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Musical Surroundings Nova II Phono Preamp

5 Reviews

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For the past 15 years, Michael Yee's Phonomena phono stage designs have defined Q.P.R., or Quality/Price Ratio, for phono stages, and the Nova II is no exception.

Built in California, the new Nova II is a battery-powered phono stage with incredible flexibility and performance. The Nova II replaces the popular Nova Phonomena. Our Nova II battery-powered phono preamplifier, sharing improved chassis design of our MYDAC II, features dual-mono, discrete circuitry with extensive gain and loading flexibility, delivering the best sound in its price range. Like the Phonomena II and SuperNova II, the Nova II has rear panel accessible switches for easily accessible and highly flexible gain and loading adjustment. It features 2 rechargeable internal NiMH dual-mono battery packs with Smart Sensing auto recharge feature. All AC and charging circuits automatically disconnect when listening in battery mode. The Nova II features enhanced casework design and upgraded internal components.

The Musical Surroundings Nova II is a complete phonograph preamplifier with RIAA equalization that amplifies the output signal of a phono cartridge, either moving coil or moving magnet, up to a nominal "line level". The Nova II may be used with a receiver or an integrated amplifier. If you use separate components, a line level control unit (preamp) is required before the power amp, since there is no independent volume control for the Nova II. The Nova II’s power supply is internal and connnects to the wall with the supplied wall mount transformer.

Nova Phonomena (Previous Version) Wins 2012 TAS Editor's Choice Award

Built in California, the Nova Phonomena is a battery powered phono stage with incredible flexibility and performance. Based on the discrete, dual mono circuit developed by designer Michael Yee for the SuperNova, the Nova has rear panel accessible switches for gain and loading. It features 2 rechargeable internal NiMH dual mono battery packs with Smart Sensing auto recharge feature. All AC and charging circuits automatically disconnect when listening in battery mode. The Nova features a cool proximity detection switch on the front panel with status LEDs for changing mode.
  • New casework with silver anodized finish
  • Improved resonance isolation for main board and battery power supply
  • 5dB better signal-to-noise ratio
  • Super matched transistor pair input for improved linearity and sonic performance
  • Technical:
  • Gain Switches: 40, 44, 46, 48, 50, 51.5, 52.7, 53.7, 56, 57.5, 58.4, 59.4, 60dB
  • Input Loading Switches: 200pF/300pF, 30, 40, 50, 59, 80, 100, 121, 150, 243, 280, 380, 475, 660, 1k, 2k, 47k, 100k Ohms
  • Discrete, dual-mono circuitry
  • Dimensions: 9 7/8" x 9 7/8" x 2.5"
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Ratings & Reviews

    5 reviews

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    Had mine for about a year. Couldn't be more pleased. It makes a difference to use good cables and a power conditioner. I am using Kimberly Kable Hero connects and an Audience aR2p power conditioner. It is so good, I think about coming home to play my stereo during work. So, if I lose my job I know who to blame.



    I'm very pleased with the sound performance of this preamp. I won't bore you with all the usual hyperbole you have probably already read - Bottom line, it's worth considering if your budget is $5k or less. Buyer beware, it sounds bad out of the box, so don't be too quick to judge it before its played music for 5 hours or so. Also, take the time to dial in the loading and gain settings and don't be afraid to rely upon your ears and deviate from the default cartridge values - it may prove well worth the effort!



    Passionate, precise and powerful performance that truly defines my beyond enjoyable listening experience. No kidding during side 1 of Fresh Aire III, I turned my head to see if the synthesizer was sitting next to me. BTW my listening position is 18 feet away? Massive sountstage the reaches beyond my listening postion with layer upon layer of individual instruments and voices. Yes I am hearing voices in my head to the point of smiling beyond anything I have ever heard before. Thanks to Patrick for his amazing part at Needle Doctor in achieving a life long customer and more importantly LISTENING! Oh by the way again, can you say a deathly quiet noise floor? On battery power...almost nonexistence. You have to try this to believe it!

    John Devine


    Decided to get back into vinyl after a 25 year hiatus dusted off my Thorens and bought an inexpensive linestage,,,, to put it bluntly I was underwhelmed,,, then I bought the Nova Phonomena ,,, now I get it !!!

    Thomas, Denmark


    I bought this pre based on the many great reviews !!! I was not at all dissappointed. The sound is so clear and natural I cannot believe it. Nothing sounds edgy or harsh, but still there is loads of details and feeling of space. Compared to my last pre (clearaudio basic), the stereo image widened about a meter in every direction. Its such a pleasure to listen to. I had no problems with my Rega MM cartridge or my present Denon DL103. Well I think I have found myself my last phono preamp. This can be matched with the very highest of quality components, and Michael Yee from MS is one of the nicest guys to mail with. really takes his customers seriously... So buy it before your neighbur! :-) It's really really good!