The SQ Products PH-1t
MC / MM Phono Pre- Amplifier
WITH VARIABLE GAIN
The SQ-PH1t tube phono preamp is MM/MC switchable, has variable gain, can be used to drive mono or stereo power amps directly and is adjustable to work with any cartridge.
CONTROL FUNCTIONS: Power On/Off , Switch MM / MC
HARMONIC DISTORTION: 0.01% ( for 2V RMS at output )
INPUT IMPEDANCE: 47k ohms( MM ) , 5 ohm~ 400 ohm( MC )
INPUT GAIN:VARIABLE GAIN CONTROL -- 40dB (MM ) / 66 dB
INPUT INTERFACES: 2 group (RCA) 1-MM , 1 MC
OUTPUT INTERFACES: 1 group (RCA)
GROUNDING INTERFACES: 2
VACUUM TUBE: 12AX7 x 2 , 12AT7 x 2- 6G2/6AV6/EBC91 x 2
DIMENSIONS: 215mm ( 8.5 inches ) W x 320 mm (12.6inches ) D x 155 mm (6 inches ) h
WEIGHT: 22 LBS.(packed)
List Price -- $1150.00
The Sound Quest SQ-PH-1t is a true-to-breed tube phono preamplifier. Its top end is slightly rounded, its bottom end a little loose and it's not the quietest phono preamp by a long mile (I suspect the variable pot destined to drive amplifiers directly is no small cause in this matter) but it can certainly sing. Sound Quest typically demonstrates their unit with their own SQ10 hornspeaker where those qualities tame an otherwise biting top end. In that vintage sound context, the SQ-PH-1t is a nice option. I would not exclude it from consideration as in the right context, it will be quite fabulous. It can even be taken to the next level by upgrading its tubes with the best NOS available and adding a dynamic and punchy power cord.
Granted, this will take the SQ-PH-1t significantly upward of $2500 but with top Mullards and an Acoustic Arts Ferrite II power cord, it had no problem competing with the ASR Mini-Basis Exclusive. I wish cartridge loading was available and the variable volume pot removed (replaced perhaps by two gain levels but no more). But that's just me. I feel the SQ-PH-1t has more potential than is currently exploited.