Review: Vincent PHO-8 Preamplifier
Dissecting the sound and build of this mighty preamp, available at Jerry Raskin’s Needle Doctor
A quality preamplifier can make or break the sound of a turntable. German audio company Vincent seemingly knows this, and only offers the best. Their PHO-8 preamplifier is no exception, stunning the listener with full-bodied sound that delivers a pristine vinyl listening experience.
No “wall wart”-style power brick found here. The PHO-8 comes with a power unit as big as the preamplifier unit itself. The two units stack on top of one another, creating a beautiful and symmetrical tower design. The two units stack together securely.
The stunning black color option captivates with attention to detail; its brushed metal glimmers in the light and adds a luxurious, masculine touch. The unit is also available in a gorgeous silver color option.
The front has a switch for MM and MC, allowing you to select the type of cartridge you want to listen with. The back comes with in and out ports for audio, and an IEC connection to connect the two units. A ground is also there to minimize hum. These attributes make the PHO-8 versatile and ready for a variety of setups.
Setting up the PHO-8 was a breeze. The included guide explains the process in a straightforward, easy-to-follow manner. It is as simple as plugging the units into each other, the wall, the amp or powered speakers, and the turntable. This does create a lot of cords in the back sticking out in different directions, but cable ties and strategic shelf placement can hide this.
The Vincent PHO-8 delivers clean sound that sounds free of EQ adjustments. This pure sound signature does everything it can to not distract from the end goal, flawless reproduction of vinyl. The clarity keeps listening fatigue away, and hearing favorite albums with pristine detail becomes addicting.
Sound is full and impressive, thanks in no small part to the hefty power supply. Bass booms a bit more on the PHO-8 than say the Cambridge Audio Solo MM, and sounds nuanced and right. It’s epic and deep.
High and middle notes are crisp and accurate. Each note floats off with excellent decay. The unit itself is extremely quiet, and therefore allows for these nuances to be detected without distraction.
With the PHO-8, Vincent has created a preamplifier with powerful sound and sophisticated construction. The PHO-8 upgrades the sound of mid-range turntables and supports the powerful sound of more advanced turntables. It’s near impossible to find something negative to say about a product this solidly constructed.
When purchased from Jerry Raskin’s Needle Doctor, preamplifiers like the Vincent PHO-8 come with the added benefit of in-house expertise and advice. That’s what Needle Doctor does. Their showroom is filled with example turntable setups, and they carry the world’s largest selection of turntables.
6006 Excelsior Blvd.
St. Louis Park MN 55416
CALL: 1-800-229-0644 (10 AM to 6 PM CST daily)
For reference, the audio equipment used for this review included the Cambridge Audio Azur 651A amplifier, Clearaudio Concept turntable and Dali Zensor 3 speakers.