best phono stage to mate with a London Decca Super Gold cart?

Greetings All!

I'm looking for recommendations for a phono stage to match with my Decca Super Gold cart.

I'm currently using the phono stage on my Doge 8 preamp which is OK, but not stellar. Table is a Roksan Xerxes with an upgraded RB300 arm (Incognito wiring and Audio Origami external cable).

I'm open to either S/S or tube.

Budget up to $1,500.


Hi Norm
while I'm not an owner of either but a friend of mine uses a Decca cart with a Croft phonostage to a great result.
I know that Glenn Croft uses Decca as his reference cart. Croft makes MM phono only btw.

What the Decca/London's need is not much gain (40dB is plenty) and lots of headroom. Their 5mV output is way too hot for lots of phono stages.

For solid state, the Liberty B2B-1 has both, John Atkinson finding it's overload margin about as high as he has ever measured. It retails for $1800 I believe.

For tube, the discontinued Herron VTPH-1mm is a great choice, providing 42-44dB gain (depending on tubes used) and pretty good headroom. Give Keith a call, as he sometimes has trade-ins available. You should be able to get one for $1500. The improved VTPH-2 will cost you more.

For the best performance from the Super Gold, you want to load the cartridge at 15k to 22k resistance, and 220pF of capacitance. The RB300 works pretty well with the cartridge, although an arm with a little higher mass and damping is preferable. 

Thanks for the replies! This is very good information. I am looking at Croft. Their RIAA Phono sells for $1200 here in Canada, so looks promising.

I take your point with respect to the RB300 arm. I do plan on upgrading it in the future.