Robert Morin of Lounge Audio is a bad man. Here we are, basically done with the process of reviewing his $300, MM-only, LCR MKIII phono preamp (Spoiler Alert: it makes a hash out of any kind of “price/performance” ratio) when he decides to release a head amp for moving coil cartridges.
The new, $270, Copla preamp will take your tiny signals and boost them enough to use any low output cartridge with any MM only phono pre. Its standout feature, other than its price, is the easy, front-panel knob that adjusts gain and cartridge loading. Twist it until it sounds right, then sit down and relax. No math involved.
A quick listen to Dave “Baby” Cortez banging out “The Happy Organ” was enough to get me hooked. I probably don’t even have to tell you that the LCR MKIII review is delayed until one of these little guys shows up.
It wasn’t that long ago that a moving coil compatible, LCR phono pre was the kind of exotic kit that existed only in the minds of DIYers and Ultra Fi cultists. Seeing a small company bring the whole package in under $600 is something close to a miracle.