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Old 21st August 2006, 03:57 PM   #1
amt is offline amt  United States
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Default Advice regarding MC and phono preamps

Ive been out of vinyl for almost two decades and have been asked by a friend for some advice on upgrading his system. He doesnt own a computer and has no interest in them. So hes been out of the information loop for some time. His only info flows from magazines and sales people! So I have volunteered to do some reseach.

He is going to replace a high output MC and Linn preamp setup with something else. He only listens to 50's - present jazz. What Ive offered to do is help him build a phono pre rather than buy the $800+ one a salesguy says is wonderful. Also, he needs a new MC and would like to go low output. So my intitial questions are thus:

1) Can a Phonoclone or similar put out enough voltage to directly connect to an amp without a preamp? He likes the idea less gain stages, such as the EAR 834P which I guess just has a potentiometer added to it. Eliminating the preamp purchase would add to his amp/MC budget.

2) What is the best bang for the buck in low output MC these days for $500 and under and $500-$1000.

Any insight into this sort of setup would be great.

amt
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Old 21st August 2006, 04:29 PM   #2
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

In the States probably the best value under $500 is
the Audio Technica OC9, at $300 it is very good value.

http://www.needledoctor.com/s.nl/it....2&category=363

compare to this :

http://www.needledoctor.com/s.nl/it....2&category=369

In the UK the Denon is 210 and the AT OC9 330 .... go figure.

You would need a seriously good (and seriously expensive) arm
and turntable to justify the use of a more expensive cartridge.

You can design the phono stage to have the correct output
to drive a power amplifier via a passive volume control.

Checkout the Pass Pearl DIY stage :
http://passdiy.com/projects/pearlono1.htm


/sreten.
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Old 21st August 2006, 04:47 PM   #3
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If the OC9 is very good value @ $300 what is a DL103 @ $135? Unbeliavable value?

If a sophisticated stylus is essential an Ortofon KontraB also fits the bill.
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Old 21st August 2006, 05:06 PM   #4
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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The 75 db Phonoclone should be enough to just plug it into an integrated amp if you use the Denon DL-103 or equal carts. The 90 db version should work the same with ultra low-output carts. Modern MM headamps tend to be 55 db and work without preamp. Calculate from there.

It's no problem achieving 75 db with ss.

$1,000 will offer you many alternatives. So you need to specify it a little more. What tonearm, for example.
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Old 21st August 2006, 05:07 PM   #5
amt is offline amt  United States
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Well he's using a Linn Sondek LP12 with the Valhalla upgrade and an Akito arm I think. The Pearl appears to be a well regarded design and I will email Promitheus to see if any of the boards are still available. Are there boards elsewhere?

And thanks, I will check out the AT and Ortofon. Not boutique names so probably high value but low "cool factor"


amt
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Old 21st August 2006, 06:03 PM   #6
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by analog_sa
If the OC9 is very good value @ $300 what is a DL103 @ $135? Unbeliavable value?

If a sophisticated stylus is essential an Ortofon KontraB also fits the bill.
Hi,

$135 ? $220 more like.

The Denon is not my idea of an "all-rounder".


Quote:
Originally posted by amt
Well he's using a Linn Sondek LP12 with the Valhalla upgrade and an Akito arm I think. The Pearl appears to be a well regarded design and I will email Promitheus to see if any of the boards are still available. Are there boards elsewhere?

And thanks, I will check out the AT and Ortofon.
Not boutique names so probably high value but low "cool factor"

amt
Hi,

The KontraB is complete overkill in the Akito arm IMO.
That is if its an Akito II. For an Akito I TBH the AT AT440MLa
MM would probably work better than the OC9, and thats $90.

Stick with the OC9 and get an Ittok, checkout :

http://www.vinylengine.com/version14lp12faq.shtml

/sreten.
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Old 21st August 2006, 06:27 PM   #7
SY is offline SY  United States
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Hugely interesting! I did not know that my black LVII was a collectors' item.
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Old 21st August 2006, 11:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by amt
Well he's using a Linn Sondek LP12 with the Valhalla upgrade and an Akito arm I think. The Pearl appears to be a well regarded design and I will email Promitheus to see if any of the boards are still available. Are there boards elsewhere?
The Pearl is definitely the way to go, if you can get boards from Prometheus. You will need the matching phono-pre for a low output MC like the OC9. My Pearl destroyed my Linn LK1 preamp phono section. I'm also using an Akito I arm with a medium output Glider on my Valhalla LP12.
This is only my second project (not including speakers) since building a Hafler DH-200 from kit form in 1980! You will be very happy with the Pearl if you decide to go this route.

Jeff
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Old 22nd August 2006, 05:23 AM   #9
tubenut is offline tubenut  South Africa
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What cartridge does the man use now?

I have an OC9 and after my Linn Karma got long in the tooth I tried the OC9 but could not listen to it, to sterile and HiFi for me.

I have used a 103 Denon since in an Akito with a little lead tape (as used by golf pros on clubs to increase mass of tube and counterweight) and I do enjoy it. It required a cable change to open up the tops and it is not great on used LPs but a lot of bang for the buck and super musical. Analog SA was instrumental in my acquiring the 103 and need to say thanks.......

MM only in Akito, maybe but to my ears most MM sound plastic.....
Sumiko high output MCs are kind on arms and may be worth investigating....

Two useful tools:

http://www.vinylengine.com/tonearm_d...Search2=Search


http://www.cartridgedb.com/main.asp
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Old 22nd August 2006, 08:23 AM   #10
rturja is offline rturja  Finland
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If you're interested in Pearl, Promitheus has a MC pre-pre section for it available as well.

Pearl pre thread

-Reko
(who's waiting for his own Pearl+pre kit to arrive )
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