EAR 834P Impedance?

Hi everyone, Happy Thanksgiving Day!

What impedance does an MC see when I use the MC input on my EAR 834P? It uses tranformers in that setting, so is it something other than 47K? Does anyone know of a way to change the loading?

I believe it's 100 ohms at MC position and 47k ohms at MM position. In regards to adjusting, isn't user friendly for adjustments. Contact Mitch Hagerman as he would be the best to answer your questions about the 834-p.
It's 515 ohms in the MC position......

.......a decision made by the designer in order to tame high frequency resonances in MC carts. Unfortunately I discovered it really compromises the performance of the Koetsu and Linn cartridges that I use.

I mainly use a Koetsu Black, which like all the Koetsus performs best seeing 10 ohms. The transformer boosts the signal by 10 and decreases the impedence by the same ratio, so I installed high quality 100 ohm Rikken resistors. The result compared to the stock resistors producing 515 ohms was a much tighter bass, a less recessed midrange and a much smoother and melodic top end.

Unfortunately this isn't something you can change with the flick of a switch. I had to unsolder the existing resistors and replace them. At the same time I replaced six of the stock capacitors with massive Hovland Musicaps.

The design of the EAR has so much potential, but it's built to a price point. You can make it a cost-no-object design and unleash the true potential of this phonostage by replacing the stock components with high-quality alternatives.

You can go as far as your wallet will allow. You can replace every resistor and capacitor in the EAR virtually creating a new phonostage with the same schematic. Do a search on this website and Audio Asylum to see what Thorsten, a British user has done to his 834P. It bears little resemblance to the original.

But even my small mods have increased the performance radically. I have also replaced the stock Russian tubes with
vintage Telefunken tubes. A huge improvement right there.

So if you are handy with a soldering iron do your own mods. If not, do as the previous poster suggested and contact Mitch at EAR USA. He will happily hot rod your EAR at a reasonable price.

Have fun,

As far as mods go I will have to echo what Mark has already stated. I had my 834p modified by Steve Huntley at Great Northern Sound. His mods have taken it to a completely new level. Top that off with some NOS Mullards and your off to the races. Best and enjoy. Gary
Thanks for the tips guys.

Mark, I'm having the opposite issue with the 834's impedance; I think. I am experiencing a very good, but too "wet" sound. The highs, particularly lower highs sound too polite, blunted. The sound is begging for a little more openness and deliniation; experience points me in the direction of much higher cartridge loading, 47K? I am handy with a soldering iron, and am intrigued by the mods. BTW, the only tube rolling that I have done so far is replacing the front stock tube with a NOS Amperex (Holland) 12au7, with mixed results. Yes, a more refined sound, particularly in the highs, but the unit lost a bit of it's dynamic thrust. It's a little polite now; not a reasonable compromise in my book. I will keep experimenting. Let me explain what I am experiencing this way: I recently bought some Nordost Red Dawn IC's to try either between my CDP and pre, or phono stage and pre; frankly, I hated them. Very detailed, not really harsh, but WAY too lean. Not so surprisingly, they work reasonably well between the EAR and pre. Tightened things up quite a bit. Still not quite right, but closer to correct tonal balance.

Happy Holidays.

Hi Frogman,

What cartridge are you using ?

When I was loading the Koetsu at 515 ohms the sound was downright boring. I experimented with 250 ohms, 200 ohms, 150 ohms, 100 ohms. 50 ohms and finally 10 ohms. Each change brought an audible improvement. At 10 ohms everything just gelled. You may be surprised at how a small change in loading can make your cartridge sound a lot better.

All the best,

Though this is a very old thread I want to share some info I've garnered recently that others may find useful:

On Jun 26, 2010, at 1:22 PM, doak wrote:

I've owned and used my EAR 834P MM/MC version for several years. I am seeking a definitive answer as to the cartridge loading it presents when switched into MC mode.

From Dan Meinwald of EAR USA:
It's a transformer load, not a resistive load, as the numbers are usually given. Translated to a resistive load, it's about 125 ohms.

Also, when in MC mode does the signal pass through the same 51K ohm loading resistors as does the MM signal.

From Dan Meinwald of EAR USA:
All that happens in MC mode is that the step-up transformers are switched in, which means the answer is yes.

This is very important to my getting the best performance out of my unit with my MC cartridge. I've been information on the stating that the MC loading is anywhere from 50 to 500 ohms.

From Dan Meinwald of EAR USA:
Many people speak without the knowledge to to back up their statements.

Dan Meinwald
Doak - I read your post above with interest but find myself somewhat confused.

My translation of the above is as follows:

- Set to MM, the 834's impedence is 51K.
- Set to MC with the XF switched in, the nominal
impedence is = 125 ohms.

Is this correct?

Yes Mike, that's it.
I wonder where Dan came up with his MC values. Stereophile measured the 834P and found the following:
Set to MM, the 834P's input impedance was 49.7k ohms in the left channel, 51k ohms in the right. The input impedances for the MC setting were 515 ohms and 516 ohms (L&R). The output impedance measured 524 ohms in the left channel, 538 ohms in the right.
I asked the manufacturer for a definitive answer to the question.

From Dan Meinwald of EAR USA:
Many people speak without the knowledge to to back up their statements.
I don't know if Dan's comments were directed at Stereophile or someone else, but the fact remains that EAR doesn't provide an official impedance spec for the 834P in their product brochure or on their website. Stereophile took the time to measure these things in 1997. Their instruments saw an input impedance of 515 ohms and an output impedance between 524-538 ohms. Perhaps the newer version of the 834P has different values. Unless Dan can clear up this confusion, I'll side with instruments and methods that can be repeated and verified. I don't mean to stir up controversy, but if we can't rely on independent analysis of equipment, there's no point in discussing this.
Dan was referring to all of the (mis)information that is out there. I experimented with my K & K Premium SUT and when loaded @ 122 ohm the frequency balance it produced when plugged into the 834P was VERY similar to what I heard with the EAR in MC mode. I experimented with various other loading and that loading was by far the most similar to that of the stock EAR transformers. This lends credence to Dan's information on the EAR's MC loading.

I'll but my faith in my EARs and Dan. If you want to put yours in Stereophile that's certainly you prerogative.
Did Dan design the EAR 834P?
Mingles: my humble thought exactly.