My Eastern Electric Phonostage Review.

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meby

My Eastern Electric Phonostage Review.
« on: 1 Apr 2005, 02:19 am »
I will start out by saying this is my first review I have written on any web-site do I hope it is descriptive enough.

My current system consists of the following:
Kuzma Stabi-S w/ Stogi-S tonearm Cardas wired
Shelter 501 MKII cart.
Audio Mirror T-61 linestage
Ray Saumels Audio Emmeline XR-2 Phono Pre
Purist Audio Design Museaus interconnects
Wireworld Equinox III+ bi-wire speaker cables
Cary Audio CAD 300 SE Signature Monoblocks
Audio Magic Power Cords
Chang Lightspeed 3200 conditioner
Room treatments and some tweaks

Now that there is a system background let me get on to my impression of the Eastern Electric Phonostage.  I was lucky enough to Beta Test this Phono Pre through Bill's kindness.  The Phono pre is available for $1495 at Morningstar Audio.

I was not planning on upgrading my phono pre as I have the Ray Samuels Emmeline XR-2 which is considered by anyone who has heard it to be one of the best phono pre-amps available in its price range.  After installing the Eastern Electric phonostage let's just say I will be upgrading this part of my system soon. 8)

     The differences between the EE and the Ray Samuels is that the Eastern Electric has more flesh and blood and more realistic soundstage and sounds very coherent with no part of the Frequency getting in your face.  I feel that the highs are artificially extended on the Emmeline and become a little strident on a very loud passage in music.  
     The Eastern Electric phonostage never becomes flustered even during complex passages in the music.  It just sounds right!  The soundstage is slightly deeper than the Emmeline and more proportionate.  Sometimes the Emmeline can make the music sound slightly smeared or out of focus thus giving the impression that the performers heads are larger than they should be.
     My wife even made the comment today that my system sounds clearer, sounds just like the audio store now :mrgreen: .  That is a complement as my wife can usually never tell the difference when I make changes to my system.
    Is this the best phonostage I have ever heard? No I would say that is the Manley steelhead, but this is definitely the best I have heard in my price range.
   My hat is off to Alex Yeung for an incredible design at a real world price :!:   Bill you definitely have a winner on your hands, thank you for the privillege of testing it out.
Mike Eby

claud

My Eastern Electric Phonostage Review.
« Reply #1 on: 3 Apr 2005, 02:50 pm »
Mike,
  Yours is the first MC cart application review. Did you have enough gain?
I have tried NOS tubes, Bugle Boys and CV4004 Mullards in my Minimax, but the Groove Tube 12AX7-M is the best in my system so far. Bill has Tung Sol 6X4s. Get one from him. I got my GTs from KCA NOS tubes.
Nice review,
claud

nature boy

My Eastern Electric Phonostage Review.
« Reply #2 on: 3 Apr 2005, 03:29 pm »
Mike,

Thanks for the very nice comparison to the Ray Samuels Emmeline XR-2.  :D.  Seems like a very similiar experience I had replacing my Audible Illusions M3A phono preamp with the Eastern Electric Minimax preamp in my system.

Bill O'Connell mentioned to me about a year ago Alex had a great prototype phono preamp in the works, I am glad it has finally come to fruition and is now available.

Boy, I wonder how the new Eastern Electric integrated amplifier & phono preamp would sound in my system??  Something tells me it would be pretty special.    :wink:

NB

meby

My Eastern Electric Phonostage Review.
« Reply #3 on: 4 Apr 2005, 12:50 am »
Claud,
    I have a .4 mv cartridge so it is not the low of catridge.  I had it on the high MC input and although it has less gain than my Ray Samuels I still do not have to turn it past 12 on the volume to make it louder than I care to listen to.
Mike