Artemis Labs Ph-1 owners.....

To all who own the Artemis Labs Ph-1 phono stage, would you please share which cartridges you have used to good effect and whether you used it straight in or with a step-up transformer. If you happened to use a step-up transformer, which one and the turns ratio would be of great interest to me.

Thank you for participating in the survey.

Best regards,
I have used mine with very good results with a cartridgeman music maker III
Hi Glide 3,

Thank you for responding. I was hoping more owners would have responded so I could get a better feel for the cartridge output range that works well with this phono stage. I have both phoned and emailed Artemis Labs directly and they won't give me a direct answer so thus the reason for turning to the forum.
Thom Mackris at Galibier Design was once an Artemis Labs dealer. Perhaps he can offer some insight.
I have heard the artemis in two different systems with a number of different SUT's. The one thing i would warn against is going for more than say a 1:10 step up ratio unless you have a really low output MC (AN IO-J). We listened to some 1:20's and some 1:26's on both a Miyabe and an Olympos and moving to a 1:13 was a revelation and made a noted improvement in the sound independent of transformer brand. The conclusion I came away with was that the higher step up ratios were dynamically overloading the inputs of the artemis and lowering that gain caused more sonic improvement than the specific brand of transformer.

Hi Dave,

I really appreciate your response. This is the kind of information that I'm looking for. I really am trying to find out how many mV's (whether from combination of step-up transformer with cartridge or a cartridge straight in) I can put into the Artemis Labs Ph-1 without overdriving any of its gain stages. From what I understand it will be the 12ax7 stage that is most likely to overload the quickest.

If I am calculating this correctly, the Miyabi @ .3mV/5cm/sec with 1:13 ratio would roughly be 3.9mV or converted to .21mV/3.54cm/sec would roughly be 2.73mV.

The Orpheus @ .48mV/3.54cm/sec with 1:13 ratio would roughly be 6.24mV or counverted to .68mV/5cm/sec would roughly be 8.79mV.

Does this sound correct?

Happy New Year,

Dave got it right as far as gain structure, of course, most everything I learned about gain, I learned from him.

The PH-1 is somewhat odd, living between an MC and MM level - at 52dB. MM phono stages typically come in at 36-40dB and MC stages are typically in the 60 dB range.

1:10 is the most you'd need, but surely 1:13 will work in some system contexts. No doubt, Dave was listening through in iteration of his very fine, passive TVC and so all of the gain came from the SUT and phono stage.

The Artemis is not the quietest phono stage on the block, and while it was never a disqualifying event for me, it might bother some folks more than others. It this describes you, then I'd opt for the higher side on the step-up ratio (e.g. 1:10, 1:13) - assuming a low output MC.

You'd do well to hop onto Dave's forum, and if his very fine SUTs interest you, there are likely some folks who would assemble a pair into a workable box (Dave sells raw parts). At one time, Jeffery Jackson of Experience Music was assembling trannies for folks who purchased SUTs from Dave. I maintain a link to Intact Audio on my links page, but here's the direct link:

No commercial interest in this recommendation - just recommending an outstanding product for your consideration.

So ... what cartridge? It's really about what you like and what mates well with your tonearm. In general, I've always liked the Dynavectors, Denon DL-103r (and of course the Soundsmith rebuild), Benz (medium or low output).

Don't limit yourself by these recommendations. It's more about what your favorite cartridge is.

Thom @ Galibier
Quick follow-up ...

The .2mv to .6mv range would be a good working number when using a 1:10 SUT, but your entire system gain structure needs to be taken into account.

If you work your way into the say, 1.0mv range, (high o-p MC) you'll be on the threshold not needing a SUT (depending on everything else in your gain structure, along with your sensitivity to system noise - I can't be inside your ears to advise you on this one).

There are some recently archived threads on the topic of system gain on this forum, and in one of those threads, I posted a link to a thread on my forum - about evaluating your system's gain structure numerically (only a starting point, but it gives you a baseline).

Happy New Year and a big thank you to all of you for trying to help me with this.

The problem that I am having is that although I really love this phono stage, I do hear some tube rush at my listening chair with normal volume levels, which for me is at the 12 o'clock position. Once the needle is in the groove and the music is playing, I no longer hear the noise but I can't help but wonder if it is still masking some low level information. If I lower the volume controls down to 9 o'clock the noise is not noticeable. There is 8 clicks difference between 12 and 9 o'clock on my line stage which equates to 16db. My cartridge is .9mV at 3.54cm/sec. Also, my volume controls are ladder stepped attenuators, so I don't believe it really matters where they are located for quality of sound.

My cartridge is getting on in years so I'm considering which would be a good replacement and how best to increase my gain to acceptable levels without over driving my phono stage.

I've enjoyed the Benz sound a lot and would consider the

Ruby 3H .7mV @3.54cm/sec 80 ohms internal
Benz Ebony LP .28mV @3.54cm/sec 38 ohms internal
Benz Ebony L .26mV @3.54cm/sec 5 ohms internal
Benz Ebony TR .1mV @3.54cm/sec 1 ohm internal

The above cartridges are all available at the same price and I believe the Ruby 3H and LP have the highest sound potential of these listed in the Benz line up then the TR and then L from what I've read on the net.

So my goal is to get the highest gain from my phono stage to lower the noise floor but without overdriving any of the gain stages in the phono stage.

Sorry for being so long winded but I wanted to try and give you as much needed info as possible.

Thank you so kindly for your help.
Hey Don,

Are you using s step up now? It seems your #1 concern is noise and a SUT will help you address this problem since they can give "noiseless" gain. If you add a 1:10 you will increase your signal by 20dB which will require 20dB of attenuation to get back to the same level. Since the attenuator is further down the chain, it will attenuate all of the noise that happens before it along with the signal by the same 20dB pushing your noise floor down.

Hi Dave,

I am not using a step up transformer right now. I'm using a wood bodied Benz MO.9 which has .9mV output straight into the Artemis Labs Ph-1 which has no internal step-ups either.

I'm thinking about getting a new cartridge and would consider any of the ones listed in the above post with a step up to get the noise down.

Also, in case it is helpful, my input sensitivity on my power amp is 1.5V.