LOMC Cornet2 & Piccolo2

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LOMC Cornet2 & Piccolo2
« on: 23 Jan 2015, 06:08 pm »
I have a Cornet2 that I built a while back (and which I love).  I'm thinking  of moving into a Moving Coil cartridge (the Denon DL-103r specifically).  I'm considering  getting the Piccolo2 to go between the 103 and C2, and wanted to make sure this works.  I saw a review of the DL-103r and the reviewer suggested 60dB of gain (at a minimum).  The P2 only has 26dB, but I am unsure if the 60dB recommendation includes the gain of the Cornet2?  Will 26dB before my Cornet2 be enough for a .25mV output?  Has anyone used the DL-103r or the older DL-103 with either Piccolo?  Any advice is much welcomed!



Re: LOMC Cornet2 & Piccolo2
« Reply #1 on: 23 Jan 2015, 08:19 pm »
I'm not sure of the Cornet 2, but the original Cornet had 43db of gain. The Piccolo has variable gain settings up to 26db. So at best you have 43+26 = 69 db of gain which should be plenty. If it seems to be too much try backing off the Piccolo to its 20db setting (20+43=63).

I know with my Trumpet (44db) + Piccolo (26db) I need all of it for my .2mv output Transfiguration temper cartridge.


Re: LOMC Cornet2 & Piccolo2
« Reply #2 on: 26 Jan 2015, 04:53 pm »
Thanks, Bob!  That definitely helps!  Nice cartridge by the way!


Re: LOMC Cornet2 & Piccolo2
« Reply #3 on: 26 Jan 2015, 08:55 pm »
I use the Zu audio Denon 103r with the piccolo and no complaints at all.


Re: LOMC Cornet2 & Piccolo2
« Reply #4 on: 26 Jan 2015, 10:17 pm »
I saw a review of the DL-103r and the reviewer suggested 60dB of gain (at a minimum).  The P2 only has 26dB, but I am unsure if the 60dB recommendation includes the gain of the Cornet2?  Will 26dB before my Cornet2 be enough for a .25mV output?

The 60 db requirement is total gain, step-up + MM section.  I have 60 db total phono gain (20 step-up + 40 MM)in my rig, and it is just fine with carts in the .23 to .3 output range (Dynavector 17d2 mk2 and Dynavector 20x-LO, respectively).

Keep in mind that the "total gain profile" of your system also enters into the equation.  By this I mean: line section gain, amp input sensitivity, and speaker sensitivity.  If at least one of these is high (the more the merrier), then you can get away with slightly less gain in the phono chain compared to a system with insensitive speakers and / or low line section gain and / or insensitive amp input.  Think total picture, not just your configuration for cart output / step-up/ MM section.

In my specific case, I have a decent amount of overall system gain / sensitivity:  line section is 15 db, speakers are 92 db, and amp sensitivity is 1v.


Re: LOMC Cornet2 & Piccolo2
« Reply #5 on: 27 Jan 2015, 03:47 pm »
I have a Cornet II and Piccolo behind my Soundsmith / Denon 103 and it is a really good combination.  I'm not even using maximum gain settings and there is slightly more output on the vinyl rig than my Dac or tuner.  What makes more of an impact on sound quality is tuning the loading on the cartridge.

I think you'll be quite happy!



Re: LOMC Cornet2 & Piccolo2
« Reply #6 on: 27 Jan 2015, 06:24 pm »
Thanks all!  I ordered my piccolo 2 kit, and will let everyone know what I think of it (after it's built and I have built my audio kitty back up enough to get the cartridge).

Thanks again!


Re: LOMC Cornet2 & Piccolo2
« Reply #7 on: 13 Feb 2015, 06:03 pm »
I’ve received and completed my Piccolo 2 kit!  Assembly was straight forward, and all the required components were included (always somewhat of a risk when you get a little bag of 40+ loose resistors.)
I finished the kit a few days before my new cartridge arrived, so I tested it out on my 4.0mV AT440MLa.  I set the loading and gain to their lowest values (0dB and 47ohm) and started up a record.  I was immediately afraid I’d done something horribly wrong, as the sound was AWFUL!  After some quick internet searching, I found that 47K Ohm was a more appropriate load for my MM cartridge.  I switched the Piccolo2 up to the max input impedance, and all was well.  I didn’t try any gain, as 4.0mV is pretty hot already.

I received the Denon DL-103r a few days ago, and have since tested it a little bit.  One of the selling points (to me) of the P2 is the adjustable Gain and input impedance.  I found I liked the sound best at 1K ohm and 20dB gain (although @ 20dB I had to crank my volume up more than usual and I noticed a very faint hum).  26dB is not quite as bad, but the 60 Hz hum is still present.  I am not too worried about this, because I am using some stupid 1.5m RCA cables (temporarily) and the P2 is right next to my Coronet 2’s power transformer.  I expect things to behave better once I move everything to its final resting place.

**Mini-Review** I liked that the JFETS on the Piccolo2 came pre-mounted (SMT).  The kit was easy to assemble, taking a few hours over 2 evenings.  The RCA connectors (although not gold plated) appear to be high quality.  The 2 switches have positive detents and the supplied knobs are exceptional (heavy aluminum construction with good knurls.)  The plastic case is ‘ok’ and is a perfect fit.  If I don’t remove the PCB to place it inside my Coronet2, I’ll likely paint the plastic (which is a frosted clear.)  My one major complaint (or suggestion) is the lack of any stickers/labels/markings on the case.  I’d LOVE to have some circular labels to indicate the switch values (currently I am using some high-end audiophile custom labels –see attached.)  The sound quality is exactly what I expected (I have heard that these carts take about 10 hours to fully break in.)  Comparing the DL-103r to the AT440MLa (P2 @ 26dB& 100K and 0dB 47K respectively) I was amazed at the details I could hear.  My normal ‘test’ record (one that I know so completely well that I can usually ID sound improvements on) is 180 gram re-issue of Dark Side of the Moon.  Both carts sounded good, and the P2 was completely transparent.  However, on The Great Gig in the Sky, Clare Torry's vocals seemed to lift off of the album and be in their own separate space with the Denon MC cartridge.  Playing back the same segment with the MM cart, her vocals seemed very much part of the overall background sound.  The difference was so striking, that I wasn’t sure which I preferred…  After multiple listens, I very much prefer the MC cart (and the P2 made switching between the two very easy).

Connected Equipment:
Denon DL-103r MC Cart, Ortofon SH-4 Headshell, Pioneer PL-540 Turntable, Piccolo2, Coronet2, Adcom GTP-500 Preamp, Tubelab SE 300b amp, Tri-Trix Speakers.


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Re: LOMC Cornet2 & Piccolo2
« Reply #8 on: 23 Mar 2015, 07:42 pm »
I have a Koetsu Rosewood signature using the recommended loading (30ohm) .  47ohm on the Coronet/Picollo
Combo.  Anyone else tried other settings?