Award-winning PHONO-1 Mk2 "L", Re-defines phono stages at its Price.
We are insanely picky with everything on this site, and especially with analog. This phono stage by Vertere smoked everything at its price. Clear without being annoying or mechanical, transparent without being bright. Musical and lovely. A vinyl lover could listen to it for hours. Plus a 10 year warranty, makes this phono a no-brainer for $1599.00. -- True Audiophile quick review
If you live in the Portland Area, We have one for Demo. You can borrow and listen in your home in your system. Just inquire.
This is the New Vertere PHONO-1 MKII L which features improved performance, a new gold-plated L-shaped Printed Circuit Board and significantly enhanced accessibility for the customisated DIP switches.
What HiFi? 2023 Award Winner.
Vertere already had a great phono stage on its hands, but this updated version manages to deliver significant performance gains, thanks to some careful housekeeping and honing of the circuit board and power supply. The tidy little box remains the same; an orange power LED is the only addition to the design.
The new Phono-1 MkII L is a brilliant performer, with a useful selection of features and adjustments that should help you get the most from any cartridge. Its detailed, musical delivery makes it a joy to listen to.
We love the scale of performance and the way the Vertere delivers the seismic dynamic shifts of the recording with so much enthusiasm. As with the previous generation (also an Award-winner), our main takeaway after hearing this phono stage is that it makes listening to music interesting and, where appropriate, fun. There’s not much we can ask of any piece of hi-fi beyond that.
If you’ve got an earlier version of the Phono-1 don’t worry about swapping it out for this new one. For new buyers, don’t hesitate to go for this version as it's a clear step up and worth the price hike (now £1350 / $1895 / AU$2700). Given a source and system of appropriate talent, it remains one of the finest phono stages we’ve heard at the price.
What HiFi? 2022 Award Winner.
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Surprisingly, there aren’t any upgraded components or significant changes to the circuit design. What Vertere has done is more akin to housekeeping, where the physical position of numerous circuit components has been revised to reduce unwanted interactions, and the signal path refined to reduce distortions. The unit’s linear power supply has also been moved to the main circuit board, allowing improvements in the placement of the connecting tracks and ground plane optimisation. In addition, the signal tracks are now of equal length and care is taken to lower impedances and optimise track widths to improve current flow.
Externally, little has changed from the 2021 award-winner, the Phono-1 MkII, bar the use of an orange power LED to indicate that the unit is working. The lack of external change isn’t necessarily a bad thing given the quality of the original design. This has alway been a nicely made but basic looking box.
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2021 winner. One of the finest phono stages we’ve heard at the price Tested at $1599.00
There’s no doubt that the Phono-1 MkII is a terrific performer for the money. Supply it with a suitably capable deck and you’ll get a sound that will have you listening well into the night. It’s insightful and reveals far more than most alternatives, but the Vertere’s real strength is that it never trades musical enjoyment for analysis. That’s a surprisingly rare trait in premium hi-fi.
- Sound 5
- Features 5
- Build 4
Read full review here.
What Hi-Fi? Vertere Phono-1 MkII L review Vertere’s award-winning phono stage gets even better
Tonally, things are balanced with no part of the frequency range gaining undue emphasis, and the top-end is impressively crisp without obviously lacking refinement. You can add a pleasingly precise soundstage to the list of plus points and the ability to remain composed when the music becomes demanding, as it does when we listen to Orff’s Carmina Burana.
We love the scale of this piece of music and the way the Vertere delivers the seismic dynamic shifts of the recording with so much enthusiasm. As with the previous version, our takeaway after hearing this product is that it makes listening to music interesting and, where appropriate, fun. There’s not much we can ask of any piece of hi-fi beyond that. Full Review here.
I’ve listened to many solid-state phono preamps in the under $3,000 or so price level. For me, they usually fall into one of two camps: a nice sense of detail but with some grainy-ness and glare, OR a soft, sweet, rolled-off style of presentation. The Phono-1 was neither.
With the Phono-1 amplifying either the Vertere Acoustics Mystic or my Charisma Audio Signature One cart, there was always plenty of satisfying detail but no edge, glare, or congestion. Bass drums, bass guitars, bass synths, or anything in that neither region always had a satisfying authority and control. It may not have supplied some intangible special sauce at the frequency extremes that I hear from the VAC phono stage, but hey, the Phono-1 is $1,395. Yes, the VAC phono stage presented a more dramatic sense of depth along with a bit more harmonic meat on the bone. When listening to records through the Phono-1, did I ever feel like I was missing something? Nope. Full Review here.
Stereo Magazine - Almost Impeccable
The test device completed all tasks as carefully as it does light-footedly. Only at the very lowest of frequencies this English box does stumble occasionally, losing some of its otherwise characteristic sovereignty, but it never truly falls or fails. Immediately afterwards, however, this tiny weakness passes from our memories, because the Vertere sets such a tempo, giving an impression as if it was aiming for a new fastest time in going through the record. It cannot be credited highly enough that the Phono-1 does not, while doing so, omit any details, such as the heads of large drums finely swinging inwards and outwards. These tiny details are indispensable for experiencing music naturally. The fact that the room imaging is also correct, having a proper focus and being true to scale can also be credited to the Vertere, even if the dimensions are not represented with the maximum width and depth. The device only starts encountering its limits when going to the area of operas, such as Verdi's "Aida" – under Muti and with a first-class cast including Caballé and Domingo – or large orchestral works from Beethoven to Mahler.
Nevertheless, the Phono-1 does not present boredom here, never drifts towards indifference or triviality thanks to its temperament, but always stays close on the heels of the artists' intention. All this with a tiny tendency towards the "velvety", which is enchanting when producing voices and strings and only makes it all the more likable and suitable for long-term use. Read Full Review here.
Touraj Moghaddam, founder and chief executive of Vertere, today announced that the multi-award-winning PHONO-1 MKII, MM/MC Phono Preamplifier has been improved. The New PHONO-1 MKII L features improved performance, a new gold-plated L-shaped Printed Circuit Board and significantly enhanced accessibility for the customisation DIP switches.
The sound quality improvements are subtle but significant. The PHONO-1 MKII already was better than the original due to the more optimal choice of components. The L takes this further with non-trivial PCB layout improvements. Moving the linear power supply to the main PCB allowed a significant track and ground plane layout optimisation. The new design ensures signal tracks are of equal length, impedances lowered, and track widths adjusted to direct current flow.
The PHONO-1 already included an unusual grounding selection switch with three positions giving a choice of Hard Ground, Ground Lift, or Soft Ground. The new L variant also provides a second ground terminal that is hard-wired to the signal ground. This, in certain installations, may achieve even lower background noise from the record player.
The PHONO-1 MKII L is user-configurable for most Moving Magnet and Moving Coil Cartridges available. The DIP switches on the bottom of the unit facilitate the choice of 15 input impedances and 9 options of capacitance together with 10 choices of gain. For example, it allows a somewhat peaky (with a rising HF response) Moving Coil cartridge to be tamed by adding capacitance rather than by reducing input impedance. Lowering the input impedance tends to 'slug' the sound, reducing musical performance and drama along with lowering the brightness. Adding capacitance while keeping the input impedance higher allows the full performance to shine.
PHONO-1 MKII L gets the best from any high-quality record player, with maximum dynamic range and supreme detail resolution.
New 'L' shaped high-quality gold-plated PCBs for the main phono circuit and the mains power transformer ensure optimised grounding and power distribution. In addition, stainless steel shield ensures that any unwanted interference is kept well away from the audio signal.
The shields, combined with the use of high-quality components and special solder, guarantee consistent optimum performance for the long term.
Stainless Steel ShieldsA 3-way switch provided at the back of PHONO-1 gives the options of 'Hard Ground', 'Ground Lift' or 'Soft Ground' connection of the preamplifier and the chassis to minimise any hum introduced between the PHONO-1 MKII L and the main amplifier.
The PHONO-1 MKII L is available now in a range of high-end finishes, including a new DG-1 design featuring a front panel to match the new Vertere record player. Other finishes available: Silver aluminium, Signature Vertere Orange and Semi-matt Black. The power LED is now orange to easily identify the PHONO-1 MKII L version.
Gold Plated PCB Assemblies
Separate high-quality gold plated PCBs for the main phono circuit and the mains power transformer ensure that any unwanted interference is kept well away from the audio signal. These PCBs, combined with the use of high-quality components and special solder, guarantee consistent optimum performance for the long term.
Double Shielded Main PCB
Vertere’s PHONO-1 MM | MC Preamplifier utilises stainless steel shields to further enhance isolation of the RIAA and preamplifier circuits. All power supply components and circuits are outside of the main cover shield and away from any signal path.
Switchable Input Loading
PHONO-1 MkII has two switch banks, now easily accessible from the underside of the unit, that allow 15 resistance and 9 capacitance settings for left and right channels. Perfect load matching is crucial to maximising performance, for both Moving Coil and Moving Magnet cartridges – and in this respect PHONO-1 leaves nothing to chance.
Switchable Gain Setting
Another switch bank, also easily accessible from the underside of the unit, offers no less than 10 gain settings to provide the best level matching, within the gain range provided. This ensures minimal level change between different sources used in the system.
Chassis Ground And PCB Earth Switch
A 3-way switch provided at the back of PHONO-1 gives the options of ‘Hard Ground’, ‘Ground Lift’ or ‘Soft Ground’ connection of the preamplifier and the chassis, to minimise any hum that may be introduced between the PHONO-1 and the main amplifier.
The PHONO-1 is available in a range of high-end finishes, including a new DG-1 design featuring a front panel to match the new Vertere record player (pictured). Finishes also available: Silver aluminium, Signature Vertere Orange and Semi-matt Black.
|Type||MC/MM Preamplifier Main Phono Circuit on Separate Gold Plated PCB|
|Power Supply||Linear, Int. Switchable Transformer on Separate Gold Plated PCB|
|Gain Settings||40.2dB to 62.8dB In 12 Steps
High Gain version – Add 6.4dB to all settings
|Input Impedance Settings||47k for MM|
|Resistance||78R to 47K for MC – in 14 Steps
100pF & 470pF for MM
|Capacitance||100pF to 1.02uF for MC – In 9 Steps
20Hz – 20kHz
|Frequency Response||+/- 0.2dB
< -78dB – AWD
|THD-N||Front Panel Options|
|Finish||Vertere Orange, Silver, Black
8.3 x 9.2 x 2.17 inches
|Dimensions||W x D x H (Incl. Switches & Feet)|