First thoughts - received my Vista Audio Phono ll today

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As the title states , I received my Vista Audio Phono ll today . :D

I had an el-cheapo 12VAC 500mA transformer for a doorbell lying around and took the correct size power jack from an aftermarket laptop PSU that comes with interchangeable connectors and soldered and heat shrunk the lot together . Cool ready to go ! I also plugged the transformer into a lead from my pc , instead of my line conditioner for a worst case scenario , nothing bad happened !

I'm using :
Rega Planar 2
RB251 with Mitchell Techno-weight , wired with 32 AWG Litz
Empire 1000 ZE/X with Pfansteil aftermarket elliptical tracking at 1 gram , output of 5mV
Vista Audio Phono ll with default 47k loading and default 40dB gain
Electrocompaniet EC 4.6 pre
DIY 250w/c LJM L25D Class D power amp
DIY 65l 2-way sealed cabs w Seas Prestige H1280-06 22TFF tweeter and 2x 7" Focal Woofers from Revel F50 ( recalled drivers that have been repaired with proper pigtails )  :icon_twisted:

My test vinyl is The Stranglers - Best Hits ( 1977-90 ) , I often use this LP to test equipment , and know it well , it also has a varied array of songs which mostly seem to be well produced . All I can say is WOW!! , simply incredibly detailed sound . Solid and powerful bass , clear and distinct mids , articulate highs . Good channel separation and wide , deep soundstage . There's a vocal section in "Golden Brown" where the voices seem to weave themselves through the air towards you ... amazing ! I don't think I've ever noticed that this clearly . Good 3-d soundstage check .   :)

On to some classical , the first LP in a Deutsche Grammophon box set of Viennese chamber music is Hugo Wolf's compositions for string in D minor performed by the LaSalle string quartet . Good distinction between the 4 string instruments ( 2 violins , 1 viola and a cello ) . Neutral and accurate portrayal of recorded instruments . Excellent ! Good check for neutrality , which for me is of utmost importance .

There we go , just a quick first impression , I'll post my findings with different loading ( higher and lower ) for the various vintage MM/MI cartridges I possess later on . For now I want to get used to the phono ll with default settings . Boris was kind enough to ship my phono stage with 0 ohm default loading in order for me to try higher loading than 47k too . Set up this way , my phono ll always needs a load resistor " loaded in the slot , the nice bit is that the resistor I insert is the exact load of the resistor .

Thank you again Boris for this beautiful design , that works so very well !


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Re: First thoughts - received my Vista Audio Phono ll today
« Reply #1 on: 20 Jul 2014, 07:27 pm »
Thank you for taking time to write the nice review!  :D

And welcome to AudioCircle and Vista Audio circle  :thumb:

I am looking forward to hearing more from you as you spend more time with the preamplifier. Just please bee careful with the doorbell transformer, make sure it's safely isolated and protected against an accidental touch. Or, better yet, try to get one of the recommended wall-wart transformers that meet your country's safety codes.

Thank you again!!