Entry-level turntable owners often face the cost of purchasing an external phono stage comparable to the price of the turntable itself. Nevertheless, there are inexpensive equalizers on the market that will cost no more than $70, but at the same time provide a noticeable increase in sound quality compared to the motherboards built into budget turntables.
The only moment for European users is that for the above models from overseas, you will need to additionally buy a 12 or 5 volt 220 V power supply.
- Pyle PP444
- Rolls VP29
- Nobsound T1
- Douk Audio T3 PRO
- Nobsound T3
- Moukey MPAMP1
- TEC TC-753LC
- Behringer Microphono PP400
As they say, cheaper – just for nothing! Nevertheless, due to a separate housing and an external power supply, this phono stage has a lower noise level compared to modules built into cheap turntables. The model works only with MM heads, the sensitivity is 3 mV, the input impedance is 50 kOhm. The output voltage is 2 V, in addition to a pair of RCA, there is also a jack for a 6.35 mm jack.
Price – $18
Surprisingly, for such a small price, a phono stage for moving magnet heads, designed and manufactured in the USA, is offered. The gain is 42 dB, the input impedance is standard 47 kOhm, and the input capacitance is 120 picofarads. Sensitivity – 5 mV for an output voltage of 635 mV, signal-to-noise ratio – 83 dB. Inputs and outputs are made on RCA connectors, there is also an output on a 3.5 mm jack.
Price – $49
A universal corrector, rare for this price category, designed for operation with MM and MC heads. The device is powered by an external 5V USB adapter, so you can use a regular phone charger. Sandblasted aluminum body and laser-printed lettering. The maximum output voltage is 12 V, the resistance is 47 kOhm for the MM input and 100 Ohm for the MC input. This miniature corrector weighs only 75 grams.
Price – $29.99
If you pay more, you can even get a tube MM phono stage with a switchable sensitivity of 39-42-45 dB within the announced budget! The model is built on two double triodes 6A2, which can be replaced by 6K4, 6J1, 6J4, GE5654, 6AK5 from different manufacturers. Of course, the lamps here work only as a buffer; the correction is performed by operational amplifiers. Input and output are made on RCA connectors, there is also a 3.5 mm jack on the front panel for connecting portable devices. The chassis is made of aluminum alloy, the signal-to-noise ratio reaches 98 dB, the output voltage is 600 mV. The device weighs 310 grams without the power supply.
Price – $59
This corrector features a smooth volume control and is designed for use with moving magnet (MM) heads. According to the manufacturer, the model uses better and less noise components, gold-plated RCA connectors and a terminal for the ground cable made of a single piece of copper. The output voltage is 600 mV with an input sensitivity of 3 mV, the device weighs 290 grams.
Price – $42.99
Despite being extremely cheap, this model is an extremely flexible tool for integrating a turntable into a system. The phono stage works exclusively with MM cartridges, but it is equipped with smooth controls for input sensitivity and output level. Any 5V adapter with a microUSB connector can be used for power.
Price – $19.99
The austere looking equalizer features a frequency response graph on the top cover, a smooth volume control, and a switch between line and head inputs. The second input sensitivity is 3.3 mV, the resistance is standard 47 kOhm, and the capacitance is 200 picofarads. Power will require a standard 12V adapter, RCA cables and a 3.5mm mini-jack adapter are included. The device weighs 900 grams.
Price – $55
A miniature and time-tested proofreader from a well-known studio brand, offered for a ridiculous price. It works from a 12-volt adapter, a set of inputs and outputs is implemented on RCA, there is also an additional output for a 6.35 mm jack. Designed for use with moving magnet cartridges, available in black and silver.
Price – $19