Long story short, but I actually have an “extra” Sprout at the moment, and I’m planning to try it out in auxiliary system as a phono stage (turntable to vinyl input; analog output to my Hegel integrated). I’ll report back with results, but anyone else have experience with using Sprout as a phono stage? (I’m intrigued by what will become the “adjustable gain:” The volume knob).
Results: The sound was comparable with MM phono stages in the $200-300 range, which is really impressive since the entire Sprout only cost $500! In my particular situation the gain wasn’t enough (I had the Sprout volume all the way up and didn’t get enough volume to remotely match the rest of the system I was using), but I could see the Sprout being used successfully for this in a lot of situations.
Interestingly, the phono stage was quite quiet.
Obviously this isn’t standard use case but it was fun to try out.
Have you compared directly to another phono preamp? Which model (s) ?
I compared it to a Musical Surroundings Phenomona 1, and a Schitt Mani phono stage - both using MM settings.