply (which is external) has a huge room for improvement however- truly the sole weakness of this unit. If you are handy, you could make a spectacular supply for this thing and then it REALLY shines. There was a guy selling upgraded supplies at one point but I missed that boat... Even Aragon offered the IPS I think was the name, in the triangular case, as an upgrade. I have the bottom-feeder plastic case power supply and even that sounds quite nice, fed by a Benz-Micro silver on a Rega Planar3.