Audiophile accessories entrepreneur and tweaking expert Russ Andrews has launched two new phono stages based on a modified Rega Fono.

Called the PH-1 (and priced from £399) the standalone units can be used in place of an amplifier's built-in phono stage to bring improvements over the standard offering. The standalone PH-1 is said to provide significant performance benefits whilst outperforming many of its rivals.

Humble beginnings

Based on the Terry Bateman-designed Rega Fono design, Russ has extensively upgraded the internal components with high-quality replacement parts and included modifications to the original circuit. There have also been radical revisions to the power supply ­with the current now provided by a new version of the Russ Andrews PowerPak.

Two separate models are available. There's an MM version (£399) for turntables fitted with moving magnet cartridges. An MC model, (£599) is aimed at moving coil users.

Russ Andrews' managing director commented: "Our moving coil equipped turntables have never sounded so good - clean, three-dimensional, detailed, dynamic, fast and highly engaging".

The PH-1's compact dimensions (180 x 50 x 145mm) make placement easy. The two units come in a black extruded-aluminium case, fitted with an oak fascia. A two-year guarantee is included with each model.