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Rolls Bellari VP129
6 Reviews
rating  4.5 of 5
MSRP  250.00
Description: Rolls/Bellari VP129 Tube Phono Stage <LI> RIAA Equalization <LI> All tube circuitry <LI> Switchable Rumble Filter <LI> Mute Switch <LI> Headphone Output with variable Level control <LI> Steel Chassis


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by r-l-b a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 3, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I had some great expectations to this Riaa even though it is modestly priced.
These expectations were fully cashed in by this little red wonder
I have used Riias - built in - and externals ranging from the cheapest 50 usd to expensive custom built +2000 usd Riaas - but none! none of these Riaas have filled the room with this vast amount of musical enjoyment and harmonic space
It may not be over-analytic or super-well-defined but is has this way of making you want to put on another Record and another and .. - in other words I could listen to it all day and all night with no fatigue.

I have tried it with Denon DL 103 with Beyer MC step up transformers and with Ortofon SPU Gold with JS MC step up transformers and with Ortofon OM30 Super MM as well as Denon High output MCs - I performs like an angel


My Bellari is the VP130 -

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Oddysey Audio Denmar



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by starguygwb a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2007

Bottom Line:   
For me this is a step up. I owned a Music Hall MMF 2.1 table and a Parasound phono pre-amp. I bought those to get my feet wet again after a directdrive table slowly left me playing cd's only. Loved the newer belt tables, so quiet. But stepped up to a Marantz table and the VP129. Now I know with the new table I might be not able to judge between the VP129 and the table, but I will say they both bring much more bass, sweetness in the midrange and a better image stability.
I do leave mine on all the time, so its a matter of letting the rest of the equipment warm up for about an hour or so. I am wondering what other reviewers were saying about the different tubes. I would like to know where to buy them, or try some.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Music direct



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by kmulkey a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2006

Bottom Line:   
This is my first outboard phone preamp. I am very satisfied with this unit. The sound is solid, not too bright yet the highs are still crisp.
I do have one question for current VP-129 owners. Are there any issues with leaving this powered on all the time? I do exactly that with the rest of my electronics but I didn't know if the tube would burn out easier/sooner if you left it on. Thanks in advance.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $230.00

Purchased At:   Saturday Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by shadyave a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I purchased the Bellari to match a switch I made to a tube amplifier (Jolida). Previously I used a NAD PP-2 phono pre-amp, which was a decent performer. The Bellari is a clear improvement on several grounds however. The sound is certainly more warm and round, less bright than the NAD PP-2.

On my system, it has slightly less punchy bass, but the mid-range and high end are more natural sounding. Another benefit of the Bellari for my system was the ability to adjust the output. This means one can turn up the pre-amp rather than having to up the volume on the amp nearly as much as I used to. Users should bear in mind this phono pre-amp is geared towards moving magnet cartidges. One might be able to use a high output moving coil of 2.5 or more by adjusting the output level. I am still using the now extinct Shure V15VxMR which has an output of 3mv and the output level is dialed at about half-way.

I listen mostly to classical, piano, jazz, world music, and other acoustic music. Here the tube sound is a definite enhancement. I am not sure that rock sounds any better with the Bellari than with the NAD. I would also note, that mono recordings seem more lively and defined on the Bellari than on the NAD.

As with the previous reviewer, I have tried some other tubes. The best result has been with a 60's vintage Mullard which has made a significant improvement on the stock tube. If you have access to some 12AX7 tubes, it would be worth trying out a few to see what sounds best. The Bellari has a some other bells and whistles thrown in like a rumble switch, headphone jack, headphone volume control, and mute switch. I would have prefered to have one of these buttons be an on/off switch.

I believe it was rated a Class B recommended phono pre-amp in Stereophile Magazine in 2006; at 250 dollars, it is about 90% less than the cost of some other Class B phono pre-amps.

In short, the Bellari sounded great right out of the box, and met or exceeded all my expectations. It is an inexpensive yet high quality first step into tube sound.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Acoustic Sounds



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by KitR a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I find myself in agreement with most of what Analoguer says except at first I found it not as "tubey" as expected. A certain lack of warmth one might say. Then I got wind of the term "tube rolling" where you put another make of tube in. I settled upon the Electro-Harmonix 12AX7EH. Initially not to too impressed with that either but after about 2 weeks I suddenly realized this thing was "cooking on Gas" as the expression goes: tubey in spades! One area which did surprise me was the bass. It goes quite deep and is very articulate. The highs have a sweet and unrolled quality about them and my record collection is getting a lot more use than I expected! Midrange? This thing is tubed! Can't beat tubes for that! For the money I paid for it, this is a steal; at the street price of $150-200 is very good value for money. If you need an outboard Vinyl pre-unit you won't do better for the money. It also has a good Headphone input too. Won't blow your ears off, but my Sennheisers seemed to like it: I did too!
Michael Fremer gave this unit one of his most enthusiastic reviews in I've seen in Stereophile(Feb 2006), and by his standards it's cheap s--t!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $95.00

Purchased At:   ebay




Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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