Dedicated phono-pre for MM only?

Hi All,
the subject of phono-pres, specifically 'adapted' to MM came up in some related postings.

IF, and only if, MMs are much to ones liking --- why spend your buck on some 'halve backed' 60dB plus, MC gain requirement, stage? Why not consider put the $$$ into a TOP 40dB gain stage of either SS or tube?

Raul had more thoughs on the subject as he mentioned before, and might share, why he knows that a TOP MM compared to MC stage circuit requirement might NOT be -one suit fits all-.

There could even be a nice argument to fit a tube gain stage only into an otherwise SS only system!?

Again, the $buck saved on the 20dB plus circuitry could be translated into the BEST circuit for an MM.
I realise, that most such stages were simply fitted inside some older TOP pre-amps, (e.g. Jadis...).
I have not come across a **dedicated** , current 40dB stage neither in nor outside a pre-amp.

Thank you,
In my list of candidate MM phono stages posted 6/26, I neglected to include the Graham Slee Gold Era Reflex (hope I got the long name right). The Reflex was specifically designed for MM and HOMC. Further, it got great reviews from some respected sources, including M Fremer. It's a bit odd in that it uses active RIAA equalization, but Kirkus has espoused that approach also. (The more common gospel is that passive RIAA is better sounding than active.) Earlier in this thread, someone dismissed this or one of the other Graham phono pres as not being "as good as" a Jadis, without naming the particular Jadis preamp he was referrring to. As I have never been a fan of any Jadis product, I am keeping an open mind on the Graham. Has anyone been able to audition this product (the Gold Reflex) in a system driven by an MM cartridge? (There is an optional accessory, the Elevator, which adds the necessary gain for an LOMC. One would prefer to know what the Reflex sounds like without this add-on.) Thanks for any comments.
I have both the Reflex and the Elevator. I first used the Reflex alone with an Ortofon 2M Black. It sounded great! Then, I added the Elevator and Ortofon Kontrapunkt B. This is an outstanding setup and is highly detailed and refined sounding. To my ears, this combination is transparent across the frequency spectrum, very dynamic, and with no detectable glare, distortion, or other audible anomolies. The Reflex and 2M Black are certainly a nice pairing and I could live happily with them, but adding the Elevator and Kontrapunkt B sounds even better to me and is worth the money. The Elevator is nice in that it has easily accessible switches on the front panel for adjusting MC loading. I have settled on 100 ohms for my MC cartridge. I should also state that Graham Slee himself is very responsive to any questions you may have. You can contact him via the Graham Slee web site's link to their own discussion board. I am very pleased with my Graham Slee units and have no desire to look elsewhere.
Hi, Lewm, it was my first reply to Axel that mentioned the Reflex as a dedicated MM phono preamp. And it was also me that too quickly dismissed the Reflex as not being in the same league as a preamp costing multiples of the Reflex. After seeing where the discussion was going I put the Reflex back in the mix. But apparently it's not what Axel considered "top end" when he asked the original question.

I had, at one time, considered the Reflex as the basis for a phono stage configuration, intending to use a headamp such as the Elevator or a step-up transformer, of which there are many, to run LOMC cartridges. I ended up with a phono preamp that has a relatively simple architecture but handles both MM and LOMC cartridges using jumpers and resistor screw posts.

You might ask over at the Vinyl Asylum about the Reflex and MM cartridges.

re.: Reflex & Elevator...
>>> But apparently it's not what Axel considered "top end" when he asked the original question.<<<

Actually I'm not really in a position to be the 'judge' on what a "top-end" MM-stage comprises (other than $$$/hear-say/etc...)

But what I did say earlier on is:

- "What I come up with is, for best sound for the $$$:

1) affordable phono-stage with MM (Reflex?)
2) good stage with MM
3) good stage with SUT and MC (Note: not mentioned headamps i.e. Elevator)
4) top stage with MC

2) and 3) maybe on par, and MC = LO MC > 0.4mV " -

This would be in favour, $$$wise, of using MM with MM-only stage.
I think we'll struggle to get an answer to whether a "top-end" MM stage even exists (other than 3160), AND if it makes actually as big a difference in sound, compared to the more affordable ones (e.g. Reflex)

Note: There is absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind, that due to the low output voltage of MCs, only the-best-of-the-best MC-stage will actually be good enough to do justice to an MC's potential.

Maybe, because good MM's, due to the higher output, make for simpler, less costly, yet top performance stage designs?

Like: Single ended, JFET & tube (2 gain stages only), ~ 1dB RIAA error, good clean power supply ---- finito?

If that was so, there'd be plenty to pick from, and it would 'sink' plenty of MC set-ups with only so-so MC-stage. Everyone can get back to vinyl, without another mortgage on the house :-)
Rockinrobin, I am going to guess that your experience is an overall endorsement of the Reflex. If it were not doing a good job, you might not hear a big difference between the two cartridges. Now you should try the Reflex alone driven by a Grace Ruby, Garrott P77, AKG, AT, B&O, or etc. Let us know how such a combo compares to the Elevator/Kontrapunkt source. Maybe some one of us can lend you one of those gems. (Just kidding...., but it would help the cause.)

Tom, what Jadis preamp did you have in mind? The last top end product from them that I am aware of was the JP80. By now there must be newer models. They have been really quiet in the US market, as in "absent".