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" Weighty, powerful and agile like a stalking tiger:

The Canor PH 1.10 is equally suitable for MM and MC systems and has huge reserves in terms of scale and dynamics.

Given the world-class sound and excellent build quality, the price almost feels cheap "

Canor PH 1.10

Tube Phono Preamplifier


MC / 70dB & 76dB

MM / 46dB


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Product Features


All-tube turntable preamplifier for both MM and MC phono cartridges

Nine tubes, one vacuum tube out of them used to rectify anode voltage

Wiring circuitry without any global feedback

PCB’s utilize our premium CMT ™ technology

Vacuum-impregnated transformer core

Transformer potted in a special anti-vibration compound

High variability of gain settings, resistances and capacitances settings for all types of phono cartridges

High-quality polypropylene capacitors used in the signal path

Absolute selection and tubes matching with above-average parameters

If a turntable is fitted with two tonearms, one having MM phono cartridge installed and the other MC, both can be connected simultaneously without

High-quality step-up Lundahl transformer for MC phono cartridges 


Load Capacity-MM

50, 150, 270, 370, 520, 620, 740, 840 pF

Input Impedance-MC#1 

10, 20, 40, 80, 150, 300, 600, 1.200 Ω 

Input Impedance-MC#2 

2, 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 150, 300 Ω


MM 46 dB
MC #1 70 dB /  MC 
#2 76 dB

Output Impedance

< 250 Ω  
Subsonic Filter

18 dB / Octave


MM / MC <0,1% / 1 VRMS

RIAA Accuracy

0,3 dB / 20 Hz - 20 kHz

Signal to Noise Ratio-MM

< 72 dBV (87 dBV - IEC - A)

Signal to Noise Ratio-MC

< 68 dBV (82 dBV - IEC - A)


RCA -> MM / RCA -> MC



Tube Complement

9 x 6922 / 1 x 6CA4


435 x 170 x 485 mm


17 kg

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What they say ...




Bernhard Rietschel | December 2020



The Canor PH 1.10 is an MM and unrestricted MC-capable phono preamp

that is great to use ... it sounds fantastic, and does not require a single semiconductor in the signal path. That already narrows the list of comparable offers considerably. 

What should this thing cost ?

The PH 1.10 proudly wears the illuminated tuning array on the front panel. It is not a Project phono box, but a 17-kilo analogue colossus, into which the technical fathers of the phono box have unrestrainedly implemented their idea of ​​an ideal phono preamplifier. Only once their work was done, it seems, did someone calculate the cost of this thing, and come up with the end price of 5,500 euros.

That would certainly attract worried marketing strategists at other companies. Canor probably doesn't have one. What you can also guess from the fact that two of a total of three integrated amplifier models from the brand cost exactly the same, look the same and have the same performance, but are technically fundamentally different. Experienced vinyl audiophiles, on the other hand, know that this budget distribution is not a gram too phono-heavy. And Zdeňek, too, then probably, or at least that's how I imagine it, replied after a slow sip of excellent Slovak beer:

"Well, that fits perfectly then!"


Aesthetic Style, Build and Function

The PH 1.10 is on the one hand clearly tube-affine, on the other hand very modern in its implementation ... with a focus on perfect everyday and long-term suitability. The illuminated tuning display logo, the striking central rotary knob and the huge yellow dot matrix display complement each other to create an unmistakable Canor look.


The knob is made of solid aluminum and has ball bearings in the thick aluminum front panel. The housing is not made of aluminium, but of two millimeter thick, welded and powder-coated sheet steel, which is divided into several parts: The power supply unit is in the left third, and a small chamber for the control and display electronics is separated in the front right. The rest of the space is taken up by two separate, identical boards, each housing a complete mono amplifier branch.


The PH 1.10 employs a total of nine tubes, all of which are current production Electro-Harmonix . First up is a 6CA4EH rectifier tube which is responsible for the anode voltage of the remaining eight tubes. These are low-noise grid 6922EH double triodes. So we have a whopping eight triode systems per channel to amplify MM signals, straighten the RIAA curve (purely passive network) - and last but not least to form a symmetrical output stage that is extremely low-impedance for a tube circuit. With its 100Ω output resistance, the Canor PH 1.10 does not differ in practice from high-quality transistor colleagues; it drives long stretches of the simplest standard cable just as easily and sound-neutrally as esoteric high-end cables.


Very low noise and microphonics

 The 6922EH is a very modern double triode by tube standards, which was first introduced in 1950. Canor meticulously measures them before use with a self-developed tube test system called "Aladdin"

This Canor is ahead of most transistor designs in terms of overload resistance and maximum output voltage - and that is an important factor in everyday analog audiophile life. Because unlike in the digital world, where source devices always output 2 volts at full output, there is no exact standard for turntables: MC pickups with an IEC measuring plate, depending on the design, have output voltages of between 0.0001 and 0.001 volts.


A similar range, only shifted up by a power of ten, is found in MM and high-output MC systems. In addition, there is no defined "0dB" reference level for the sound carrier: What is considered full level on the measuring records is not achieved by one album, and is possibly far exceeded by another. In the phono world, the input signal that the preamp receives varies quite a lot. Accordingly, you need a working range that is as wide as possible, in which, on the one hand, very loud combinations can develop completely freely, far from any limits, and, on the other hand, very quiet systems can find a sufficient signal-to-noise ratio. And it is precisely this balancing act that the tubular eight-cylinder unit from Slovakia masters with ease.



Four double triodes, i.e. eight amplifying systems, are available for each stereo channel. Shielding cylinders made of blue anodized aluminum protect the tubes against acoustic and electromagnetic interference. The MC input transformers are hidden under the sheet steel compartment.


In order to keep the noise at a safe distance even with MC, the Canor does not gain the additional amplification of around 30 dB required for these systems with active components, but like most good tube phonos with input transformers. Like a transmission gear for electrons, these specialized little transformers convert tiny audio AC voltages into correspondingly larger ones, with the transformation factor given by the turns ratio of the secondary (i.e. output) to primary winding of the transformer. However, energy cannot simply appear out of nowhere, which is why the product of current and voltage must remain constant. So the increase in voltage is matched by a proportional decrease in current, but this has no negative effects on the high-impedance MM input that follows the transformer.


"Undercover Boosting"

Two Lundahl transformers with a relay entourage give MC signals the first voltage boost and provide the terminating resistance that is suitable for the system. Transformers only have one disadvantage...  their manufacturing costs ... because really linear, broadband and low-distortion audio transformers can only be achieved with experience, time and materials that are difficult to find. Canor doesn't do the winding itself either, but obtains its transformers, which are clad in hum-proof mu-metal, from the Swedish specialist Lundahl - and pays them 50 to 100 times what it would have cost to simply apply the same function to two proper OP-Amp-ICs .


Anyone who has ever heard a quiet MC system on a correctly adjusted transformer knows why Canor probably didn't think for a second about saving money on these components: the decisive first voltage rise from the dark microvolt MC Mariana Trench into the clearer MM realms are not only low-noise for the music signal, but completely noise-free.

The signal-to-noise ratio in MC mode is therefore only 4 dB below the MM value, despite the much higher amplification: around 70 dB - This is an excellent value for tube phono preamp.


The Point of no Return ... before the output connector

Coupling capacitors have the tricky task of letting the music signal pass through as undamaged as possible, while reliably blocking DC voltage. For this, Canor uses precisely wound polypropylene film capacitors from the Obbligato "Gold" series - two per channel ... as the output is symmetrical.


"The Transmission Ratio Switch"

The gain - or rather the transmission ratio - of the transformers can be "switched" via a relay signal box, which selects the appropriate primary and secondary windings of the complex nested transformers : If the input selector is set to "MC1", there is already a high total gain of 70 dB ...and "MC2" even offers 76 dB which makes this position suitable for very low output cartridges such as an Ortofon SPU or the Audio-Technica ART9XA .

Since this is done by paralleling resistors on the secondary side of the input transformer, the actual resistance that the system "sees" is also affected by the gain setting of the transformer. With MC1, the options range from 10 to 1,200 ohms, the extra-long translation MC2 turns this into 2 to 300 ohms - which also makes sense because extremely quiet MC systems are often low-impedance and correspondingly prefer smaller terminating resistors.


The MM input is rated for 48dB of gain (again, a relatively high factor for this type of system) and has its own pair of RCAs. So owners of two turntables or a two-arm TT can both connect and switch between them, as long as one of them is MC-equipped and the other MM-equipped.


Ready for Anything - The Display

Conveniently, the inputs can also be fine-tuned to the system via relays. These adjustments will be clearly shown on the dot matrix display. The selection is made either with the thick rotary knob, or with two small, actually completely redundant touch keys. With MM, the very low basic input capacitance of 50 picofarads can be increased in seven steps up to 840 picofarads. For MC, there are eight adjustment levels to set input impedance.

The currently selected impedance can be read easily, even from a distance. If you like it discreet, you can also dim the display or switch it off completely.

Listening and Comparisons

I've hlistened to the PH 1.10 with extra low output MCs as well as with HO- MCs, and with MM cartridges. Specifically : The Linn Klyde (0.15mV, 5Ω) on a Linn LP12 / Lingo 2 / Kore / Ekos 1 -- a Denon DL-103R (0.25mV / 14Ω) on the Funk Firm Super Deck Grande with F512 Tonearm -- the Thorens SPU TD 124 (0.5mV, 2Ω (!)) on the brand new Thorens TD 124 DD -- a Lyra Delos (0.6mV, 6Ω) on the SME Model 10 -- and finally a Nagaoka MP-150 MM cartridge on the Technics SL-1200 GR . In retrospect, the large selection would not have been absolutely necessary, because after a few LPs with the Thorens DD there was no doubt in my mind that the Canor is an enormously large-format, powerful and dynamic sounding phono preamp.

The opening bars of Matt Berninger's solo album Serpentine Prison demonstrated the superiority of the PH 1.10 as clearly as jumping from one image to the next with a slide projector. Superiority over what? Certainly not a 79-euro Phono Box, but one of my absolute favorites phono preamps, The Rike Audio Natalija I ... which is also fully equipped with tubes and equally blessed with Lundahl transformers. The German device – now on the market as the Mk III, but still in the original version for me – combines unbelievable subtlety with gripping dynamic drive, giving the The National singer’s rock ballads a catchy, rhythmically precise presence. The Natalija is a tough test opponent that had easily won most comparisons thus far.


Not this time. The Canor portrayed Serpentine Prison just as engagingly and vitally, but zoomed in on the music in an even larger and more expansive manner. With only slight differences in the tonal characteristics - both preamps are neutral in the best sense of the word - but the Canor is still immediately recognizable by its more expansive dynamic range and size. Even the Linn Uphorik, a longtime benchmark for me, had nowhere near the substance and authority of the Canor ... An even the fantastic Naim SuperLine (with Hi-Cap power supply) lost out in a direct comparison – albeit narrowly. The Canor PH. 1.10 simply had the larger color palette.


Now would be the ideal opportunity to bring out a phono stage from Audio Research for comparison purposes. I had over the past few years tested three or four models from this US manufacturer, and they all produced this confidently huge, high-torque sound which simply and naturally resulted from power, calmness and accuracy. In comparison, the Canor was similarly powerful, perhaps with a mid-high range that wasn't quite as smooth and supple as I remember it from Audio Research. 


But today, the great American Audio Research phono stages such as the 9,500 Euro PH-9 cost at least twice as much as the Canor PH 1.10, and below this price level Audio Reseaerch no longer offers a phono preamp. That was not always the case, as I can very well remember outstanding-sounding hybrid, and even all-tube, models under or around 5,000 euros. Anyone looking for this level of performance will now find it from Canor. Not in the USA, but in Prešov in Slovakia, near the border of Hungary and Ukraine.


I then decided to do a final comparison with a dinosaur phono stage that I was very fond of, and that I had used in a completely different system. Luckily, it was still available for comparison : The Roksan Reference Phono. This beast was essentially a "monster power supply with an implanted phono stage", and was anything but squeamish when it comes to dynamics.

The nonchalance with which the Canor also outclassed this old warhorse was immediately, and surprisingly evident.



Weighty, powerful and agile like a stalking tiger: The Canor PH 1.10 is equally suitable for MM and MC systems and has huge reserves in terms of scale and dynamics. Given the world-class sound and excellent build quality, the price almost feels cheap.

Canor PH 1.10 LowBeats Rating

The rating always refers to the respective price range

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 Take a listen ...

Canor Audio PH 1.10


In very good company with

 SME15 TT and MySonic Eminent Cart

$ 18,000


 Keith dont Go (Live)

70's rock Concert / Nils Lofgren 

Video courtesy of BlueHeart

Canor Audio PH 1.10


In very good company with

 SME15 TT and EMT JSD 5 Cart

$ 17,500



Love, Its Loneliness / Woongsan 

Video courtesy of BlueHeart

Canor Audio PH 1.10


In very good company with

 SME15 TT and EMT JSD 5 Cart

$ 17,500


 Georgia on my Mind  (Live)

Georgia on my Mind / Ben Webster 

Video courtesy of BlueHeart

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Canor Audio PH 1.10


In very good company with

 J/Sikora TT and AT33sa Cart

$ 30,000


 The Thrill is Gone

Cafe Blue / Patricia Barber 

Video courtesy of AnalogMusic

Clones 4.jpg
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