Cart sensitivity Vs step-up before phono stage

Kind friends, in other words................Which is the mV border value to add-on a step-up to a MC cart before the phono stage ?

My cart now has 0,21 mV and the phono stage 60 dB gain SS.
I would say that if your preamp linestage has about 20db or more gain, in addition to the 60db in your phonostage(for a total of 80db), you should be in the ballpark for a 0.21mv cartridge. If you have a low gain preamp, then you might need a step up device. Personally, I've found that a little more gain is desireable for me, and I like to have about 86db total gain in the phono and linestage for a cartridge that low in output. I think that around 85db total gain is a good figure for such a low output cartridge, and you can achieve that in a number of ways by combining the gains of the phono section, linestage, and possibly step up device, to arrive at about that figure.

IMHO, YMMV, and all that stuff.
Yeah, you have enough gain. Putting a step-up tranny in front will probably just overload the phono stage.

My experience leads me to agree with TWL. I run two cart's, one is 0.25, the other is 0.5. To get the Dynavector 17D (0.25) to a comfortable listening level, I use a step-up transformer, the other requires no help.
Does ADDING the phono + linestage gain figures apply for an 'integrated' (MM & Linestage) preamp?

i.e. if I have a integrated (Conrad Johnson) preamp that has 28 dB gain in the phono section and 84 dB in the line stage do I have a total of 112 dB gain avail for an MC cart?

If so, how would I match (low to high) impedance without overdriving the phonostage?

Or am I needing a pre-preamp/step-up device that should provide about 50/60'ish more dB of gain to feed the CJ phono stage?
Mmcoy, no linestage has 84db gain. You can't use the above formula for an integrated amp, unless the specs show a separate figure for the linestage section. Most linestages have between 12db and 20db gain. There are some a little higher and some a little lower, but most are typically in the 12-20db area.

28db gain in the phono section is a very low gain figure. You are limited to high output MM type cartridges with a phono stage like that. If you want a step up device that would get you into the real low output MC range, you'll need about a 30db step up unit. And even that could be a little marginal for some cartridges.

You set the impedance on the phono stage or the step up device. If the phono stage has no allowance for this, then you'll really need to use a step up, or maybe you might consider a high-gain outboard phono stage for that purpose, and just don't use the CJ phono stage.