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I currently have a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon running through a Marantz 2220b receiver and finally Monitor Audio Silver 1 speakers. 

My question is: is there a need for a pre-amp to get a better sound or should I stick with the Marantz phono line. Also, if I wanted to hook up a pre-amp what input would I use? (Aux, tape 1/2, phono). I do have a Pro-ject pre-amp I used with my last TT and wouldn't mind experimenting with what that sounds like. Thanks for the input and excuse me if I just don't know what I'm talking about.. haha

 

-Tulsa 

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I am not sure that you will be able to get into an improved phono stage for less than $500USD. The marantz comes from the era where vinyl was king and is likely equipped with an excellent, low noise and accurate phono stage. A preamp itself could be a phono pre or a full preamp with line levels as well as phono inputs, along with potentially eq etc. Not sure exactly what you mean here but as mentioned, if in good condition, the marantz pre stage should be adequate.

 

The next move forward might be to an integrated with some more power (larger power supply to cope with transients in the music at louder levels, where clippingmay occur). The other option is if the marantz has a pre out you could use the preamp stage of the marantz and send that to a power amp which will give you the marantz warmth but will provide the power you need for those big moments.

 

Later on down the road you may want to upgrade your preamp which will give you improved sound, detail etc. That can then plug into your power amp. That gives you a fairly straightforward upgrade path that may take a few years to achieve, but allows you good sound all the way through.

Edited by mikeburns
spacing.

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I agree with most everything @mikeburns said, solid advice. If you do decide to get a pre-amp sooner rather than later, consider the Parks Audi Budgie which in my humble opinion sounds fantastic and the tubes allow you to upgrade the sound by rolling (if you're into that whole other hobby). Plus it comes in at $400 so it may be a bit easier on your wallet - support is killer if you need help figuring out the best load settings, etc. for your setup.

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On 11/13/2018 at 12:38 PM, Tulsa1989 said:

I looked into the Budgie and it seems really great. Although, it's no longer made and only occasionally pop up on the bay. Any other comparable suggestions? Thanks for the help. 

The Budgie was actually my first pre-amp upgrade and the result of a lot of research a couple years ago, so I don't have any personal experience with too many other pre-amps but I've heard good things about the Schiit line of products. Maybe take a look at the Saga? Again no personal experience but seems like a comparable if not a slightly less robust contender.

 

http://www.schiit.com/products/saga

 

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I used a Project Debut Carbon with the previous gen Monitor Audio Silver RX1s and eventually upgraded to a Marantz PM8004 I found for $500 from a dealer on ebay (probably leading up to the release of the PM8005).   

 

the PM800x series is made in Japan in the same factory as their reference series and is built like a tank.  The PM600x and PM500x models are not even close to the quality.   My 8004 is currently driving some Monitor Audio RX8s with a Marantz TT-15S1 turntable so it will easily scale up to higher end gear.

 

I think they're up to PM8006 at this point, but I don't think they have changed much in the way of features.

 

If you keep an eye on ebay/audiogon you can find similar deals in the $500-$600 range and I don't think you can do much better for the money.

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