I reckon you will need at least 0.5mv. You could consider the Jan Allaerts MC1B or the MC1 Mk II.
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Thanks for the suggestion. Just did a little reasearch,hope this may help as I am not the best technical person. The BAT linestage I tried has a 100K ohms input impedance and a 200 ohm output impedance. I may be trying an ARC linestage w/ a 120K ohms input impedance and a 600 ohm output impedance. May I get more gain with the Lamm LP2 deluxe in to the ARC than I did with the BAT ?
Associated components: Quicksilver V4 balanced version, Vandersteen 5a
To answer that question, I don't think its so much the impedence characteristics of the preamps, but rather how much gain (in db) either preamp delivers, which is a question of the preamp's design, number of gain stages, etc...
You might want to contact Lamm (Vladimir?) and ask them to recommend some possible carts.
It's very easy to match the phono input to the cartridge.
You really should choose a cartridge you like & can afford -- NOT one that seems to be happy with yr phono's standard input impedance settings.
Phonos are tools; accordingly, you match the screwdriver to the screw -- not the other way round... Cheers
I agree with Cmk, and I've always wondered what sort of cartridge the LP2 was designed for.
57db of gain is appropriate for cartridges of at least.5mv output, a bit higher would be better.
OTOH, 40 ohms input impedance is optimal for cartridges with coil resistances somewhere around 1.6 ohms. A coil resistances that low would typically imply extremely low output, like .1mv or less.
No cartridge I know of with a coil impedance below 2 ohms produces anything close to .5mv output. If there is such a cartridge it is very unusual, and LP2 users would be fairly locked into it.
Frankly, the LP2's gain and impedance specifications just don't belong together in the same phono circuit, and raising either one is not something many users could do.
Asking Vladimir is certainly a good idea, but friends of mine who've asked him did not get very useful answers. That eventually led them to different phono stages, ones designed for cartridges that actually exist. :-(
Dear Fjno4: I agree with Cmk. Now, your Ruby 3 is a very good cartridge, you are asking for a cartridge for your Lamm and that is an alternative but other alternative is not to change the Ruby 3 or think in other cartridge but better than that: change the Lamm.
Always the phonolinepreamp is critical and very important to obtain a high quality sound reproduction especially with low output MC cartridges like your Ruby3.
Regards and enjoy the music.
I am open minded and want to look at any and all options I may have. That said, many great phono stages such as the ARC PH7, Herron,and others only have around 57 db of gain. Having already owned an Aesthetix Io Mk2, I cant think of an abundance of alternatives. I guess the Artemis with around 70 db may be something to consider, but beyond that I cant think of many tube based options.
Check my system for one option that you won't run into anywhere but via existing owners, since it's custom built. It has enough gain for any cartridge and a 3-way impedance switch with user selectable values.
There's a 4+ month wait at the moment, but FWIW at least two Io/Callisto Signature owners have abandoned their Aesthetix gear after demoing this preamp. I've personally A/B'd it against an LP2/LL2 setup, in the Lamm owner's system. He sold them within a week of hearing Nick's preamps. It's worth a look.
The LP2 is a fine phonostage. If you like it, I believe you're on the right track to look for a cartridge that will work well with it. And the suggestion to consider a cartridge with .5mV or greater output is a good one. I'm currently auditioning a top caliber phonostage whose gain is the same as the LP2 (57.5dB) using a Shelter 901 that outputs .5mV. (This in comparison to my current phonostage reference which is a Pass Labs XONO that is solid state and offers flexible gain adjustment.) Let me just say I would be cautious about using a cartridge with a lower output than .5mV into a phonostage with much less than 56dB.
Cmk has given you sound advice and, imo, the impedence of your linestage is much less of an issue than gain and cartridge output. You might inquire of Lamm about a modification to the LP2's 40ohm load.
If you're unhappy with the Lamm, then changing your phonostage is certainly an option, but otherwise I would not look at it as the first thing to consider. If you were to look at other phono stages, as you note there are few tubed units with gain higher than 56-58dB. I am a strong fan of tube gear and, except for the XONO, my system is all tube yet I don't think having a solid state phono stage is a compromise. That's meant more as a comment on solid state phono stages as an option, not a judgement on the XONO. It is a bit surprising that both the LP2 and PH7 don't have balanced outputs.
(Sounds like you may be considering the Ref3, imo its an excellent choice for a linestage if balanced is a requirement.)
As to cartridges, the Allaerts MC1B and MC1 B MkII as Cmk mentioned, Shelter 90X, Lyra Titan, and Transfiguration W or Orpheus are a few to consider with output of .5mV or higher. You might search user systems at AA for the LP2 and see what cartridges its owners use.
Then there is consideration of how that cartridge mates with your tone arm wrt resonance frequency, which, for starters. means knowing the mass of the tonearm and the compliance of the cartridge.
Spec's can be a guide, but the best technical match is no assurance of audio happiness. At the end of the day, trust your ears and the connection you make with the music. Best of luck!
Frankly I would have thought the Lamm should be able to drive quite a number of carts. Nowadays its quite common to find carts whose output exceeds 0.5mv - AT 33PTG, Sumiko Celebration, Koetsu Rosewood Sig, Urushi, some Benz, Clearaudios, Ortofon Kontrapunkt h/b/c, Shelter 90X, Lyra Helikon, Titan and of course the Allaerts MC1B or Mk II. Between these, I'm sure there's one that should suit your taste and budget.
Only the low output Dynavectors MCs, Koetsu Platinums, and a couple of other hideously low output carts, like the Audio Note, Denon S1 are out of your range.
The Herron mc phono stage has 66db of gain FYI. I've used it and am very happy with it, even with carts of 0.25mv output.
Other tube stages you can consider are the Manley Steelhead, Art Audio Vinyl Reference.
The question with the LP2 isn't particularly its 56db of gain. As Cmk and Jtimothya point out, there are many great cartridges with ample output for that amount of gain.
The real question is that 40 ohm input impedance. That isn't close to optimal for any of those cartridges, and Lamm refused to adjust it for two owners that I know.
If you like the Lamm it's worth asking again of course. Perhaps they've changed their tune.
The gain from the Lp2 is ok for nearly all kind of Cartridges. More important is the gain from the linked Pre Amp.
And forget the 40 ohm load here. I don't know why, but the LP2 sounds amazingly good with every cartridge I connected with.
I also own a adjustable Klyne 7 Phono, this one beats most out there, and I listened to a LOT, but the LP2 is a remarkable unit.
Btw. Vlad can modify it for higher Gain.