Cartridge advice Classic I from BRAZIL


Hello guys!

I`m from Brazil but currently am in the USA, doing part of my Ph.D. at University of Florida. Luckily I have just bought a used VPI Classic Ion ebay, which I`m taking to Brazil when I finish my study here. It has already arrived in my house and it`s overall condition is better than I expected. I`m very happy and anxious to set it up on my system.

My doubt is what cartridge to buy now. My budget is not much (U$ 3-500), since I`ve spent a lot with the TT. I`m also considering buying a used cartridge, if a good deal show up. I listen mostly to Classic Rock, Jazz, Classical, Acoustics.

The rest of my system is:

Pre: Conrad Johnson Premier 3
Power: CJ MV55
Speakers: Sound Dynamics 300 Ti

About my pre, I also have a question: On CJ web site (http://www.conradjohnson.com/It_just_sounds_right/a-pr3.html) it says that the gain of the phono stage is 40 dB and the gain of the line stage is 28 dB. So the total gain when I use the phono input of this pre is 68 dB? It`s kind of high for an all tube pre, isn`t it? What`s the minimum cartridge output I can use, with that in mind?

I aprecciate any response that will help me.
pedrod45
I'm pretty sure , and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, the phono stage gain on the CR is 40 db. Other source components CD, etc. are 28 db. With that in mind I'd recommend a Dynavector 10x5. It's within your budget ($450.00) and is high output. Not too familiar with the CR, but if the phono stage is MM only with no load options the Dynavector will load at 47k ohms. You should be fine with that and the 40db gain.
Shure M97XE $90.00 and a Jico SAS $170.00 and keep the rest of the money for school. I use one on my Aries 3/Classic 3 tonearm and will probably have to spend over $1000.00 usd to better it in my system. (Also CJ based.) On my other tonearm (Classic 1) I have a Goldring GL2500. I also have a Soundsmith Carmen, Dynavector DV10X5, Shure V15V/MR etc etc.

M~
Thanx for the support. I`ll take a look at this two optinos. About the gain of the pre, I`m still not shure if it`s 40 or 68 dB.

Hope someone else can give more advices. Sory for the poor english guys. I`ve been here in US for 4 weeks only.
No problem....The gain of the phono inputs on the pre amp is 40 db. only. All the other inputs for a CD Player, tape player etc are 28 db. So you only have 40db available for the turntable/cartridge.
"No problem....The gain of the phono inputs on the pre amp is 40 db. only. All the other inputs for a CD Player, tape player etc are 28 db. So you only have 40db available for the turntable/cartridge."

Thank you MJm1124, but I`ve sent an email to Conrad Johnson asking the same quastion about the gain of the phono input, and is what they`ve just answered:

"Pedro,

The total gain for phono input is the sum of the phono stage gain plus the line-stage gain.

regards,
customer service"

Now I`m really confused with that, since I alson think that 68 dB is quite a high gain for a all tube pre.

Hope someone else can opine about that.

Thank you!
RE" Confused"

Mjm1124 is correct. You only have 40db of gain on your phono input. On your other inputs you have just 28 db of gain per input. Total gain is not the 40DB gain of the phono plus the 28 DB gain of the other inputs.

Also

The Shure M97XE/Jico SAS will be cheaper to replace if it gets broken than the Dyna. There is not a great deal of difference between the two. The Dyna is a bit smoother on the top, but the JICO matches it everywhere else. Both are a great match for the 105i are which you have on the Classic 1.

M~
Dear Pedrod45: According with CJ own information/specs the gain is 68 db:

http://www.conradjohnson.com/It_just_sounds_right/a-pr3.html

it's a little weird that very high line stage gain: 28 db, normally a line stage is around 10db-15db on gain.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
Dear Pedrod45: According with CJ own information/specs the gain is 68 db:

http://www.conradjohnson.com/It_just_sounds_right/a-pr3.html

it's a little weird that very high line stage gain: 28 db, normally a line stage is around 10db-15db on gain.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
Dear macster: CJ gives this answer to Pedro:

+++++ The total gain for phono input is the sum of the phono stage gain plus the line-stage gain. " +++++++

and in the link I posted CJ writed two different gains for phono stage and line stage.

For what you posted ios not very clear the subject. Maybe a CK owner could put some more precise light down here or give the CJ own specs ( in the link. ) by email and wait for CJ precise answer.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
My dear friend Raul

I own several CJ preamps and amps. :-)

He will not be getting 68 db of gain from that phono/line stage.

M~
Good. Now I see why that 28 db figure was weird for me.

Thank's.

R.
Thank you Raul and Macster!

So, since the gain is 40 dB, what is the minimun cartridge output I must use?

What do you guys think of this cartridge here:

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/cartridges-clearaudio-aurum-beta-s-high-output-mm-cartridge-2013-09-26-analog-95076

Pedro
The gain from the phono input of the Premier 3 to its output is almost certainly 68 db, as the response from CJ indicated. However, the suggestions that have been made of various cartridges having relatively high outputs, such as the DV-10x5 rated at 2.5 mv, are also correct.

40 db corresponds to a voltage gain of 100 times. 68 db corresponds to a voltage gain of about 2512 times.

If the overall gain from phono input to main output were only 40 db, a cartridge having a high rated output of 5 mv under the standard test conditions would result in only 500 mv being supplied to the power amplifier under those test conditions, with the volume control turned all the way up. (Preamp gains are specified based on the volume control being at its maximum possible setting). Extremely loud dynamic peaks can result in cartridge outputs that are a few times greater than under the standard test conditions. But given that the input voltage required to drive power amplifiers to full power is commonly in the area of 1 to 2 volts for unbalanced inputs, if the overall gain were only 40 db you would have to have your volume control at max or close to it if you were to ever have any hope of driving most amplifiers to full power. CJ would not design a preamp that way.

That said, I would recommend against choosing a cartridge having a rated output less than 1 mv or so, and preferably more, depending on the noise performance of the particular tubes that are installed. Using low output moving coil cartridges with this preamp would likely result in noise issues. From Stereophile's review:
The Premier Three preamp alone [without a separate head amp or step-up transformer] cannot be used with even moderately low-output moving-coil cartridges like the Accuphase, Argent Diamond, and Dynavectors without the noise and gain mismatch seriously coloring the sound. Even a Koetsu Black is marginal and tends to have its highs rounded and masked, becoming slightly dry and lacking in detail in the upper midrange. The Alpha-l is also marginal, although the problem tends to be a drying up of the upper octaves and a lack of proper warmth and midrange balance.
I believe that the Koetsu Black, which is described as "marginal" for use with this preamp, had a rated output of about 0.6 mv.

Also, as was noted above by one of the others the Premier 3 may provide only a fixed load impedance of 47K, which would make it unsuitable for use with many and probably most low output moving coil cartridges.

The Clearaudio cartridge you linked to looks fine in terms of electrical compatibility, except that the 100 pf load capacitance that is apparently recommended suggests that you should try to use a phono cable that is short and that has low capacitance per unit length.

I have no knowledge, though, of how optimal a match the Clearaudio's mechanical characteristics (compliance and weight) would be for your particular turntable. Perhaps others will comment on that.

Good luck with your purchase, and with your studies!

Regards,
-- Al
Thank you very much Al, you were very smart to pick that information out of that review. You really helped me to choose a well matched cart to my new TT.