In this months blog we take a closer look at Arcam's new rPhono switchable phono stage. We'll cover what it does, how to set it up and tell you which Hi-Fi system we tested it with.
Arcam have recently launched the rPhono. A potent switchable small case phono stage generously priced at £399. The rPhono is a compact and solidly built little unit satisfyingly heavy and well damped with a rubber base for extra isolation. A simple and subtle design that should blend well with most systems.
Being switchable means you can either use a moving magnet or moving coil cartridge. Both inputs are adjustable allowing you maximize the performance of your favourite cartridge. As the rPhono supports both MM and MC you could (if you so desired) run two turntables, one of each, remembering of course to select the correct input when swapping from one to the other. The adjustment key in the bottom right of the picture resides in a little slot in the back of the unit making any setting adjustment a doddle.
On the back of the Phono stage are the switches to adjust the capacitance, load and gain to match the suggested specifications of the cartridge. Of course there is the input switch to choose between MM and MC on the far right and to its left is a rumble switch. What we found was when it was on it the sound was a little cleaner but not necessarily as musical. This may differ in different systems and racks. The settings are clearly mapped out on the back panel so no need to endlessly search through manuals to make sure you have got it right. On the whole we found it easy to set up, but of course we are happy to do this for you.
We ran the rPhono with a Rega RP8 and Exact cartridge and then a Rega Apheta 2 MC . Connecting the rPhono to the Rega Elicit stereo amplifier where a pair of Chord Company Epic phono leads and Chord Company Rumour speaker cable running to a pair of Spendor A5R's. The track used was Brose and Butter from Songs of Robert burns by Eddie Reader. It's a well recorded album with a lively quality and on a good system sounds open and fun. Although the system was quite highly specified compared to the price of the rPhono, we wanted to put it through its paces and on that level it did not disappoint.
If you would like to arrange your personal demonstration or home loan, including leads, please get in touch Nick, Joe or James at Audio T Portsmouth Tel: 02392 66360
Arcam Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Southampton,