Price: $299.99

Website: www.cambridgeaudio.com

Thom said: Its sound was almost always steady, calm, reliable -- very British characteristics. But when presented with strong rhythms, it could do something else very British: kick out the jams like a Marshall amp whose volume knob goes up to “11.”

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Proper phono stage from a reliable British company.

Price: AU$17,900

Website: www.ds-audio-w.biz

Josh said: The DS Audio pairings are an acquired taste, and something that will take (or at least took me) some getting used to; but will quite possibly elevate your experience of your favourite recordings to new heights.

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: Phono separates that cost a lot.

Price: $2995

Website: www.europeanaudioteam.com

Jason said: EAT has managed to use vacuum tubes -- that century-old technology -- as the gain devices of a great-sounding, thoroughly modern phono preamplifier.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Modern phono stage with a hint of tube lushness.

Price: $1600

Website: www.je-audio.com

Oliver said: I found that its combination of inherent musicality and a smooth, open midrange communicated the music in a way that reminded me of a good tube preamp. Furthermore, its low noise floor and compatibility with a wide swath of phono cartridges mean that it will work well in a variety of systems. I could live with the HP20 as part of my system, and contentedly, too.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Midrange-centric phono stage is a good value, too.

Price: AU$3495

Website: www.maglevaudio.com

Edgar said: However, the biggest kudos must go the design team and its clever all-round execution of the levitation system which, while in situ, worked flawlessly.

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: It floats!

Price: $499

Website: www.nadelectronics.com

Thom said: In all, the NAD C 558 is a great turntable that’s far above entry level. I could see myself using one for years to come. I recommend it to anyone returning to the vinyl fold, or coming aboard for the first time. It’s simple, it’s elegant, it works marvelously well.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Priced right and with sound that’s a cut above.

Price: $149.99

Website: www.nagaoka.eu

Thom said: It’s a solid performer with many pluses, only a few minuses, and it’s compatible with many current and vintage turntables. If you want a cartridge with extended but not overblown bass, a midrange that favors the higher side, and mostly silky highs, the MP-110H might just be the ticket.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Low-cost but high-performing cartridge.

Price: $1499

Website: www.project-audio.com

Jeff said: The Pro-Ject Classic SB is for those whose systems would most benefit not from an upgrade of speakers or amplifier, but from the addition of an analog front end that’s more than just a simple platter on a basic plinth.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: A little better than entry level for Pro-Ject.

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