PhonoStage Preference

Hi to all,At present I have a Stageline which I believe is okay but have always thought it lacked depth in musicality.Would the forum members think that a change to another phono amp would be an upgrade.The phono stage I was thinking about was a Rega Aria Mk 3.This perhaps would be a more harmonious match as my present deck is a RP 3.Preamp is a 252,power amp is a 250DR both mated to a supercap DR.Has any one compared the two.At present I do not wish to invest in a Superline considering vinyl is my least listened to format.

What cartridge? The Stageline is not a great match with Rega carts. It does much better with Audio Technica or Dyna 10X5.

The Aria is great. Another idea is to use the money for the Aria and your Rega to trade for P6 with 10X5 or AT cart.

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Stageline E, S, or K, and with what cartridge? The MC Stagelines are pretty good for the price, especially when powered by a 252. Do you have a Naim dealer close by to compare?

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This is a stunning phono stage. And perfectly matched to Rega carts. I cannot comment on comparison with the Stageline but using the Aria with an RP6 with Ania Pro MC I do nothing but smile at the result. Also 250 DR but using Atom as pre.

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Rega Aria here too. Works well with my RP10. Occasional fantasies of a Nagra phono stage aside it works great and has thus far fit very nicely with my move to 500 amplification.

Gotta tell me about that bike

Another happy Rega Aria owner here. Perfect with my Technics 1200 and Hana moving coil cart. You won’t be disappointed.Highly recommended

Started life as a Monster 1200, modified by Calum at DeBolex. deBolex on Instagram: "dB25 No7 Finished in Ferrari’s Rosso Dino this colour is bold and it has the specification to match. The Matt finished carbon fibre seat pan is upholstered in Infanta Blue Alcantara and leads to the matching blue stripe. Wheels are BST 10 spoke carbon fibre, finished in matt. Suspension front and rear is from Maxton with titanium anodised fork tubes and shock body. Brakes are Magura HC3 master cylinders, Brembo discs and callipers. We have few extra Cerakote coatings on this dB25 including the rear swing arm, brake callipers and engine covers that are finished off with Pro-Bolt titanium fixings. We love how this spec and colours have come together. Photography by @simonjessop_photo #debolex #db25 #ducati #limitededition #ferrari #custom #bespoke #carbonfibre #bold #orange #red #caferacer"

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Match the Stageline carefully with your cartridge for best results. I’m another who doesn’t find it a good match with Rega cartridges.

I use mine happily with a Linn Sondek and an Audio Technica cartridge.

Which is all a rather long-winded way of saying that I’m broadly endorsing the views of @nicnaim and @sktn77a expressed earlier.

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One more vote for the Rega Aria. When I needed a phono stage for my new TT, choices were pretty limited due to COVID supply issues (almost non existant) but I am very pleased with it

i allways wanted to hear the Pathos In The Groove phono preamp…

Gone through 4 phono-stages

  1. One MM stage in a Cambridge P35 amp, rebuild with matched long-tail pair resistors, Vishay ceramic resistors, selected capacitors and a set of Denon step up transformers to work with Goldring MC2000 and AT OC9 cartridges. Had just finished my Degree in Electronics!
  2. A DIY design with discrete JFET transistor frontend, used with the same cartridges, however went back to the Cambridge and transformers, as it was quieter.
  3. Musical Surrounding Phonomena with Battery PS. All discrete designed by Michael Yee, used with Sumiko Blackbird and Lyra Helikon. Had this unit for 15 years. Went through a couple of rechargeable battery packs.
  4. Current usage is a Bakoon EQA-11 Reference, a current amplifying design, also battery fed. Advantage here is no loading settings, nor gain adjustment just plug and play, plus deadly quiet. Used with a Lyra Skala cartridge. Turns out to be quite a rare device. Especially the Reference model with selected components in the RIAA circuitry.
    Current over voltage amplification also being used by CH Audio in some of their reference models, as owned by Mr Fremer.

Have also listened to The Groove and a number of its derivatives.
You may be able to find a MasterGroove second hand, now that would be good.

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An £1100 phono stage with a £600 turntable makes no sense to me. I would be looking at spending that sort of money on an RP6 or better. Then either choose a cartridge that matches the stageline, or a Rega cartridge with a (Rega) phono stage that will match it well.

I have a Rega P8 running a Shure V15 Mk4 but am very unsure about moving coil cartridges and how delicate they are plus needing a new Rega phono stage to match with an Aria Pro MC has put me off them, hence my love of the old Shure V15 of my youth.

Is it the new Rega Planar 3 that you have with a MM cart? I’d suggest adding the Neo power supply first and go for the Rega Exact cart, then look at the phono stage - possibly a Rega Fono that would match the Neo PS.

I recently upgraded my 80’s Rega Planar 3 with the new 24V motor and Neo PS and it’s a complete transformation. I run the Exact cart on it. I was also using the Rega Fono, but have just moved to a Heed Quasar, mainly as I already had a large Heed PS to power it.

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Entirely agree with Chris regarding the price variation between the phono stage and my existing RP3.I,m of the opinion the Aria would safely take me to a RP8 and possible a RP10,as I believe this phono stage would out perform the stageline at this price point.The stageline always seemed to fall short in certain areas,so obviously an upgrade on the phono stage would had been the obvious choice surely?.I could be wrong,but this is what the forum is all about for all types of people to voice an opinion.

From the reviews I’ve read, the Aria is much better than the Fono for MC, but not MM, so the cart you are using might be a consideration here.

I went from a Stageline (S) to an Aria with a mix of Rega and Linn MC’s, the Aria is better in every respect. I’d suggest like others though that spending similar money would get you a P6 and a Phono (MM or MC depending on Cart choice) which is an excellent platform.

if you think you will go through a few turntables over time then the Aria is an excellent do it all stage that works well with a broad range of carts and would be a decent long-term investment and not be a bottleneck for some considerable part of an upgrade journey. I’d only consider changing mine if Ithere were some drop-in cards for my 82 that matched sound quality wise to reduce the box count.

I always thought the Stageline was poor VFM to be honest. Naim has never made good VFM stand alone stages IMHO, even the Superline is ridiculously expensive for what it is if you factor in a proper power supply.


In a non-Naim system, perhaps (where you need to buy an additional external power supply). But powered by a Naim preamp, I’d have to disagree. Again, I’m talking their MC Stagelines only as I have no experience with the Stageline-N (and would be concerned by it rather high input capacitance).

We still don’t know the cartridge.
I find the Stageline N a fine performer when powered from my 552 and fed by a London Decca Maroon. I’ve not tried it with anything else however and my Decca is mono wired. I’ll take this over my supercapped superline and Transfiguration Proteus with the mono button down for most mono discs in my collection.

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