Phono Preamplifiers Yucaipa CA

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Modwright swp 9.0


SWP 9.0 phono preamplifier

as reviewed by Robert H. Levi



I worked for a year to get one of these phono stages to review even though

Greg Weaver already examined it in great detail in these pages. This makes the 9th phono stage to come under my thumb in the past three years and I was not disappointed. More flexible than the Cary 302 for just $600 more investment and you'll come shockingly close to the Art Reference Phono at twice the cost! With big dynamics and endless gain, you can power up even a low output cartridge to SACD level dynamics. No kidding. Plus, suave is its middle name. The 9.0 SE is the tube phono stage that ably climbs the quality and value ladder and will satisfy even the most particular vinyl fanatics. 

From the ModWright Website:

  • Tube Complement: (2)6C45's, (2)6N1P's, (2)5687 tubes.

  • Gain: 68dB Max MC gain. Hi/Low gain switch on front panel.

  • Stereo/Mono Switch on front panel.

  • Variable Cartridge loading for MM/MC.

  • Output Impedance: ~600ohm.

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 50Khz +/-1dB

  • Weight: 27 lbs. (32 lbs. shipped).

  • Dimensions: 17.5"W x 12.375"D x 4.75"H.

    Basic Specifications:

    (1) set of phono inputs with cartridge loading for MM/MC and Hi/Low gain settings for use with MM/High Output MC and low output MC cartridges.

    Mute, Power, Stereo/Mono and Hi/Low gain settings via front panel toggle switches.

    Design Information:

    Power Supply: Choke input current regulation, DC heaters, discrete B+ voltage regulation and tube rectified B+ supply.

    MC Gain Stage: Tube-Fet hybrid.

    2nd Gain and gain/buffer mu stages.

    Power Sequence: Mute-on delay turn-on sequence with soft-start B+ supply.

    Cartridge loading user selectable via dip switches accessible through back panel of unit.

    Recently, I have been amazed at what great mono sounds like. The mono facilities on the ModWright are just plain stunning. Reducing distortion while enhancing musicality, the 9.0 is killer. I spent an evening listening to Masterpieces by Ellington, CL825, Columbia Mono from 1950. It is you are there lovely and true ear candy. The 9.0 breathed new jump and jive into this classic LP and reduced the noise level to nearly zero, and this was with a stereo cartridge!

    I also enjoyed Duke Ellington, Bal Masque, CL1282 Mono from about 1958. Bold and brassy, this album was terrific. It sounded almost like stereo with wonderful depth. The mono facilities are well thought out here.

    On to stereo! Zane Musa, Introducing Zane Musa from Straight Ahead Records, #102, a triumph of musicality from the great Bernie Grundman sounds alive. You get cymbal delicacy combined with bass fiddle punch and superb alto sax sound from this young new up and comer talent. It is recorded live and the 9.0 makes the most of it. I don't detect the slight lack of bottom extension Greg ment...

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