If you already have a decent-quality turntable and phono cartridge, a great phono preamplifier should be the next, most logical upgrade step. I've always admired Jolida's budget priced tube electronics, and one of my audiophile friends bought Jolida's JD9 phono preamp a few years ago, and he loves it. Now that I finally got my hands on one to hear it in my system--with a VPI Classic turntable and Van Den Hul cartridge--I know why he's a Jolida fan. The JD-9 certainly feels solid, it's beautifully built. The JD-9 doesn't have a volume control, you'll need to partner it with a stereo preamplifier or integrated amplifier.

It can be used with a wide range of moving-coil and moving-magnet phono cartridges. Being a tube preamplifier, there's always the concern of tube "noise" lurking in the background. I found the JD-9 to be quiet, and I never heard any noise while listening to records. That said, if you want the quietest possible preamplifier, buy a solid-state one, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a solid-state preamp that sounds as good as the JD-9 for $499.