There’s a world of difference between simply doing a thing and doing it properly. That difference took four years.
TheRIAA (and more recently TheRIAA Mk II) by Polish company RCM Audio has been my go-to phono stage since Issue 102; more than 10 years ago. This big, two-box, integrated-circuit-based phono box builds on the strengths of the company’s entry-level Sensor Prelude IC. Recently, however, RCM Audio produced an even higherend, integrated circuit-based, MM/MC phono stage called The Big Phono. Coming in at more than double the price of TheRIAA Mk II, what can The Big Phono offer aside from two very big, heavy, and well-built boxes?
The differences soon become clear, although it’s hard to get past the sheer heft of that external power supply when placed next to the juice box provided for TheRIAA. That power supply upgrade is not simply added mass; where one link connects the power supply to the phono stage in that model, The Big Phono has three entirely separated power feeds. It also moves the adjustment of cartridge parameters to a front panel display instead of rear panel DIP switches.
Read the full review in hte downloads below.