This handy addition to the long running and mighty successful 'rSeries' of Arcam products is the rPhono phono pre-amplifier for turntables.
With the resurgence in popularity of vinyl comes the plain fact that many modern day amplifiers and AV receivers either simply don't have the correct electronics to connect a turntable (a phono input) or, what they do have is a woeful sounding cheap circuit that really does your vinyl listening no favours at all.Phono pre-amplifier stages actually have an incredibly difficult job to do, but when they do they make your analogue records sound great. Did you know that a phono pre-amp has to amplify the tiny signal put out of the turntable's cartridge by a huge factor (this signal can be around 1/1000th the level of a digital or line level source). This means that the phono pre amp circuit must increase gain / amplify the tiny analogue turntable signal by a factor of up to 1000x without adding hiss, noise, hum or distortion. A phono input also needs to apply a tightly defined equalisation curve (called RIAA) to ensure that your vinyl records sound accurate, warm and natural when they are played. The Arcam team of designers know this, and having been in the business for 40 years they know a thing or two about analogue audio.
The Arcam rPhono offers a huge variety of adjustments for both MM type and MC type cartridges. There are various dip-switch selections for gain, resistance and capacitance on the rear of the rPlay. Having these adjustments is quite a forward thinking and high end feature which helps ensure compatibility with a huge range of cartridges if you choose to upgrade your turntable or cartridge later on. The other benefit of the rPhono is the ability to fine tune settings to optimise performance for nearly all turntables and amplifier in the market. The rPhono benefits from Arcam’s more than 40 years of analog audio expertise, and incorporates the finest parts and high-end audio circuitry in a layout optimized for low noise and distortion. Further, individually regulated power supplies ensure rPhono maintains an audiophile quality output stage that sounds big, neutral, detailed smooth and dynamic.
So how good is the rPhono? It is better than nearly any 'built in' phono stage (built into the turntable or the average amplifier) and indeed, What Hi-Fi have rated it an unequivocal 5 stars for sound, value and features.
Quote from What Hi-Fi Review :
"This is a hugely accomplished box. It’s relatively quiet – hiss levels are low – and capable of matching any price compatible cartridge. It sounds great too, with a combination of insight and entertainment few rivals can compete with. Highly recommended."
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Arcam rPhono Product Details Click Here
What Hi-Fi Review