MM Phono Stages With Greater Than 40 dB of Gain?

One of my favorite phono cartridges is the Ortofon MC 2000, I have it with the T2000 SUT. Even so the combined output is still low, and going into my Esoteric E-03 phono stage I have to add a lot of additional gain from the pre amp.

Since I no longer use the Esoteric for direct input of moving coil cartridges I thought I might see if there is a better choice for a MM style phono stage that offers greater gain.

I have looked a bit, but not seen anything jump out. Anyone have run across an excellent MM only phono stage with higher than 40dB of gain?


40dB of gain was the standard back in the pre-moving coil days, and very few phono stages DON'T provide that amount of gain for moving magnet and moving iron pickups.

The Herron VTPH phono amps (both the VTPH-1mm and VTPH-2) provide 42 or 44dB of gain (depending on the use of 12AX7 vs. 12AT7 tubes), but are no longer in production. They come up for sale occasionally, and are real nice phono stages, priced below the sound quality they produce.

The Passlabs XP-27 starts at 56db of gain (selectable in three 10db increments)  and is has adjustable resistance and capacitance from the front panel.

I use the Parasound JC 3 jr. with adjustable gains of
40 dB / 50 dB / 60 dB (unbalanced output) and 46 dB / 56 dB / 66 dB (balanced output).

@neonknight - Take a look at Simaudio Moon phono stages

  • Their gain is selectable to match almost an cartridge and exceeds 40db
  • They are dead quiet and extremely detailed without sacrificing musicality
  • they produce exquisite music
  • they require the best cables (power and interconnect) for best performance

I purchased their LP 5.3 RS ( same as their current 310 LP model) some 12 yesrs ago.

I did not purchase their external power supply, but opted for extremely good cables instead. The cost was about the same, but I figured the cables could be used on the next phono stage I purchased - HA! - I’ve never considered uprading🤣

Regards - Steve

Pick up the Zphono XRM Phono Preamplifier from Parasound with MM gain of 40 or 50dB they only cost around $500.00