I need a phono pre amp for my ARC VSi75

Hello Audiogoners, I need your help. I recently purchased an ARC VSi75. Streaming through my Mac laptop and a Gustard A26 (granted, less than idea circumstances), I have realized some of the best sonic performance I have ever experienced in my home. The problem, I'm surrounded with about 500 record albums I have accumulated over the years just begging to be played. I don't have a phono pre-amp for my LO MC cart (.34Mv). My budget is tight unfortunately but I don't mind used. I have been looking at Icon Audio PS3 MkII, Manley Chinook SE, Rogue Audio Ares Magnum, and a SS candidate, Gold Note PH-10 w/PSU. The top of my budget is about $2,000 or about £1,600. At one time or another I have found all of these units on the used market within my budget. I'm looking for your advice as to were I should invest my money. Of course, if you can recommend something that falls less that what my budget would allow, all the better. What I would particularly like is your own personal experience with whatever you recommend whether it be one of my choices or something else you endorse. I'm hoping to find a pre-amp that is dead quiet with tube-like character possessing the ability to bring out nuances in the middle and upper mid-range with ample gain for a LO cart. As always, thank you for your input and support.


Used Audio Research PH8 plus or minus. I have owned a PH2, PH2SE, PH3, PH8, and REF 3, REF3SE. The gains were huge until the PH8. To me the PH8 is the minimum standard to get the phonostage out of the way.

After over 30 of having an Audio Research preamp and/or phono stage I would buy nothing else. Also, Audio Research sounds better the more Audio Research you own, it is highly synergistic.

Buy the most recent ARC phono stage you can get. I would entertain nothing else since you already have a VSi75.

I have auditioned the ARC I-50, VSi75, LS28SE, and VT80 extensively over the last few months… the last two were just purchased by a friend of mine. You can see my ARC main system under my ID.

Checkout Trischler Professional Audio Devices TPAD 1000, all tube, made in Ohio,

only $749. Read Dick Olshers'  review. That is what I use, so I strongly recommend


Dick aptly pointed out you will need to add a SUT to the excellent TPAD 1000. You might also consider a Hagerman Trumpet and of course as mentioned the best ARC phono you can get your hands on.

Herron’s VTPH phono preamps are very highly regarded and should be available in your price range used.  Just another option to consider. 

soix, I read up on the Herron VTPH. I agree, a very nice preamp, one worth considering. I appreciate the input. Thanks.