audio research ph7 & Cartridge


I'm fairly new in the analog world. I own a Audio Research PH7. Today I bought a Brinkmann LaGrange with a 10.5 arm. Which cartidge will be a good or perfect match for this combo. I'm thinking about a Benz Micro lps 0.36 mv or an Ortofon Windfeld 0.30 mv. The only thing is both cartidges have low outputs and the Audio Research has only 57db of gain. Other equipment is Audio Research Ref 2 mk2, Audio Research VT200 and speakers are the latest versions Avalon Acendant.

Hi Rojo,
what a beautiful 'Mojo' :-)

In my experience both carts would still work with 57dB gain. Of course switching to CD would mean going down in volume, as I'm guessing the Audio Research Ref 2 mk2 does not have variable input gain settings. If it has, it's even less of an issue.

I do not know the 'Benz Micro lps', but its output = the Ortofon Jubilee. All things being equal, Benz ~ Jubilee? I'd go for the Windfeld, but there may be more knowledgeable opinion to come.

Great component!
Don't do it. I have a ph-5 which has the same gain as your ph-7. I was running a low-output Benz cartride and the system had no dynamics. It sounded dead. I recently traded my cartrige in for the new style Benz wood body. It has medium output. The dynamics are back and the system is alive again. Don't make the mistake I did. Go with a medium output cartridge.
Hi Taters,
interesting point you make. This seems to play right into my notion that higher cart output 'empowers' the phono-pre :-)

I found this to be true using MM! carts. (Raul of course knows there is more to it still).

I also can now safely presume that the Audio Research Ref 2 mk2 has no input gain adjustment?

My ML-326S goes 0dB, 6dB, 12dB, 18dB up. This type of feature would make up very easily for the missing 6 or 12dB gain.

In fact, I use the 60dB phono-modules setting with the 0dB input gain of the line-pre and run 3.5 - 5mV MM carts into it with no overload issue at all. And it DYNAMIC, as you would suggest.

So, a lot depends on equipment 'flexibility'. Your point on loosing dynamics is something I can put into my 'database'.

Good luck,
today a dealer showed me a musicmaker classic mm cartridge, he said that this will work fine. He told me that this will be very musical.

I've heard the Ph7 with several low output MC cartridges. They always sound great. the Dynavectors were down to .25 output and the ARC was very nice. IMO the 57db it offers works with this phonostage.
I chose theTransfiguration Orpheus with my PH7.
Audio Research Ref 2 Mk2: Main output: 18dB Balanced, 12dB Single Ended
Audio Research Phono: 57dB for MC's
You have minimum 69dB gain for a MC Cartridge in this combination, that's enough for everything, the next step is 75dB balanced output

A MM System is a interesting choice. When you like it, go for it.
Hi Syntax
but the man is complaining about lacking dynamics!

[Taters]>>> .. and the system had no dynamics...<<<

There must be something to it, not so? Or is it just the cart's fault then?

Hello Axel, I read it the way, that he used the PH7 probably with a low gain preamp (or similar and the higher output MC did compensate it). Lacking dynamic can have different reasons, not everything is based on cartridge.
But Rojo1955 has min. 69dB Gain to the poweramp, normally that's high enough ...
I have a similar setup.
PH7, Ref2 MK2. D400 Mk2. Balanced out between Ref2 & D400. (This adds more gain). Using the Audio Technica AT33 with .5 output. I think the .5 is the minimum output for the 57db gain. At .3, .36 you will be right on the edge. I don't think it's enough.
I have my gain setting on the Ref2 between 2-4 o'clock. Be careful if switching to tuner or balanced CD input. Gain control goes down to 10 o'clock.
Luckily the Ref2 has alot of gain, don't switch to the Ref3 it has less gain.
I think with the PH7 you need .8 output.
The PH7 is a fantastic Phono pre-amp.

My thoughts.
Thanks for your response, I'm not complaining about dynamics. The PH7 is still in the box, Saturday I will have my LaGrange. For cd I play with the Ref CD 8 and my system is very dynamical. Any experience with the Musikmaker Classic???