Nothing can compare to a vinyl setup with a great turntable amplifier with phono stage. Boosting the sound and expertise of your records, an integrated amplifier with phono stage allows and easy connection for your turntable that gets you spinning faster instead of setting things up.
These 10 integrated amplifiers with phono stage are included in this article to consider for your vinyl collection, judged on these 5 key areas of interest:
- Features Beyond Turntable Compatibility
- Output Control
- Ease of Use
Below, please use the interactive table below to directly compare some of the best amplifiers on the market.
|VPI Cliffwood||$$||Works with MM Cartridges|
|Rega IO||$$$||30 watts per channel at 8Ω|
|Project Phono Box S2||$||Works with MC and MM Cartridges|
|Rega Brio||$$$||50 watts per channel at 8Ω|
|Project Tube Box S2||$$||Audiophile Phono Preamp with Tube Tech|
|NAD 3020 V2||$$||Hybrid Digital/Analog Amplifier|
|NAD PP4||$$||Works with MM and MC cartridges|
|Turntable Lab PHO-1||$||Phono Preamp and Headphone Amp|
|Clearaudio Smart Phono V2||$$$||Resonance-free aluminum chassis|
|Project Phono Box DS2||$||Works with MM and MC cartridges|
NAD has a distinct reputation for creating some of the best performing budget amplifiers of all time. The lineage is impressive, all the way from the 3020 of 1978 to the current C 328, with many “Best Amp” awards and five-star reviews along the way.
NAD’s C 316BEE integrated amplifier lived up to expectations, garnering multiple accolades including an EISA award for ‘Best Product 2008-2009’ and top recommendations from the world’s leading audio publications.
With the resurgence of vinyl, NAD decided to update the design by including the company’s highly acclaimed RIAA phono stage. This sophisticated circuit combines low noise with high overload margins to eliminate noise and distortion. RIAA equalization is extremely accurate (a rarity at this price) and there is even an infrasonic filter to reject airborne vibrations that can cause parasitic feedback.
The sonic result of this high technology is a relaxed and inviting sound that digs out the subtle details in your favorite recordings and presents them across a panoramic stereo sound stage. The impressive dynamic power reserves make the C 316BEE sound both articulate and alive.
The silent background and low distortion gives a sense of solidity and presence to your music and brings out the best your loudspeakers have to offer.
The QSC GSX GX5 Power Amplifier is designed to provide power, portability and professional sound quality at an affordable price. The GX5 features 500 watts of power at 8 Ohms (both channels driven) in a design that’s easy to install and delivers flexible features. The rear panel features balanced XLR and 1/4″ phone inputs, as well as unbalanced RCA phono inputs for complete compatibility with professional and consumer audio gear.
The outputs feature speaker binding posts and speakON connections. Gain controls provide precise level settings. QSC’s GuardRail protection delivers full peak power while preventing detrimental overloads due to excessive clipping or overheating. In addition, a built-in 180 Hz crossover splits low and mid frequency signal between the left and right channel. This is ideal for driving subwoofers.
The GX5 is a feature packed, lightweight amplifier that’s suitable for every vinyl setup, and offers a lot of ways to use this amazing piece of technology.
Behind every pair of great speakers, there’s a great amplifier. But great doesn’t have to mean expensive. The Yamaha A-S301 is a budget-friendly mate for your stereo speakers. This streamlined stereo amp offers solid power alongside sound that’s clean and crisp.
Anti-resonance construction, a symmetrical circuit layout, and Pure Direct listening mode keep unwanted distortion and interference from cluttering signals. Your music will sound cleaner, so more of those fine details shine through.
The A-S301 has six pairs of analog RCA inputs, including a phono input for connecting a turntable. But music sources aren’t the only possibilities: optical and coaxial digital audio inputs let you bring video devices into the fold.
Connect a TV or Blu-ray player to these inputs, and enjoy movie sound through your stereo speakers with this amp. It’s a cost-effective way to build an excellent two-channel rig in your TV room that offers dynamic sound with a wide stereo image.
Power your loudspeakers with the Denon PMA-800NE integrated amplifier. Engineered with remarkable Denon amplifier technology, the PMA-800NE delivers 85 Watts of power-per-channel into 4 Ohms. This integrated amplifier offers compatibility with the widest range of speaker types and impedances for operational stability.
Most important to vinyl lovers is the phono stage. The PMA-800NE includes a phono equalizer that supports input from both MM and MC cartridges.
This phono equalizer has high gain, and unlike loops in other circuit board patterns which cause adverse effects on sound quality, the simple, straightforward design of the PMA-800NE phono equalizer significantly improves sound.
The Denon amplifier also includes optical and coaxial digital inputs, an analog mode, and a Stop Mode that automatically ceases all operations of the micro-processor when it’s not needed for playback, allowing the audio signal to be protected from external noise and enhances sound quality.
Enjoy high-resolution stereo sound with your music source, speakers, and the Onkyo A-9110 2-Channel 100W Home Theater Integrated Amplifier. It delivers up to 50W per channel at 4 Ohms and has a phono input and four stereo RCA inputs. The A-9110 features a front-panel 1/4″ headphone jack for private listening.
To further enhance sound quality at low volumes, the Phase Matching Bass Boost function is designed to eliminate phase-shift between low- and mid-range frequency bands above 300 Hz.
This helps enhance bass response without compromising vocal clarity, which is particularly useful when playing music at low volume where bass and high-frequency sounds are more difficult to hear. Every hi-fi component generates electromechanical resonance, which translates into signal noise and affects the sound coming from your speakers.
To combat the effects of vibration, the A-9110 features a rigid metal chassis that’s 1/16″ thick. Working together with insulators, unwanted resonance is virtually eliminated. If you’re looking for the real deal and an amplifier that adds to your fidelity, the Onkyo A-9110 is a great option.
Pioneer Elite A-20
Enjoy high-quality, stereo sound with the Pioneer PM5005 Elite A-20 2-Channel Integrated Amplifier. This integrated amplifier is equipped with a direct energy designed power amplifier that produces up to 30W per channel at 8 ohms and 50W per channel at 4 ohms. Front-mounted bass, treble, and balance controls give you the ability to fine-tune audio playback.
With five stereo RCA inputs, the Pioneer Elite A-20 allows you to connect a wide variety of analog audio sources like an SACD player and AM/FM tuner. A dedicated phono input is also on-board for vinyl playback.
In addition to the aforementioned front-panel controls, a remote control is also included. Simple and straightforward, the Pioneer brand is a favorite for turntables, and produces this great amplifier to go along with any setup.
Monoprice Pure Tube
The tube amplifier has seen a resurgence in recent years due to the warm, pleasing sound that only a tube amplifier can offer. The Monoprice Pure Tube Amplifier utilizes four EL84 tubes for the power output stage and three 6N3 tubes for the preamplifier stage to deliver that rich, full-bodied tube sound.
This is no hybrid, with a solid state power amplifier stage here! This is a full-blown, all tube amplifier. The black panels, lighted VU meter, and the warm glow of the exposed tubes present a retro look, which enhances any home or office environment with that hint of old school styling.
The matte brushed aluminum face, lighted VU meter, and the warm glow of the exposed tubes combine to give this amp a sexy appearance that is at once both classic and futuristic. It is the perfect addition to any office, bedroom, or other small to medium sized rooms where you love to listen to vinyl records, and stays stylish while doing a great job of amplifying your sound.
The PM6006 is an upgraded successor of the multi-award-winning PM6005. We’ve retained the pre-amp and power-amp sections that exclusively feature discrete components – not a single IC in sight of the signal path.
The PM6006 is upgraded for peak current at the amplifier stage, which makes it possible to refine the sound for you in much more detail. You can connect this superb integrated amplifier directly to a vast range of digital sources and use its superior 24bit/192kHz high current CS4398 DAC to create an unbelievably high level of audio enjoyment with new media.
The unit now includes 2 optical and 1 coaxial digital inputs (an additional optical input from the predecessor, PM6005), and the complete digital section is fully shielded by an extra metal housing to ensure that the digital stage has no effect on the analog signal. All of the original features—such as five-line audio input including phono, two-pairs of gold-plated speaker connections with the convenience of bi-wiring, and a remote handset—are all still there.
The lower impedance shielded Toroidal transformer, as well as customized components and unique Marantz HDAM modules care for powerful, dynamic and detailed original Marantz sound. In short, the new PM6006 is a new star with excellent genes.
With a fully discrete current feedback design, the Marantz PM8006 integrated amplifier is perfect for audiophiles who require both excellent music quality and flexible operation. The newly designed Integrated Current Feedback Amplifier touts some serious power of 2x 70W, as well as a newly designed electric volume circuit to ensure smooth sound and low harmonic distortion.
The double shielded Toroidal Transformer and high quality customized components allow you to enjoy a $6000 amplifier and its sound output for a fraction of the price. The design is also attractive for any setup you may be showing off, featuring a triple layer bottom plate and gold plated inputs/outputs. Included as well are the brand’s proprietary HDAM-SA3 circuits and SPKT-1+ Speaker Terminals which are A/B switchable.
Whether you are listening to your classical records or something heavy, the musical phono EQ stage makes sure what you are hearing is exactly what was meant to be heard. Between combining highly regarded Marantz parts with a great integrated amplifier, the PM8006 should be a top contender for your turntable setup.
Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10
The AM10 is a high-performance amplifier with fantastic value. It features a front facing 3.5mm jack input, an integrated phono stage for turntable connection, and it has 35 watts of power per channel. With a sleek, easy to use interface and clean design, the Topaz AM10 is a great addition to any vinyl setup.
The AM10 features 5 RCA audio inputs, including a phono input for connecting your turntable. Cambridge Audio has also included a toroidal transformer, normally found in much more expensive amps, which delivers great bass response and richer music across the spectrum. A headphone amp is also included, which compliments this great overall system.
Best Amplifiers Without a Phono Stage
Let’s begin with the Cambridge CXA60.
This is one of my favorite affordable integrated amplifiers on the market today. Coming in at less than $800, the CXA60 has a sleek design and is chock full of great features.
This amp features 60W RMS into 8 Ohms, as well as 90W RMS into 4 Ohms. And, if you’re someone that’s ever used the Schiit Modi Uber 2 like I have as your everyday DAC, this CX A60 features the Wolfson WM8740 DAC, which I feel is just as good if not better.
Of course, playing vinyl records is just as enjoyable. I find that vinyl being played through this amp comes across as neutral to warmer in tone. I think that’s about where you should want your vinyl to be in general, because vinyl often sounds naturally warm anyway.
The Dayton Audio HTA20BT hybrid tube amplifier utilizes dual 6F1 vacuum tubes along with an efficient class d amplifier topology to provide an unparalleled audio experience. The subtle character and warmth introduced by the tubes create a delightful homage to the classic valve amplifiers of the past.
With a power rating of 12 watts per channel at 4 ohms, and an astonishing THD of <0.1% make the HTA20BT a great solution for near field applications. Bluetooth 4.2 ensures the best possible audio quality and functionality with any wireless device.
Dual rear mounted RCA inputs allow for more long-term connection of larger audio devices, while the USB input on the front will read most common audio formats including MP3, WMA, WAV, and APE. Easy access onboard controls allow for track selection at your fingertips.
A dedicated switching headphone output allows the HTA20BT to double as a high quality headphone amplifier, while the high quality binding posts ensure a solid connection via either banana plugs or up to 14 AWG speaker wire. It looks great, it sounds great, and ought to be a top contender for your turntable setup.
Today’s networked audio players, music streaming services, and remote control apps for smartphones and tablets have radically changed the way we experience music at home. You still need good clean power to drive your speakers, but you probably don’t need a traditional receiver with a lot of buttons to push.
Maybe all you really need is a smartly automated amp like the Russound P75. That simplified layout benefits us as vinyl fans because things could not be easier to operate, as well as switch to when looking to play from other sources.
Connect one music component as your primary source, and it will activate the amplifier when it sends out an audio signal. The amplifier returns to standby mode when the audio signal ceases. Your secondary audio source takes over automatically when there’s no signal coming from the primary source.
There’s no need to manually switch inputs. Any time you fire up the Connect, your P75 turns itself on and feeds the music to your speakers. Because the P75 has two sets of speaker outputs, you could be listening in the den, the kitchen or wherever you chose to install your speakers.
When nothing is playing, the Russound amplifier automatically switches to Standby mode, without a single push of a button. Don’t bother with anything other than your turntable when you’re done listening, and with an automatic return table, you could simply stay seated or lying down and have everything turn itself off if you add the Russound P75 to your setup.
If you’re new to the HiFi scene or looking for an upgrade, these are some of the 10 best integrated amplifiers with phono stage for vinyl. With a variety of price points and features, anything you may want in an integrated amplifier can be found here, so make a pick, and happy spinning!
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