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The 6 Best Phono Preamps of 2024: For Every Budget

In the world of vinyl playback, the best phono preamp is a crucial component for any audiophile or music enthusiast.

A phono preamp, also called a phono stage, amplifies the signal from your turntable. It also applies the needed RIAA equalization. This process is vital because the audio signal from a vinyl record is inherently weak and requires amplification to match the line-level inputs of modern amplifiers or receivers.

A good phono preamp will amplify the signal. It will also keep the warmth and richness of the vinyl sound. This will make your listening truly immersive. In summary, the preamp is an indispensable part of your vinyl setup, ensuring that you get the most out of your records.

Our Top Picks

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Best Price$195
Rega Fono MM Mk5
Moon 110LP v2
Cambridge Audio Duo
Rega Fono MM MK III
Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL
Rega Fono Mini

Best Overall: Rega Fono MM Mk5

The preamp for vinyl enthusiasts is here – the Rega Fono MM Mk5. This device is a game-changer in the world of vinyl playback, offering unparalleled sound quality and performance.

Its sleek design and user-friendly features make it a top choice for anyone looking to elevate their vinyl listening experience. Compact yet powerful, the Rega Fono MM Mk5 is the perfect addition to any audiophile’s setup.

The Rega Fono MM MK5 combines a modern aesthetic with classic performance, making it one of the preamps available.


  • Input Sensitivity: 1.7 mV for 200 mV Output
  • Input Loading: 47 kΩ in parallel with 100 pF
  • Maximum Input Level: 60 mV at 1 kHz
  • Gain: 41.4 dB at 1 kHz
  • Output Impedance: 200 Ω
  • Load Impedance: 5 kΩ
  • Frequency Response: 15 Hz to 100 kHz
  • Power Supply: 24 V AC
Pros Exceptional Clarity Dynamic Range Compact Design
Cons No MC Support Limited Adjustability Fixed Output

Who Is It For?

The Rega Fono MM Mk5 is the preamp for vinyl lovers who crave superior sound quality in their home audio setup. It’s ideal for those who have a moving magnet (MM) cartridge and seek a preamp that can bring out the best in their vinyl records.

Whether you’re an audiophile who appreciates the nuances of sound or someone who enjoys the warm, rich tones of vinyl, this preamp is for you. Its straightforward design makes it accessible for beginners, yet its performance will satisfy even the most discerning ears.

If you value musical fidelity and want a preamp that can handle the dynamic range of your favorite albums, the Rega Fono MM Mk5 is an excellent choice. It’s perfect for anyone looking to step up their vinyl experience without the complexity of professional-grade equipment.

Best Compact: Moon 110LP v2

The preamp for those who cherish their vinyl collection is the Moon 110LP v2. Compact yet powerful, this preamp brings out the best in your records.

Whether you’re spinning old classics or new favorites, the Moon 110LP v2 ensures every note is heard in crystal-clear quality. It’s the perfect choice for vinyl enthusiasts who demand the best from their music.

A closer look at the MOON 110LP V2 reveals why it's praised as one of the preamps for discerning audiophiles.


  • Input Impedance: Adjustable (47kΩ, 475Ω, 100Ω, 10Ω)
  • Input Capacitance: Adjustable (0pF, 100pF, 330pF, 430pF)
  • Gain Levels: 4 settings (40dB, 50dB, 54dB, 60dB)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Weight: 1.5kg
  • Dimensions: 5.0 x 1.65 x 6.5 inches
  • Power Consumption: 2W
  • AC Power Requirements: 100-240V, 50/60Hz
Pros Adjustable Impedance Multiple Gain Settings Compact Design
Cons Limited Input Options No Remote Control Higher Price Point

Who Is It For?

The Moon 110LP v2 is the preamp for the discerning audiophile who values precision and versatility in their audio setup. It’s ideal for those who have a keen ear for detail and appreciate the ability to fine-tune their listening experience. It has adjustable impedance and capacitance settings.

This ensures compatibility with many turntables and phono cartridges. Its compact design makes it a great fit for any space, without compromising on sound quality. You may be a seasoned vinyl collector or just starting to explore analog music. The Moon 110LP v2 offers a high-fidelity listening experience. It brings out the best in your vinyl records.

Best For Turntables: Cambridge Audio Duo

The preamp for budget-conscious audiophiles is undoubtedly the Cambridge Audio Duo. This compact yet powerful device is designed to enhance your vinyl listening experience without breaking the bank.

Its sleek design and user-friendly features make it a top choice. It’s for those who value high-quality audio and stylish simplicity.

Front view of the Cambridge Audio Duo, showcasing its sleek design and functionality as a top contender for the preamp.


  • Weight: 0.95 kg (2.1 lbs)
  • Dimensions: 48 x 215 x 159 mm
  • Maximum Power Consumption: 10W
  • Gain @ 1kHz: MM: 39dB | MC: 60dB
  • Nominal Output: 300mV
  • Sensitivity for Nominal Output: MM: 3.35mV | MC: 305uV
  • Equivalent Input Noise (A-Weighted): ~0.09uV (MM)
  • RIAA Curve Accuracy: +/- 0.3dB 30Hz – 20kHz
Pros Built-in Headphone Amp Dual Cartridge Support Compact Design
Cons Limited MC Performance No Remote Control Basic Feature Set

Who Is It For?

The Cambridge Audio Duo is the preamp for vinyl enthusiasts who seek quality sound on a budget. It’s perfect for those new to the vinyl scene or seasoned collectors looking for an affordable upgrade. This preamp is for users with moving magnet (MM) cartridges. It offers exceptional clarity and warmth to their vinyl playback.

Its built-in headphone amplifier is a boon for those who enjoy private listening sessions, immersing themselves in the rich, detailed sound. The Duo’s compact size makes it an ideal choice for space-conscious individuals, fitting seamlessly into any home setup.

You’re an audiophile who values simplicity, affordability, and quality. The Cambridge Audio Duo is tailored for you. It promises an enriched listening experience without the hefty price tag.

Best Premium: Rega Fono MM MK III

The preamp for vinyl enthusiasts, the Rega Fono MM MK III, stands out in the premium audio market. Renowned for its exceptional sound quality, this model is a favorite among audiophiles who seek a superior listening experience.

It is compact and elegantly designed. It promises to boost your vinyl playback to new heights. This makes it a must-have for serious record collectors.

Experience the control of vinyl playback with the Rega Fono MM MK III, a preamp with user-friendly features.


  • Input Sensitivity: 3mV for 200mV output
  • Input Loading: 47KΩ in parallel with 100pF
  • Maximum Input Level: 100mV
  • Output Impedance: Minimum 36.5dB
  • Power Requirements: 24v AC @ 110mA (Rega PS1)
  • Frequency Response: 17Hz (-3dB) to 100kHz (-0.2dB)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 78 dBA ref 5mV
  • Product Weight: 1 pound
Pros Exceptional Sound Quality High Build Quality Wide Frequency Response
Cons Limited Input Options No Remote Control Higher Price Point

Who Is It For?

The Rega Fono MM MK III is the preamp for vinyl lovers who appreciate the finer details in music. It’s perfect for those who have a keen ear for quality and seek to extract every nuance from their vinyl records.

Whether you’re an audiophile with a high-end setup or a music enthusiast looking to upgrade your current system, this preamp offers a significant improvement in sound quality. Its high fidelity reproduction makes it ideal for those who value clarity, depth, and richness in their music.

The Rega Fono MM MK III is not just a purchase. It’s an investment in unmatched audio quality. That makes it a top choice for anyone who wants to hear their vinyl collection in the most real and detailed way.

Best High-End: Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL

The Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL stands out as the preamp for audiophiles seeking unparalleled musicality from their vinyl collection. It’s compact yet powerful. It’s a high-end phono stage.

It’s designed to improve listening. It offers clarity and warmth. These qualities bring your favorite records to life. It’s an ideal choice for those who appreciate the finer details in sound.

Musical Fidelity's MX-VYNL preamp is not only one of the preamps but also boasts a visually appealing design.


  • Frequency Response: RIAA ±0.1dB, IEC ±0.1dB
  • Inputs: Balanced Mini-XLR, RCA 1 pair RCA sockets
  • Output: Balanced XLR male sockets, EIA Standard RS-297-A, RCA 1 pair RCA sockets, 4 Volts RMS single-ended, 8 Volts RMS balanced
  • Power Supply: 12V/500mA DC, universal worldwide supply
  • Dimensions: Width 220 mm, Height 53 mm, Depth 215 mm
  • Weight: 1.9 Kg
  • Construction: High-quality machined front panel
  • Control Dial: Elegant switch between mm and mc cartridges
Pros Exceptional Clarity Versatile Connectivity Elegant Design
Cons Higher Price Point Limited Color Options Complex Setup for Beginners

Who Is It For?

The Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL is the preamp for the discerning audiophile who demands nothing but the best from their audio equipment. It’s perfect for those who have a keen ear for detail and appreciate the subtle nuances in music. It will transform your listening experience.

Whether you’re into vinyl or high-fidelity, it’s for you. Its ability to switch seamlessly between moving magnet mm and moving coil mc cartridges makes it incredibly versatile, catering to a wide range of turntables and preferences.

If you’re looking to invest in a high-end audio component, it will bring out the best in your vinyl records. The Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL is the ideal choice.

Best on a Budget: Rega Fono Mini

Discover the preamp for your turntable: the Rega Fono Mini. Compact and efficient, this preamp is designed to enhance your vinyl listening experience.

Its user-friendly interface and exceptional performance make it a favorite among vinyl enthusiasts. Perfect for those who appreciate the rich sound of vinyl records, the Rega Fono Mini is a standout choice in its category.

The Rega Fono Mini A2D offers a compact solution as one of the preamps with added USB output for easy recording.


  • Input Sensitivity: 5mV for 500mV output
  • Input Loading: 47k +100pF
  • Maximum Input Level: 70mV @ 1kHz
  • Output Impedance: 100 Ohms
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 78dBA ref 5mV
  • Power Requirements: 24VAC 85mA
  • Input for Full Scale Digital Output: 7.5mV
  • Dimensions: W 102mm x D 125mm x H 30mm
Pros Compact Design High Signal Clarity Easy USB Interface
Cons Limited Input Options No MC Cartridge Support Basic Aesthetic

Who Is It For?

The Rega Fono Mini is the preamp for vinyl lovers who seek a blend of simplicity and performance. It’s ideal for those with a moving magnet (MM) cartridge. They want a big sound quality upgrade but without the complexities of more advanced setups.

This preamp is perfect for entry-level audiophiles and everyday music enthusiasts who want to enjoy their vinyl records with enhanced clarity and warmth. Its compact size and straightforward functionality make it a great fit for small spaces and simple systems.

Are you just starting your vinyl journey? Or, are you looking to improve your current setup? The Rega Fono Mini offers a balance of quality and value that is hard to beat.

What is a phono preamp?

A phono preamp, short for phono stage preamplifier, is a must-have for vinyl lovers. It’s a device that amplifies the weak signal from your turntable to a level that your stereo or speakers can work with. Without it, your vinyl’s sound would be almost inaudible and lack clarity.

When shopping for the best phono preamp, you’re essentially looking for something that brings life to your records, enhancing sound quality without altering the original audio. It’s not just about volume; it’s about enriching the listening experience with clear, dynamic sound.

Why do I need a phono stage?

You need a phono stage because it’s key to enjoying your vinyl collection. Turntables produce a very low-level signal, and a standard preamp can’t handle this unique format. The phono stage boosts this signal to a standard line level, allowing your stereo or amplifier to process it.

Without a phono stage, your music would sound faint and distorted. Investing in the preamp ensures your records sound as they should: rich, full, and true to their original quality. It’s a small but crucial component for any vinyl enthusiast.

What I Wish I Knew Before I Got The Phono Preamp?

  • Compatibility Matters: Ensure the preamp you choose matches your turntable and sound system. Not all preamps work with all turntables.
  • Quality Over Price: Don’t skimp on quality. A higher-priced preamp often means better sound fidelity.
  • Understand Your Needs: Know if you need a Moving Magnet (MM) or Moving Coil (MC) preamp. It depends on your turntable’s cartridge type.
  • Set-Up Is Key: Proper setup can significantly affect sound quality. Take your time to set it up correctly.
  • Room Acoustics Play a Role: The listening environment impacts sound. Consider room acoustics for the best listening experience.
  • Upgrades Are Possible: You can upgrade your phono preamp over time. It’s an investment in your audio journey.

Martin Brown is a tech-savvy writer with deep expertise in music technology, studio equipment, instruments, and innovative production tools. His interest in music never disappeared from an early age.