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Ok, so I have had my Majik LP12 for just over two weeks and it is everything I'd hoped it would be. Even with my modest setup (Trichord Dino mk1, Marantz PM5005 and Dynaudio DM2/6's), it sounds fantastic. However, I am someone who likes to play music fairly loud, but unfortunately can't due to an annoying neighbour.

This has led me to face two issues with my Dino. First, the Dino has a volume threshold where it seems to just 'open up' the soundstage, however, that volume level is too high for me to reach due to said neighbour. The other problem is that the Dino mk1 has very poor RF shielding, but is stuck about 2m away from a skyQ box on one side, with a fridge-freezer on the opposite side of the wall on the other; neither can be moved. Now, while this does not really present a problem when using my loudspeakers, it is very noticeable when using headphones.

So, I am pondering replacing the Dino with a different phono stage. Now, I would like to point out that I love how the Dino sounds; there is no issue there. But as I am pondering using headphones for a lot of my listening (until I eventually move house), I need a phono amp that is not as susceptible to RF interference and, ideally, does not require the volume to be at a certain level to 'open up' the soundstage. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I am more than happy to buy a used stage (the Dino was used) and would probably budget about £250-300 + what I can get for the Dino Mk1 (possibly another £100), though will happily spend less. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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The Lejonklou Gaio would be an ideal partner for your Majik LP12, it was developed with the Adikt cartridge. Second-hand it should be within your budget.

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1 hour ago, Tendaberry said:

The Lejonklou Gaio would be an ideal partner for your Majik LP12, it was developed with the Adikt cartridge. Second-hand it should be within your budget.

The very words taken off my keyboard! If you are in the UK, last I knew my dealer (Hidden Systems in Windsor) had a couple in stock, including the one that was mine. Chris from Hidden Systems is hiding himself away in his cottage in France just now, but is contactable by email.

I don't know about any earthing issues with the Gail or any other phono stage, as I've never had that problem. But the Gaio does have the appropriate earthing connections.

David

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I think I've come across the Heed Questar before, but checked it out anyway and it seems to fit the bill. However, I've never even heard of the Lejonklou Gaio. The options I already had on my list were the Dino MK3 (I think changing the case improved the shielding), the Moon 110LP (it's the same as the stage in the 240i amp, which sounded great when I heard it) and one of the Graham Slee's (gram amp 2 or Era V gold). Does anyone have any experience with any of these stages and how they will compare to the Dino mk1? Obviously, I'd rule out any that will result in a drop in sound quality.

If the rega stage is anything like the one in the elicit, that's a no go. I heard the elicit stage when I demoed the Majik and much preferred my Dino.

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Posted (edited)

Have you tried increasing the gain on your Dino? The Dino is widely adjustable and increasing the gain may have the desired effect you seek.

Edited by Clownmaster

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19 hours ago, INFoggarty said:

I think I've come across the Heed Questar before, but checked it out anyway and it seems to fit the bill. However, I've never even heard of the Lejonklou Gaio.

Hi, the Heed is relative low cost and performed fine but a bit laid-back and lacking sparkle and dynamics compared to the built inn phone stage of the Majik DSM. I would save up for the Lejonklou if I were you. 

Øyvind I

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Super Wammer
On 14/03/2020 at 10:47, INFoggarty said:

...the Dino mk1 has very poor RF shielding, but is stuck about 2m away from a skyQ box on one side, with a fridge-freezer on the opposite side of the wall on the other; neither can be moved. Now, while this does not really present a problem when using my loudspeakers, it is very noticeable when using headphones

Can you clarify how this RF problems manifests itself?  It may be worth trying different arrangements for your mains connections, if there is unwanted noise, or pops and clicks.

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21 hours ago, Clownmaster said:

Have you tried increasing the gain on your Dino? The Dino is widely adjustable and increasing the gain may have the desired effect you seek.

No. I've only used MM cartridges with it, so have the switches all set to the position recommended for these cartridges in the manual. Do you have any advice as to what settings might help, or is it a case of trial and error.

3 hours ago, Nopiano said:

Can you clarify how this RF problems manifests itself?  It may be worth trying different arrangements for your mains connections, if there is unwanted noise, or pops and clicks.


There is a hum present when you turn the volume up. This is more noticeable when using headphones. When I first got it, I moved my sky box to the opposite side of the TV unit, as that reduced it. If I turned both the sky box and fridge off at the wall, the hum dissapears.

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Are your interconnects shielded??

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Posted (edited)

As far as I am aware. I'm using the Linn interconnect between the Lp12 and the dino and a QED performance graphite stereo interconnect (0.6m) between the Dino and the amp.

Edited by INFoggarty

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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, INFoggarty said:

There is a hum present when you turn the volume up. This is more noticeable when using headphones. When I first got it, I moved my sky box to the opposite side of the TV unit, as that reduced it. If I turned both the sky box and fridge off at the wall, the hum dissapears.

Ok.  Well a phono stage has the biggest amplification anywhere in a typical system, so it can act a bit like a hum probe.  Moving it around can help zoom in or out from whatever it is picking up.  Assuming the fridge and Sky box aren’t actually faulty, is the Sky box on the same socket or extension?  

Is your HiFi indirectly connected to the Sky box, for example because you route the tv sound through your HiFi?   Do both fridge and Sky box cause hum?   Perhaps you can discover if the hum is picked up via the mains, or induced into the cables or the Dino itself?  Is there a ground cable you can remove - not a mains earth but a flying cable?

Try swapping the interconnects to see it improves or worsens things.  

Ultimately you may need to try another phono stage, but you should be able to find a cure with patience   Good luck!  

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I did a lot of testing when I bought the Dino and the hum is definitely caused by both the sky box and fridge; mostly the latter after I moved the sky box. The sky box is on a separate mains socket to the turntable system and while I do use the TV via the amp, I tried disconecting the rca cable, but that did not help. The dino is just picking up the stray RF waves being emmited by both the sky box and the fridge, hence why I think changing it is the only solution.

Can anyone tell me if the only difference between the moon 250i and 240i is that the latter has the built in 110LP phono stage? I really loved how the 240i sounded when paired with the LP12, but can't afford it atm. If that is the case, I might plump for the 110LP just now, then pick up the 250i at a later date.

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Another vote here for the Lejonklou Gaio.

It’s a great little phono stage, that works superbly with the Adikt.

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