keeping audio fun  


Web Order

Product Reviews
Design Ideas
Technical Articles
Patents & Awards
Design Theory

Web Forum

"Bugle2" Phono $189 ($139 kit) Order now!

The Bugle2 was originally available as a Kickstarter project. It is a simple phonostage capable of achieving very good sound quality, comparable to far more expensive units. It is a second-generation circuit topology that uses low noise audio opamps implementing passive, split equalization filters with a low output impedance. Gain can be built for either 40dB or 60dB (suitable for MC cartridges).

The kit is a "full kit" with all parts included (not a "half kit"). For advanced DIYers only! This should NOT be your first soldering project.

Click for a larger image
Bugle2 Phono


  • Passive, split equalization
  • MM and MC capable
  • Clean, quiet solid-state design
  • Quality components
  • 120V/240V power supply included


Gain40dB (MM) / 60dB (MC)
Input Impedance47k ohm (MM) / 100 ohm (MC)
Output Impedance330 ohms
RIAA Response+/-0.5dB from 30Hz to 30kHz
Bandwidth (-3dB)10Hz to 1000kHz
Distortion0.01% @1kHz
SNR64dB ref 0.5mV A-weighted
Size5" x 3" x 1"




  • Just a note to say how impressed I am with my Bugle2. It's super-quiet - quieter than my EAR 834P. It also seems to do a great job of passing on what's happening upstream - I've been tweaking the tracking weight and suspension on my turntable, and the differences associated with each change are very easy to hear, which leads me to believe the Bugle2 is very transparent.
  • It's a GREAT product and slays the much more expensive Sutherland, easily!
  • This was the first electronics kit I have ever built. There were absolutely no problems. Now I'm hooked!
  • I finished the assembly this past weekend with the high(est) gain option ... sounds great so far, very detailed and transparent vinyl reproduction. Previously I was using the switchable MM/MC preamp section of a Luxman preamplifier, which I thought was very good to begin with. Your Bugle2 is far and away superior, except perhaps in the signal-to-noise ratio. The built-in Luxman phono is just a bit quieter at higher volume. With most program material that is irrelevant and the tradeoff in favor of the Bugle's detail and transparency is worth it.
  • This little thing truly rocks! As soon as the needle went down, I knew I had something special. I'm getting gobs of gain and a very coherent, upfront presentation (compared to my tubed phono stage). You have earned all the kudos and huzzahs for good reason and it's no wonder the Kickstarter project was oversubscribed.
  • I received my Bugle2 kickstarter phono this week and it is fabulous, represents terrific value and so far matches well with my denon 301 II cart.
  • I just hooked up the bugle2 and it is a considerable improvement from my old stage.
  • Just reporting in that I just successfully completed my Bugle2 build! ... Your instructions were great and I just took my time and after soldering the first side of resistors I got my groove on and my soldering skills started to kick back in. And low and behold it just worked correctly the first time I fired it up! It sounds absolutely fantastic. Very quiet. Very extended frequency response. ... Thank you so much for giving this gift to DIY audiophiles. I think one can connect more with this hobby if one can occasionally get some skin in the game and build something.
  • It's completely awesome, but you probably know that already...
  • Bugle2 is up and running. Tremendous presence on my middle-brow system ... Now I have to get a better DAC for my CDs so it can compete!
  • Many thanks Jim for the Bugle 2 kit which arrived today. I've built it up and must congratulate you on producing such an exceptional phonostage design. I like the nice touches like using the inductors in the power supply, the sensible layout and components, but most of all, I like the sound that this phonostage is capable of delivering. It comprehensively betters my previous EAR 834 phonostage and is easily on par with the inbuilt high quality Albarry stage which I use for my MC cartridges via the Albarry MC gain stage.
  • Jim, I receieved it, plugged it in, and love it. No hum. I hate hum. Hate it ... Great choice of opamp. That particular one is very open and detailed. The bugle2 is fast and agile but no edge. Very dynamic but smooth and liquid at the same time. Treats noise as a triviality such that it does not distract. Still there but somehow sent to the edges. Very detailed, too. So many pluses and not one negative. There really is no competition against this little thing. This is with no break-in time, right out of the box.
  • Just received it today and all I can say is WOW!!! Bypassing my Onkyo AVR and using the Bugle 2 essentially transforms my 30 year old basic Technics turntable into a wonderful sounding system. I will eventually get a Music Hall 5.1 and then I am sure the sound will be enhanced even more. Now I got the vinyl bug.
  • Just started to use it yesterday. You promised me it will sound 10X better than my NAD 2 phonostage. Well, you were all wrong! It is 100X better. WOW! All of the sudden the contrabass has notes and not one long whooo, it is so detailed! It is like leaving the traffic jam out to the open.
  • Just to let you know I received the Bugle2 yesterday. Plugged it in, played it and compared against my Project Phono Box. The Bugle2 was much more musical, clear, transparent with a much wider dynamic range. The music sounded so much more melodious and sweet. Thank you for building such a wonderful product!
  • Things arrived Monday well packed - thanks again. I assembled it over the last few days and I wanted to provide you with feedback. I am so thoroughly impressed with the Bugle2! It went together nicely, the directions were easy to follow and very detailed. ...But the sound... I am absolutely floored by it's performance. My Jolida JD9 will be on ebay this weekend. I just can't believe it -- the bugle2 is outstanding. Thank you for making this available at such a great price!
  • I received the Bugle 2 yesterday and hooked it up. It sounds superb right out of the box! Thanks very much for such a great product.
  • What have you done?? I plugged in the Bugle 2 tonight and put on a favorite LP... I literally had shivers down my spine as the vocals came through the speakers. There is so magic in that little translucent plastic box! Mind you, these were played through a set of $50 Best Buy speakers that I use to test my DIY hi-fi setup (to avoid making more expensive speakers go 'poof'!). I can only imagine how everything will sound once my actual speakers get here.