Dynavector Karat 17D3---minimum gain needed?

I've got my eye on a used Monolithic Sound PS-1 phono preamp, and I'm wondering if the maximum gain this unit produces (53 dB) is sufficient for my Dynavector Karat 17D3 cartridge, which is a low-output MC which kicks out only 0.3mV. Dynavector's literature states this cart needs a phono stage with at least 60 dB of gain, but I'm wondering if I can reasonably get away with less. Or if I'm possibly already getting away with less---I'm currently using an old PS Audio Phonolink from the mid 90's with no problem. It's switchable between MM / MC, but has no provision for setting gain, although it does let you set resistance. I don't have the users manual so I don't know how much gain it applies in MC mode, but I've noticed that 47dB seems to be a standard fixed gain on many phono preamps out there. So, what do the moving coil cartridge experts out there have to say? Thanks, Will Herrera
It's unlikely that you will get maximum performance from your 17D3 (I own one, too) with 53 dB gain. Dynamics and signal-to-noise will suffer. I use Dynavector's P-75 Mk. II phono preamp in its PE mode and the synergy with the 17D3 is unbeatable for the money. Dead quiet, all the gain you need.
I'm curious about this too. I've thought about this cartridge a lot. I use a Bel Canto Pre2P and it has 60db of gain, but currently I have a Dynavector 10x5 going into it which is a medium output MC cart and it is set at 60db gain, so I'm thinking I may have to steer clear of the 17D3 and instead go with a HO MC or a MM cartridge. It's funny, I also have a Monolithic PS-1 with the HCPS sitting around idle...but eventually I'll put it out there for sale again. Mark
Hello All,

You may need to consider both the phono stage gain and the preamplifier gain. I am using a Karat 17D3 and DV75 Mk. II set for 63 db of gain going into a McCormack TLC-1 using the non-buffered output, which has no gain. I have to set the volume on the TLC-1 just a bit higher than I do for the CD player.

This makes me think that under many circumstances that this would be enough total gain. I don't know if the Monolithic, as good as it is, has a good combination of impedance and capacitance matching for the Karat 17D3. As another poster mentioned, the match of this cartridge with the DV75 Mk. II is designed to be right.

In fact, the DV75 Mk. II works better here than the combination of a Dynavector DV/6Z stepup transformer and a McCormack EF-1 phono stage in regard to overall sound quality.

Jim Pendleton
Osage Audio Pruducts, LLC
I see I need to stick to trying to do one thing at a time. It's a Conrad-Johnson EF-1 phono stage with the DV/6Z stepup transformer. I think the DV75 Mk. II is a much better match with the Karat 17D3.

Best wishes.

Jim Pendleton
Osage Audio Products, LLC
Thanks for the responses everyone! In my original posting I made an inaccurate statement about 47dB being a standard fixed gain on many phono preamps; I realized afterward that the 47 figure actually applies to the 47 ohm impedence common to many phono preamps---my error. As for the Dynavector P-75 Mk. II that was suggested, I did have one in my system for about a month, but sold it when I realized that not only did it not perform any better than what I already had (the PS Audio Phonolink) IMHO, but the noise floor rose to an unacceptable level when I tried it in Enhanced mode. Thanks, Will
I am using the 17d3 with an ARC PH3SE which has 54 or 56 dB gain...I like it fine, although it is pushing it a bit - i may try a stepup and see how it goes...