“In one iteration or another, the Musical Surroundings phono preamplifiers designed by Mike Yee have been my references since I reviewed the original Phonomena in 2002…” - Paul Seydor, The Absolute Sound USA
"Well made, really easy to use, and accurate…the Fozgometer gets my highest recommendation!" - Michael Fremer, Stereophile USA
The Musical Surroundings brand was created in the 1990s in conjunction with world-class designers, including Michael Yee and Jim Fosgate, to provide high performance and high value products to enhance LP playback. Musical Surroundings phono stages and power supplies are designed and manufactured in California.
The Phonomena line of phono preamps, designed by Michael Yee, have always been distinguished by their sonic balance and refinement. These affordable phono stages feature fully discrete circuitry and very adjustable gain and loading. Phono stages typically use integrated operational amplifiers or op amps, which leaves a designer with not much to design. The sound is determined by the op amp and capacitors. A Michael Yee design will contain somewhere around 200 parts, the audio op amp replaced by a crafted signal path that uses 17 transistors per channel for a completely customized and precise sound. Mike makes decisions how best to bias each transistor for the given application as well as optimizing components and power supply requirements.
Both the Phonomena II+ and Nova III are third generation evolutions of Michael Yee designs. In addition to his discrete topology, Mike has continued to focus on more sophisticated power supplies. All Musical Surroundings phono stages provide flexibility and adjustability to optimize the performance of MM and MC phono cartridges.