Soundstage gone


Hi guys,
I was really happy with the sound I had from my system until I decided to upgrade my turntable to MC stage. What I had: Linn LP12 with Lingo 3, Akito tonearm and Adikt MM cartridge. The amp is MA2275, speakers B&W 802. Recently I upgraded TT with Radical power supply, Urika MC internal phono stage, Ekos tonearm and Kandid cartridge. My amp has only MM phono stage, so tried to plug the cords from the table into other available inputs: CD2, tuner or DVD. The sound was amazing but the soundstage almost gone. I was shocked. There is no more splitting sounds between speakers and all the records plays as mono. Is there a way to fix that? Forgot to mention: I have a dedicated power line and my cables AQ Hurricane, AQ Oak.

lviv
Check the cartridge leads. They are probably hooked up incorrectly.
Do I understand you correctly - you are plugging  the RCAs from the turntable (actually arm/cartridge) into something other than the phono stage in your preamp (or a separate outboard phono stage)?

If so that is your problem. An MC cartridge generally has a has a lower output than a MM cartridge and needs additional amplification. Its capacitance usually needs to be much lower as well, but both types of cartridges need a matching phono stage. You cannot (successfully) just plug the  phono cable into a line input of  pre-amplifier to get the necessary equalization needed to run any cartridge.

You can use the MM input with a MC cartridge using an outboard amplifier specially made for this purpose.  
My MC phono stage built into turntable so the signal goes from cartridge, through MC phono stage and cables hook up to amp not into MM input but CD2 slot.
Very interesting problem I think. You appear to be using it correctly (into a line stage) I don't know that it makes any difference, but are you using RCA's or balanced outputs?

Just to see where the problem might be why not just try bypassing the MC amp and plugging RCA's from your turntable arm into the MM stage on your pre-amp and see what happens. You could expect to get a greatly reduced out put but least you could be sure that the problem was not associated with the built in MC pre. It could be a problem with the cartridge, but off hand I can figure out how you would reduce the output of your phono system to a centered mono signal.

I agree with mijostyn do check the cartridge connections.
Was there ever a time you heard stereo separation from this cartridge plugged into anything? Do they by chance make a mono version of this cartridge? 
You need a properly matched step up transformer to run a MC cartridge to a MM phono input. Running any MM or even worse MC cart to line level rather than phono input is not a correct setup so bad results should be expected.

You might be best off sticking to a MM cart.  Getting a MC cart setup correctly with a pre-amp not designed for that can be tricky. 
The cartridge is brand new, I've got upgraded TT last week and in dealership store was sounding great. Just now listened a few records and I would hear the little bit sound separation but not as used to be with MM stage. Don't want to experiment putting two phono stages together.
Is there some reason you don't want the dealer to help you with this?  That would be your best option.
@Iviv,

I’m not surprised you’re in shock. Going from the Akito arm and Lingo power supply to the Ekos and Radikal should have been a substantial upgrade.

The Linn’s always been a highly sensitive deck. It’s all too easy for it to get a knock, or for something to move in transit.

So check if the suspension is working as freely as before. If not, it may need a reset and you must contact the dealer who can also check out the new cartridge.

I know it's a pain, and I hated doing that myself but I don’t suggest touching anything yourself. You shouldn’t need to.


I have no issue to talk to dealer and I already did. He doesn't know the root cause. Some technician said it requires time to break-in, some suggested to move speakers. I thought maybe somebody experienced similar issue before. From what I've learnt now I have to use new sound from completely new turntable. Now it's coming up question: was it better to have excellent soundstage or amazing sound without or degraded it.
Dumb question time. Have you accidentally pressed the mono button on your amp? That would do it every time. ;-)
The Urika II phonostage converts signal to digital domain and then performs RIAA corrections according to a quick perusal of the product online.  To me this is a strange way to enjoy analog, but in truth I know nothing about the product and the technology.   Not cheap at $3750.  Good luck.
for newbee:
In my amp all the buttons locate in front of pannell, so no, mono is off.
for flatblackround:
My phono stage is completely analog Urika, not Urika II.
Sounds like your cartridge is short of wack, or out of wack.  But make sure the table and platter are level and the arm tube is parallel with the record surface.  That's a start.  

Make sure the cartridge cantilever is a straight and not an an angle with the centerline of the cartridge body.  Make sure the VTF is within the manufacture's recommendation. 

Using a cartridge mounting / set-up template or protractor, align the cartridge paying attention to the cantilever and stylus position.  Do not worry about the edges of the cartridge, just the cantilever and stylus.  

Recheck the VTF.

Start playing with VTA / SRA.  Start with the arm parallel with the record surface and make small adjustments to raise of lower the arm pivot to change the VTA / SRA.   

When you think everything is good, recheck level and VTF.

It's a bit time consuming, but will get you the best results you can get with the cartridge.


It sounds like your system is out of phase if sounds are coming from all over and there's no soundstage. As suggested double check your cartridge leads.
The cartridge is brand new, I've got upgraded TT last week and in dealership store was sounding great. Just now listened a few records and I would hear the little bit sound separation but not as used to be with MM stage. Don't want to experiment putting two phono stages together.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

I think you did, put a step up (?) (from the TT) into a MM input, on the pre.
CD2, AUX, MM all are to low. A proper step up transformer, or a proper input on the pre to increase it. one or the other.

A few of the others, here have said the same. You still have the old gear?
Can you swap it easy? and check?

You need a way to increase the TT output to plug into a MM input on the preamp.  My C2500, the input is either MM and or MC. MC you can increase/decrease the gain when MC is used. There is a break in period for sure. BUT it should sound good out of the box so to speak.

Wish you well...

Regards
New parts, when breaking in, tend to sound like dirty mono.

then they go darker but cleaner, slowly... and then the speed, imaging and subtleties like plosives and the pop and the like..slowly come back..

Leave the phono stage on, even when not playing anything. Just the quiescent signals will help speed up the break in.

This will take weeks.

@teo_audio  You're saying that new equipment sounds like dirty mono for weeks???  That is totally untrue - and ridiculous.  Either the cartridge in this case is defective or he wired it up wrong.  I'm guessing he swapped the + for the - on one channel.
I'm not buying the align to cantilever/stylus jazz. If it is crooked, not saying his is, then it should have been discovered when new and promptly returned. Most every alignment I've seen suggests aligning the body of the cartridge to the grid lines of the protractor. That is what I've always done. Granted my cantilever(s) are straight. 
The stuff is new.  You bought the stuff at a retailer.  Phone them.  Tell them what's up.  They'll tell you what either you or they can do to set things right.  At worst you'll have to drag the kit-and-caboodle back to the store.  Good luck.
try reversing the polarity on one speaker.  if the Soundstage goes back to normal, your cartridge is miswired.

FWIW, while I’m not sure about Teo_Audio’s terms I can assure you that some products do need to "break in" to reach their normal performance. I don’t think a long period is necessary to hear the promise of great things to come but from my experience I will judge nothing that hasn’t been operating at least 24 hours. Nothing. I usually find the product ’dark’ and closed in and after some time passes the mid’s and highs start to appear. Probably the best thing for you to do at this point in time is to be patient and see what happens. "Soundstaging" lives in the mids and highs which are often late developing.

If after 24 operating hours (I like to actually use the product, not just leaving it on)  you note no difference then perhaps its time to press your dealer for some kind of resolution.

BTW, I assume you have other sources plugged in, have you checked them to insure the line stage is operating properly? I assume that you have, but.....




If you have a mono button on the amp play a mono record, if when you press the mono button the sound nearly disappears you have the cartridge leads crossed on one channel, if it doesn’t its in polarity, the background noise might reduces if it’s an old mono disc but not the music.
From what I read, OP has no phono equalization. Going from cartridge into MC gain stage, then into line level. Totally bypassing the necessary RIAA equalization stage. Yea, that would sound exactly as he describes!
Wolfie62: the Linn Urika is an mc only phono stage and has the RIIA equalization. Is intended to go straight into a line input without any additional stage. It's also designed to work with the Linn Kandid cartridge but works very well with other mc cartridges.
I'm quite surprised by most of the comments above, no knowledge at all of the products...
OP, your dealer needs to visit you at home and fix the problem (this is what I will do with my customers).
Only way stereo comes out as mono is if there is a short circuit between the two channels.  Suggest carefully check the cabling from cartridge to mc stage. Include the wiring within the arm.  This is easy with a meter.   If ok try bypassing phono stage...volume will be very low but may reveal whether short is in the phono stage.

Take it other sources play stereo normally? 

You correctly chose alternate line inputs as otherwise there would be 2 riaa equalisations in series. 

Good luck. Let us know how you solved the problem.


The connection is not so steady sometime,it was really annoying so I decided to download the Spotify to MP3 then add music to the speakers from my PC by using the Spotify downloader which can losslessly download and convert any Spotify music to a format that can be played on any device including MP3 players, car stereo systems, and tablets, among others.

Yeah.  The mono issue is definitely incorrect connections at the cartridge or two wires/connectors touching.

If you are in full-time mono that will explain the loss of soundstage!!!
If it persists after you get stereo back, it is likely then down do inaccurate cartridge alignment in the arm.

Yeah why not just take it back to the dealer to correct.  When done, go in for a test listen in his shop.
When you use another source does the soundstage reappear?  Do you have access to a pair of headphones?
Iviv, did you check the cartridge connections? I have also seen tonearm leads miss identified with the wrong colors on the female plugs. So, if it looks like the right color plugs are on the right pins you might want to check continuity with a meter.
My usual comments: this is too extreme to have anything to do with most audiophile "tweeking around the edges" suggestions.  Either a) something is broken in the cart, b) it is set up (alignment) incorrectly, c) the wires are somehow wrong (this would do it!!!) or similar.
Start with the basics.  The image is very dependent on the alignment since the stero signal must be decoded from two orthogonal squiggly grooves. If your cartridge is not truly perpendicular - poof.  If the VTA is off it is reading/smearing two different "time stamps".  Etc. 

G
Forget about what you heard at the store. That is always a poor listening situation. All you know for sure at the store was both channels were working. The problem was there also, you just did not notice it. 
Iviv,

Have you checked the cartridge connections yet?

If you do not know how to do it, take it back to the dealer and have them check it.
At first read of your original post; a swapped connection, in one channel at the cart, was my thought, which was addressed in the first response.       Crosstalk, caused by incorrect azimuth setting, is another ambiance information (sound-stage & imaging) killer.     That you state, "The sound was amazing.....", would seem to eliminate a lot of other possibilities.     https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/cartridge-alignment-the-basics-explained/     more suggestions: https://www.sound-smith.com/how-adjust-your-azimuth     Then again; you’ve changed a number of things, at the same time.      In my experience; virtually everything within a system can influence the recovery of recorded sound-stage information, which is some of the most delicate/elusive.
Iviv, Initially I took your post literally, i.e. the only signal you got from your new system was in mono. Upon re-reading your post, and subsequent posts, I am no longer feeling  as sure. In fact I'm starting to think that perhaps you might have a greatly reduce soundstage - the difference is important so perhaps you could better define what you hear. One thing you can do to clarify this is to play a disc and, while doing so, simply press your mono button putting it in mono and see if there is any difference at all. Also switch your speaker connections i.e. left side to right side etc. It would certainly help put your problem in a more defined area of inquiry, i.e. cartridge function issues, cartridge connection issues, set up issues, or just plain old break-in (so much new stuff all at one time). 

Good luck.
You might need to go with an external phono stage that will accommodate MC. Then you can rca into any other input that is open. Vincent makes a nice tube phono pre that would work.
I know this is going to sound crazy but is there a way that you can get another cartridge from the dealer and see if there is any improvement?  That way, at least you have reduced one of the variables in this equation.
OP feared the outboard phono pre would require "putting two phono stages together." This is exactly what it would AVOID. As sgreg1 points out, outboard phono pre should enter AUX or whatever else is available, NOT the amp's own phono stage. If this doesn't clear up the trouble, you've ruled out the diagnosis of defective phono in the amp. 
There is no more splitting sounds between speakers
Maybe the sound is so good, the speakers disappeared!
Post removed 
Do an xperiment.  It will cost you about $150. 

Buy a Schiit Mani, configure it for MC and feed the phono out into the Mani, instead of the Urika.  Feed Mani output to your amp.  If the sound improves, it is the Urika's problem.  If the sound is the same, it is the cartridge's problem.

Guys, everything is back to normal. I hear amazing sound with incredible soundstage. And I feel guilty little bit. I assume what has happened. I haven't use my system for 4-5 months. From the beginning it was Covid time, than I have been awaiting for upgrading which took more than 2 months due to high demand of Karusel from Linn. On that time I was listening my tube tuner from backup system. Yesterday some signs of soundstage started to appear after full day of listening. I left on TT and amp for overnight and a half of the day today and now it sounds unbelievable. It just needed to break in. Thank you everybody for your help. 
I'd hate to pay for it, but the specs for separation over 35db are Superior! And tight .5 db balance

You ought to be getting a rock steady center, and wide, occasionally too wide image. It will improve after 30-60 hrs, however it should start out very impressive.

Who set it up? I would definitely check EVERYTHING, 

"Another notable innovation in Kandid is the angle of the mechanical body and the tracking angle of the cantilever which have also been moved from 23° to 20°. This means that when it’s placed under tracking force on the LP surface, the flux lines remain symmetrical, ensuring that mechanical forces on the coils and iron core remain equal in all directions, avoiding any deformation".

I changed my VTA, and in-advertently loosened the bearings of the arm. Discovered it, fixed it, Nirvana regained.

check EVERYTHING! It should/will sound magnificent.
Careful there, Iviv.       Some naysayers will try to have you shamed, silenced and culturally cancelled, for even mentioning burn-in/break-in.     Happy listening!
Kudos to @teo_audio for nailing it. And me too!
Cartridges do break in. As mechanical devices that is not unusual. It took several weeks for my last Clearaudio cartridge to loosen up fully in the bass. Its when you tell me that wires break in that you lose me. Now, the way Iviv's situation broke in is a bit unusual. I have never heard of a system starting off mono then breaking in to stereo. It is a strange world we live in:)
When I said weeks, I meant to get to the ’final’ broken in sound qualities. where there is no perceivable improvement, on a day to day basis, anymore.

the majority of the break in will happen in the first few days, but will sound spitty and not clear, for about 3-4-5 days (24-7 line level playback) and then after about 100 hours, will be mostly broken in. Some say it takes about 250 hours, for their gear or cables to break in.

When I said, weeks, I meant the phono section. This is due to the input section of the phono preamp seeing only the milli to micro volt signal levels of the cartridge. Phono preamps take the longest time, as does the cables in a tonearm and the like.
@mijostyn,

'I have never heard of a system starting off mono then breaking in to stereo. It is a strange world we live in:)'


Me neither.

The world of audiophiles does seem to possess rules all of its own.