Scan code: LN120455 Manufacturer code: SP-PHONOS/S

SPL - 'Phonos' RIAA Phono Preamplifier (Silver)

SPL - 'Phonos' ProFi Preamplifier, RIAA equalization, For MM and MC Cartridges - Silver

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Scan code: LN120455 Manufacturer code: SP-PHONOS/S
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SPL - 'Phonos' (Silver)
RIAA Phono Preamplifier

spl phonos

Based on the legendary Douglas-Self-DesignThe SPL Phonos is a phono preamplifier made for record players that use moving magnet (MM) or moving coil (MC) cartridges. The equalization curve is generated by RIAA works great with all vinyl records from 1954 onwards. The RIAA equalizer is influenced by the design from Douglas Self, featuring up to 71.5 dB of gain for MC cartridges and 50 dB of gain for MM cartridges Phonos is one of the most powerful phono preamplifiers. Both the Moving Magnet (MM) and Moving Coil (MC) pickup systems on this preamplifier are based on the legendary Douglas-Self-Design.

At A Glance • Suitable for MM (Moving Magnet) and MC (Moving Coil) cartridges
• Impedances for MC: 100, 220, 470; 2k2, 4k7 and 10 kohms
• Styroflex condensers used throughout the RIAA equalizer
• RIAA equalization (after Douglas Self)

Moving Magnet

spl phonos

MM & MCTwo pickup systems are available for record players: Moving Magnet (MM) and Moving Coil (MC). Moving magnet pickups create a small voltage by moving a magnet between copper coils. MM pickups have a very high inductance and impedance.

The Phonos has options of three capacitors to correct the linearity of the frequency and phase response. The capacitances are 150pF, 220pF and 330pF. In the off-position the capacitance is determined by the capacitance of the cable.

Moving Coil

spl phonos

Superior PowerThe MC pickup is also a small electromagnetic generator, but with the magnets firmly anchored and the coils moving between them, opposite of the MM pickup. Although, the output voltage is very low at only a few hundred microvolts and as a result, is more sensitive to noise and induced hum.

At this point, preamplifier design becomes a challenge, as the very low output voltage must be pre-amplified as noise-free as possible. Phonos is one of the most powerful phono preamplifiers for MC systems with up to 71.5 dB preamplification. With 120V technology, the preamplifiers are extremely low-noise, linear and phase-locked.

MC pickups have incredibly low inductance and impedance, meaning that the effects of cable capacitance (from turntable to preamplifier) are negligible. The impedance, is relevant and can be set in six positions: 100, 220, 470, 2.2 k, 4.7 k, and 10 kOhm. If in doubt as to which impedance matches that of the pickup, the impedances can also simply be switched through until the linear frequency response is acoustically determined.


spl phonos

Three Optional ValuesThe pre-amplification can be selected in three different values. The normal gain value is +46 dB for MM and +67 dB for MC cartridges. In the -10 dB position, the phono produces enough output level for normal hi-fi equipment operating at a reference level of -10 dBV. In the +4 dB position, the output level is a similar volume to that of modern DA converters at a reference level of 0dBfs = +15 dBu.

Premium Components For Peak Performance

Subsonic Filter

Subsonic FilterThe rumbling of the turntable’s drive mechanism is also amplified by the high amplification of the bass range due to RIAA equalization in playback. The Phonos features a switchable subsonic filter to eliminate this rumble.


Connections For connecting the turntable and for outputting to a preamplifier such as the Director Mk2 or the Elector, Gold-plated RCA sockets are available. A ground connection for the turntable is designed as banana plug socket and the ground lead can be either clamped or plugged in.

RIAA Equalization

RIAA Equalization

Improved PlaybackRIAA equalization is a feature for the recording and playback of records proposed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The RIAA equalization curves introduced a global de facto industry standard for vinyl records in 1954. RIAA equalization uses pre-emphasis to lower bass frequencies and boost high frequencies when the record is cut (blue RIAA curve).

The bass is reduced by up to 20 dB to offer more space and longer record play time. The high frequencies are boosted by up to 25 dB to increase the signal-to-noise ratio between the noise of the record media to the audio signal. During playback, exactly the opposite happens in the Phonos. The de-emphasis filter (red RIAA curve) compensates for the pre-emphasis and the result is a linear frequency response.

Douglas Self Design

Douglas Self Design

Resolution & Reponse Like Never BeforeThe RIAA equalization of the Phonos was designed according to the recommendations of Douglas Self. The idea being many small capacities instead of a few large capacities, resulting in the capacitors charging and discharging faster, which results in improved resolution and quicker impulse response.

Only audiophile Styroflex capacitors are used in the entire RIAA equalizer. Douglas Self is a British electronics engineer with a strong penchant for audio. He holds honorary degrees from Cambridge University and teaches psychoacoustics at the University of Sussex.

The Tech Spec

Features Specification
Analogue Input & Output: RCA Input impedance (MM): 47 kΩ
Input impedance (MC): switchable
Output impedance: 75 Ω
Frequency range (-3 dB): 4 Hz – 300 kHz
Crosstalk (1 kHz): -80 dBu
Moving Magnet (MM) Preamplifier Amplification (Norm): 46 dB
Amplification (-10 dB): 36 dB
Amplification (+4 dB): 50 dB
Capacitance (switchable): Off, 150 pF, 220 pF and 330 pF
Noise (A-weighted; 46 dB amplification): -85.3 dBu
Dynamic range: 131.3 dB
Moving Coil (MC) Preamplifier Amplification (Norm): 67 dB
Amplification (-10 dB): 56 dB
Amplification (+4 dB): 71.5 dB
Impedance (switchable): 100 Ω, 220 Ω, 470 Ω, 2.2 kΩ, 4.7 kΩ, 10 kΩ
Noise (A-weighted, 67 dB amplification): -61.7 dBu
Dynamic range: 128.7 dB
Internal Linear Power Supply with Shielded Toroidal Transformer Operating voltage for analogue audio: +/- 60 V
Operating voltage for relays and LEDs: + 12 V
Mains Power Supply Mains voltage (selectable, see fuse chamber): 230 V AC / 50; 115 V AC / 60 Hz
Fuse for 230 V: T 500 mA
Fuse for 115 V: T 1 A
Power consumption: max. 30 VA
Stand-by power consumption: < 0,3 W
Dimensions (W x H x D) 278 x 100 x 300 mm
11 x 4 x 11.81 inch
Weight Unit weight: 3.2 kg/7.05 lbs
Shipping weight (incl. packaging): 4.3 kg/9.48 lbs
Product Type Preamp
PC Interface N/A
Keys 0
Wheels 0
Connectivity (Input) 2 x RCA (Phono, Stereo, L/R)
Connectivity (Output) 2 x RCA / Phono Line Level (L/R) OUT
Sample Rate  
Bit Rate N/A
Frequency Response (Input) N/A
Frequency Response (Output) N/A
Maximum Input Level N/A
Maximum Output Level  
Dynamic Range  
Dimensions (mm) 278 x 100 x 300 (WxHxD)
Misc. Notes  
Package Type Retail
Additional Information
Scan Code LN120455
Model Number SP-PHONOS/S

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12 months
Return to base
DOA Period:
7 days
RTB Period:
12 months
Manufacturer Contact Details
SPL - 'Phonos' RIAA Phono Preamplifier (Silver)
SPL - 'Phonos' RIAA Phono Preamplifier (Silver)