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Phono stage and cartridge - maybe a change?

trumpetman

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Firstly Happy New Year to all in advance

Background - AWB are touring the UK featuring their white album, couldn't get to any concerts, so put my vinyl copy on the system over christmas and it sounded shite.  Investigations led to to cartridge and alignment check - all OK, then phono stage settings.  I discovered the MC button was pressed and not the MM - bingo sounding gorgeous.  BUT volume on amp is at 3/4 for ordinary listening levels. Being a bit OCD this is not good esp when I change source. Have tried a few settings with some advice using MC jumpers and obviously still crap.

So WAM advice please

I'm still loving the vinyl and DV carts - do I get a more sophisticated adjustable phono stage that will bring the knob down (oh err!), or look for a LOMC?

Suitable phono stages to consider would be appreciated

Details below - thanks

System

Rega Aria MM/MC phonostage
Dynavector 20X2H cartridge
Funk Firm LSD
Hegel Integ. Amp

Cartridge

Type High output moving coil cartridge with flux damper and softened magnetism
Output Voltage 2.8mV
Channel Separation 25 dB (at 1KHz)
Channel balance 1.0 dB (at 1KHz)
Frequency response 20 - 20,000Hz (± 1dB)
Compliance 12 mm/N
Tracking force 1.8 - 2.2 g
Impedance 150 ohms
Recommended load impedance > 1,000 ohms
Cantilever 6mm length, hard aluminium pipe
Stylus tip Micro Ridge Nude diamond
Weight 9.2 g

 

rabski

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The volume control position is totally unimportant. Trying to match the effective voltages of sources so the amplifier volume control is in the same position for each is pointless, and also implies potentially compromising the performance of something.

As long as it goes loud enough if you want it to, and doesn't distort, it's not a problem at all.

On my system, the preamp volume control is is substantially different positions for the DAC and the phono stage. I am pretty fussy about things, but this one I don't care about in the least. I built both of them, and the output stage of each is designed to run the valves at their ideal operating point while giving a sensible amount of gain. The input part of the phono stage and the SUT are built to load the cartridge properly. The result of all this is that the output from the DAC is at a higher level than the output of the phono stage. Both of them sound decent enough (understatement mode) and both of them will go loud enough to scare passing pigeons. Therefore, no problem.

 

wizmax

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Looking at the back panel of your Hagel amp I see that it has phono and XLR analogue inputs, which are you using to connect your phono stage? It is usual for XLR inputs to have a lower sensitivity and therefore unless you have a source(phono stage) with enough output voltage the end result will be less power going to your speakers and therefore you will have to increase the volume control to drive the speakers to your desired listening level. If you are using the XLR inputs on the Hagel try using a phono to phono interconnect instead.

 

bigrod

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The Cambridge edge streamer preamp allows you to set the volume start for each source , but whatever the source you can’t turn the wick up much beyond 12 o’clock 

For moderate listening it’s about 10 o’clock .. 

 

Blzebub

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 the output from the DAC is at a higher level than the output of the phono stage. Both of them sound decent enough (understatement mode) and both of them will go loud enough to scare passing pigeons. Therefore, no problem.
No problem, until you absentmindedly switch from vinyl to CD, and forget to adjust the volume before hitting Play. Happened to me numerous times in the past.

 

trumpetman

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Thanks for the replies so far

To wizmax I'm using Phono 

blzebub - exactly what happened when I switched to my Magnum tuner for some internet radio!!

While I could live with it I'm always open for a change of kit. Would a Phono stage with higher gain be a solution?

 

rabski

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Thanks for the replies so far

To wizmax I'm using Phono 

blzebub - exactly what happened when I switched to my Magnum tuner for some internet radio!!

While I could live with it I'm always open for a change of kit. Would a Phono stage with higher gain be a solution?
I'm 'old school' and brought up with dodgy switches and noisy equipment, so it's an ingrained habit to turn the gain on anything to zero before switching.

A higher gain phono stage could bring other problems (noise for a start), so if you really want a 'solution', I'd go the other way and use attenuators on the digital source.

 

rabski

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Quiet phono stages w/ line-level output aren't cheap.
Yup. And even the best can show up noise problems in the chain. Hence, the 'reduce the digital signal' suggestion.

 

DomT

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I agree with Rabski that different volumes don’t really matter. I have used the Dynavector DV20X2L for several years and it’s a great cartridge so enjoy your H version. I only found two other cartridges that I liked enough to buy after the DV20, the DRT1-S an AN IO.

 

rabski

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Won't it create unnecessary wear on the pot?

[typed "rear" instead of wear the first time]
Pots do wear, yes, though it's extremely gradual and decent ones have a very long life. You would normally be frequently adjusting the volume level in normal use, and not adjusting a pot can also cause problems. Apart from a very few weird designs, they're relatively straightforward to replace.

 

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