ProJect Tube Box S2 Black Phono Preamplifier

Type Tube
THD 0.02% (check details on amazon)
Outboard power supply 18 V / 1.000 mA DC
Power consumption 470 mA DC
Tubes 2 x ECC83
Subsonic Filter Below 20 Hz
Line-level output RCA(one pair),phono sockets
Weight 410 g without power supply
RIAA-equalisation Curvee Nonconformity

First is Tube max S2 box review and the compatibility of this phono preamplifier is with the maximum variety of turntables. This phono preamplifier comes with the supporting technology for both coil and moving magnet cartridges.

The amplifier comes in pre-assembled, and easy to set up this amplifier, and you have to set it properly and plugin it.

Suppose we take a look at casing quality which feels very solid and metal designed surprisingly heavy. The black Tube max S2 box has two pairs of common type replaceable ecc83 tubes installed already on it, and you can easily swap them out when you want.

On the bottom, you can see switches which we use for changing the input preamps capacitance, and these switches used for the typical setting impedance of that phono cartridge that you are using with your turntable. You can also check to set it using the instruction book.

On the front, you will see some six preamps gain controls steps with led light signals, and next to it, there you can see a small subsonic filter button which will use for rolling of frequencies when you turn it on.

By using this subsided subsonic filter, you can roll-off the frequencies below 20 Hz for cutting any low rumble, which may pick-up by your turntable, and it also has a front Gain control button.

The pre-installed tubes on the max S2 box are tremendous and actual amplification, and this preamplifier has no OpAmps (operational amplifiers) option in circuit design.

Overall the Tube max S2 box is best for MM cartridges and MC cartridges. It is the best phono preamp for under 500 dollars.

  • Can be used with MM or MC cartridges.
  • Low TDH
  • Multiple gain levels.
  • Easy to hookup.
  • Circuit design without OpAmps.
  • Subsonic filter button.
  • Dual mono circuitry.
  • Gold-plated RCA.
  • Brings 3D "holographic" quality.
  • The Price.
  • Signal seems ultra precise.
  • Emits low humming sound.

Puffin Phono DSP Phono Preamp

Firmware V1.21
Gain Settings -4dB (CDs) to 72dB (MCs)
Tube (2H)
Tape (3H)
Connectors Traditional RCA-type
Digital inputs DAC
Volume Controller Yes
Bass Controller Yes

The next one is the Puffin Phono DSP review, and this beautiful Phono preamp device comes with only analog outputs and has a wide range of gain settings.

On the top center, you will find the ground wire hook, and on the left and right of the hook, there are two inputs and two outputs. The main benefit of this Puffin Phono DSP is that it comes with the volume control option.

The Volume control option In Parks Audio will help you stop the sound while changing your records. This amplifier features a tilt control option, which will help you adjust the sound warmer and brighter and help you get higher sound with deep details and lower for a warm sound.

People love to listen to the bass, and the Puffin Phono DSP Phono pre-amplifier comes with the base controller, which helps you in controlling the graph of bass because, in certain types of music, you want the bass to turn down, so the control button will help you and there is no need to buy any equalizer for adjustment.

The DSP Phono preamp also has a high-frequency filter that will help you with noise and old LPs sound which you don’t like to listen to and on the other hand, the filter of low frequency will help you in getting rid of rumble motor noises and other noises which you don’t want to hear.

The mono mod will help you in sums the channel from the left and right, and on the other hand, the amplifier also has a stereo mod. Overall the Puffin Phono DSP is the best phono preamp under $500.

  • Lots of gain settings.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Easy to hookup.
  • Compatible with MC / MM cartridges.
  • Twenty gain settings.
  • Tilt tone controls.
  • Bass and volume controller.
  • Large.
  • Emits low humming noise.

ProJect Audio Phono Preamp

Cartridge MM, MC
Gain range MM: 40 dB, MC: 60 dB
TDH MM 0.01%, MC 0.05%
Impedance ultra-low impedance
RCA sockets Yes- gold-plated
Size Small size
Power Supply 18 Volts
Manufacturer Pro-Ject

The next product is Pro-Ject Audio Phono Box, and this compact amplifier will give you straightforward sound. The phono box came in a black and brushed metal look, which seems very durable and a bit heavy.

On the backside of the phono box, you will see some input ports and a line-out port. The Pro-Ject Audio Phono amplifier comes with the selector, which will help you in selecting the moving coil and magnet, which depends upon which cartridge you are using with your turntable.

Its small size looks pretty good, and you can install it close to the record player without any trouble. This Pro-Ject Audio amplifier's power consumption is only eighteen volts, and you need 18 volts power supply to run this amplifier.

You will power port on the backside of this Phono Box where other ports are installed. The company gives you the original power supply inside the package, and you don’t have to purchase a new one.

Like other amplifiers, this one has the same cartridge compatibility, and you can adjust both MM and MC cartridges easily. So it comes in the budget range and is the Best Phono Preamp Under $100.

  • Affordable and best budge preamp.
  • Excellent sound quality.
  • Works with any cartridge.
  • High performance.
  • Small size.
  • Ultra-low impedance output.
  • comes with power adapter.
  • Great mc settings.
  • came with RCA cables.
  • Great body design.
  • Very user friendly.
  • delivers high fidelity performance.
  • RIAA equalization curve.
  • No LED lights.
  • Bit heavy.

Emotiva Audio XPS One Phono Preamp

RIAA Standard RIAA curve +/- 0.25 dB
Operating voltage 100 VAC and 240 VAC
Supporting Cartridges MM/MC
RCA line-level RCA inputs
Gain range MM: 40 dB, MC: 60 dB
TDH MM <0.0075 % , < 0.02%, 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Connectors Gold Plated Brass Input
Ground Terminal Yes
Output Connectors Yes

Next is the Audio XPS-1 Phono Preamp review, and you can easily buy this in the range of two hundred dollars. The Audio XPS-1 amplifier is compatible with both MM and MC-type cartridges, and you can connect both types of cartridges without any trouble.

The body design of this XPS-1 preamp is very different from other preamps and comes in a long length design. You will find a resistance value changer on the front, and you can only change one resistance value per channel.

For output connection, there are two left and right output ports in the bottom end of this XPS-1; when you give power supply to this phono amplifier, the durable power led light will provide you a turn-on signal.

For changing the cartridge option like MM to MC, the button is broadly installed on the top front of this XPS-1 phono amplifier.

Overall the amplifier will provide you with brilliant quality audio with low impedance and is the best phono preamp under 500.

  • Easy to hookup.
  • Compatible with MM/MC cartridges.
  • Very Low TDH.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • superb analog sound quality.
  • excellent technical performance.
  • Precise equalization RIAA curve.
  • very low distortion.
  • Led is pretty bright.
  • Like other preamps, this XPS-1 doesn’t entirely work with the MM-type cartridges.

Nobsound Little Bear

Output Voltage 2.0V
Gain = 48dB
Input RIAA ≤ 5Mv THD ≤ 0.5%
Frequency Response Standard characters
Signal to Noise Ratio ≥ 65dB(A)1KHz (input: 10mV; output: 0.7V)
Power supply AC 110V(115V) 60Hz/50Hz
Manufacturer Nobsound
Supporting Tubes 6N2/12AX7 Tubes
Cartridge Type Only MM

If you are looking for a pure tube preamplifier, this Nobsound Little Bear T11 is suitable. It is the improved variant of the little bear T10 and gives you brilliant audio performance and active RIAA equalization.

If we compare Little Bear T11 with the oldest T10 variant, then T11 is offering very low background noise when your volume is average.

In the front body design, you will find both line-in and phonon-in connecting options, and in the front center of this preamps volume controller is installed for equalizing the volume at normal and high stages.

It has a replaceable tube feature, and you can easily change and replace 6N2/12AX7 tubes when you want. It is the best phono preamp under $500.

  • Easy to use,
  • Low background noise.
  • Low TDH.
  • Re-changeable 6H2,6H2n tubes.
  • Active RIAA equalization.
  • Three metal covers & four acrylic covers.
  • Great sound performance.
  • Only for MM cartridges.

Parasound Zphono Phono Preamplifier

RIAA Equalization MM-47 kΩ, MC-47 kΩ or MC-100 Ω
Additional inputs 2
TDH Not specified
A-D converter Yes
USB output Yes - two pairs stereo, line-level input jacks
Rumble filter switch Yes
Mono/stereo Switch Yes

Next is the Parasound Zphono preamplifier, which comes in the list of top phono preamps in market segmentation. The Parasound Zphono will give you high performance better sound quality with-in your budget.

For entry-level vinyl lovers, this Zphono is the best phono preamp under 500. It features two MM-inputs and MC analog inputs.

Both inputs give you balanced XLR and, on the other hand, unbalanced RCA inputs. Like the Puffin Phono preamplifier, it also comes with a mono and stereo switch and even the perfect rumble filter, which will significantly help you in reducing and canceling extras rumble noise.

Both mono, stereo switches will help you in controlling settings for getting an exceptional audio experience.

The main benefit of this preamp is that you can connect easily connect two turntables with it at a time. On the front body design, you find a select switch that will help you make it very easy to switch between MM and MC cartridges.

The Zphono preamplifier also has a load adjusting feature to move coil cartridges for adjusting load impedance up to 11 adjustments with an impedance knob.

The Zphono preamplifier gives you high performance and low noise because it has the best XRM features. The gain option will help you in selecting very suitable gain options for your MM and MC type cartridges up to standard settings(MC: 40 decibels MM:50 decibels). It is the best phono preamp under 500.

  • Accurate frequency response.
  • USB has an A-D converter.
  • High quality digital recordings.
  • Has rumble filter switch.
  • Easy To hookup.
  • Very suitable gain options.
  • Compatible with MM/MC cartridges.
  • Exceptional audio experience.
  • Great body design.
  • RIAA equalization.
  • Best phono preamp under 500.
  • Limited gain range.