Hi guys, I’m looking for a phone preamp. I considering the Emotiva XPS-1, any reviews on the performance or on the sound improvement from using the receiver phono amp?
While you didn't disclose the make/model of your receiver, I'd be willing to bet that almost any outboard phono preamp of decent quality could outperform it. Phono stages in receivers, much like FM tuners, get very little attention.
The XPS-1 is a very good phono preamp, but has risen sharply in price over the years. Nowadays, I'm not so sure that you couldn't get better, for not much more, or equal for less.
While I don't advise against the XPS-1 (I own one myself and do like it quite a bit, but I only paid $129 for it a few years ago), I would suggest looking at the Vincent PHO-8 ($229 in silver - or $249 in black) or the Schiit Mani ($129).
The Vincent is an excellent performer with a very traditional, but highly detailed, sound. The Mani sounds great too, but can be very "hissy" if you need to increase the gain beyond its lowest setting (for cartridges with lower output voltages).
One word of caution, though, if you have never used an outboard phono preamp... Make sure that you either turn it on and leave it on, or turn it on BEFORE the rest of your system. If your amplifier is engaged before you turn on your phono preamp, be prepared for a sudden "pop" from your speakers.
Any of these three are excellent phono preamps and you should be pleased with any of them. But there are many options to be considered...
Last Edit: Jun 18, 2020 10:29:57 GMT -5 by doc1963
Emotiva RMC-1L (FW V2.3) (7.1.4) Marantz AV8805 (Inactive) Emotiva XSP-1 G2 Emotiva DC-1 Emotiva ERC-3 Emotiva XPA-DR2/XPA-9 Emotiva Airmotiv T2 (L/R); C2 (C); E2 (SS/B) Micca M-8C (Tops) Power Sound Audio S1512 Subwoofer (x2) w/ MiniDSP 2x4 HD Mac Mini/Audirvana (via DC-1) Technics SL-1500C/Nagaoka MP-200 Oppo UDP-203 Panasonic DP-UB9000 TiVo Mini 4K (Bolt Host) ATV 4K Nvidia Shield Pro (2019) LG OLED65CX
A more $$$ one is available, but this will get you 95% of the goodness at 1/2 the cost.
Magnepan MG1.6qr HSU Research VTF-2 MK3 2x Parasound A23 Parasound P5 Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus Sony PS3 x4 @3foot runs of 10ga Belden speaker wire. GRADO SR80e on-ear headphones iMac as music server (2009) Panamax 5510 w/) ISO transformer LG 65" B6 OLED display