And next, you might want to try a high quality equalizer in the tape loop. But you'll have to turn in your badge and gun.
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Nsgarch was just having some fun with his comment. I had a Behringer 8024 UltraCurve Pro EQ in my system once. I could never get that system to sound "right" or anywhere near natural with the Behringer in it. It was a bad sounding piece, in my opinion although I know they've improved a bit since then. They would have had to improve it immensely for me to like it full range.
So, I would probably not use a Behringer full range although I might consider it for bass duty only. I am not looking for a radical change, only a subtle one, and only on LP, not CD (which is great).
My idea will let you hear the exact sonic signature of any cable in the tape loop, which can be useful in more ways than one...
Since you are now picking up on the phono surface noise, have you considered switching out your phono cartridge?
Some cartridges pick up more surface noise than others.
Some cartridges, like the Koetsu's, Transfiguration, etc.. are dead quiet.
Some cartridges like the Shelter's pick up a little more, but are still pretty quiet.
Some like the Benz Micro Glider pick up still more. Not bad mind you, but more than the other two.
(You did not list what cartridge you are using, so I listed the few that I have personal knowledge of.)
Just a thought. Good Luck in your search!
Guys, thanks for the comments! It does actually work well.
Kurt, the surface noise is very acceptably low, but I can hear groove wear in some older records that have been played a lot. That's a little different, and changing the cartridge won't fix that. Also, many of my pop recordings have been recorded a touch on the bright side, so being able to tone that down just a litte is a nice feature.