Newby system build advice

HI I am looking forward to benefitting from the accumulated experience and wisdom of this community.Please excuse what for some will be tediously mundane and ill-educated questions.Thank you for generosity and time given.
TT Systemdek iiX RB250 arm AT VM95E cartridge. Phono stage:Rega Fono 5 OR stageline (i-supply not flatcap…£££ :frowning: ??? thoughts pls) Naim Nait5i, Audiolab 8200CD Monitor Audio Gold GS10.

Not got a lot to spend re-wire arm,new felt matt and new cartridge down the line.

Thank you
“Divine sound is the cause of all manifestation. The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe.”

Welcome on board :slight_smile:

I run a Systemdek IIXE, Tabriz, HDC03a cable, Chorus Blue/Goldring 1042 stylus, into a Graham Slee Accession, into a XS3, through Neat Motive SX3s. Naim interconnects and speaker cable throughout.

At that level the TT almost, almost competes with a Mk 1 Hugo DAC that I use for streaming.

I came to this point from a NAIT3 with phono boards. I’ve also extensively tried the inbuilt XS3 stage and a Stageline N on the journey.

By far the largest improvement to my vinyl replay came by adding the GS phono stage.

The 1042 stylus (Gyger profile) on the Chorus Blue was also a big step up. Bump up to a VM5XX cartridge and you have lots of options stylus wise.

I loved my old NAIT, the XS3 was a good improvement, but a 5i I had on loan whilst the NAIT3 was away for a service was also very very good. I’d stick with that amp for the moment.

I am now looking at TT upgrades, but it’s taking a £3k budget to meaningfully improve on the Systemdek at the spec I have.

I actually think you have a nicely balanced system right now. I suspect you would see a nice uplift by looking at cartridge/phono stage upgrades, IMO, and after going this route myself, I’d look at ones above Stageline level. The Stageline is also a bit awkward without a powered Aux socket on your amp, requiring as you note a separate PS. They will serve you through any future deck/amp upgrades. Cartridge/stage compatibility is important here though, and difficult to demo, so a configurable phono stage can help - Vertere, Graham Slee and others have configurable stages that might be worth a listen.

I’ve concentrated on vinyl replay, but really the single most dramatic upgrade I made was my Mk 1 Hugo. For £500 second hand that thing is utterly amazing. For £900 second hand a Qutest would rock too, as would a Naim DAC. Having just looked up the 8200 player though, it seems very well received, so perhaps adding a DAC might not improve it drastically. My Hugo definitely sounds better than my Naim CD5, though I still enjoy listening to both.

I’m not familiar with your speakers, so assuming they are good for the time being. Others might pick up if they’re a weak point :slight_smile:

What source do you listen to most? And before I blow £1k of your cash on a new phono stage, what is your budget?

I am unclear from your post if the system you list is what you have - or what you are aiming for…?

Can you explain a bit more…? Otherwise its near impossible to help you… :thinking:

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my question is about the phono stage :
Graham Slee Comm 2 + origin live PSU
Naim Stageline with i-supply
Rega Fono Mk5

are the options I am considering the rest of equipment listed is what I have ….

my budget is around £300.


that is what I am thinking too r.e. phono stage/ cartridge but for the moment I am ‘stuck’ with the AT-VMNV95E and need a stage to listen to my records. The CD player & amp & speakers I have been using for years and am very happy with. The systemdek is a new purchase so I am trying to re-adjust the system for that.

Ah, ok, makes sense. IIUC the AT is a well respected cartridge, no reason to feel you’re stuck with it :slight_smile:

I think you’ll struggle to find a Stageline and PS for 300, I would look at the GS, Rega, Project options, ideally with an audition, but having said that I bought my GS without doing so X)

It’s a nice system you’re building, and at a level where sensible purchases can make a really big difference, good luck and have fun :slight_smile:

aren’t all the configurable stages above my budget ? my original budget was the princely sum of £500 which I can stretch to 600 for both TT and phono stage… I spent £2500 to get the ampCDspeakers in 2010 so as you can see I am a small fry in the high fidelity gourmandising ocean…. I was hoping to find a phono stage that would enable me to have a certain flexibility when the time comes to upgrade the cartridge (£250max budget ) at a later date

Stageline + i-supply = £330
Graham Slee Comm 2 + Origin Live PSU1= £330
Rega Fono mk5 = £200 no PSU

how long is a piece of string ? :crazy_face:that said which would you choose ?


Based on my experience between Graham Slee and Rega , I would say Graham Slee .

I would ignore any second Stagline with a third party power source . i had a Rega Fono and it was quickly moved on.

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I think so, yes. I hesitate to recommend checking the specs of each for maximum compatibility with the AT cartridge, but maybe that’s the best option if you cannot get a demo. There’s info around on the forum about that, ensuring the capacitance of the stage is cartridge compatible, opinions vary somewhat on the importance of it.

I see you’re using the tried and tested method of setting a budget, and immediately blowing it by 10% :wink:

Do you mean a Graham Slee PSU1 for use with the GS stage? Origin Live list a PSU1, but it looks like they’re just reselling the Graham Slee PSU1. Anyway, I’m not sure between those to be honest, you should listen if you can, and if you cannot I’d go off specs, build quality, resale value, company ethos etc.

AT cartridge with Stageline is a well-proven and liked match here.


Stageline works well but would suggest NAPSC at minimum.

ah well I thought it was on the Origin Live website they were selling their PSU and offering it with the GS comm2 :crazy_face:

:joy:budget ? what budget !

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ah ok thanks👍🏼

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"The code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.”
– Barbossa, Pirates of the Caribbean

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Plus, the wacky backy seems to working… :joy:

Does the NAPSC power the Stageline?

No, if your amp can’t power it you need a Flatcap, Hicap or Suoercap.

The OP is correct, a Naim I-Supply can power the Stageline. Page 6 of the Stageline user manual

Later Stagelines with the twin DIN sockets anyway.

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