New DSA Phono III phono preamplifier


DSA Phono III improves upon the performance of its predecessor in every way. The Phono III’s features and accessibility package set a new standard for the industry. Like the Phono II, it has three inputs, but now--with a fully balanced (differential) amplifier front end-- the phono cartridge can be connected either in the typical unbalanced mode (RCA), or fully balanced (XLR) for reduced interference and lower noise. The Phono III includes a fully-integrated remote control. Cartridge loading is again selectable for either MC or MM cartridges, but can now be controlled by the remote as well as at the front panel. There is an internal memory that stores the load value for each input and when going back to that input the memory inserts the previous load value for that input. (The memory is "non-volatile" and saves the values even when the power is off.)  Music lovers will be able to adjust the load parameters while in the comfort of their listening “sweet spot.”

A digital display shows the current load value and the loading steps are in 10 ohm (or 10pF) increments instead of the 25 ohm (or 25 pF) increments used on the Phono II. There are 256 available loading options for MC cartridges, and 128 for MM cartridges. This increases the ability to zero in on the ideal resistance or capacitance loading for the optimum sonic presentation. Also, one of the inputs allows the user to have a “custom” load if the adjustable loading is not sufficient.

In addition, the remote will adjust gain, select phase, choose mute or run, and allow the listener to dim or increase the brightness of the Phono III’s LED display lights.

The unit also includes four other equalization curves for older Lps, selectable from the front panel, as an alternative to the standard RIAA curve. These curves are designed for older Columbia and Decca/FFRR pressings that were done prior to adopting the RIAA standard. All five curves are managed by a plug-in module so that other curves can be readily incorporated if a customer has a specific requirement. (DSA will explore the creation of special custom modules addressing unique equalization curves for existing or potential owners of the Phono III). 

The Phono III is of solid-state design and has the classic sound found in all products designed by Dr. Douglas Hurlburt of DSA- that is to say neutral, rich and exceedingly dynamic. However, challenged to improve upon the Phono II’s reference performance, Dr. Hurlburt has made some modifications to the overall amplifier architecture as well as replacing some of the critical components with new and only recently available tightly matched dual devices. There is an audible improvement in both the soundstage and the organic quality of the Phono III’s presentation, resulting in a highly seductive listening experience.

The Phono III will sell factory direct through a la carte production (alc-pro.com) for $18,995. Orders placed at the Florida Audio Expo will be honored at $17,495. As with all DSA products, those who purchase components will be granted a 30-day return option if not fully delighted with the product’s performance. In addition, all DSA components come with a full 3-year factory warranty against defects or failures during that period.