I've been researching budget phono preamps (for MM), and read how one person favors this model, and another person favors that model, and it's a bit overwhelming to say the least. I was wondering what, if any, where the objective differences between them. Are $50 models that much worse than $150 models (3x worse)?
The $50 models that stand out are:
ART DJ Pre II
Audio Technica PEQ3
The $150 models:
Vincent Audio - PHO-111
Musical Fidelity V-LPS
Cambridge Audio 640P
Rega Fono Mini
Pro-Ject Phono Box II
What perimeters are important to look at, and can you trust spec sheets? Has any third party done any scientific measurements on any of these units for comparative purposes? I'm less concerned with how some random person on the internet thinks it sounds subjectively, to how they perform electronically/scientifically. It seems like the only important factors would be how much noise they introduce to the chain (but what sort of noise figures are important?), how well they boost the signal, what is their frequency range, and how well do they preform at RIAA filtering.? Also, having a proper ground/power supply seems important as well.
I was set on the TC-750, but read a review on amazon how the capacitors were cheaper than in the ART box, and a lot of people like the PEQ3, then more people suggest spending $100 more and upgrading to one of those other units, and I'm not sure any of it really matters or is worth it. I know it boils down to how much I am willing to spend, but I wanted to see if anyone here had recommendations or facts (not opinions) to offer. Thanks for your time and help!