Phono Preamplifier Redux .. Damn This is Getting Expensive

I posted previously in search of a phono preamplifier, but as I put together a system I refined what I was looking for.

My current Analog food chain consists of Technics 1200G turntable, Hana ML cartridge, unknown phono preamplifier, McIntosh MA12000 integrated, Sabrina X, pair of REL S/812 subs.  Also, Shunyata Everest 8000 power conditioner and a mix of Alpha V2 NR and Venom V10NR power cables.  Other cables: AQ Earth balanced interconnects, William Tell full range speaker cables.  Also, had to make some room acoustic modifications.

So, here is the problem.  I just got a Holo May DAC DTE and have been streaming by Roon, mostly purchased and ripped files on a Synology NAS.  The problem is that my digital side sounds much more musical than my analog.  Part of the remedy is on the way with 3" Tiger Maple equipment rack, but digital and analog are not close.  My Sutherland 20/20 LPT is going back.  It has limited front/back sound stage and the upper mids and treble are a bit shrill.  I say this because the Holo is just beautifully musical throughout.

Music Direct will be taking Sutherland back and has suggested the Esoteric E-02 Balanced as a solution.  So this post I'm raising my budget to 9-10K new, or used and prefer balanced out.  Looking for detail, dynamics and silent background.  I just can't have the digital so much more enjoyable... of course there is always selling all analog and staying digital, but that doesn't feel right.  

So, where do I go for balanced out and more musical, but retaining micro detail and dynamics?


Exotic wood racks, cable and other doo dads is not the answer.

Demo as many different topologies as possible, and go with what your ears like.

All the usual suspects have something in your price range. 

The heavy wood rack is part of my effort to get the bass under control, as well as a large heavy padded rug, full size low back sofa and nine large bass traps. I need to reduce the transfer of energy to the cartridge and other components.. I suppose.  If that isn't happening, I'll have to locate the turntable/phono preamp on the side wall and this will require longer balanced interconnects.

nice stereo. definitely not a component you can achieve excellent result with mediocrity. i would look at tubed phono pre's. 

My concern with tubes is the problem that I'm having with cartridge vibration... worried about the tube microphonics.

i've never had issues with vibration and tubes. they are certainly not sensitive like a cart.