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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed that the Behringer PP400 phono preamp is available for $20. My experience with their stuff has been pretty positive, especially considering the low price. Has anybody here used one? How does it sound?
 

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I haven't tried that particular device. I do have other Behringer products (see my sig) including a UCA222 DAC. The Behringer products I have IMO deliver a tremendous amount of value for the money.
 

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It will work, but for $20 high fidelity cannot be assured.
 

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The PP400's siblings in the Behringer USB I/O family, like the UCA202, have reviewed quite well online, including detailed measurements analysis. I have two of the UCA202s for easy laptop I/O, and except for slightly weak headphone output level, have been very happy with them.

No direct experience with the PP400. Having lots more gain and the phono response curve makes it a bit of a different animal, but for noncritical applications, as the line is intended for, I would expect it to perform satisfactorily. Behringer products do give a lot of bang for the buck. It would probably not be my choice for supercritical listening, though.
 

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Pay a little more and get a ART DJPRE II Phono Preamp. Absolutely incredible sounding phono preamp for the money! Even sounds better musically than the fairly well regarded NAD phono stages, and unbeatable value for under $100. Check out some of the reviews on the audiophile forums.
 

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Pay a little more and get a ART DJPRE II Phono Preamp. Absolutely incredible sounding phono preamp for the money! Even sounds better musically than the fairly well regarded NAD phono stages, and unbeatable value for under $100. Check out some of the reviews on the audiophile forums.
Thank you, I've been looking for a good phono preamp for connecting my TT to my receiver and this one looks like it will do just that :T
 

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Phono preamps shouldn't be much of an issue. Most have vanishingly inaudible distortion and response measurements. All they need besides that is ability to handle the standard RIAA curve. I find it hard to imagine that one would sound different from another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Phono preamps shouldn't be much of an issue. Most have vanishingly inaudible distortion and response measurements. All they need besides that is ability to handle the standard RIAA curve. I find it hard to imagine that one would sound different from another.
Oh my goodness. That's 100% backwards. The RIAA preamp is one of the few audio components that really do sound different between makes/models, or tubes vs. solid state. As someone who has built a couple of them, trust me, they are really demanding, like designing and building mic preamps, but with the added complexity of a multi-pole filter network that has to be trimmed to the highest accuracy.

Most designs are not truly accurate to the RIAA curve. That is not at all easy to do. With computer modeling and better component technology, it is easier to do it right these days, but it still ain't cheap and easy. To make a decent sounding RIAA preamp for cheap is quite an engineering feat. Most of those available are still really nasty sounding, if you expect CD+ quality sound from vinyl. Low level filters are one place where better quality (more $$) parts can make an audible difference. I expect there would be *large* differences between sub-$50 RIAA preamps.

It is trivial to make a clean line level amplifier these days, yet most home theater receivers manage to come with very lackluster sounding analog inputs. Think of the line level audio output amps in your average $250 LCD TV. They sound hashy and nasty in the highs, probably due to extreme cheapness in parts and design, and proximity to RF emissions. Still, it's easy to make a decent line level audio output stage. Now think of a low level audio stage with 45dB of gain and a multi-pole filter that has to be a perfect mirror image of a pre-equalized input signal... AND it has to "sound good," AND it has to retail for less than $50, complete with power supply.
 

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I'm not questioning the issues involved in designing one. I just find it hard to imagine that two competent ones would offer much of an audible difference. I've owned expensive ones and cheap ones, built in ones and outboard ones and they have all performed competently.
 

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I have that exact phono preamp. The build is quite good and solid, the sound is very detailed and clear that draws you into the music. The drawback is it's a little thin sounding...but for $20 I'm impressed.
 
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