Looking for recommendations for a phono preamp under $2k

I took my Thorens TD145 out of the closet, cleaned it changed belt and installed a new Ortofon Red.  I'm going to buy a phono preamp and would like some direction....$2k is the most I want to invest..Currently using a Schiit phono preamp.





Of course, you will get many responses from folks with their own personal choices, and in this case, I’m no different 😁

I bought a Hagerman Trumpet which I think is a wonderful phono pre for the money. I believe about $1,200~$1,300 new now (recent price increase, but shipping is free). Nice tube amp that will handle about any cart you can throw at it. Of course, tube rolling, as I have done, can take it to another level. I bought some nice old tubes and a linear power supply for it, and still a tick under $2,000.

It replaced a Mani for me BTW, and the difference is pretty big. The Mani is pretty darn good for its price though.

I don't have any complaints with the Schiit, but I don't have anything to compare it to.    I hadn't used that turntable in 20 years until recently. It sounded very good with the ortofon, so my audio compulsive thinking took me right to throwing more money at it!

Yeah let me second the Hagerman Trumpet MC. I’ve had many much more expensive stages, but this one will stick around because it’s so versatile and has such a pleasing analog sound. Works equally well with MM or MC of all output levels (until you get below say 0.2mV) and price points. It actually works amazingly well with an Ortofon 2M Blue, which benefits greatly from the warmth and body the Trumpet provides. You’ll definitely want to upgrade from the Red if you’re getting a phono stage of this quality. Even at a Blue you’re well beyond maxing it out with this stage, but I can verify it does work quite nicely. I assume you meant 2M Red? A Cadenza Red would probably make a killer price/performance match here. I haven't tried this exact combo yet, but I have heard both separately and I think it would be a great combo. 

It’s also amazingly responsive to tube rolling, and seems amicable to a wide range of makes and vintages. I have quite an odd mix in there right now:

  • GE TM BP "silver clips" 5751
  • Tung-Sol (Russia) Gold 12AX7
  • GE TM GP 5-Star 5814