phono stage help please.

So my Schiid Mani 2 blow up and took my power amp along. 

Fortunately in case of amp it ended on replacing main fuse not so bad deal.

Anyhow Mani 2 is out of picture and I'm looking for suggestions, I'm debating Pass Labs Alph Ono or XP-15 as phono stage. For now I'm running Ortofon 2M Black cartridge in my VP! 1 classic but I'm thinking of replacing it with Hana ML. rest of my system is JBL 4367, Threshold T2 preamp and Threshold S550e power amp. What would be the best configuration for Progressive rock and Electronic ?

Guys I'm open for suggestions but I would like to stay within Pass products new or vintage. Also if anyone can explain me why Hana ML low output is superior to high output cartridge?



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Yes I found out the issues with Mani 2 the hard way so now I'm looking for something much bette and if possible fully balanced in and out. Pass XP-15 looks good and as far as I heard is more peasant to listen to over updated  XP-17 model.

I've had the Aleph Ono and the Xono phonostages at different times.  If I were in the position of needing another phonostage I wouldn't hesitate to buy either of them again.  The Xono was a better unit, some of which I'm sure was attributed the the outboard power supply.  They will beat the @#$% out of your Schiid. 

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Awesome ! that king of info is helpful.

I was looking in to Pass XP- 15 and 17, do you have any idea how do they stand up to the Alph Ono ?

Most who have heard both say xp15 is superior to Xono. So if Xono is superior to Aleph, as per the above opinion, you have your answer.



well by that definition newer is always better, but life teaches us that statement is not always true, thats why we ask questions to ones who had it and can form stolid opinion.

Pass Labs are a Company that embrace Tech’ as it becomes available that will offer new sonic.

The Company will reconfigure Topology and Circuit Design to exploit design changes. The swapping of a component only is not typical for a new product range.

Pass is not adverse to Circuit Board Tweaks, NP is active in the DIY community offering advisories on such matters.

There are a few DIY Phonostage Designs on DIY Audio that are known to punch well above their weight in relation to pricing.

I have been demo’d one SS Design with a BOM of approx’ £800 where it is commission built for less than £2K hold its own next to £10K retail.

From my personal experience. I had Ortofon 2M Black and moved to Hana MH then to Hana ML. Found Ortofon having more aggressive sonic signature than Hanas being more relaxed and mellow. ML seems to be able to pull out slightly more miniscule details from recording than MH. So, maybe for progressive rock and elecronic music Hanna might be too mellow. 

I also had Mani and now enjoying QHW Vinyl, see Framer' review: 






The Pass phono stages are excellent, but you should really look at the very highly rated Channel D Lino C. Stereophile has it as an A+ component. If you are a rock fan and you like your dynamics I would stick with the Ortofon. If you want a higher level of performance look at the Soundsmith Voice. It takes a $10,000 MC cartridge to outrun it. 


Iv'e been playing with my XP-15 for while and it is definitely upgrade from Schiid.

It is pretty much meeting my expectations but I think Xp-17 is in the stars near future.

@knock1 I agree with you, 2M is way more Rock orientated cartridge.

Hana ML sounds great at Jazz electronic and ambient, for metal  and prog 2M does slightly better job 

SOTA Pyxi. I found it a big step up over the highly rated tube based phono stage that it replaced at about 1/10th the cost.  ET 2.5 tonearm, PTP Solid 12 turntable, retipped Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge.