Yes, I agree with all said except I use the RIAA eq. I prev used the M1-vynl witch replaced an Audio Research PH-3 Special phono. When I saw the new MX, I had to give it a try. I was, and am blown away by the improvement - bottom to top freq and tonal qualities are superior to M1.
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Thanks for the amen! It's reassuring.
As for EQ curve preferences, RIAA vs IEC, it's mostly a matter of taste, and it's a plus that the MX-VYNL gives one the choice. The MX-VYNL's EQ curve is speced as highly accurate to the frequency extremes. On the high end, the result is that there will be no spurious ultrasonic distortion leaking into the audible range, and both the RIAA and IEC curves are identical in nearly all of the audible range. It's in the infrasonic ("subsonic" means "slower than the speed of sound," BTW...) where things get interesting. You can read the technical details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization#IEC_RIAA_curve . While infrasonic frequencies are, by definition, not audible, amplifiers and some speakers will respond to them, and the results can be significant IM (intermodulation) distortion in the audible range and possibly other problems as well. The IEC curve is a very gentle 1st order roll-off below about 20 Hz, which *may* help reduce some spurious and subtle infrasonic distortions in the entire system.
I don't know. As I said, it's a matter of taste, and very likely one's system. My setup, being a pro mastering system, is extremely revealing and essentially flat down to 30 Hz, and the differences are subtle. I generally preferred the RIAA curve with the M1-ViNL, but so far, I prefer the IEC curve with the MX-VYNL. Quite reasonably, YMMV.
I am considering purchasing the MX or the CEC PH53 (I like the phono banced concept) and i wonder about the best way for using the balaced input. The CEC ph53 presents a pair of male xlr as input while the MX a single mini xl5, 5 pin male.
I do not like to drill my turntable and mount the same male xlr 5pin, i prefer a par of 3 pin male xlr as the turntable phono output.
Quest in how do I adapt an 3 pin XLR pair with a single 5 pin XLR? the setup looks quite messy to me
Why MF did not go with standard XLRs (money saving I think)
More space saving than cost saving, I suspect, since the mini-XLR connector is a fraction of the size of two std. XLR ins, and the MX-VYNL is quite small. But you are right, that mini-XLR is a problem. When I last looked, 2-channel XLR to mini-XLR adapter cables seemed to be rather nonexistent commercially. Like probably 99% of all TTs, my VPI TT has conventional unbalanced RCA outs, so I haven't had to directly confront that challenge. The VPI could, of course, be easily (but expensively...) converted to balanced connectors, but in part because of the lack of easy availability of the needed cabling, I haven't made the conversion. No doubt any competent technician handy with soldering (I am not...) could make the needed cable, but that issue remains as my sole and only complaint with the MX-VYNL.
BTW, since writing the review above I have used the MX-VYNL with an 8 D-cell battery pack. It works fine, but there is no perceptible difference in sound.
As for the C.E.C. PH53, I've no experience with it. Thus I really can't comment on it except to say that both on price and on paper they appear similar. However, the PH53 is apparently a significantly older model than the MX and it's from a much more obscure manufacturer. You might more easily find a PH53 at a good price used, but beyond that, your choice.
I'm no expert in these things but just wanted to express my thanks to the initiator of this thread, lp2cd. As a result I went out and bought one of these phono stages from Superfi (excellent service) and the performance is awesome.
When I had a bit of cash a few years ago I bought an Arcam FM system with B&W surround floorstanders and as you would expect the digital performance was awesome and I thought of vinyl as history.
A few years later I had a rethink and maybe vinyl has it's place, so I bought a Rega P9 with a Denon MC cartridge and thought great here we go.
Then I discovered the Arcam didn't have a phono stage and I'd blown my budget. I bought a Cambridge 640P and hoped that this might be my salvation, but it was hopeless. My ipod on a solo speaker could sound as good.
So I gave up for a while and then looked around thinking valve amp but read this review and thought maybe with a system that's loaded for digital this might work and ...it does. I've had it for only a few days so not even sure I've got it set up properly and definitely not broken in but it is awesome.
The purity of sound is sensational and that's just using it off the standard connectors. The silence that the originator refers to is totally the case and across all genres I've tried it's a treat, fantastic musicality.
By far the best musical investment I've made in a long, long time.
Apologies for the non-technical review but I hope this will help encourage more people to at least check this out and a big thank you to lp2cd.