Audion Premier Phono Stage

Audion Premier Moving Magnet phono stage is built on a quality substrate pcb (printed circuit board) as with all our amps they are hand built. The chassis is black powder coated aluminum, as is the transformer cover. The top plate and badge are mirror finished stainless steel.

Audion Premier Phono Stage Reviews 

 

“Often, tubes, especially at the lower end of the price scale, conjure thoughts associated with a lack of pace—and warm, gooey sound that has a romantic feel absent any rhythmic drive or snap. The Premier never suffers this problem. A quick spin of Sheep on Drugs’ “Acid Test” from their Greatest Hits possesses the requisite dimensions of altered-reality club music played at discotheque volume levels. Beats hit hard while staying clean and segregated from the piercing synthesizer tracks. Records like this—i.e., those are not audiophile treasures—easily illustrate just how much resolution is available in the grooves. Lesser preamplifiers just let the presentation coagulate, and make the music sound like a big ball of midrange.

A similar small sonic miracle happens with the Shure V15vmxr. While the classic Shure pickup has achieved cult-like status, it’s always left me somewhat cold. I feel that it exhibits too much “just the facts, ma’am” character. Tonally accurate, sure, but rarely involving. Via the Premier, it paints a more three-dimensional picture that has never transpired on anything but state-of-the-art phonostages, all of which are unlikely to be paired with a $300 cartridge.

On the Premier, jazz and vocal tracks are fantastic. In particular, acoustic instruments hang in the air longer than I expect from an MM setup, and the synergy with the LP-12 is nothing less than mind-bogglingly great. More expensive MM cartridges (the Clearaudio and Ortofon) deliver a more transparent, almost modern sound, yet the most enchanting results arrive via the Shure V15 and vintage NOS Ortofon VMS20 Mk.II cartridge. This $100 eBay-procured cartridge, mounted on the AVID Diva II SP/SME 3009 combination, fooled more than one audiophile into thinking they were listening to a much more expensive setup.

While many vinyl enthusiasts equate moving magnet cartridges with entry-level steps, the Audion Premier is a product with which you can happily live and exists as proof that you don’t have to spend five figures to attain lovely analog sound. Mate it with the right cartridge, and you may never get the urge to buy a MC cartridge—it’s that good. But should you be taken with such a desire, Audion makes an MC step-up that needs only to be plugged into the Premier, making the latter fully capable of MC use.” By Jeff Dorgay