Help - I've got an Ocean in my Phono Stage

I'm using a Rega P3 and a Denon 103R cartridge, with a Monolithic PS-1 Phono stage.

The PS-1 just barely has enough gain to handle the Denon cartridge - I've got to max out the gain on it.... however I'm getting this loud background hiss/hum sound that sounds kind of like the ocean at night. I really thought the problem was with the Rega, because I recently rewired it. However, on a whim, last night I unplugged the Rega from the Monolithic and lo and behold - still getting the noise.

I've tested all of the inputs on my pre-amp and amp... so I know that the hiss-hum-ocean sound is coming from the PS-1.

I've tried moving the PS-1 and changing the outlet the power cord is plugged in to.

I know that I've got a lot of RF in my listening area - but am curious why it might only affect the PS-1...

Any ideas on how to fix this problem (like buy a new phono stage that can handle a low output MC cartridge) would be appreciated.


An open circuit on the input to the phono preamp may permit noise. Try shorting the input to the preamp, and see if what the noise level is. If the noise persists the phono preamp is faulty. If it goes away, recheck the phono pickup wiring. If seagulls begin squwakling overhead, go outside for a walk.
While I'm no expert at your problem,just junior varisity--- I would say it might be a power cord or a power supply to close to an ic. If this was a tubed pre, I would say you have a bad tube.
I'm not really familar with the PS-1 but from what you have said it sounds like at max gain you may be hearing the units noise floor. I assume when you back off the gain the noise goes away. If this assumption is correct you should consider getting a medium/high output cartridge or a phono stage with more gain.
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I agree with Viridian(2nd time in 2 days)You are probably losing dynamics also.
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Not bad if your listening to a Billie Ocean Lp? Explain an Ocean, CB's, Radio Stations, or just Hum?
Does anyone remember the Judy Collins recording of "Farewell to Tiwathie" (or some such spelling). That cut was one of the best for a matrix multichannel system. The background to her unaccompanied voice is recorded whale "songs", and the whales swim all around you in the air, as if you were underwater.
Well, its not on Lp (forgive me for bringing it up) but if you want to hear whales try Hovhaness' "And God Created Great Whales". Very atmospheric w/whale songs. Accompanied by an excellent Mysterious Mountain. Gerald Schwartz, Seattle SO on Delos.
Why this obsession with low output MC's? It happens again and again. Dude, do you really plan to sell the Monolithic and get something that will handle low output MC's while keeping the Rega P3? Think again. It will take some SERIOUS money to do the low output thing correctly--and by then the Rega will be such a weak link in the chain it will not be funny (it already is the weak link, BTW).

You can get *exceptional* results with a high output MC (Ortofon, Dynavector) or an outstanding moving magnet design (Goldring, Stanton) with the PS-1. Get the outboard power supply if you don't have it, a decent power cord ( like the VenHaus )and some small DH cones or Audiopoints for them units. You WILL be surprised.

I use the Monolithic PS-1 w/ outboard power supply hooked to a Clear Image T4 quad isolation transformer/filter and an AudioPrism Super Natural 9.5 power cord. The units are supported with Audiopoints on Caribbean Moca wood boards and rubber/cork/rubber footers. The results are truly impressive. The turntable? That's a story all to itself, but my favorite cartridge is a KAB modified Stanton Groovemaster II. I had the resistors in my Monolithic changed to accept the Stanton's 75 KOhm loading.

With psychic power and primal intensity,
Low output Moving Coils just sound better most of the time. But the Shure V15 V-MR is making a very good impression in my system now.