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Pearl Phono- What cartridge
Pearl Phono- What cartridge
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Old 16th February 2002, 03:15 AM   #1
SteveG is offline SteveG  United States
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Default Pearl Phono- What cartridge

The Pearl Phono appeals to me, as I have about 300 or so LP's around. I have a mid-line Rotel turntable with a somewhat cheap Audio Technica cartridge. In reading about the Pearl Phono, I have yet to determine if it is for these moving magnet cartridges, or for the lower output moving coil. I would assume that it is for a moving coil because of the 60db gain. Am I wrong? sorry if this is a dumb question and I just missed something.
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Old 16th February 2002, 03:44 PM   #2
jam is offline jam  United States
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The Grado's work well but for a bit more money the Sumiko Celebration is hard to beat.If you choose a moving coil stick with a high output model.

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Old 19th February 2002, 06:04 AM   #3
wayne is offline wayne  United States
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Pearl Phono- What cartridge
I designed the Pearl primarily as a MM preamp. It doesn't have 60 dB at 1 K. I used it with some MC cartridges as the article states but the Grados have a nice high output (4.5 mV). If you have enough total system gain you could use a high output MC.
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Old 19th February 2002, 01:31 PM   #4
SteveG is offline SteveG  United States
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Thanks for the reply, and the great design! Now that I know it's compatible with my current cheap phono cartridge, I will probably build one. Hopefully I can upgrade to a Grado down the line, but LP's aren't my top priority currently.
On a similar note: Does anyone know of a turntable that is under $1000US (preferably under $600US)that really performs? I am totally out of the loop on what is the newest and greatest. It seems that everything is either high end or total junk now, from what I have seen. Thanks again.
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Old 23rd February 2002, 03:57 AM   #5
mg16 is offline mg16
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Default High Performance turn table

Without a doubt, I'd say buy a used Oracle Delphi MKII OR MKIII. I bought my MKII for $650.00, without tonearm. You can find them with arms mounted for under $1000. I bought a Rega RB250 arm, and had it modified by Origin Live in England. Total cost for arm and mods was around $300.00.
Vinyl sonic bliss IMHO.
I've owned first Duals, then Rabco's, then Dennons, then Rega Panars, and finally Oracles. Its all I will own from now on.They are built like tanks, beautiful look at, and sound magnificent when set up properly.
This is my second Oracle Delphi. I had a MKI for 2 years, then sold it for what I paid for it, and upgraded to a MKII. I am working my way up the ladder to a MKIV OR MARK V, eventually.
If you like a wall to wall soundstage with uncanny imageing, and detail, you will love the Oracle Delphi.
Oracle Delphi MKII/Rega RB250 modded/Goldring gx1022 or Grado red.
Home built Eric Barbour 45 "single ended glory" tube amp
Scratch built Curcio Daniel preamp, or Nelson Pass Bride of Zen
Proceed PCD3 CDP
Lightly modded Klipsch Lascala loudspeakers.
Cardas Quadlink biwire speaker cable/Quadlink IC's
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Old 23rd February 2002, 04:20 AM   #6
arnach is offline arnach  United States
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Default hmm

Used micro seiki and used Koetsu!

Japanese excellence.

-- Aaron
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Old 25th February 2002, 12:54 AM   #7
chiggy is offline chiggy
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Default many options for a TT


you've got a bunch of options -

- you could build a TT around the Teres bearing and platter.
- buy a used VPI
- for something most audiophiles would scoff at, a used Technics 1200 dj table with blank board, Rega Arm and Grado cart would easily make the $1000 mark.
- Rega's imo suck.
- if you can find one, a used gyrodec is an excellent option.

hunt around at the Vinyl board on audioasylum.com..lots more vinyl freaks :-)

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Old 25th February 2002, 02:52 AM   #8
arnach is offline arnach  United States
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Default IMHO

In my humble opinion, anything new under $2000 total just about sucks horribly. It has a certain clean, lifeless, anayltical sound that sounds like audiophilia but not like music. Of course, this is just based on what I've heard but I've heard a few.. the Regas, Music Halls, VPIs, etc.

The magic is in hand-picking a used state of the art system (the top of the manufacturers line in the past) and putting it together and building what you can't afford.

For the same money as the new stuff you can have the best of the used.

The system i'm working to put together at this moment is the following:

B&W 802s modified to accept biamping
Luxman M300 150w/ch Class A bass
Son of Zen midrange/treble
Micro Seiki DQX-1000 (disabled quartz lock)
10-year-old+ Koetsu Onyx
All Vishay/Caddock DIY Aleph Ono

Have fun,

-- Finley
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Old 25th February 2002, 02:58 AM   #9
GRollins is offline GRollins  United States
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I have an old Koetsu Onyx Sapphire on hand, and can vouch that it's an excellent cartridge. The output's a bit low for a standard 40dB phono stage, though.

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Old 4th March 2002, 02:32 PM   #10
dice45 is offline dice45  Germany
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Originally posted by GRollins

I have an old Koetsu Onyx Sapphire on hand, and can vouch that it's an excellent cartridge. The output's a bit low for a standard 40dB phono stage, though.


you keep that Koetsu for yourself, you hear me !?

(from another Koestu lover ) and ... they seem to have almost eternal lifetime, if not wear time then atleast storage time.


have to second one of chiggy's hints:

build yourself a TT around a Teres platter and bearing and for a start, get a origin-life-modded Rega 250 arm. TT will outperform the Oracle. An alternative for the Teres platter/bearing is the PVC-platter/bearing from redpoint-audio-design but i am not informed about the prices; PVC will work better than Acrylic. Remember, vinyl discs are made form vinyl, mechanical impedance match and the record can better get rid of partial oscillations.

Arm is best bang for the buck.

Steve, if you tease me a bit, you could talk me out of a decent DC motor usable for the Teres. And i could help you with the plinth and eventual suspension.

But: stick with MM cartridges, look in the EverythingElse board under "cartridge gluing" or take a decent Grado.

And: if you follow the Teres hint, vinyl will be your 1st priority very soon, i would bet

Exceptions may exist (or ateast have existed, the Sumiko Virtuoso DTi being one of them) but in general HO MC cartridges usually have the almost all the sonic hassle of LO MC but not their beauties. LO MC cartidges usually will expose dynamic qualities, tone colour saturation, tone colour distinctability, soundstaging, rhythmics unequalled by HO MCs. MMs are even worse in that. But they have an entirety in their sound and a musicality only equalled by the best LO MCs. And they excel in human voice, particularly female human voice.

Stick with purist things, not compromises, not anything being nor meat neither fish. HO MM or LO MC.

One thing with LO MCs: they (and particularly Koetsus) have medium ot low dynamic compliance and require tough guidance in the low end and the recommended Rega arm is unable to deliver that. An SME V, a Fidelity Research FR64S, a Zeta is able, but it blasts your budget into pieces.

The Denon DL103 is an incredibly musical LO MC cartridge for cheap money, but, having just about the compliance of a small screwdriver, it needs a very heavy and expensive arm with superior low end qualities. SME 3012 R with steel knive edge bearing and extra heavy headshell is not a bad match at all. If you can get one cheap used, maybe you should.

The Denon DL103 usually comes with a spherical stylus which you would need if you want to play pre1956 records or RCA Dynagroove records.

If you need extra gain and can lay your hands on a matched pair of 2SK43 Fets, you can build a battery-operated SE MC headamp which is sonically invisible. I built such a thing, could not believe how sonically non-existent it was. Just incredible. The only thing which kept me from using it for myself was the fact that it is SE and i wanted something differential. Ended up with a pair of $$ Jensen JT-346-AX trannies.
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