Pearl Phono- What cartridge

SteveG

Account Disabled
2002-01-07 7:20 pm
Newton Falls, Ohio
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.
 

SteveG

Account Disabled
2002-01-07 7:20 pm
Newton Falls, Ohio
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.
steve
 
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.
SYSTEM:
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
mg16
 
many options for a TT

hello,

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 :)

regards,
chiggy
 

arnach

Member
2001-04-07 10:03 pm
USA
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
 
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.














Grey,






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.













SteveG,






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.
 
head amp?

Bernhard,

would be interested to learn more of the fet head amp (I built one based around the inmput stage of Thorsten's solid sate phono - seemed ok) and also why you felt the (differential) transformer solution was better for you.

I'm now running a Shelter 901 and a low noise pure valve (triode) mc input with feedback RIAA but am interested in the virtues of other methods of interface.

thanks

Murray P
 
Murray,





if you succeed in having a low noise MC sensitive tube input, then i want to learn more about that !! I would love to try it out.





In my tube collection is µwave disc triode with a µ of 115 and very high transconductance, but unfortunately heater and cathode are connected so in a differential pair amplification only can be reduced by using a too small plate resistor. But this tube is ultra low noise, could be worth a try.





But to my and my buddies' experience one sooner or later runs into noise problems with a tube MC input.
OTOH, semiconductor inputs are easily quiet enough.




The SE 2SK43 circuit comes from the guys from L'Audiophile, Paris and i have known it for long, finding it somehow nasties the sound albeit below level of consciousness. But it never narrowed dynamix or µdynamix or soundstaging as most MC input stages and almost all MC input transformers do. Last year i had to revive a Kaneda preamplifier for two buddies (one wanting to sell the corpse and one wanting to buy it) and it turned out there was a wish for MC sensitivity which the Kaneda doesn't have.


So i built this MC headamp using the 2SK43 in the best way i know: the whole circuit p2p-wired on Tektronix ceramic terminal strips and directly sitting on huge mica-bypassed electrolytics, ultra-short wiring and the whole thing fed by a 12V pack of NiCd batteries (NiCd is vital !!!) . I used Tantalum resistors and a 0µ47 Siemens/Epcos MKV 25839 as output coupling cap. The load resisitor (supply to drain) was chosen to achieve a gain of 10, it was 1k0 and the input resistor too was 1k to ground. The Fet's source was grounded, no feedback. The thing would handle about 100mV p2p input swing without distorting.





Result: no more nastiness anymore, the circuit was sonically invisible. Today i would consider to have a dual +/- 12V supply, using a differential pair made from 2x 2SK43 (a buddy informed me the 2KS240 als would do) and a CCS looking to -12 V. Rest unchanged. Then the whole thing would be differential as the rest of my stuff. It doesn't make sense IMO to be balanced if not being balanced all the way.





Now you want to know why i did not stay with it. Well, this headamp was sonically invisible with what i had running at the time, the Kaneda solid state preamp. Admitted, this preamp had not much problems with musicality, transparency, darkness of background, but detail resolution was not top-notch and tone colours were a bit pale, not as saturated as i like it. I could not predict how the headamp would behave at a higher resolution level and time window was closing, i had to keep my promise and to deliver; so the thing never was tried out in a state of the art environment. The Jensen OTOH is proven to keep its stunning performance in state-of-the art environments.





This headamp is ultra-simple, but it ain't cheap at all. Going the balanced path would have made it more complex and more expensive. And building the differential 2sk43 would have distracted my focus and i want to have my preamp up and running before i tinker around at the front end. When i was deciding the issue, i made another stunning discovery. I stepped into a MC-input transformer not having any of the drawbacks i experienced before. It was the Jensen JT-346-AX and i could not sense any deterioation on soundstageing, µdynamix, macrodynamix. Not showing any coloration, this trannie has ultra-ultra tone colour saturation and tone colour distinctability, it behaved like the often-cited piece of wire. And it turned out i liked it more than the active circuit without being able to tell why. Guess i like transformer artifacts :)





Well the Jensens needed no battery power supply, and they are inherently differential, so they stayed. Admitted, they too are $$$.


As a bonus, but my whole amplifier structure was simplified and i was free to decide whether i want the 1st stage's inputs at -70V. But it may happen that later when my preamp is running fine, i build the differential 2SK43 thing later just for curiosity.





All for now.
 
Murray,

if you succeed in having a low noise MC sensitive tube input, then i want to learn more about that !! I would love to try it out.

In my tube collection is µwave disc triode with a µ of 115 and very high transconductance, but unfortunately heater and cathode are connected so in a differential pair amplification only can be reduced by using a too small plate resistor. But this tube is ultra low noise, could be worth a try.

But to my and my buddies' experience one sooner or later runs into noise problems with a tube MC input. OTOH, semiconductor inputs are easily quiet enough.

The SE 2SK43 circuit comes from the guys from L'Audiophile, Paris and i have known it for long, finding it somehow nasties the sound albeit below level of consciousness. But it never narrowed dynamix or µdynamix or soundstaging as most MC input stages and almost all MC input transformers do. Last year i had to revive a Kaneda preamplifier for two buddies (one wanting to sell the corpse and one wanting to buy it) and it turned out there was a wish for MC sensitivity which the Kaneda doesn't have.
So i built this MC headamp using the 2SK43 in the best way i know: the whole circuit p2p-wired on Tektronix ceramic terminal strips and directly sitting on huge mica-bypassed electrolytics, ultra-short wiring and the whole thing fed by a 12V pack of NiCd batteries (NiCd is vital !!!) . I used Tantalum resistors and a 0µ47 Siemens/Epcos MKV 25839 as output coupling cap. The load resisitor (supply to drain) was chosen to achieve a gain of 10, it was 1k0 and the input resistor too was 1k to ground. The Fet's source was grounded, no feedback. The thing would handle about 100mV p2p input swing without distorting.

Result: no more nastiness anymore, the circuit was sonically invisible. Today i would consider to have a dual +/- 12V supply, using a differential pair made from 2x 2SK43 (a buddy informed me the 2KS240 als would do) and a CCS looking to -12 V. Rest unchanged. Then the whole thing would be differential as the rest of my stuff. It doesn't make sense IMO to be balanced if not being balanced all the way.

Now you want to know why i did not stay with it. Well, this headamp was sonically invisible with what i had running at the time, the Kaneda solid state preamp. Admitted, this preamp had not much problems with musicality, transparency, darkness of background, but detail resolution was not top-notch and tone colours were a bit pale, not as saturated as i like it. I could not predict how the headamp would behave at a higher resolution level and time window was closing, i had to keep my promise and to deliver; so the thing never was tried out in a state of the art environment. The Jensen OTOH is proven to keep its stunning performance in state-of-the art environments.

This headamp is ultra-simple, but it ain't cheap at all. Going the balanced path would have made it more complex and more expensive. And building the differential 2sk43 would have distracted my focus and i want to have my preamp up and running before i tinker around at the front end. When i was deciding the issue, i made another stunning discovery. I stepped into a MC-input transformer not having any of the drawbacks i experienced before. It was the Jensen JT-346-AX and i could not sense any deterioation on soundstageing, µdynamix, macrodynamix. Not showing any coloration, this trannie has ultra-ultra tone colour saturation and tone colour distinctability, it behaved like the often-cited piece of wire. And it turned out i liked it more than the active circuit without being able to tell why. Guess i like transformer artifacts :)

Well the Jensens needed no battery power supply, and they are inherently differential, so they stayed. Admitted, they too are $$$.
As a bonus, but my whole amplifier structure was simplified and i was free to decide whether i want the 1st stage's inputs at -70V. But it may happen that later when my preamp is running fine, i build the differential 2SK43 thing later just for curiosity.

All for now.
 
Bernhard,

thanks for the lengthy reply. I'm still finding my way in this stuff - sometimes its hard to see when you make a step forward or backwards - which is why I've bought quite good gear - figuring its not all BS. So this lets me enjoy music while I tinker and slowly try to improve it. My most recent experiment was a Tripath evaluation module amp - less than perfect was the conclusion - at least in my implementation.

I like to try things so am interested in the effects of transformers - have been interested in Thorsten's switched attenuator at AA/Tweakers Asylum. It has the added bonus of eliminating common mode - could be arranged as single ended to differential as well - for the same virtue I guess.

My preamp is built by one Tom Lewitt here in NZ and he's fairly keen on protecting his designs which is fair enough. Its noise levels with the Shelter 901? - background hiss is at least noticably quieter than my quietest record surface noise (so at least 3dB I guess), and much quieter than most. Still if I've been listening at realistic volumes (live volumes) it's very noticable if I simply lift the arm without turning the volume down. My J-Fet attempt was much quieter. The circuit uses three valves in parallel to reduce noise - similar to some (Pass) Fet circuits I've seen. Valves are fairly standard ECC somethings I believe. It is very detailed but I find it a bit hard edged at times. Sorry I can't be much more help.

I tried some cheap microphone transformers just out of interest with it. The treble and upper mids (cymbals, steel string guitar)were much sweeter, less strident and shimmered more. I have no idea why. The bass however was badly attenuated so they couldn't stay. I'm tempted to try the Jensens to see if I get both - but the $$$ as you put it is a bit much for a punt - and if they are as good as they appear they should have no effect....????

Realising I'm totally off topic here - how's progress with the Fertins - I was following your (I think) comments about these around Xmas,

rgds

Murray
 
Murray,



The circuit uses three valves in parallel to reduce noise - similar to some (Pass) Fet circuits I've seen. Valves are fairly standard ECC somethings I believe. It is very detailed but I find it a bit hard edged at times. Sorry I can't be much more help.



Was afraid t hear exactly that when typing ....


to try the Jensens to see if I get both - but the $$$ as you put it is a bit much for a punt - and if they are as good as they appear they should have no effect....????


The Jensens are not for trying, they are a final investment, no more need to worry about the topic. There may MC cartridges exist not particuarly loving transformers; for those an active MC stage may be good, but for acartridges loving trannies and happy with either 4:1 or 12:1 the Jensen is the trannie to end all trannies. This you can take my word on. So did some folks on the VA and were utterly happy. THe price should be somwhere at US$ 460 a pair.



As my buddy Thomas Mayer (Vinylsavor) informed me, the Jensens also excel as DAC I/U converting transformer of his DAC's transformer-coupled tube output stage; the output trannie is a Lundahl LL7903.



how's progress with the Fertins
Project delayed. My TT's motor is wowing and the TT's howling dirves me right crazy. First have to tackle that; building a completely new motor unit based on a maxon DC motor.

But then the Fertin ... it is a monster project (acticve open baffle woofer) and will need excessive work until the 1st record is spinning.
Open baffle for the woofer is ready designed, it is a huge box and will serve as a stand's foot for the Fertin and its baffle. The Fertin must be held at the magnet backside, basket is too weak. Stand for the FErtin also is designed, but honestly, no idea how the baffle has to look like, a white spot on the map, has completely to be tried out.
baffle

AuroraB,
no idea where to buy 2SK240, but if yo have them, a pair should work for the described MC SE input stage, or yo need 2 pairs for differential.
 
Re: MC-pre for Pearl

AuroraB said:
What about the 2SK240 dual FET, as used in the original Kaneda, if this is still available...???

Hello,

the original input transistor for the Kaneda Preamp is a matched pair of 2SK30 single JFETs. Later commercial variants by L'Audiophile (e.g. "Le Solstice") used the 2SK240 double JFET which saved the folks from finding a matched pair in 20 something samples, though the 2SK30 is sonically way superior. The 2SK30 is the only JFET that I know which is sonically transparent in a way that you cannot tell that there is a JFET working. Drawback is that is not suited for connecting Moving Coil directly, as the forward transconductance is in the region of 1mS only. Its sonic fingerprint is as close to the ECC83 as a transistor can manage.

Be warned: there are two versions of the 2SK30: one in normal TO92 case, the other in somewhat rounded case. The first version sounds definitely better.

regards,
Hartmut from Munich