Since you're in northern Europe, it would almost look mandatory to contact Christian Isenberg in Hamburg. He's the absolutely maniacal (in the good sense, that is!) distributor in Germany, who's developed and builds two phono-stages that are specifically made for Jan Allaerts (one for the MC1 and another for the MC2). He can very probably also advise you about the hum. When you meet Christian, chances are you will find him in a passionate discussion with Jan Allaerts, Simon Yorke and/or Jean-Christophe Crozel (of Lavardin).http://www.isenbergaudio.de/Isenberg/isenberg.html
What Karelfd said seems to be the best advice possible. But as regards the hum, per se, check your grounding scheme. If your tonearm is grounded to your preamp, remove the ground wire. If the tonearm is NOT grounded to your preamp, then add a ground wire. Similarly experiment with other possible grounds. (This is a black art.)
Graham Tricker the builder/designer of Tron gear is the former distributor of the Allaerts carts in the UK, so he knows them well, his phonostages were designed around that cartridge line up and the critical loading and high demand of such a low output cart like the MC 2 Finish Gold.
They can also be ordered with two inputs.
I have 2 Allaerts MC2 Finish Golds (one is for backup just in case). Phonostage matching is critical with this cartridge. The Isenberg is the one, but it is about 20k. I purchased a Martensen phonostage (about 6K) from the US distributer of Allaerts, Hart Huschens (Audio Advancements).
This is what Hart recommended as a good match. He let me compare it with my other phonostages (Conrad Johnson Premier 15 and Vendetta Research) and he was correct. Great phonostage which is not well known in the US. You can find a good review of it in HIFI +.
The hum is all gone, I had the Einstein The Turntable Choice placed to close to the Hovland or some power cables, moved the phonoe stage into the window post and it is as quiet as anything I have heard.
I have read about the Isenberg, but I think it's too expencive, but thanks a lot for good advice.
The Tron and the Martensen are good suggestions, thanks.
What about the Raven Phono stage, could that be something? It's reasonably priced, all tube - no transformer, impedance to order and three inputs.
I have heard the TW Raven Phono with the XV-1s and Miyabi and it was very good. Nice and quiet and very clean sounding for a tube unit with great speed and dynamics.
I do know Thomas of TW uses that combo for his personal listening, and shows through out Europe with that combo on occasion.
Perhaps ask him it it is enough gain for your setup. TW uses very effecient horns, so gain may not be a problem for him. But with those horns, noise has no where to hide so it must be a good unit in that respect.
What do you think of the Basis Exclusive in this setting?
I have never had the opportunity to listen to the ASR. I do know that you would need balanced cables though.
I am personally a fan of a tube phono with a quality step-up transformer.
So most of the solid state units that I have heard or owned never lasted long at my place.
Check out the current Pass Phonostage, the XP-15
I had Steve at GNS modify the loading of my ARC Ref Phono2 for this cartridge and it works beautifully.
Fosse, if it's still of interest to you, there is presently a TRON Seven w/ 2 inputs as suggested by Pcosta on offer on Audiomarkt.de for EUR 2.4k, demo clearance with 2y warranty, delivery from Belgium.http://www.audiomarkt.de/_markt/item.php?id=0369720814&
To be sure: 1) I have no interest whatsoever in this offer; 2) I know the seller as a serious retailer but I don't know the state of the gear.
Another option: I have run the MC2 Finish through the BAT VK-P10se with great results.
It would worth to think also for Nibiru phono of http://www.eselab.si/.
Oh, here's a lot of interesting phono stages.
I have also got a tip about the release of a "premium version" of the Liberty Audio phono stage.
Anybody who has heard the standard version of this one?
Another vote for the TRON Seven (or even better the TRON Syren preamp with on board phono). Top class sound, battleship build and designed to match the Allaerts.
I own an Allaerst mc2 Finish and have tried a dozen of phonostages before ending up with VTL TP-6.5 with a transformer option. It's super quiet and plays wonderfull.
I owned an Allaerts MC Formula 1 & tested on my FM 222 MKIII and Kondo KSL -M7 phono amp. respectively. The best result is best match with Kondo, sound is wonderful, good partner with Kondo tube phono amp. with its SF-Z transformer as well.
Have you heared a MC2 Finish with Klyne phonoamp or with Shindo pre and SUT?
I recently bought a MC2 Finish 2 weeks ago. Really a wonderful cartridge. wow. Still breaking in I guess, I have about 30 hours playing time on it. However it sounded great from the start.
I am using my Nagra VPS. I did special order a input card with 847ohm installed (which helps). I have a little noise, no hum, but fantastic sound. I am coming from a Lyra Skala which had .5mv output (so a big diff in output).
Honestly the little bit of noise, I could care less about, the sound is wonderful.
For those that have tried other phono stages for really low output mc's, what do you hear?
Hi, just checking ... what phono stage did you end up with? I am trying to decide if I want to try something new for my MC2 Finish...
Both MC2 finish and F1 cartridges from jan allaerts are from another planet it happen to have both ...
I have try all phono stages you can name...only tom evans phonos can really work !!
Groove plus srx or even better the latest model master phono
more expensive of course ..
there is one phono stage especially made (Germany..)
for this cartridges but cost a fortune i think 27000 euros ??
Well maybe is good but price is out of any logic!!
Cables also is very important SME Vdh cable is not for this cartridge ..not at all you need a really fine cable
I use a custom one made by fine silver -single solid core
very thin 0,15mm it works fantastic !!
This cartridges is not a toy ..you must be very carefull but then again could not be different !!