Importance of impedance matching cartridge with phono stage?


I just received my new Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated (which I absolutely love), and my dealer sold me a barely used demo Gryphon phono board for it which I installed into my new amp.  When I checked Gryphon’s site, I realized the board they sold me was Gryphon’s PS2 model, and not the latest revision, which is the PS2-S.  The only change with the new revision appears to be that it now supports a variety of impedance load settings for MC cartridges, including 20/100/200/499/806 Ohms and even custom loads using resistive jumpers applied to the board.  In comparison, my version only supports 20 and 100 Ohm settings for MC cartridges.

My question is, how much should I care that my Gryphon phono board does not have these expanded  load settings?

If it matters, the dealer gave me the board for over 50% off retail value.

I know relatively little about analog (the last turntable I owned I got when I was 5) and am looking for some informed advice here.  I could ask my dealer or Gryphon but I think their response may be biased considering they will likely want me to keep the board.  Not to mention I don’t think the dealer was supposed to sell me the demo board; Gryphon seems to care about such things.


A whole lot of low-output MC’s like to be loaded 100 ohms or less in conjunction with many active MC phono stages. If you get one of those, the new additional settings at 200+ won’t help you anyways. Of course there are exceptions, e.g. Benz Ruby. And if you go with medium/high output MC’s, the 100 ohms will probably be very sub-optimal. For the most part you should be good with MC’s in the output range of say 0.4 mV and lower, depending on the gain and signal/noise of your card (the higher these are, the lower you can go, down to say 0.2 mV or less). And this range is generally considered to be the highest quality for MC carts (lower output is better as long as you don’t need the extra signal). For example, all Koetsus and upper-range Ortofons (Cadenza and up) should be an excellent match at 100 ohms.

If your phono card has an MM mode you can additionally consider using a Step-Up Transformer in conjunction with a low-output MC, at which point the cartridge/SUT pairing is the important one to match.
Hi. The quick response is that most people aren't even aware of this little detail (i.e.getting the loading correct) and live their lives complaining about the mediocre sound.The second point is that most cartridges play reasonably well @~100ohms  (capacitance???), hopefully so does yours.
The third point is that getting the loading correct is of primordial importance: you finally get to hear what your TT system is capable of...
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There are many threads on this subject in these archives. Try doing a search. Personally, I’d say 20 ohms is useless with all but a very few very low output cartridges. So you’re basically stuck with 100 ohms, which is ok for most but not all LOMCs. Bad for any other types.
You should mention the gain of the phono and line sections and what cartridges you use.