Looking to uprgrade turntable/Should I be taking advantage of my MC Phono Pre?

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Golden_Era

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Here is me system first off:

Turntable: Rega Planar 2
                     upgrades: Mitchell Techno weight counterweight
                                    Rega drive belt upgrade

Cartridge: Audio-Technica VM540ML

Phono Stage: Tokyo Sound PE 100 SE


Pre-Amplifier: Reference Line Preeminence One passive preamp.

Amplifier: Odyssey Audio Khartago w/ full upgrade package.

Speakers: Energy Veritas 2.2i

Interconnects: Audio Quest Red River

Speaker cable: Kimber Cable 8vs


I'm looking to upgrade the turntable and cartridge in my system. I'm looking at an overall budget for table and cart around $2000.
I've got my eye on an online deal on a Project RPM 9.2 with Sumiko EVO III high output MC cart. Apparently a $3000 package going for $1850.
However I do have a phono preamp with a MC input. I'm wondering if I'm doing myself a disservice by not utilizing that option and looking toward a low output MC cart?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

rotarius

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The Sumiko is mediocre at best IMO.  There is a reason they are bundled together with tables.  I suggest you get the best Ortofon Quintet MC you can  afford once you decide on a TT.

bacobits1

The Specification on the  Tokyo Sound PE 100 SE>  MC/MC version is :

MM-47K>40db gain, MC-fixed 100 OHM>60Db gain.
The MC setting is average so caution what you mate with it. You can also add a Step-up transformer to match more closely what you may choose for a MC cartridge.

Golden_Era

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Thanks much for the replies. What would be the cut off point of low  output voltage I could go on a cart you think?

Not opposed to a step up transformer but would be a last option.

Also I think my passive preamp could throw a wrench in all this too. This will be final purchase in a very long time so I wanna make sure I get it right.

bacobits1

I would go with at least a high out put mc at 2.5 output.
Most low op mc are .3 to .5 output really pushing the volume with 60db setting and passive pre.

Golden_Era

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Right on. But I would still use the MC setting/input on the phono stage with the high output cart?

twitch54

given the good advice you've been given so far and the fact that you stated you planned on this 'upgrade' being around for a prolonged period of time I would hold off, continue to save and at a minimum dbl your budget. IMO, your 2k plan is not as much of an 'upgrade' as you think .......

Golden_Era

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Now that sounds like a very viable option. I do tend to want to jump the gun on some of this stuff so to speak. Well now, that gives me a WHOLE LOT more goodies to research for the weekend. Thanks much to all. You were speaking of a turntable/cartridge pair for around the double budget correct?

twitch54

You were speaking of a turntable/cartridge pair for around the double budget correct?

Yes, 500-1000 for cartridge (Hana for example), the balance on the TT

sunnydaze

Right on. But I would still use the MC setting/input on the phono stage with the high output cart?

Your MC input will load your cart at 100 ohms.   Most HOMC carts (defined as 1mV or greater) require 47k load. 

So while you will likely need your MC input for it's greater gain with carts in the lowish HO range (1.0 - 2.5 mV), the loading will be wrong.

With a passive I'd go with either: 

(1)  a healthy output MM cart in the 4 - 6 mV range, into the MM input.

or

(2)  a HOMC cart with output up around 2.5 mV that is OK with 100 ohm load (kindof scarce, I think) and cross your fingers that your MC input provides sufficient gain.

In your case, because of the passive,  outputs in the 1.0 to 2.5 mV range are kindof no-man's land.

Lose the passive and your world becomes much easier, with many more cartridge choices.  With an active line section, there is a "chance"  that carts in the 1.0 - 2.5 mV output range will be gutsy enough into your MM input.  It depends on the overall "sensitivity profile" of your rig (ie.  speaker efficiency, amp input sensitivity, preamp gain).
« Last Edit: 18 Oct 2018, 02:11 pm by sunnydaze »

Golden_Era

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Thanks. I have always thought if I were to ditch the passive I would go with a tube pre-amp possibly. I'd like a warmer sound. Something else to ponder.

sunnydaze

Thanks. I have always thought if I were to ditch the passive I would go with a tube pre-amp possibly. I'd like a warmer sound. Something else to ponder.

I've tried the passive route, a few times.  I always return to tubed line stages.

Golden_Era

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Spending more money is always the best solution. Lol. I'm gonna save for the turntable and focus now on getting hopefully a decent tube line stage. No phono pre or any frills needed really. Something vintage would also be an option, granted it's been fully serviced.

Really liking what I'm seeing from Aric Audio.
« Last Edit: 14 Oct 2018, 05:03 pm by Golden_Era »

rotarius

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Tube preamps? Look at Mapletree Audio line stage or Elekit TU-8500 new.  Great bang for the buck.  Audio Electronics AE-3 in the used market.  I own all 3 of them and have owned all flavors of the AE-3 in the past.   You can't go wrong with Cary or AES stuff. :thumb: