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Thread: Advise please: phono stage?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: South London UK

    Posts: 56
    I'm Colin.

    Default Advise please: phono stage?

    Please offer me some advise- I recently had my sme 3009 arm re-wired & serviced by SME, and fitted a nagoaka 150 cartridge. I also bought a project s preamp, which has had probably 20 hours use now. Rest of system = chord cables, Cyrus 7 amp & martin Logan motion 15 speakers.
    When I stream music via my dragonfly, the music sounds great - but via the new vinyl set up, vocals and treble appear very dull. Bass and lower end soundstage is great - but I suspect the phono stage is letting me down - or am I missing a trick here? Could someone please recommend me a phono amp that would be appropriate for my level of system or advise what might be the issue?
    I usually play 70's/80's rock
    Thanks
    Colin


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  2. #2
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: West Wales

    Posts: 49
    I'm malcolm.

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    Have you double checked your setup especially SRA/VTA (Stylus Rake Angle/Vertical Tracking Angle) and VTF (vertical Tracking Force). Nagaokas, in my experience, tend to like the upper end of the scale which, in this case I think is 2gms. Also do you know the capacitance of your cable and phono stage - they might be loading the cart wrong.
    malcolm ("You can't shine if you don't burn" - Kevin Ayers)

    If what I'm hearing is colouration, then bring on the whole rainbow

  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 33,003
    I'm Grant.

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    If set up is ok then either the phono stage or cart may not be right. Cables too could have an effect. Its all very difficult to say from a distance, if you dont have replacements to try.
    I,d be inclined to re try the setting up and as said go close to top weight specified. Making sure with a bubble that headshell is right and cart is at right angle. Getting any of those wrong can have odd effects. Also see if you can borrow a phono stage.. maybe have a local bake off or go to one and take your stage.
    Regards,
    Grant ....
    Sometimes incompetence is useful. It helps you keep an open mind.
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  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Much Wenlock

    Posts: 283
    I'm Gary.

    Default

    It would help to know which turntable and what cartridge/phono stage you had before to compare it to?

    VTA and VTF as above.

    At 20 hrs you are probably not near to run in time probably?

  5. #5
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: West Wales

    Posts: 49
    I'm malcolm.

    Default

    Regarding the capacitance, I think your phono stage allows you to change it so...start with it set to 100pF (which I suspect it is now?) and then move up the settings, it should get brighter with each change eventually creeping to harshness, select the best setting to your ears.

    Also I assume MM is selected and not MC?

    Is Load impedance set for 47k Ohms?

    You might also want to play with the gain settings.
    malcolm ("You can't shine if you don't burn" - Kevin Ayers)

    If what I'm hearing is colouration, then bring on the whole rainbow

  6. #6
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 4,028
    I'm Jez.

    Default

    http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...hono-loan-list

    In a completely different class to any other budget phono stage (google it for reviews to back up this statement) and all are welcome to try it at home.
    Arkless Electronics-Engineered to be better. Tel. 01670 530674 (after 1pm)

    Modded Thorens TD150, Audio Technica AT-1005 MkII, Technics EPC-300MC, Arkless Hybrid MC phono stage, Arkless passive pre, Arkless 50WPC Class A SS power amp, (or) Arkless modded Leak Stereo 20, Modded Kef Reference 105/3's
    ReVox PR99, Studer B62, Ferrograph Series 7, Tandberg TCD440, Hitachi FT-5500MkI, also FT-5500MkII
    Digital: Yamaha CDR-HD1500 (Digital Swiss army knife-CD recorder, player, hard drive, DAC and ADC in one), PC files via 24/96 sound card and SPDIF, modded Philips CD850, modded Philips CD104, modded DPA Little Bit DAC. Sennheiser HD580 cans with Arkless Headphone amp.
    Cables- free interconnects that come with CD players, mains leads from B&Q, dead kettles etc, extension leads from Tesco

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: South London UK

    Posts: 56
    I'm Colin.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by willbewill View Post
    Regarding the capacitance, I think your phono stage allows you to change it so...start with it set to 100pF (which I suspect it is now?) and then move up the settings, it should get brighter with each change eventually creeping to harshness, select the best setting to your ears.

    Also I assume MM is selected and not MC?

    Is Load impedance set for 47k Ohms?

    You might also want to play with the gain settings.




    Hi - I've attached a pic hopefully of the settings- I paid the guys in O'Brien Hi Fi to fit the cartridge, so hopefully they set it up ok!?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: South London UK

    Posts: 56
    I'm Colin.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stryder5 View Post
    It would help to know which turntable and what cartridge/phono stage you had before to compare it to?

    VTA and VTF as above.

    At 20 hrs you are probably not near to run in time probably?
    I hadn't used the deck for years, so I can only compare with streaming lossless files -


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  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Coventry

    Posts: 2,907
    I'm Will.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Colinijohnson View Post


    Hi - I've attached a pic hopefully of the settings- I paid the guys in O'Brien Hi Fi to fit the cartridge, so hopefully they set it up ok!?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have a Tube Box S, and I couldn't be happier with it...

    What type of cartridge is yours MM or MC, or high output MC?

    I just set mine to the default example provided in the manual for my type of cartridge which is a high output MC?

    Dip switch 1 turned on would suggest your cartridge is a low output MC
    Cheers, Will

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: West Wales

    Posts: 49
    I'm malcolm.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Colinijohnson View Post


    Hi - I've attached a pic hopefully of the settings- I paid the guys in O'Brien Hi Fi to fit the cartridge, so hopefully they set it up ok!?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'm assuming the lower DIP switch is the one to set...if so then gain is set to 43dB, impedance to 47k ohm, and capacitance to 100pF. The capacitance would be worth trying - initially just change switch number 7 to UP instead of DOWN (remember to switch phono stage off before adjusting).
    malcolm ("You can't shine if you don't burn" - Kevin Ayers)

    If what I'm hearing is colouration, then bring on the whole rainbow

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