Back at CES in January 2010, we spied a cool product for audiophiles from Parasound called the Halo JC 3 Phono Preamplifier. The device debuted at the show and now almost a year later Parasound has announced that the first production samples of the preamp are finally shipping. The device is a dual mono preamplifier with high quality parts, solid construction and a clean design.
It sort of looks like the preamp that Apple would design to me. The device is designed to take the tiny low output signal from a moving coil or magnet from a phonograph cartridge and make it strong enough to deliver the input of a line level preamp. The issue with this according to the maker of the device is that the slightest hint of noise in the phono preamp will ruin the listening experience.
The Halo JC 3 has a dual mono design with unbalanced inputs and outputs that use Vampire RCA jacks. The device also has balanced outputs that use Neutrik XLR jacks. The preamp also has a three position input switch to handle 47 k ohm MM cartridges, 100 ohm MC cartridges, and 47 k ohm MC. The JC 3 promises a signal to noise ratio of 83dB along with a 12V trigger, and a switchable power supply. You can order the device right now for $2,350.