Phono Stage Gain - how does it impact sound?

Just upgraded from Hana EL (0.5mV out) to Hana ML on my MoFi UltraDeck table. Running Sutherland KC Vibe MkII phono stage. Max gain on the Vibe is 60db. Hana ML output is 0.4mV. Absolutely love the sound. Sweet, extended treble, vibrant mids, great clarity. Intoxicating sound. Soundstage is immersive. A huge upgrade over the EL. However, the bass is slightly on the lighter side. It’s detailed, textured, but lacking in the impact and dynamics department. Around 5hrs so far on the new ML but I doubt it’s the break in. I’m suspecting the 60db max gain on the Vibe isn’t driving my Pass XP-12 line stage to the fullest potential. 

Cartridge is set up as perfectly as I could get it using Dr. Feichert protractor - overhang, VTA, azimuth, stylus force all seem right. Imaging is dead on. 



Audphile, if there’s one thing I’ve been trying to get across to you it’s that based on the info you’ve supplied, your phono stage gain is adequate.

...and that assumption is supported by the logarithmic calculation of the total gain required by your front end components to drive your amplifier to full power.



Dear @audphile1  : I think you are in a " hurry "  with a nec mc cartridge. Any cartridge needs at least 50 hours to sttle down many even more than that,

During those first 50 hours you need to run the cartridge at the high manufacturer vtf limit and could be better 60 hours.

After those 60 hours you must re-set the overall cartridge/tonearm alingment  and cartridge set up parameters and that's it.


Be patience.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,



50 hours minimun to break in... patience grass Hopper...

doing my best…


@rauliruegas yup that’s the only plan for now. And yes I’m running it @2gr VTF which is the recommended stylus force. Initial setting was 1.97-1.98gr but I changed it to 2gr