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Customer Reviews

Mobile Fidelity UltraPhono™

Mobile Fidelity UltraPhono™ Headphone amplifier and phono preamplifier for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges

MFR # UltraPhono

4.0 out of 5 stars
9 reviews
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Excellent product when it works

Guy from Cedar Rapids, IA on 1/2/2024

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I just disconnected this product from my Mobile Fidelity UltraDeck for the last time. This is the replacement for the first that Mobile Fidelity sent me when the first began to exhibit the same behavior. The RCA connections on the back of the unit are complete, well, crap. After eight or nine months on both of these units, the slightest touch to either the input or output connections silences the audio for that connection. After a few more months, the audio begins to cut out without touching the unit it at all. I have a Pro-Ject Phono Box S2 which has been my failover failover when these MoFi products begin to fail. The Pro-Ject product has become my primary phono stage once again.

Pros: Pairs very well with the Mobile Fidelity line of turntables, sounds very good as it should in this price range

Cons: Neither of my two units have lasted more than one year without one or both channels eventually cutting out.

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2 of 3 found this helpful

Mobile Fidelity UltraPhono

Eugene from CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA on 8/25/2023

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I used this unit at home for 30 days on loan from our employee lending library. My NAD turntable with Sumiko Wellfleet cartridge needs an external pre-amp and the HiFi Rose I was auditioning doesn't have its own phono stage. Enter MoFi's UltraPhono. Simple to connect, calibrate, and use, this functions as both a phono stage pre-amp and a headphone amplifier. I used the headphone output a couple of times with Audio Technica ATX-M50x, enjoying striking bass performance and nice separation of the high frequencies. But, primarily, this was in place to allow me to listen through my Paradigm Premier 800F towers. Even though my turntable isn't an elite piece, it sure sounded like a unit worth far more than I've invested in it. I also loved being able to dial in the pre-amp in accordance with the needs of my cartridge to ensure the best fit for my other gear. I can whole-heartedly recommend this UltraPhono for anyone looking to take the phono stage and headphone stage to a more intricate and satisfying level.

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Good product...but not for me!

Brett from West Chester, PA on 5/18/2023

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This seems like a very well-made product, but did not sound good on my system (Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO with an ATVM540ML cartridge; KLH Model 5 speakers). There was a noticeable amount of sibilance added to vocals - distracting. And the headphone volume increases in chunks, which is frustrating to adjust in terms of accuracy (either too loud or too soft). But perhaps other systems would work better with this model. I also didn't like the "always on" feature, which would be fine if it wasn't for the rather large square yellow light that shows at all times.

Pros: Very well built product Did a nice job with the instrumental sound stage

Cons: Excessive sibilance on vocals Inaccurate headphone volume control Obtrusive power light always showing

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3 of 5 found this helpful

Great Upgrade

Mark from FORT MILL, SC on 3/19/2022

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Upgraded from a Uturn Pluto 1 preamp, which is a very good preamp. I upgraded for both the headphone amp (to listen to records later at night without disturbing the family) and something that I could use with a variety of cartridges. I currently have an Ortofon Red cart, and I did read some of the reviews saying the Mofi couldn't handle the higher output cartridges. I have not found any issues with the Mofi being able to handle the Ortofon cartridge. My two hottest cut records are Duke Ellington - Ellington at Newport and Queen - Queen II. Both the Pluto (36 dB gain) and Mofi (40 dB gain) yielded the same results when it came to overload and distortion at the most extreme sections. What I did find with the Mofi, was a more refined top end; the cymbals, high hats, and sparkle was more refined and less harsh when compared to the Pluto. In fact, once I heard the Mofi's more balanced output, the Pluto sounded harsh. This was very evident on my Mofi pressings Dire Straits - Love Over Gold & Communique. The other upside was an increased sense of depth and spacing between instruments and vocals. The headphone amp is more than enough to handle my Sennheiser HD 560S (120 ohms), although I agree with other reviewers that the volume adjustment is widely spaced (significant change in volume between steps). Overall, I am pleased with my purchase and happy that I have a preamp that I can use with a variety of cartridges. Works well with Ortofon 2m series.

Pros: Depth and spacing of sound Refined top-end, no harshness Good headphone amp with higher ohm headphones Mono button makes a big difference

Cons: Have to unplug everything to adjust dip-switches - not major though

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Poor customer service

Dan from Scottsdale, AZ on 2/17/2022

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Purchased this as an open-box item and got assured over the phone by Crutchfield that it was in "like new" condition. Once I received it I found out it was not: the volume dial was detached from the potentiometer. I used a bit of paper to create a wedge and pushed it back into place.

Pros: Great phono stage sound although some might find it a tad too warm.

Cons: Not a lot of power as a headphone amp. Crutchfield lack of candid support when it comes to open box items.

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Great preamp for me and my rock!

Ezra Colman from High Falls, NY on 1/22/2022

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I was very happy with the built-in phono preamp on my Technics SL-1500C running a Audio Tecnhica 540 micro line cartridge - I even preferred the built in pre to the phono stage in my vintage Marantz 1060 amp and my vintage NAD 3155 - both pretty darn good phono sections built in to a receiver. After watching some of those terrible videos that make you think you can make your system sound better by buying new stuff, I went for the MoFi UktraPhono from crutchfield knowing that I'd have an easy time auditioning it in my system and sending it back if it wasn't "all that." Well it was "all that!" Soundstage prior to hooking this up was pretty wide and had the illusion of coming from beyond the speakers. However when I added this in the sound stage remained wide but it gave the impression that the various elements (I listen mostly to rock - classic, punk, progressive, independent plus singer/songwriter and some jazz) were now solid and locked into physical space. Mid range was more solid - guitars and keyboards jumped out of my speakers. It was a great upgrade. I have had other pre-Amps outside of my built ins in receivers (most notably the well regarded Rega Fono MM which is in the same price range) and for me, my system(s) and what I can spend, this is a great rock and roll preamp. Currently running the Tecnics 1500 through the pre amp into either Marantz 1060 -> vintage Dynaco A25s or a Decware Zen single ended tube amp into Klipsch Heresy IV. Both systems rock!

Pros: Great, punchy and dynamic sound Great for the money!! MoFi knows records!!

Cons: If you like to mess around with settings, the bottom mount dip switches are less convenient than the front mounted knobs found on some other units. I run one cart so it's set it and forget and doesn't bother me!

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4 of 5 found this helpful

A tabletop phono preamp for private LP listening

David from CULPEPER, VA on 1/5/2022

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Mobile Fidelity showed off their made-in-the-USA UltraPhono phono preamplifier a couple times when they were at Crutchfield for training, and it sounded fantastic. I wasn't sure how much of an improvement, if any, I'd get from the UltraPhono connected to my Music Hall MMF-1.3 turntable, but I decided to try it. There was no "if any" about it, the improvement was noticeable and excellent. I listened through a pair of Grado 325e headphones, as well as a set of Monitor Audio Gold 100 bookshelf speakers played through my Yamaha receiver. I dialed in the underside switches to match my Sumiko Moonstone cartridge (I recommend a really small flat screwdriver, like the one in an eyeglass repair kit) and played several albums. My jazz, classical guitar, and rock albums sounded more crisp, accurate, and lively than with the turntable's phono preamp. The live LPs really reeled me into that live show feel. Keep in mind that if you have unclean or imperfect records (like some of my thrift store specials with scuffs and scratches), the UltraPhono will show that off, too. I did notice that the connections on the back were gathered closely together, which can make wiring a little tricky. RCA connections seemed a little loose with aftermarket cables I used. The volume knob is solid, but adjusts in segments deliver big jumps in volume which took a little getting used to. Pressing it mutes the headphone audio, which is very handy. Overall, a solid phono preamp.

Pros: Noticeable upgrade in sound from my LPs, solid build quality.

Cons: Loose-fitting RCA terminals; ground terminal post too big for my turntable's spade connector

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Nice simple solution

Crutchfield customer from Jacksonville, FL on 11/26/2021

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I run a tube integrated tube amp. My turntable is a Mofi Ultradeck with a Master Tracker MM cartridge. Everything worked well and sounded fantastic. Several months back I purchased LCD2 closed back headphones. I decided I wanted to use the headphones with switching on the amp. The Ultraphono was a simple choice to make. I have the phono preamp perfectly matched to the MasterTracker and sound is noticeably fuller crisper and smooth cia headphone and speakers

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Mobile Fidelity UltraPhono

Crutchfield customer from Jacksonville, FL on 7/7/2021

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Delivered quickly and well protected. Excellent service

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0 of 6 found this helpful

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