Phono preamp with multiple inputs?? Suggestions please!!

Hi all!

I have 2 tables one is a suspended design and I have 3 tonearms… currently on the market for one with multiple inputs. One of my arms contains a mono cartridge, hence need a mono switch. I like to have one box solution. Would love to control adjustments on the fly but definitely not necessary. I just want that option if possible..

Possibilities are;

Mofi master phono

lab 12 Melto 2 

moonriver 505  


Any other suggestions or recommendations you are currently using?

Appreciate and suggestions!! Happy Spinning and have a wonderful weekend everyone!!



I have a Musical Fidelity NuVista Vinyl which can take up to five inputs, each configured either as MM or MC, with lots of loading options for resistance and capacitance, and remembers all the settings during power off.

The funny thing is that I ended up going back to my previous phono stage, using it set to MM, so I could use an SUT I had lying around. I use good quality switch boxes to select the three MC/one low output MI to go into the SUT, and then to select the SUT output or a pair of high output MIs to go into the phono stage. All interconnects are very short (1ft) and while it sounds like a nightmare of unnecessary connections, it works very well.

You don’t need a mono switch for a mono cartridge - the cartridge has taken care of that for you! So you could simply use a switch box if you just want to use two stereo and one mono cartridge. Something like this.


Appreciate the response @lewm

 @dogberry I used one created some noise for me. I can definitely give that one a try. Where do you attach your ground? 

Perhaps an Aesthetix Rhea?

I have a Phasemation EA-350 which has 3 inputs, two of which you can utilize XLR (only in MC mode though) connections. Downside is you cannot change the loading, but does have a mono function and even demag. Pretty rare in USA though...I run every input from a SUT

Have to say that Moonriver 505 has me really intrigued

My table grounds go to the pre-amp, and the phono grounds (SME cables provide both separately) go to the phono stage. Only one table ground from each table is connected to the pre-amp, to avoid ground loops.

Thank you @equinoxdesignlab moonriver classic look is timeless for sure. Rhea functionality look promising. Have you used that phono? Their upgrade revisions are bound full for sure. 

I have a TT with 3 Tonearms, the heart of my system


I luckily found a Step Up Transformer with 3 inputs/1 Out to MM Phono Input. 3 front selectable tonearms, and 4 optional impedance/x-factors, and PASS for MM cartridge. Any input can be MC or MM using PASS.

Fidelity Research FRT-4

An Entre 100 also has 3 front selectable inputs, PASS, 3 selectable impedances/x-factors.

They come Silver or Black


Other members may know of others. Front Selectable, some you need to mess with the back of the unit.


Preamp's MONO MODE

Mono LPs content: horizontal movement only, however, there is inadvertent vertical content: scuffs, warps, dust/dirt in the grooves.

Mono Cartridge Ignores ANY inadvertent vertical movement! Play it thru a Preamp’s Stereo Mode, or Mono-Mode: sounds very good.

Play Mono LP with a Stereo Cartridge: it makes NOISE from any/all inadvertent vertical movement, and sends that noise to the preamp. Stereo Mode: directionality is created, distracting from the intended mono. Actually Mono MODE will double that noise by sending it to both speakers. One solution is to play thru only 1 speaker (as they did in that era). That also avoids our habit of listening for excellent imaging.

This is why Mono LP’s played by Mono Cartridges is better: a little better or a lot better. I have aa few Mono LPs from the late 30’s, (think early Lois Armstrong, others when becoming great). Stereo Cartridge: history lesson, never play again. Mono cartridge, a musical experience, likely to play again, for yourself and friends.

You do not get imaging, but you do get individuality of the sounds of various instruments, identify the trumpet from the trombone, impossible when played with stereo cartridge, just a wall of mush.


My friend brought his Beatles LP sets: Mono and Stereo Versions

Mono: 1st and every play: you are more aware of the words, story of the song.

Stereo: Great, exciting, but the ’improved’ sound, imaging does distract from the story of the song, until of course you have heard it a few times.

Dear Elliot, will you please stop repeating the incorrect information to the effect that noise due to vertical deflection of the cantilever is “doubled”, when one plays a mono LP using a stereo cartridge and the mono mode switch on a phono stage? That is not correct. Such noise is canceled because of phase differences. In fact that’s the major benefit of engaging the mono switch. Thanks.

Thank you @elliottbnewcombjr @drbond appreciate the suggestion and prefer to stay under $6-5k if possible. Thank you for clarifying @lewm 

There's an Audio Research Ref 3 phonostage (in black) for sale at $5500 here (A'gon) - might be worth looking into. It is an excellent phonostage - however, don't get it mixed up with the older Reference 3 which also goes by the same name.


this is the 1st time you have explained this and 1st time said I was wrong. If so, I thank you for the correction, however, what I hear is ....

My McIntosh mx110z has a Mode Switch,

I have Stereo and Mono LP’s, and Stereo and Mono Cartridges ready to play. I can play with all 3 arms engaged, and near instantly compare a,b,c with the front switch and MC setting or Pass, some volume differences, I make temporary pencil marks.

My friend Jim, met him here, is coming Thursday, I will wait for him, hear what we hear, old and new Mono LPs

Suffice to say, for the Nth time, that the signals in each channel due to vertical deflection of the cantilever cancel each other because they’re 180 degrees out of phase, when you bridge a stereo cartridge to play a mono LP. Hence hf surface noise is reduced, not “doubled”. Sorry for hijacking the thread.

I have an Aesthetix Rhea Signature.  Not only is it fantastic sounding with its tube based dual mono design but you can change the gain and loading settings on the fly with the remote for each of the three inputs separately.   Once the unit is turned off, all of the settings for each of the three inputs remain in the system memory.  

I bought mine on USAM for well under 4 grand but have put some money into NOS tubes.  Also, support at Aesthetix located in CA is fantastic.  End game phone stage for me.

Agree with you on Aesthetic customer support @paulietunes i am happy you found your end game phono preamp. happy spinning!!


It appears that the long (12"?) tone arm on the right side of the table is improperly set up.  The gimble should be rotated clockwise at least 5 - 10 degrees (toward the platter) to get the travel more toward the center of arm travel.  It currently appears to be running near the end of travel at the inner grooves.  The gimble should be adjustable so that the base is stationary while the gimble is rotated.



thanks, I checked the maker’s web site, and indeed the gimbal is rotated toward the spindle a bit. It’s the Blackbird 12.5"

newartvinyl web site


I had VAS re-wire it, I may have positioned it ’perpindicular/parralel’ when I re-installed it so it ’looked good’!

I know how to, and will reposition it as you suggest, picking 7.5 degrees of course.

Just curious: please tell me why, what difference does it make? The arm never contacts the gimbal when fully in, and I have the Audio Technica Safety Lifter installed

thanks, Elliott

ps, my Acos Lustre GST-801 (rear arm), the pivoting yoke (gimbal with top cut off?) is 90 degree right angle to the arm, actually attached to the arm, whats up with that one?


Hi Elliott,  

Most gimballed arms are designed to have minimum friction around the center of their range of movement.  





The Musical Fidelity M6X Vinyl has 3 inputs. It may check the desired boxes in your search. No remote though. All settings are switchable on the front panel. Quite nice. Discrete solid state. Works well feeding my hybrid preamp. 

wturkey op, everybody

Phono Stage: Remote, no true advantage I can think of. (let me know real advantages anyone needs phono or input remote for)

I suppose Phono remote control could seem to be a benefit for comparing the sound of a variety of impedance’s, however I have found it is not an instant comparison, and to compare the same passage you have to walk up, lift/move/drop the stylus into the same ’start’, so remote advantage is not real.

remote to compare cartridges: IF arms are on the same TT: you can have all tonearms dropped, playing, choose which arm/cartridge is active by remote, except there are volume differences, and different impedances to change. that’s also not instant, or the same passage.

comparing impedances or cartridges here, all 3 arms down, same start, thus same passage nearly simultaneously: we select specific passages, i.e. Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams: Dave Stuart’s electronic sounds/separation; Annie Lennox, this passage and/or that one; Footsteps fading on the last track.

for each cartridge: adjust the volume/impedance (or change to PASS for MM): listen, like shampoo, repeat.

I make temporary pencil marks around my volume knob, not perfect, but near enough, thus volume is adjusted before you hear _____________? You cannot see the pencil marks to change volume remotely, so do it while you are 'up there'.

Same thing about preamp remote input selection: nearly worthless IMO, you are gonna be ’up there’ changing media, volume differences exist even when comparing Streaming/CD/LP .... streaming, each track might be a different volume compared to the general volume of a CD or LP.

I’d much rather have remote balance, a true advantage to instantly hear the effects of adjustments. My Chase RLC-1 gives me that, the primary reason I use it.


Musical Fidelity M6X Vinyl is very impressive, features I definitely want, and the price is very good IMO. I Want One.

Except I don’t. My biggest concern: it’s MM sensitivity is 5mv, which I find too high. Checking my cartridges, and data of a lot of cartridges I have researched: Only one: discontinued AT440ml had 5,0 mv output. 19 others, mostly currently available that I have noted specs on, and all my active ones are 4.0mv or less.

My McIntosh mx110z preamp, and so many others have phono sensitivity around 3mv.

Minimum impedance is 25 ohms and adjustable up to 1.2k ohms, I would prefer lower than 25, for some difficult MC cartridges (meaning combo of signal strength/coil impedances requires separate settings, some need very low impedance).

The important number is not gain in mV, which only refers to some ideal setup, but phono gain in db. If MM phono gain is 40db or higher, and if the linestage adds 8-10db additional gain, and if the input sensitivity of the amplifier is 1mV or less for full output, then any system that works well with a 5mV cartridge will work just as well with 3mV or even less, depending on the degree to which the above parameters are even slightly exceeded. So for me the question would be what is the gain of the MM phono section in the Musical Fidelity unit.

I just looked it up. The spec sheet say “5mV in gives 500mV out”, which is a voltage gain of 100, which translates to 40db.

Now let’s assume you have a cartridge that only produces 3 mV of signal voltage. The output from the MF phono would be 300mV. If you have an active linestage in the signal path, it is likely to add at least 8-10 db of gain. 10db means a 3-fold further increase in signal voltage. So now the amplifier sees 0.9V, which is more than adequate for most amplifiers.