Best Integrated Amplifiers With Phono Stage

Best Integrated Amplifiers With Phono Stage – Vinyl Listening Bliss

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Best Integrated Amplifiers With Phono Stage
2022

These days, there are a plethora of practical methods to listen to music: small Bluetooth speakers and earphones make it simple to stream music from a phone or tablet. You can even listen to music while watching TV through the soundbar you’re using.

I’m not disparaging those convenient solutions, but if you’re like me and value sound quality above all else, an integrated amplifier should be the focus of your primary sound system. When you retire into a comfortable chair for a couple of hours of serious listening, this is the one you turn to. If you want to connect all of your audio sources to a dedicated two-channel amplifier with only one component, an integrated amplifier is the way to go.

Take it up a level and we reach modern audiophile bliss, the phono stage.

What Is An Amplifier?

The signal from a turntable comes from an extremely delicate and small piece of equipment called a stylus, which follows the outlines inside the groove walls of a record. As the stylus travels, a magnet attached to the other end of the cartridge moves as well, causing current to flow through two coils of wire inside the cartridge, resulting in electrical impulses that are supplied to the amplifier. The signals from these sources are extremely weak, substantially weaker than those from other sources.

Some Of The Best To Choose From

We’ll go through all of these amps’ features and help you narrow down your options until you discover the right one for your setup.

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Editor’s Pick

NAD C328 Integrated Amplifier w/ Phono Preamp (and Bluetooth)

Phono and Bluetooth offers extra value

4/5
Price Range: $$
NAD C328 Integrated Amplifier with Phono Stage

About

NAD provides the solution if you want terrific sound in a tiny area. This unit is an ideal integrated amplifier for your lounge, bedroom, or workplace.

It gives out a very balanced sound and is very compact—the massive doughnut-shaped transformer aids in producing the incredibly clean and powerful sound of this amp.

NAD created this amp with the same philosophy as their higher-end components: a no-frills methodology that relies on performance rather than bells and whistles.

The transformer and the other components are selected to deliver powerful, lifelike audio. It makes the amp sound far more powerful than its 40-watts-per-channel output.

This integrated amplifier has five audio inputs, including one for a turntable, as well as a front-panel minijack for connecting a portable music player. The provided remote allows you to easily manage the amplifier and the other NAD audio devices in your network.

Specifications

  • Power Output: >18A peak output power (in 1 ms)
  • Frequency Response: +/-0.3dB 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sampling Frequency: 192kHz/24bit
  • Size: 17 1/8″ x 2 13/16″ x 11 1/4″ / 435 x 70 x 285mm
  • Weight: 10.9 lbs / 4.9 kgs

What’s in the Box?

  • Power Cord
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries

What we like (Pros)

  • High-Quality Materials
  • Integrated Bluetooth
  • Great Sound

What we like less (Cons)

  • Pricey for some
Overall Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Brand: NAD

Contender

Rega Brio Integrated Amplifier with Phono Stage

Curious design that focuses on tight, impactful audio

4/5
Price Range: $$$
Rega Brio Integrated Amplifier with Phono Stage

About

If it’s the heritage you’re looking for; the Rega Brio has enough of it. The original Brio If debuted in 1991, while Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP was on the charts.
And it proudly wears its legacy on its collar, with a makeover that pays homage to previous iterations. It is already in its seventh edition, and we have had to wait seven years for this edition to arrive.
Fortunately, it was worthwhile. It elevates audio quality to a whole new level for the price. This makes the Rega Brio the type of amplifier we want to leave on all the time and listen to our entire music collection through.
Certainly, your main inputs are restricted to standard RCA connectors and a sliding magnet phono phase. But, given the amp’s incredible sense of musicality, we’re prepared to ignore this.
It sounds extremely smooth, with plenty of accuracy and scale. Practically any instrument you play on it will sound awesome.

Specifications

  • Power: 50w (8 Ohms)
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Phono Stage: Moving Magnet
  • Digital Input: No
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Headphone Input: Yes

What’s in the Box?

  • Remote Control
  • Batteries (x 2)
  • Main Amp

What we like (Pros)

  • Audiophile level integrated amplifier
  • Dedicated phono channel
  • Five total inputs
  • Great build quality – housed in a two-piece extruded aluminium casing

What we like less (Cons)

  • No digital inputs
  • No bluetooth (although, not really expected)
Overall Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Brand: rega

Also Consider

DENON PMA-800NE Integrated Amplifier w/Phono Stage

Denon’s sound stage is a personal favourite

4/5
Price Range: $$
Denon PMA-800NE Stereo Integrated Amplifier with Phono Stage

About

My vintage Sony 7.1 is scarcely worth noting, and its sound has never really wowed me. I had always figured it was just low-quality speakers preventing it from reemerging. So I was initially overjoyed when I discovered a set of JVCs at a yard sale.

They sounded dreadful. To cut a long story short, I found myself utilising my sub to offset the speakers poor bottom end output. Here comes the Denon PMA-800NE. I made no changes, connected this to my system, and those JBLs immediately sprang to life.

Immediately, there were warm, robust lows, mids, and crisp high notes in my less-than-ideal listening environment.

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Even without a sub, I was converted on the spot. If I had one issue with this machine, it would be that it lacks a middle setting. I had to roll off some lows to get some of the mids out. i simply remedied this with an EQ, and it was not an issue at all.

Editors note: I have a personal appreciation for the Denon sound signature with my curreny home theatre amp being the Denon AVR-x4500h.

Specifications

  • Size: 12.31 x 17.12 x 4.8 inches
  • Weight: 16.54 lbs
  • Power: 85w x 2 channels (4 Ohms) and 50w into 9 ohms
  • PCM Signals: up to 192 kHz/24 bit

What’s in the Box?

  • Remote Control
  • Batteries (x 2 AAA)
  • Amp
  • Manuals

What we like (Pros)

  • Because of the many inputs and outputs, this is perfect for a wide variety of uses.
  • Tone Bypassing
  • Digital Bypassing
  • Telescopic phono preamplifier

What we like less (Cons)

  • Lacks punch on the mids
Overall Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Brand: Denon

Contender

Marantz PM6007 Integrated amp with Phono stage

Not alot of other connectivity but MM phono stage is the focus

5/5
Price Range: $
Marantz PM6007 integrated amp phono

About

But first, let’s get the bad news out of the way. There is no USB connection or Wireless connectivity, which several users may want. Still, other than that, the PM6007 is nearly flawless.
The PM6007 is a sturdily built, finely polished integrated amp with a conventional hi-fi appeal signature Marantz style.
A redesigned DAC and filters, which can be swapped when utilising the amp’s digital inputs, are among the enhancements, as are upgrade kits in the power amp and phono sections. The electronics in the latter is likewise updated.
And the effects are self-evident. The sound is clean, filled, and well-balanced, with a pleasant sense of openness.

Specifications

  • Frequency Reponse: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Digital input\options:: Coaxial
  • USB Support: No
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Headphone Input: Yes

What’s in the Box?

  • Batteries
  • Amp Unit
  • User Manuals

What we like (Pros)

  • Great addition of a quality DAC (AK4490)
  • A performer who is clear and punchy
  • Wide range of connections (just not Bluetooth / USB)
  • Strong and sturdy build
  • Just reading others review will help convince you

What we like less (Cons)

  • No USB
  • No Bluetooth (might not be a negative for most)

Comparable products to consider

Marantz PM7000N Integrated Stereo
Marantz PM7000N Integrated Stereo

Alternate Marantz model which includes digital input options if you want them. Includes Phono input, HEOS support and Amazon Alexa support

Overall Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Brand: Marantz

More of the best phono integrated amplifier options

In addition to the above powerhouses, we wanted to extend this post to include other integrated amplifiers that may or may not have a phono stage built in.

For these I’ve included a couple of options where you can pair your amp with an external MM phono stage.

Rotel A10 Integrated Stereo Amplifier

The Rotel A10 integrated amplifier may be on the lower end of our pricing range, but it delivers good performance and is a fantastic “pound for pound” integrated amplifier. The Rotel A10 has a purposefully minimal and efficient design. Rotel has removed extra features that would raise the price and instead focused on producing high-quality sound.

In terms of connectivity, the A10 is entirely analogue, but it still has lots of options. With a 3.5mm mini-jack analogue input, 2x auxiliary inputs, a CD input, a tuner input, and an MM (moving magnet) phono input for your turntable, the A10 covers your analogue sources. It also has A + B speaker switching, allowing for the use of a second set of speakers!

Rotel A10 Amplifier
Rotel A10 Amplifier

Pros

  • Excellent price for those on a budget
  • Analogue inputs only
  • A particularly impressive MM phono stage – a great integrated amp for vinyl lovers
  • Simple design and easy to operate – classic Rotel design

Cons

  • Old Design 

Marantz PM5005 Amplifier

Marantz PM5005 Amplifier
Marantz PM5005 Amplifier

Marantz’s PM5005 2-Channel Integrated Amplifier is built to provide high-quality stereo sound. This integrated amplifier’s discrete power amplifier design generates up to 40W per channel at 8 ohms and 55W per channel at 4 ohms. The ability to fine-tune audio playing is provided by front-mounted bass, treble, and balance controls.

The PM5005 features six stereo RCA inputs for connecting a wide range of analog audio sources such as CD players, tuners, recorders, and network audio players. In addition, a direct phono input for turntable hookups is also included.

Cambridge CXA-81 Amplifier + Alva Solo phono preamp

Cambridge Audio CXA81 + Alva Solo
Cambridge Audio CXA81 + Alva Solo

This isn’t the first time this amp has made our lists. Its younger sibling the CXA-61 is also pretty impressive. The CXA81 doesn’t actually have a built-in Phono stage but we love the amp so much we wanted to offer the idea of the CXA81 + Alva Solo.

The Cambridge Audio Alva Solo is a moving magnet phono preamplifier which makes it the perfect partner for non-phono equipped amps.

The Cambridge CXA81 has plenty of power — 80 watts per channel — as well as the clarity you need when listening to music. A power supply that uses an audiophile-grade toroidal transformer for plenty of consistent, low-noise current generates those watts. It also contains analog and digital inputs and balanced XLR connections for connecting your favorite sources.

Sound from connected digital sources is clean and accurate thanks to the amp’s built-in high-performance ESS Sabre SE9016K2M DAC. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, which makes things more convenient for us. 

Pros

  • Sleek Design 
  • Strong And Powerful Sound
  • Simple Controls
  • Alva Solo is a simple and impressive partner to the CXA81

Cons

  • Technically doesn’t have phono but add on the Alva Solo and you’re rocking

Rotel A11 Tribute Integrated Stereo Amplifier

Rotel A11 Tribute Integrated Stereo Amplifier
Rotel A11 Tribute Integrated Stereo Amplifier

The Rotel A11 Tribute integrated amplifier is a remarkable piece, not only because of its vastly upgraded components, build quality, and performance, but also because of its one-of-a-kind story and historical significance!

The Rotel A11 Tribute was created in partnership with the late and great Ken Ishiwata, renowned for his contributions to the Hi-Fi industry throughout a 40-year career!

Ken Ishiwata’s design concepts paved the road for several award-winning and category-defining products, and he was responsible for enormous breakthroughs across the industry. Ken’s tremendous legacy comes to a close with the Rotel A11 Tribute integrated amplifier (and Rotel CD11 Tribute CD Player).

Apart from a modest ‘Tribute’ label on the faceplate, there are no design changes to the original A11 integrated amplifier. The A11 homage maintains Rotel’s signature minimalist, clean, and elegant design.

Pros

  • Stereo amplifier with 50 watts per channel in class AB (8 Ohms)
  • Moving Magnet Phono Stage, 4 RCA analog inputs, Bluetooth receiver are just a few of the features (apt-X and ACC streaming)
  • Without any price increase, many updates and additions to an existing award-winning product!

Cons

  • Simple Design
  • Unclear Instructions

rega Aethos + rega Fono MM Phono Amp (MK5)

rega Aethos + rega Fono MM Phono Amp (MK5)
rega Aethos + rega Fono MM Phono Amp (MK5)

The rega Aethos produces a class-leading sound with a fantastic combination of insight, dynamics, and rhythmic precision. However, it isn’t the most well-equipped stereo amplifier we’ve seen. There are no digital inputs or a phono stage for a turntable, which is unusual for a device of this price range. However, there are five line-level inputs and a 6.3mm headphone jack.

For this pairing we’ve combined the Aethos, a truly 5 star amp with the rega Fono MM Mark 5 edition for your dedicated moving magnet state add-on. These two combined are award-winning vinyl audio bliss.

The Rega will reward you with a compelling sound that emphasizes clarity and dynamic fluidity. Its sense of timing is unrivalled at that level, which is one of the reasons it’s a winner in the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2020.

Pros

  • Impressive agility and punch
  • Rhythmic and dynamic
  • Solid build

Cons

  • Runs warm
  • Some minor ergonomic issues

The Takeaway

As you can see, there are a variety of excellent solutions available to meet your needs, regardless of where you are in your HiFi adventure. We hope we’ve provided you with some great counsel and direction when it comes to selecting the integrated amplifier that’s perfect for your needs, whether your decision is influenced by budget, power, features, or aesthetics.

Technically, two of these amps required the external phono stage but still, great pairings for an ultimate vinyl result.

Happy Grooving (get it? 🙂

Any questions feel free to fire them in the comments below.

This post was last updated on 2022-01-24 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.

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