ZYX Artisan. mm &mc inputs. very impressive.
15 responses Add your response
I use the low output zyx carts (.24) using the standard ARC PH3 into the line level input of an ARC sp-10 and into the Audible illusions M3a. I also get good results when i use the phono of the ARC sp-10(between 10-1 o'clock volume position) and the Audible Illusions with john Curl phono board.
I hope you don't mind I'm just curious what the rest of your components are?
System: AI m3a , ARC sp-10, PH3, ARC D-250, Proac response 3.8
Low output Zyx Bloom and Atmos/4D
My system is posted , but it's an LS-15 preamp and a Gamut D200 amp. It work's great with the CD player but sisnce I've moved yo a more damped listening environment, I just can't get the volume anywhere close to the CD output. Might be a problem somewhere in the phono pre???.It was never as loud as I would have liked, but now it's simply not acceptable.As the PH3 is a fixed 54 DB, all I can think of is a component change...
54db is sub-optimal for a .48mv cartridge. ZYX's output specs are conserative because they use a non-standard test record, but even adjusting for that results in a gain structure that's borderline with a 54db phono stage. I agree that you need more phono gain.
I've listened to Swampwalker's previous phono stage (VAC Renaissance) in his system and mine. It came fairly close to the very best I've heard at any price, my Nick Doshi Alaap. He says his new ZYX Artisan is even better, so it must be very good indeed. I'd give it a serious look.
Wow! this is very interesting for me. Then i'm quite lucky my crappy old gears have been working for me. Makes me realize how important that 1 db difference between Zyx artisan (55db) and the Ph3(54db)is. I would assume that the tubes in the ph3 are still good then it seems you do need more gain to meet your preferred levels.
Thanks for sharing this thread Brrgrr and to Doug for the valuable insights as always.
thanks for the input, as I know you are very well informed regarding vinyl, so your opinion carries a lot of weight with me. And Rod, I'm a bit puzzled as well, as before the move the level was borderling acceptable, but now, in a smaller but less lively room, the results are simply unacceptable. This is one frustrating hobby!!!...Thank god there's good red wine in abundance!!!
The ZYX is out of my budget right now, but the new Simaudio5.3 has caught my eye....60 db should do the trick....still wonder if new tubes might make a difference...
I've recently just retubed my Ph3 after 9 yrs(standard tubes were sovteks 6922. The new ones that i got from ARC are EH)Got the low output zyx bloom first to see if i had adequate gain in my phono section before i took the plunge for the 4D.
Comparing the old ARC ph3 tubes to the new ones, In My system the New tubes obviously breathed new life into the sound but i would say the most that i gained in the volume pot was about two clicks at the most. Can't say if this would be the same in your case.
hope this helps,
Another option if you want to keep the ARC, would be the ZYX pre-pre for more gain. It was excellent and easily bettered the SUT in my VAC Ren Mk2. If you do much reading, you will find that proper transformer and load matching with an SUT is critical. The ZYX is optomized for their carts and I will tell you that with a high resolution system you can hear small diffs in cart loading.
I,m almost sure that ARC has a mod to have higher gain on your ph3. try giving a call to ARC.
BTW i have used the ph3 with my .45mv ortofon kontrapunkt A and yes of course cd is higher on the preamp but i woldn,t call it "sub-optimal".
I would try having my ph3 modded for higher gain rather than using and buying a step-up transf.