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?


mulveling: The Herron VTPH-1mm produces 44dB of gain when fitted with four 12AX7’s (plus one 12AT7 for non-gain functions), and 42dB with two 12AT7’s substituted for two of the 12AX7’s. The 12AX7’s and 12AT7’s are user interchangeable; Keith sent me enough of each to configure it either way.

A VTPH-1mm sold this past July on USAM for $500! The seller said the unit was a pre-production sample, hence the low price.

The VTPH-2 (in three iterations I believe) I’m not sure about. The bulk of the improvements incorporated into the VTPH-2 over the VTPH-1 were in it’s mc section, which was (and is) of no consequence to me, so the VTPH-1mm met (and meets) my needs.


Moon 110LPv2

Up to 66db gain both mc and mm. I have the same circuit in a Moon 390 and I like it. Worth a look.

In my direct experience, you want at least 80db of total voltage gain (phono + linestage) to get the most out of an MC2000.  More is even better.


Sounds reasonable. Tracks with I would expect for total gain needed on the phono stage combo to allow the cartridge to be at its best. With the T2000 supplying 35dB then I need 45 to 50 dB from the phono stage. 

Cornet MM has a fixed gain of 44dB. You can't change it, as both passive EQ and gain are tied to 12AX7 parameters. It is what it is.

If you need 64dB gain at 47k loading, Bugle MC? Trumpet MC can do 74dB at 47k load...