Stellar phono ... mono switch options?

I have a few mono albums, but not enough to make me get a mono-only cartridge.

My trusty Audiolab 8000PPA phono stage has a mono switch.

I also have a very basic stand-alone stereo/mono switch that I’ve used in the past. (An unpowered switch placed between phono stage and preamp.)

Some preamps/integrateds have mono settings, too.

Just curious how (if at all) you’re dealing with mono albums when using your SPP?

I upgraded from Stellar Phono stage to Rega Aura moving-coil phono stage. The mono switch came as byproduct of the upgrade.

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Nice step up.

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Good question, I was wondering the same since my previous phono stage had a mono switch too. I believe I have a similar stand-alone mono switch made by a guy on the Steve Hoffman forum. He has been selling them there for many years.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how they compare. What cartridge and table?

Yep, that’s where I got mine. (Similar to, but not exactly like, the one in the photo.) Seems to work just fine. (I can’t notice any difference with it in or out of the chain.)

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I’ve thought about one of these but I’m running XLR from phono stage to Preamp. Can it be place between the turntable and phono stage?

yeah, good point on the XLR…

I don’t know if the tiny signal from the TT to the phono stage might be a problem? I’ve always assumed you want it to go after the phono stage.


It’s used with Rega P10 (the skeleton model) / Apheta 3, so “supposedly” there some sort of synergy. Given that Aura is designed for MC cartridges only seems to give it an advantage here. As opposed to SPP, there is more articulation … it sounds richer and more natural. In the past 3 decades I’ve owned 5 other phono stages. The Aura is my 6th and hopefully the endgame.


the guy on the Steve Hoffman forums who makes the switches said he thought about making an XLR version, but didn’t proceed.

He also said you can place the switch in front of the phono stage, but some people have gotten hum. (Which makes sense, as you’re amplifying whatever is happening in that switch, as minuscule as it might be.)

this is the thread, fyi

I guess one might ask (and maybe this is for a general SPP thread), what is the benefit of using the balanced XLR connection? (Or also, what is the negative of using the single-ended RCAs?)

I mean, if the signal coming from the turntable is a single-ended cable, what do you gain by going Balanced/XLR to the amp?

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Great question. Maybe @DarrenMyers can chime in?