.2mv vs .4mv out for LOMC into 60db gain phono stage?


Need some guidance here. 
Blew out my Audio Technica ART9(.5mv), not considering a SS retip.

Want to try the new ART9XA , which is the successor to the older ART7. Always wanted to try the ART7, but much too low without going stepup. The new ART7(ARTXA) has a bumped up output of .2mv compared to 1.2mv.
This was a $600 cart years ago.

I've used a cart with a stated .4mv no problem. I'm wondering if I could get by just cranking the volume on the integrated(Prima Luna HP) a little more?  Is 200 microvolts output more from the phonostage(60db mc setting) versus making it up at the volume control of the PL that critical to SQ?  I have no plans for transformer/interconnect investment.

Interesting videos.
Maybe not the best way to show their true capabilities, but you can get the idea?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QA1jw5Pj7Y&feature=youtu.be
Would you by a $5K cart based on this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg38Vc5pXJ8
I've heard the mighty ART1000 on a proper system. It delivers the goods-it didn't have the associated "AT sound ". I would say "more believable "presentation.  It would be my next cart if I had a completely updated rig$$. The ART1000 is a very exotic looking design.
Being that LP Gear's focus is on carts, I suppose that's  why it's not on a $10K+ setup. 

Suggestions of carts up to $1K in the NOT usual suspects welcome. I've also used Sumiko Blackbird, Kiseki Blue($2.5K).
Supporting Cast-VPI Classic, Fosgate V2 phonostage, PL HP.
Using a backup Soundsmith Otello MI. Really nice $400 cart. It's just not a...$1k+ cart. For kicks, my "backup to the backup" $50 Ortofon OM5 was actually listenable! 

In the meantime, revisiting the CD collection via Denafrips Ares-Cambridge Audio 550c(Mapleshade tweaked). Perfect sound! Everything is there but in a different way.  Not "the last word" in emotional truth, which only the finest digital setups approach, IMHO.

 Enjoy our new quarantine! Thanks, in advance.

tablejockey
.2 will work better with 70 or 72 db gain
Only you can determine acceptable SQ.
."2 will work better with 70 or 72 db gain
Only you can determine acceptable SQ."


Yup, I'm fighting my itch to do it the "proper way" thru additional investment. 

Giving more thought into the real question...I'm  guessing the bare MINIMUM of 65-70 to at least hear the cart approaching it's potential?  That said, my overall setup is good enough to possibly compensate with the volume knob cranked. Just thinking up some future plans. Trying to imagine how making up minimum of 10dbs thru the PL would sound?

Gain is gain?
Gain is gain but volume isn’t gain. All things equal an 0.4mV cart with correct gain matching will sound better than an 0.2mV cart undergained with a volume boost. You will lose dynamics. I’m not sure whether the broad disclaimer "only you can determine acceptable SQ" even applies here. Matching an 8W SET amp with 4 ohm 82dB speakers will make some sort of sound as well.
I ran into similar going down in cartridge output. There’s really two questions, separate yet related. One is will you have enough gain? Probably. If the PL volume is linear (do not assume it is!) and the loudest you listen is only about half way or less, then probably very likely yes you will have enough volume.

But then there’s the sound quality question. Carts with output that low tend to benefit a lot from a step up. Its one reason I avoid them. Same as I avoid low sensitivity speakers, I avoid low output cartridges. Just a thing I do. Because: works for me.
"I ran into similar going down in cartridge output. There’s really two questions, separate yet related. One is will you have enough gain? Probably. If the PL volume is linear (do not assume it is!) and the loudest you listen is only about half way or less, then probably very likely yes you will have enough volume."

Yeah, that was my guess. With the humble Otello keeping things real for now, I'm just spitballing.

"If the PL volume is linear (do not assume it is!) and the loudest you listen is only about half way or less, then probably very likely yes you will have enough volume."

My hunch is the quality of the PL is good enough to not be concerned with audible noise level(if any). The Foz is full tube=rectified/active gain so I do have associated tube rush at Who concert levels which is not happening these days. I'd like to find a KILLER deal like my latest ART9 and Kiseki-both at dealer cost-considerably less than half of MSRP.
"Matching an 8W SET amp with 4 ohm 82dB speakers will make some sort of sound as well."

That's what I'm also considering. I don't want to be kicking myself after the fact! Just wont  know without taking the leap. 
Your integrated amplifier also includes the phono stage you intend to use?  If not, say what phono stage.  Does the linestage within the integrated amplifier add gain to the gain already provided by the phono section or outboard stage, whichever it is?  What is the efficiency of your speakers?  Typically, 60db gain would be very marginal with an 0.2mV cartridge. 60db of phono gain will increase the signal voltage from an 0.2mV cartridge by a factor of 1000.  So 0.2mV becomes 0.2V.  0.2V is usually not enough voltage to drive an amplifier to its full output, so you will leave amplifier power on the table, unless there is a linestage adding more gain. And if your amplifier is unusually sensitive, it might reach full output when driven by 0.5 to 1.0V.  Then you have to figure in the sensitivity of your speakers; perhaps they don't need full output from your amplifier to reach satisfactory sound pressure levels.  But unless you have a linestage adding gain, it would be a shot in the dark to expect 60db of phono gain to be sufficient.
.2 will work better with 70 or 72 db gain
Only you can determine acceptable SQ.

i tend to agree... at least 68 db gain, which is a lot to ask, esp. from tubes

i have thus avoided going for such a low output cart... stay at least in the 0.3-0.4 mv range

Why no plan for SUT ? You will surprise !
is best set up with Tube MM phono .
try it with any cable laying around as long is shielded.
so many good sut with good price ,
just my opinion .
Dear @tablejockey  : The one to go is for the XA that its design comes with no magnetic core and obviously less coil wire windings. These characteristics makes a superior alternative to  the X1.

Your phono has 60db gain and any integrated/line stage has at least additional 10db and from there the signal goes to the integarted amp.

I don't think you can have problems on gain issue but the best you can do is to put in contact with Prima Luna and ask about ask on the gain  spec line stage that should be separated og the amplifier gain.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
I have an ART9XA on order and will be using 64db of gain. Possibly the bare minimum I would run.
I ran a .3 mv cartridge successfully with 60 db gain.  The comparable calculation for .2mv is 63.5 db.  
I definitely lost dynamics when I played 0.3mV Koetsu into a 60dB phono stage. And that was WITH the benefit gobs of gain on tap in the downstream preamp; it didn't help. So I would be very very hesitant to try 0.2mV into 60dB. Some will probably say it's fine -- they probably always listen below 80dB; I don't by far lol. 

Along with your cartridge, perhaps consider a Hagerman Trumpet MC phono stage. Max gain 68dB, 5 loading settings, 5 gain settings (front panel switchable) and sounds like it costs 4x more. I have one and it's impressive as hell! At 60dB in the Fosgate you will be limited to 0.4mV and up. 
I'm cartridge hunting, and likely will just stay at .5mv choices.

Any killer deal sightings(under $1k), please post!

I'll keep the  ART9(old stock@ $900) in mind if nothing interesting pops up in listings.
.2mV is no good with 60dB gain, for sure. 
Even a .3mV cartridge is better with 72dB!

So your plan, lookimg for a .5mV cartridge sounds like the way to go, IF... you do not have some added 10dB added option from your pre-amp circuit.

Using an SUT is of course the other possibility - but then 40dB+ gain might be preferable in my experience with e.g. a .3mV cartridge. 
M. 🇿🇦 
Surprised there has been no mention of the importance of knowing which of the two commonly used groove velocity references any given manufacturer uses: 3.54cm/sec or 5cm/sec.  A cartridge’s stated output will be referenced to one or the other. Important because, for instance, a cartridge with an output of .5 mV referenced to 3.54cm/sec will have significantly more output than a cartridge with the same .5mV spec which is referenced to 5cm/sec.

In your case, a cartridge with .4mV output referenced to 3.54cm/sec will give you close, if not quite, the same output as one with output of .4mV referenced to 5cm/sec.
Typo correction. My last paragraph should read:

In your case, a cartridge with .2mV output referenced to 3.54cm/sec will give you close, if not quite, the output as one with output of .4mV referenced to 5cm/sec.
More like 0.28mV at 5cm/sec.
You are correct.  I may have overstated the case, but based on my experience with a .4mV @ 3.54cm/sec output cartridge and one with a .6 mV @ 5cm/sec output, the difference in output was negligible.  Thanks for clarifying.
I just automatically rule out gear that doesn't fit my other gear. If it doesn't match it doesn't match. There are so many cartridge choices that it seems like a perfect match is easily attainable.


As Lewn has pointed out, to determine a cartridge’s output capability one must consider the system as a whole.  What’s the preamp’s gain and the speaker’s input sensitivity must be factored along with the phono stage gain.