MM loading.... on a new Nova iii

Some time ago I was chatting with a few guys here about loading my Audio Technica AT20ss with the Gold Note PH-10.   The Gold Note for MM only has one fixed capacitance setting of 220pf and impedance loading options of either 22K ohms or 47K ohms.

It was suggested that I try 100K ohms, but that is not an option with the PH-10 unless it goes to the factory for modifications.   I received a new Musical Surroundings Nova iii yesterday and I have been running it in for about 5 to 8 hours now... it's still very new and the detail seems to be coming up a bit.  The sound stage is quite good, but the initial muddyness right out of the box with basic MM settings seems to be dissipating now.  

The MS Nova iii is quite an interesting piece as it has 16 settings for gain, a 100 or 200 pf setting for MM input and get this; a 100K ohm impedance in addition to the standard 47K ohm used on MM.  I set the gain at 50 db which is around 10 db higher than the default MM gain.  That seems to be very close to output which I was getting in the Gold Note, so I can make better comparisons.  The AT 20ss is a lower output MM at 2.7mv, 50 db is pretty good, but I can go up to 52, 54, 56 if I wish.    I experimented with 100 pf and 200 pf, there is a little more lower end at 100 pf, but it's too much for my taste, so 200 pf works out nicely.  The big bonus here is the 100K ohm impedance which I have never tried, but wow does that open up the upper mid/upper range!!  It's silky smooth with a lot more air to the music.   Thank you to the guys here who suggested it.

But I need to get to 50 or 100 hours on this Nova iii before I can really determine the best settings.  It's fun to have the options which the PH-10 does not offer as it's really geared towards MC carts.  I can't wait to do a swap out back to the PH-10 after I get the hours put on the Nova iii.   I may order the LPS external power supply for the Nova iii shortly as they tell me it lowers the noise floor further.