Bellari VP130 Tube Phono Pre-Amp
The VP130 is a well designed RIAA phono preamplifier made to equalized phono signal to a line-level signal, and is intended for magnetic pickups. Since the unit utilizes tube circuitry, the resulting output signal is more warm and musical than solid state preamplifiers. It's the perfect blend of price and performance. Get the magical warmth of a tube phono preamp for an unrivaled price. This compact and affordable preamp effectively boosts the phono signal for any cartridge with an output of 3-5mV. It has a compact circuit board and uses a single 12AX7 tube in the output stage for that luscious midrange only tubes can provide. It’s also dead quiet, with a signal-to-noise ratio of 80dB. The VP130 also has a few added features that everyone will appreciate, including a 1/4” headphone jack on the back panel, a mute switch, a 20Hz (infrasonic) rumble filter, and separate output volume controls for the mains and headphones.
Bellari brings the Bling
Bellari have just released the MT502 moving coil step-up transformer. It’s a brilliant piece of kit. Fully passive, this moving coil step up transformer allows you to play a low output moving coil cartridge using a moving magnet phono preamp. The transformers are hand wound and their covers are 24 karat gold plated. It has two impedance settings (a/b which are 50/100 Ohms) and a ground lift.
It mates perfectly with the VP130 and VP530 phono preamps, but don’t limit your use of it to Bellari products. I’ve been getting great results at home mating it with our Music Hall PA1.2 and have field tested it a wide range of hi-end MM phono preamps and am always dramatically impressed by its performance. Beautifully designed and built entirely in the USA. It’s a real recession buster at $499 retail. And hey, if times get tough, you can always melt down those gorgeous transformer covers.
Flyer Bellari VP129
Owners Manual Bellari VP129
What do I do if my turntable hums?
HiFi+ Review of Bellari VP129
I was surprised by how attractive and well balanced it sounded: smooth and warm, yet open and crisply detailed. The Bellari seemed to create a sound that was rich, natural and appealing. Surface noise was low, and the music emerged from a crisp, clean, quiet background. It was an excellent sound by almost any standards; one I was very happy to listen to.
Stereophile Review of Bellari VP129
The versatile [Bellari] VP129 looks great, and it sounded as good as it looks. It was quiet, and golden-sweet and liquid in the midrange, as you’d expect from a 12AX7-based phono preamp. I wasn’t expecting its top end to be so nicely extended, fast, and clean, or its bass to be so snappy, articulate, and extended. Every type of music I played through the surprising little Bellari sounded full-bodied and rich, yet detailed and crisply rendered. The Bellari VP129 gets my highest recommendation, and is the budget phono preamp I will now recommend for every genre of music…get a Bellari and a budget turntable, and I promise that your CDs will start to gather dust!
Audio Smorgasbord Bellari VP129 By Jimmy Hughes
Given the sort of end user Bellari have in mind, the VP129 is a near perfect blend of price and performance It sounds smooth, clean and richly atmospheric, with excellent fie detail and superb clarity. Providing you use a suitably highish-output MM cartridge 3mV to 5mV for the usual parameters) there’s virtually no self-noise either. Speaking personally, I’d have welcomed a stereo/mono button in place of Mute, but you can’t have everything I guess. An excellent performer at a very reasonable price!
Absolute Sound Music Hall MMF 2.1LE Turntable, Thorens TD 190-1 Turntable, and Bellari VP129 Tube Phono Preamplifier By Jim Hannon, January 2006
Although the Bellari uses an older circuit, it avoids some of the sonic limitations of many classic tube designs. In particular, it has better detail and transient speed. While the older preamps can sound really lush, they can also homogenize music-blunting the leading edges of transients and imparting a syrupy coloration. With later, edgy-sounding classical recordings this old-school tube lushness can be a good thing, but it can also make listening less exciting. By contrast, the Bellari not only makes these records more listenable, but also preserves a lot of the excitement of the performances.
Audio Review Rolls Bellari VP 130
The Bellari delivers equally well within Classical, Jazz and Rock - I'm not saying that it is the best RIIA in the world but it sure offers great value for money and easily a RIaa you can live with paired with much more expensive equipment. With the SPU Gold, JS step ups, and the EAR Yoshino 861 and Tannoy dc 12"s it very hard not to smile.
Brian at Needle Dr reviews the Bellari VP-130
Though the Bellari VP-130 comes in at $250, don’t be fooled - this thing can sing. It comes supplied with a 12AX7 vacuum tube, (which can be upgraded), and is ready for use with MM or high output MC cartridges, though when I tried it with the Dynavector 10X5 (2.5mV), I found it less than ideal. The Bellari’s strengths certainly lie in the midrange, where strings and vocals sound buttery and sweet. Acoustic guitars, especially in smaller ensembles, sounded wonderful and accurate. Modern rock music got a nice jolt of vintage warmth with an ever-so-slight coloration - a dark orange or red maybe. What I really found useful and fun was the built in headphone amplifier. With separate volume control, and a signal fresh out of the tube, it sounds absolutely lovely with a nice pair of headphones. I used Grado SR-80s with great success. Cartridge wise, my favorite pairing with it was the Nagaoka MP-500 (MM - 3.0 mV). The liveliness and attention to detail was a perfect pairing with the Bellari’s warmth, and as we all know, balance is everything. All in all, I’m completely ready to call the Bellari VP-130 a giant killer - ready to take on phono preamps well above it in price.
Features Bellari VP130:
- RIAA aqualization
- All-tube circuitry
- Switchable rumble filter
- Mute switch
- Headphone output with variable level control
- Steel chassis
Specifications Bellari VP130:
- Input connectors: RCA
- Output connectors: RCA and 1/4" TRS stereo
- Input sensitivity: 30dB gain @ 1kHz, 47k
- Input impedance: 50k ohms
- Output impedance: 8 ohms headphone, 100 ohms RCA
- Max output level: >10dB @ 1kHz at.1% dist.
- Equalization: RIAA +/- 1.5 dB, 20Hz to 20kHz
- Rumble filter: 20Hz
- THD: .02% @ 1KHz
- SNR: >80 dB unweighted
- PWR: 15V AC
- Dimensions: 6"Wx2.5"Hx5.4"D
- Weight: 2lb
- Indicator: 1 power LED