Best Full-Function Preamplifier

Consulting the collective wisdom on the best preamp with built in phonostage (MM/MC). DAC not required but OK if it has one. Below $20K retail. Must be a no compromise solution--outstanding linestage and a flexible, great sounding phonostage that would not make you wish you had separates. Thoughts?


@vinylshadow ​​​, THANK YOU again. That is good information. Part of my hesitation on the seismic podiums is I’ve been thinking about switching to the next model up in the Vandersteen line, and they have a different shape and footprint dimensions, so if I got podiums that fit one they may not fit the other. (Oh, and need more money!)

If separates are OK, I’d recommend Coincident Technology. You could get both a killer linestage and phono preamp within your budget.

I have his Dynamo 34SE MKIII amp. Incredible quality for the price. I did look at his preamp but I am still very happy with my Don Sachs linestage.

Check out the reviews, or better yet, try for an in-home audition. Israel Blume is a very honest and accommodating kind of guy. 

His website is Here.

May I suggest the new Accuphase C-2300 preamp? It is fully balanced input to output, has a tape monitor/processor loop, four band tone controls and a loudness control that switches in/out, has different levels of gain, and can be had with an AD-60 mc/mm phono board for a list price of approximately US $16.5K?

You can read about the C-2300 here.

The US importer, Axiss Audio, has had a recent infusion of talent and capital. Axiss have lowered US prices, making them much more competitive with the rest of the world. 

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Fast freight+1

At this price point the Mola-Mola Makua should be considered.  Reference quality phono stage + preamp is around $16,000 msrp new.  Optional  Stereophile class a rated DAC (identical to Tambaqui standalone) adds around $8000.  Contact Bill at GTT Audio in NJ and he will arrange an audition either at his place or send one to your home.

I have been enjoying my Makua for a year and it has taken my system to a level that I could never have imagined. Paired with Clearaudio Ovation / Tracer / Hana vinyl rig.  Classe Audio amplification and ProAc speakers.  

note that the Makua will reveal as much detail as your system allows so attention should also be paid to power, cabling and isolation. I am using all Nordost Valhalla level including QBase and QKore and cat m12 ethernet switch.  At this level, everything matters.  

also, I believe there is a fully outfitted demo unit available with DAC and phono stage for upper teens and a used one with phono and no DAC (can be added later by sending in unit) air well under $10k. But I would strongly suggest starting with GTT.  Bill is an exceptional dealer with fantastic customer support.