Looking for a phono stage to go with my system

I have a VPI Aries Scout with an Ortofon 2m Bronze mm. running through an Onkyo TX NR905 Receiver's phono input. (70mv (mm,1khz., 0.5%)

I understand that an independent Phono Stage will do wonders for the quality of sound coming from the VPI.

Looking to spend no more than $500ish.

Wow Paraneer,

Thanks for the help.

I'm always amazed and humbled at the generosity and willingness of people who help others.

What would you recommend as a step up from these models?

The one I end up going with will be my systems brain and as I upgrade the rest of my system I would want it to be capable of handling better speakers and such as I continue down the rabbit hole of the audiophile world.

Thanks again

What about a Harmon Karmon HK990? New they are around $2500 but I
found a used one in my price range.

Better than the Marantz PM8004?
Take a look at the Jungson JA88D. It is a pure class A integrated amplifier and it has a built in phono for MM and MC. Though, I use my Jasmine phono, which is superior. However, it is respectable.
You're welcome Meambler.

I have read good things about the HK 990. I don't know if its better than the Marantz but it is more feature laden and powerful. If it has a HT Bypass feature and your interested in upping your budget, I would sure put it on my short list.

I am usually quick to recommend the Marantz PM8004 because like its more expensive big brothers, it is built at Marantz' reference factory in Japan. Its quality and construction is first rate. So since you are now asking about more expensive models, consider the PM15S2 LE that is now being closed out because a new model has taken its place.


This is the integrated I use and could not be more happy. It drives 4 Ohm VA Bach Grands and I don't plan on upgrading for a long time.

Other integrateds to consider are the Creek Evolution 5350 on sale too:


But with this one, you would have to get Creeks plug in phono section or a separate phono pre. Nevertheless, a good quality amp at a great price. It has the HT Bypass feature too.

Hope all of this helps. Good luck in your journey to get the VPI Scout singing at its very best.