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Thread: Cartridge for a Current amplifying phono stage?

  1. #21
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: London, Canada

    Posts: 188
    I'm Blake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rubber duck View Post
    Ken, I think Blake is asking if my tonearm cable is wired with XLRs or if I use RCAs with an XLR adapter. I think this is an important point. Without wishing to complicate matters, my Aqvox has had the XLR sockets replaced with RCA sockets that retains balanced connection. So I can run my existing RCA tonearm cable directly into the balanced input of the Aqvox without adapters.
    Sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear enough. What I was really asking was whether you (or Ken) are using the XLR outputs on the Aqvox to your upstream integrated or preamp, as it is possible to use a balanced tonearm lead with XLR's into the Aqvox and then use the RCA outputs. I do NOT do this as I have balanced tonearm cables with XLR's and then run a balanced cable (again with XLR's) from the XLR outputs on the Aqvox into a balanced/XLR input on my integrated. So balanced all the way-both in and out of the Aqvox.

    Jeff: does your Aqvox have a history with Werner Ogiers? I can vaguely recall somebody making that modification on an Aqvox in the early days and think it may have been Werner.

    For what it's worth Werner, when he reviewed the Aqvox for TNT came up with a number of cartridges that were a bit "outside the box" in terms of how he felt they might perform with the phono stage. In other words, he had an expectation that they might not work very well and then they did!

  2. #22
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,728
    I'm Ken.

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    I'm Balanced XLR's for everything.

    I made an enquiry at Aqvox and their Premier/Prestige cartridges have an internal impedance of 15ohms "Termination" figure on the spec sheet. which gives them only 0.012mA current output, that is very low indeed. Yet they recommend input Gain set to 14:30 to 15:30 position which is around +8 to +11dB.

    I will persevere with the AT 33PTG II before jumping ship, as it looks as though it should sound better than what I'm getting.

  3. #23
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: London, Canada

    Posts: 188
    I'm Blake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qwin View Post
    I'm Balanced XLR's for everything.

    I made an enquiry at Aqvox and their Premier/Prestige cartridges have an internal impedance of 15ohms "Termination" figure on the spec sheet. which gives them only 0.012mA current output, that is very low indeed. Yet they recommend input Gain set to 14:30 to 15:30 position which is around +8 to +11dB.

    I will persevere with the AT 33PTG II before jumping ship, as it looks as though it should sound better than what I'm getting.
    Have my serious doubts about that "Termination" number being close at all to the actual internal impedance. I'd bet money on those cartridges being OEM'd by Ortofon and being very similar to the anniversary edition of the MC 20 Super, which was out at around the same time Aqvox started selling those cartridges. The Anniversary MC 20 Super was quoted at .25 mV output with an internal impedance of 5, although the original MC 20 Super (of which I had 2 in use here) also seemed to be spec'd at .2 mV and either a 4 or 5 internal impedance.

    Ortofon had a recommended load impedance with the Anniversary of >10 ohms, so 15 ohms "termination" would fit the bill. That kind of recommendation is redundant, of course, with the current mode input as Aqvox points out on their web page.

    Both my MC 20 Supers worked well with the Aqvox with the gain setting in that area. My Accuphase, with similar specs is in another league entirely with similar gain settings.

    But I agree: the AT 33 PTG II should work quite well and sound very nice with the Aqvox. My AT 33 Mono, which has only .05 mV more in terms of output and the same internal impedance sounds really good with it. Astonishingly good for the price.

    I think the Aqvox cartridges would be a sideways move at best for you.
    Last edited by blake; 01-09-2019 at 23:34.

  4. #24
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,728
    I'm Ken.

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    It's not normal for an OEM to sell on something exactly matching an own current product.
    They usually make a few tweaks to parameters and Aqvox may have specified certain requirements of their own. You find this a lot with Speaker drivers, almost, but not quite the same as someone else's.

    "I think the Aqvox cartridges would be a sideways move at best for you."

    Yes, I think your right, I'm not going to make any rash decisions till I've given the AT33PTG II another go.

    So my original posted question was worth asking, thanks for the input guys, I have to course to follow when I get my speakers finished and my set up back up and running.

    I'll feed back any progress I make.

  5. #25
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,728
    I'm Ken.

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    Well its been a while, my TT with linear tracking arm have been out of use, while I was building a digital file based set up and doing a bit of box swapping.
    Got it back into service this week and decided to give the AT33PTGII another chance.

    I mounted the Aqvox Phono stage directly under the TT which allowed me to shorten the lead between the two by 60% - DIY Gold platted single strand copper, unshielded twisted Pair. (From HFC)
    Also replaced my old Klotz MC5000 balanced leads, between the Aqvox and my Pre. I find the Klotz quite muddy now, when in a direct comparison with the likes of Mogami 2549, I replaced them with some Elecaudio SC-221 OCC cable, which I'm using throughout now. Its my fit and forget cable, good across the board without any vices.

    Meanwhile, my Pre has changed from the PS Audio Stellar GCD (SS) to the Schiit Freya Plus (valve).

    The cartridge stylus pressure was still spot on at 2g but the Azimuth and VTA were both slightly out, so a quick tweak sorted that.

    End result - Bliss!

    Sounding great, note to self, leave it alone.
    I would go as far as to say, it's the best my vinyl has sounded, so a combination of IC leads and cartridge set up were causing my woes.
    Liking the AT33PTGII again, it really is a very good cartridge for the money.

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