Phono 2 feedback

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Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #100 on: 28 Feb 2018, 10:56 pm »

Audiovista, the Phono 3 will replace Phono 2 or it will be a better sounding phono preamp?


David Ellis

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Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #101 on: 1 Nov 2021, 02:10 pm »
This comment follows the initial review posted in superlative fashion a few years ago.  I couldn't find a better place to comment so... its here.


The Vista Phono 2 works excellent in my system with a Technics 1200 table, cork mat, and ortofon blue cartridge.   Amplification is mostly tube (VTA Push Pull el34, or Single Ended Pentode 6L6, or Soraya CB105) driving my 1801b/c or a larger 3 way home-brewed creation.   Wires and Cables are UPOCC, or silver with cotton/teflon insulation.   Plugs are Eichmann, KLE or Nutrik .

A very early phono attempt was a Marantz 2270, but this receiver was wrought with problems having fading transistors and such.

My first real phono preamp try was a Cabridge retail unit for about $200.  Nope - gritty and noisy.

My second real phono preamp attempt was a refreshed Scott 355 tuner.  This was better but somewhat bloated and muddy.  I suppose the sonic character followed the traditional stereotypes attributed to older tube gear.

My third real phono preamp attempt was the Vista Phono 2.  It was Audio Nirvana - everything the initial post attributes to this preamp.  The sound quality is clean and smooth and wonderfully dynamic.   

I fully realize the Vista 2 is a solid state preamp in a small and very humble black box.     It would seem to fall into the cheap-from-china genre.  It doesn't.   There is a high degree of refinement in the design and parts selection in this unit.  Boris did excellent work and used very high quality parts.   

Hopefully my comments are helpful to anyone seeking a very high quality phono preamp.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #102 on: 18 May 2024, 05:45 pm »
I recently purchased a used Vista Audio Phono 2 preamp.  It is replacing my Bellari VP-129 that uses a very special 12AX7 tube from the 1950's that took the Bellari to higher heights with a much better sound quality.  Without this tube the Bellari is mediocre sounding at best.  With the 1950's Raytheon tube with the shiny black plates, the phono preamp sounds way higher end. I would not have used the Bellari had I not found some of these special tubes.  Unfortunately, it developed a very loud hum so I bought the Vista preamp to use until I can get the Bellari fixed.

My system consists of a fully refurbished Thorens TD-145 TT with an upgraded plinth.  Cartridge is a Nagaoka MP-200 (a wonderful sound cartridge), Preamp is a BAT VK51se, Amp is a Pass Labs X250 and speakers are the Magnepan 1.6's with dual Martin Logan subs.

After listening to the Vista I am not so sure that I will fix the Bellari.  I am very impressed with the Vista.  It has a huge, tall and wide sound stage with good transparency.    It is very dynamic although not quite as much as the Bellari.  It has faster, tighter bass and its top end is little smoother.  There is good spacing among instruments.  It has good, not great detail.  Overall, it is very musical and smooth sounding.  It leans slightly to the warmer side of neutral but not nearly as colored as the Bellari.

I have had other phono preamps in my system and the Vista is comparable to some of the more expensive ones.  It compares favorably to the Van Alstine phono preamp but there are differences.  The AVA phono has more transparency air and detail but it is not as dynamic.  The Vista had a fuller sound (not necessarily better, just different). 

I also had a Lounge Audio LCR Silver phono preamp which was a great sounding phono pre that I considered buying but it was a little grainy sounding which I tired of quickly.

My only knocks on the Vista is that I wish there was just a little bit more detail and I would like the blue power light to be dimmer.  The detail is good not bad but I wish it has a little more resolution.  It would also be nice if it had XLR outs but hey, you can't always get what you want as the Rolling Stones song says.

Overall, I get a smile on my face when listening to the Vista Audio Phono 2. :D