While the days of having to spend a fortune to get your record player sounding the best it can are on the way out. There are still some awesome high-end phono preamps out there. That is what we are looking at today as we look at the best phono preamp under $5000. Now as this is such a high price point, we are actually looking at phono preamps that are in the $1,500 to $5000! Of course, these are not for the average vinyl enthusiast, but for you audiophiles. These are certainly the best phono preamps that you want to be considering for your setup. Do also check out our Tube Preamps under $1000 if something below a $1000 can meet your needs.
Does More Expensive Preamps Always Mean Better Sound?
Hmm, a few years ago I would have never thought that a phono preamp that cost a hundred or two hundred bucks would have been any good. However, some great strides have been made and you can get some great sound with the help of a more modestly priced phono preamp. However, let’s be honest here! The more expensive ones do tend to be made with better parts and have a longer lasting life so that is why people are willing to spend that extra money on one.
The 5 Best Phono Preamps Under $5000 Reviews
Here are my thoughts on some of the best phono preamps that are under $5000. I have also looked around to see what other people are saying about these preamps to help give you a more balanced look at each one.
- Denon PMA-1600NE Stereo Integrated Amplifier
- Yamaha CX-A5200 AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Preamplifier
- SPL Phonos ProFi MM/MC Adjustable Phono Preamp
- Peachtree Audio nova150 Integrated Amplifier
- SPL Director balanced Preamp
1. Denon PMA-1600NE Stereo Integrated Amplifier
- Has a very 80’s high-fi kind of style
- Very easy to use
- Plenty of ways to tinker with the sound
- The asking price is way under 5000 bucks
- Some might not like the style
- It is kind of wasted if you only connect one device to it.
First up we have this super stylish Denon PMA-1600NE Stereo Integrated Amplifier. I have actually used this before and found it to be a fantastic way of getting a truly awesome sound out of my turntables. It is currently priced at under 2 grand so that is way under our $5000 price limit. This has a fantastic design; it really does look like something that would have been part of an 80s high-fi. One thing that I really like from a design point of view is the feet, it may sound like a silly thing to think is cool, but they do really make this stand out.
All of the dials you could possibly need are located right on the front of this. One of the things that makes this a contender for the best phono preamp under $5000 is the way it is so easy to use. You have that nice and large volume button right in the middle. But this also has dials for treble, bass and a handy input selector. On the back of the device are a very nice selection of ports for you to connect all your devices too. While I only really used this for my turntable, you can easily hook up a games console, Blu-Ray player, cable box and so on.
As far as the sound goes, I am very, very impressed with this thing! It gives your music a really nice sense of clarity. The bass is great as is the treble and this is without even tinkering with those dials. I decided to listen to some 80s rock through this to really put it through its paces and it was great. Then my wife wanted in on it and we then degraded this by using some CDs of her choosing (which I am too embarrassed to list) and they also sounded great, well as great as her pop collection can.
What Other People Are Saying
I had an Inspector Gadget style snoop around the internet to see what the general thoughts on the Denon PMA-1600NE Stereo Integrated Amplifier were. For the most part, people are really impressed with this. “Have had this for a week now. It is awesome. Plenty of power for my Klipsch speakers” and “This amp packs more punch and much smoother” are two highlights from two different customer reviews on Amazon where this currently has a five star rating!
The Denon PMA-1600NE Stereo Integrated Amplifier is a fantastic piece of kit. I can honestly say that no matter what your needs are, be it movies, TV or in my case, music. You are going to be very happy with the way your sound is coming through this. It is being sold for a truly remarkable price; plus, the fact it looks really cool as well is the cherry on top.
2. Yamaha CX-A5200 AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Preamplifier
- It is massive!
- It has more inputs than you will know what to do with
- I like how the front hides all of the buttons
- Sound quality is amazing with the help of this
- It is using up half our budget
- The size might be an issue for some
Next up we have the epic Yamaha CX-A5200 AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Preamplifier. This thing is a monster! It is one of the largest devices of this type I have ever seen. In our list of the best phono preamp under $5000. I would have to say that this one is the most visually eye catching due to its much larger frame. I think it looks awesome! Of course, I can easily see the flip side of the argument where some people think it is far too large. It is currently priced at just a little under $2500, but that is half of our $5000 budget so it is still leaving more money on your pocket.
As far as inputs go, the Yamaha CX-A5200 AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Preamplifier really could not let you connect more things to it if it tried! It has a ton on the back, including 7 HDMI ports! There are multiple phono ports and really this is just perfect for a home theatre or game room. I like the LCD display that lets you know what device is active at any one time. The front has an input and volume dial, but there is a hidden panel that allows you to tinker with the sound and settings in many different ways.
There is not enough time in the day for me to play with this thing properly. The sound is truly amazing and I am not just talking about music. I actually hooked this up to the Xbox One S and played a 4K movie and I was blown away, it sounded just as good as what you would hear in a theatre. As far as music goes, I was very happy with what I was hearing.
What Other People Are Saying
I found a really cool video unboxing on YouTube for this bad boy! The guy does a great job in showcasing just how amazing and large this device is. Also, if you look at the customer reviews on Amazon, you will see that they are all positive. I found only good things written about this!
The Yamaha CX-A5200 AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Preamplifier is one of the most amazing preamplifiers I have had the pleasure to play around with. While it sounded great with my music. If I ever do get my lazy butt around to building that home theatre, this is certainly what I would use for all my devices. It looks cool, has more features than I know what to do with and the asking price is half of our budget!
3. SPL Phonos ProFi MM/MC Adjustable Phono Preamp
- It looks super cool and elegant
- Very easy to use
- It is more compact than you would think
- The sound you get from vinyl is truly amazing
- The asking price is not bad at all
- It is not ideal for multiple devices
- Some might not like the smaller form factor
If I had to pick the best phono preamp under $5000 with the most style then without a doubt it would be the SPL Phonos ProFi MM/MC Adjustable Phono Preamp. The version I checked out and we are looking at here is the stylish red version (other colors are available) it is very elegant and cool looking. It is actually far more compact than the images suggest and I think people will be surprised at how curvy the edges and the feet on this thing are. It may not sound like much, but it really did make me stop and just look at it when it was sitting next to my turntable. Currently, you can find this for around 1800 bucks which I feel is a steal for a product like this.
Now you are not going to be getting the same level of inputs with this preamp that you are with the ones up above we just looked at. However, that is by design. You see the SPL Phonos ProFi MM/MC Adjustable Phono Preamp is a product that is designed with actual studio engineers in mind! So, when this is connected to your turntable (no matter if it is MM or MC) you are getting a very rich sound. So, while the inputs may not make this something that is great for a home theater. I do feel for those who want a preamp that is purely for music, especially their turntable this is well worth taking a close look at.
Sound quality wise I was really taken back by this. A few years ago, this would have probably cost twice as much. That is how impressive the design of this is which gives you that real and raw sound. The idea behind this is that the music you hear is as close to the artists vision as possible. So very Hendrix guitar solo or Dave Grohl on the drums sounds truly amazing. You can tinker with the sound a tad, but it really is not necessary if you ask me.
What People Are Saying
There is a lot and I mean a lot of good press about this preamp all over the net. I really have not read anything negative about this and I have really searched! However, if you look at some of the actual customer reviews like this one here. You get a sense of how much people love this. “This is one of the finest phono stages I have ever auditioned (I actually bought it:” is what one review says. What is great about this actual review is that it is clearly from a guy who knows his stuff.
The SPL Phonos ProFi MM/MC Adjustable Phono Preamp is something that impressed me from the moment I took it out of the box. While it is lacking in terms of inputs compared to some of the other phono preamps we have looked at. If you want something that is all about getting the best possible out of your vinyl collection. I really do not see how you could be disappointed with this. I hand on heart would have this with my main turntable in my living room in a heartbeat!
4. Peachtree Audio nova150 Integrated Amplifier
- It has a neat 70s style to it
- It is under 2 thousand bucks
- Very easy to setup and get going
- Different inputs that are easily selectable
- Can be used with a home theatre
- That retro style is not for everyone
- It is made for MM cartridges so keep that in mind
Ok, so I did not get the chance to personally test the Peachtree Audio nova150 Integrated Amplifier out. However, as soon as I saw this on Amazon, I knew we had to take a closer look at it. They are asking $1,699 for this and I feel that is a very fair price for this. The design for this really is something that I think is neat. It has this woodgrain finish to the overall body and while I think that is cool, I get it is not for everyone. The front has a chrome/metal look and that gives the whole device a kind of 70s vibe to it.
Setting the Peachtree Audio nova150 Integrated Amplifier up is nice and easy. You have more than enough inputs on the back so that you can connect this to pretty much anything you would want. They have everything labeled and, on the front, you have dedicated buttons for the different devices you plug into the back. One thing I do like about this is how there is a standard headphone jack on the front so you can plug in your headphones and rock out while the wife and kids are in bed.
As far as the sound quality goes, I cannot say from personal experience just how good this is. However, when you look at what is inside this and who it is aimed at. I do feel that it is worthy of a place on our best phono preamp under $5000 list. This is a true analog phono stage so you folks who have a MM cartridge are really going to be impressed with how this brings your vinyl collection to life. I am also pretty sure that you can hook this up to your home theatre as well which I am sure would sound pretty great.
What Other People Are Saying
There are some very positive reviews over on places like Amazon. However, what I really think you need to take a look at is this video review showcase of the Peachtree Audio nova150 Integrated Amplifier. Here you can see just what this thing is made of and why it is well worth considering for your next phono preamp. If you take a few minutes to dig around and find out more about this, you will be impressed at how positive the reception to this is.
I would love to get my hands on the Peachtree Audio nova150 Integrated Amplifier. It is true analog preamp so you have to keep that in mind. However, for the right person, I am certain that this is something they would have a great time with. If you want to get the best out of your sound then you have to make sure that this phono preamp is on your shortlist.
5. SPL Director balanced Preamp
- A very cool design
- Other colors are available
- Both analog and digital
- Plenty of inputs
- Very well made
- Not a ton of customer reviews out there
- Not really for the casual music lover
Here we have the SPL Director balanced Preamp. I put this on our best phono preamp under $5000 list even though I have not tested it. SPL knock it out of the park with their preamp designs. They all seem to have the same kind of body, but each different model has its own style and that is something I like. This particular version is silver and it is a really classy, high tech and high-end kind of look. They are asking around 3 grand for this so it is not exactly cheap.
The inputs that the SPL Director balanced Preamp has are really neat. They are giving you 4 digital and 2 analog inputs on the back and you can easily switch between the two. This gives you plenty of options in regard to what you have connected to it. Like the other SPL phono preamp, we looked at. I have a feeling that this one is going to be mainly appreciated by those of us who love our vinyl. Still, those six inputs are giving you a lot of choice when it comes to connecting devices to this.
The sound quality that this is going to give you I am really confident is going to be great. I say this because SPL are known for making equipment that is similar to what studio engineers use. This means that you are going to be getting the very best out of your music collection. Those who want that I am sure will find the 3 grand asking price more than fair. I do have a feeling that there may be a little work required from you to get the best sound out of this, but that is all part of the fun.
What Other People Are Saying
There is not exactly a ton of reviews for this floating around online. However, if you head over to the official SPL YouTube channel you can see a pretty cool video showcase. Here you can see all of the inputs on the back and get a better idea of how this will perform for you. While there is not a ton of info about this online. I would not worry about that too much as SPL are one of the better companies out there.
I really like the look of the SPL Director balanced Preamp. I would love to actually get the chance to test this thing out. The asking price may seem high, but you have to take into account that it is still way under our $5000 limit. For me, this is the kind of phono preamp that is aimed at those of you who consider yourself a true audiophile.
What Is The Best Phono Preamp Under $5000?
This is a really hard choice as all three of the ones I looked at are fantastic. If you really just want something that is for your music collection. Then I would have to say the SPL Phonos ProFi MM/MC Adjustable Phono Preamp needs to be near the top of your list when it comes to your new phono preamp.
However, I love how both the Denon PMA-1600NE Stereo Integrated Amplifier and the Yamaha CX-A5200 AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Preamplifier will serve you as an all in one for all of your entertainment needs! I think I would give the edge to the Yamaha CX-A5200 AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Preamplifier, but only just! Truth be told all three of those ones I just mentioned could lay claim to being the best phono preamp under $5000.