I have just given my brand new MM Pro phono preamp, hand made in the UK by Michael Fidler, its first run and I must say, I am COMPLETELY blown away by what reached my ears!
For the first listen, I played one of my benchmark albums for sound quality and musical enjoyment, my original pressing of Midnight Oil, Blue Sky Mining I bought new when it came out and I was stunned!!
The clarity, detail, dynamic range, noise floor, frequency response, channel separation and transient response are just incredible! I'm amazed every time I hear what those little vinyl grooves are actually capable of and I've heard some pretty high end systems in my years.
Sure, there's vinyl noise and the odd click or pop (this record is near mint so the pops are minimal) but that takes absolutely nothing away from my enjoyment. In fact, it is part of the experience. The masters many original vinyl pressings are made from are often FAR better than the overly compressed and brick wall limited masters used for the digital releases and that is one of the reasons I have gotten back into records again. I'll GLADY listen to a record from a dynamic master over a CD from a sub par master. It is night and day.
My complete vinyl setup in these photos consists of the following:
* Audio Technica LP140XP turntable
* Audio Technica VM540ML cartridge and stylus with RigB mod (a serious upgrade that takes this beyond the VM700 series)
* MM Pro phono preamp
* Sound Devices 744t recorder
* Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro headphones
I connected the MM Pro to my Sound Devices 744t recorder via the balanced XLR connectors on both units. Yes, the preamp has both RCA unbalanced and XLR balanced outputs.
The 744t has superb analog to digital converters that are transparent to my ears. I recorded this album onto it at 96kHz/24 bit.
Michael has produced a design here that I would gladly put against anything ten times the price. These are around $1100 with current exchange rates.
The build quality is second to none and there's not a hint of plastic in sight and even the crossfeed knob is solid metal. It is quite weighty for its size too.
I consider this money VERY well spent!
Thank you Michael for putting a HUGE smile on my face!
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