Looking for a great MM phono stage

warrjon

Member
2011-02-04 10:10 am
Vic
I have sold my MC cartridges and Rega Aria and bought a few vintage MM carts. I do have an old BHL Jfet phono to use until I build/buy something better.

So I'm looking for opinions on good phono stages to compliment an SP10 EPA-100 and EPC-100 and 205, I also have a Stanton 881s

The ones I am considering ATM are:

Emerald
Pass Pear 2
Xono
Bugle



Anyone have experience with this one.
6 Platinen XOno komplett bestuckt Nelson Pass, MC/MM, Phonovorverstarker DIY | eBay
 
... until I build/buy something better.
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Hi warrjon. If you are looking to buy rather than build, you will have trouble getting past the Rothwell Simplex for mm only or the Rothwell Rialto if you want mc/mm. I have both and they compete with the $2k phono stages I have. They can be improved by replacing the wall-wart with a low-noise linear power supply, but they sound exceptional for the money as supplied, and very good for any money. I prefer to use them with Rothwell step-up Lundahl transformers for mc, which puts them in a higher price/performance bracket.
 

billshurv

Member
Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
Good luck trying to buy Self PCBs at the moment. There is a growing thread of people unable to order.


I am loath to add a recommendation as I am going off on my own odd direction with MM preamps but will say this
1. If you build one you will probably built several, so start with one that is simple enough to get you going whilst you mull the next stage.

2. Chose a design where the input capacitance is published and it low
3. make sure you can change both Resistive and capacitive loading. 47k is rarely optimal and getting the loading right is critical to MM performance.

4. Place as close to the turntable as possible to minimise cable capacitance.
 

billshurv

Member
Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
All my MM stages currently on the bench (projects are on a go slow at the moment) are balanced input. One of these is a virtual earth design and on the cards for next year is a phantom powered head amp for going straight into a focusrite Scarlett. I'm also waiting for a diff in/diff out design Scott Wurcer and Patrick (EUVL) are working on.


And all the above are flat response as I am doing RIAA correction in miniDSP digitally. This is the path less trod. I make no claims for sonic improvments, I'm just doing it because I can :)
 

billshurv

Member
Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
If you can set the options to 22.5k, 47k, 65k and 80k you will have most bases covered based on the sampling so far which covers from very low impedance (ECP205CII-L) to beefy DJ (ortofon S-120).



I would also recommend this Linear Audio | your tech audio resource as €2.99 well spent on a good article by Bob Cordell. In this he discusses Damped loading, where you load to the point you create a HF pole using the L of the cartridge. Potentially this sidesteps all the problems with HF resonance in MM cartridges with the drawback of some additional noise (no free lunch).