SUT's carts and amps
I think I already know the answer to this one but here goes anyway. I have an ARC PH7 phono pre with a fixed gain of 57.5 dB. That's almost too much gain for a 1 mv cart because it puts the line-pre volume control a little too near minimum for effective control at low listening levels. OTOH 57.5 dB is not enough gain to bring out the dynamics in a .28 mv cart. Noise and system volume are not a problem. The problem as I see it is how to increase the gain of the .28 mv cart without going over 1 mv. SUT's I've seen are 10:1, 20:1, 40:1 . The line pre is an ARC REF3 and as far as I know the gain is fixed. The only solutions I can see are 1) get another cart with the proper output, 2) get another phono pre that's adjustable, 3) get a line stage that's adjustable. I'm thinking option #1 since the two pre-amps are built for each other and sound great together. So are there any carts that work well with a VPI JMW 10 arm, have .5 to 1.0 mv output and rock for under $2k? Or is there a SUT with a gain of 3:1 or 4:1 ? My answer so far is toss in my spare Dynavector 20X2m (1mv) and sell off the XX2 MKII. Thought I'd throw this post out there in case I'm missing something. Thanks for any responses.