Heed Quasar Outputs


I am searching for a phono preamp. The Heed Quasar has gotten some interest, but I have some questions on its output. The published specs have a sensitivity for moving coil input of 100 µV - 200 µV - 600 µV. According to the KAB gain calculator, this works out to 68dB, 61dB & 52dB respectively. Eugene HiFi sells the Heed and one of the comments on the web site states "The MC section works best with cartridges in the 0.6mV - 1.25 mV range (despite the published sensitivity ratings). High output MC cartridges work well on the MM section, but low output MC cartidges require a little more gain than what the Quasar provides. The high output rca jacks could be used, but the low output sounds better when connected to a pre amp or integrated."

Would someone with first hand experience care to comment? I am unsure why the Heed has a low and high output. The website states the high output is to drive an amplifier directly, but how could it since there is no volume control? The specs for the output are as follows:
Output voltage: "Low Out": 220 mV/100 Ohm
Output voltage: "High Out": 775 mV (0 dBm)/ 22 Ohm

The right gain is of major consideration for me as my preamp(Gamut C2R) only has 6 dB of gain. Presently I am using my old Nakamichi CA 5 preamp phono section as my phono stage. It has 74dB of gain at the impedance value I am using. This is a little too much, since I can still faintly hear music even when the volume is all the way down.

Another thought about gain values. My Nak has 3 different MC impedance values and different gain for each impedance. Shouldn't all phono stages gain vary as the impedance varies? Most only list one gain for all the impedance values.

Thanks in advance for any replies.
bgpowell
The MC section works best with cartridges in the
0.6mV - 1.25 mV range (despite the published sensitivity ratings). High
output MC cartridges work well on the MM section, but low output MC
cartidges require a little more gain than what the Quasar provides.

I have first hand experience using a .25mV Dynavector XX II with the Quasar's
High Output MC outputs (and Low Output MC outputs). I've been using the
Heed with a Lamm L2 Reference preamp, and with a SMC Audio VRE-1
preamp.

In both instances, the Heed Quasar's High Output MC outputs provide way
more gain than I require. Vinyl sounds incredibly dynamic. I've also used the
Low Output MC outputs with the Lamm L2 Reference, and while I believe it
works fine, I think you give up some dynamics that the High Outputs provide,
when you're using a low output MC cartridge.

Short version...I have absolutely no reservations recommending the Heed
with a .25mV low output MC cartridge.

The 6dB gain of your linestage is a consideration (The Lamm L2 is 17dB, and
I'm not certain what the VRE-1 gain is, but it's quite a bit less than the L2
Reference).

My Heed dealer provided a two week home audition, and this is what I would
recommend. Send me an email if you'd like the name of the dealer.
Thanks Tvad. I read what was info and reviews I could find on the Heed and they have been positive. I think between 62dB to 65db of gain would probably be sufficient. I have no volume problems with MM type cartridges and 40dB of gain. My present cartridge is ATOC9 which has .4 mV output which is pretty healthy for an MC. I am just concerned about down the line if I upgrade to a different cartridge with a lower output.
Well, as I say, I use a .25mV cart, and gain is not an issue whatsoever.