Turntable/Cartridge/Phono Stage questions

My current system consists of new Mark Levinson seperates, along with Revel Studio speakers. My preamp..... a ML380S, does not have a phono stage.

Having said this, I have been absent from vinyl/analog for quite a long time, but I am interested in revisiting the format. I have an old B&O 4002 turntable which has been collecting dust for ages, but I would like to get it up and running. In order to do this, it would need a minor tuneup, as well as a new cartridge......which I have located. I must emphasize, it is NOT my intention to go crazy with analog, I merely would like to re-visit my old vinyl recordings........especially the OOP ones.

Herein lie my questions: I have been reading about MM vs MC cartridges on this forum. I am unaware of which type cartridge the B & O uses. (The appropriate Cartridge Model is MMC 20CL, EN, or SR.) Would someone in the know please identify whether these cartridges are MM or MC? Accordingly, what might be an appropriate Phono Stage for this application? Again, I do not want to go too crazy with this, as the analog thing will be a very minor portion of my listening experience.

It is my hope to obtain a relatively inexpensive phono section which will give me reasonable performance (if that exists). I also want to assure that I acquire a phono stage with the proper signal output considering the given cartridge.

Any suggestions, information and/or share experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for the words of wisdom.

It doesn't make sense to spend so much money on M.L. equipment to use a B & O table.
What is your budget for a phono stage? How much is reasonably inexpensive? You have ML equipment and that stuff is not cheap.

Just to clarify.......I am aware of the source limitations of the B&O turntable and its respective cartridge as compared to the capabilities of the ML equipment. This is why I say I am not taking this seriously. I simply have the turntable laying around from years ago, and it would be fun to hook it up.

Having said that, I would intend on purchasing a phono stage which is commensorate with the turntable's capabilities, NOT the Levinson gear's capabilities. The whole idea is just to break out those old 33's, and revisit them at a reasonable level.

A related question comes to mind though, which may not even apply is this situation: Is a phono stage neccesary at all with MM cartridge applications? From my reading, it appears a MM cartridge's output is much higher.

Thanks for the education.

GW- Yes, a phono pre is needed for MM carts, too. Rotel has a nice basic phono pre for $200 new and around $100 to $125 used. Since this is just to get started, anything in that price range would be about the same. Some have written in about two Rat Shack phono pre's (one for each channel) that they have modded for under $100. DO a search on this site for info on the Rat shack unit. With any of these, you'll need to check to be sure that they have the appropriate gain for your type of cart.

I m not familiar enough with B&O to know which (MM/MC) you have, but you can test on another system. Plug into a friend's old receiver (one with a phono section). If the volume while playing a record is about the same volume as other sources (FM, CD, and/or Tape), you probably have MM and almost all receivers used to have MM phono sections.

After you get started, you might even want to step up!!

GW- Oh, I just remembered- I think MMC stood for "Moving Magnet Cartridge" and MCC stood for "Moving Coil Cartridge".

Get a Sumiko Pro-Ject Phono Box and you can relive the glory days of ticks and pops which may make you wonder what the fuss over vinyl is all about, without spending much money. That's what I did when I got an AR line stage. Good day.
I'm pretty certain all B&O cartridges are moving magnet and yes, you will need a phono stage. The Sumiko is a decent budget piece. Any bets on how long it will take you to upgrade?? Have fun!
Patrick- It's been a long time, but I think I recall that B&O had a MC in their line-up. It might have been a high output cartridge- not sure.

GW- If B&O did make their MC's as high-output, it is almost certain that it will be compatible with a MM phono section. And, I forgot to mention previously that, when connected to a MM phono pre, a low output MC will not produce any volume. (The fundamental difference between an MC and MM phono stage is gain. MC phono pre's have alot more gain to make up for the low output voltages.)

All the B&O Carts are moving magnet units. They are also very hard to come by now, since they haven't been made for years. Good luck replacing it, since no other cartridge will fit on the tonearm. I worked at an audio dealer who carried B&O, as well as alot of others, and any Rega turntable will pulverize any B&O TT, so don't count on alot of performance. A MM phono section will work fine, but you may need a DIN/phono adapter for your phono cable if you don't already have one. Check the end of your cable to see if it has RCA plugs or DIN.
Sound aside, the 4002 is a *very* nice looking turntable, and worth keeping in the system for aesthetic reasons alone. If you search Google for "B&O Cartridges" you'll find several stores that stock B&O cartridges and should be able to provide you with a replacement. I have an old MMC-20EN cartridge that I occasionally mount in my (non B&O) turntable and while the sound is not spectacular, its certainly reasonable. If this is going to be your only analog source, then its probably a good idea to stay with a good lower priced phono preamp. I'm using a Monolithic PS-1, which can be found used for around $200 or so. I know that NAD, Rotel, and Musical Fidelity all make decent, inexpensive preamps as well, so you should have a reasonably wide range of choices under $300.

Instead of buying B&O cartridge you can find some garage-sale turntable for $15 and hook it up with ML equipment.

Good Luck.
V1: Check the following website for details/specs on the deck (there is a cartridge link as well).


The deck sounds best @ low/medium volume levels, otherwise its noise level becomes a problem.

In "mint" condition it's probably worth $200 tops, but as a part of your past I can see the benefit of restoring it.

I do not understand the cartridge output specs, as they are stated @ the website, but perhaps you or someone else here will. This is what you need in order to match it to a phono preamp along with the loading specs.
Thanks folks for all of your responses to my question. The cartridge is of MM design, and I will acquire a phono stage applicable to such, and see how it goes. This should prove to be an interesting experiment. Again, many thanks.

Actually there were adaptors made to install cartridges other than B&O on the 4002, but they are probably more rare than the B&O cartridges! Why aren't you using the cartridge that you have? Get a cheap phono pre-pre and try. As others have pointed out or will, you can do better with the purchase of another TT etc., if you are still interested after listening to your present set-up OR you might just be satisfied with your 4002 setup.

salut, Bob P.
Hello Bob P:

My existing cartridge was damaged in a tracking anomoly. As you know, the 4002 is a linear tracking device. At the end of a record one day, the tonearm lifted off the record very very slowly, but not before dragging the needle halfway across the record in the "return to park" tracking cycle. It is my understanding that this was a common problem with this product, although it only happened once to me over many years. Anyhow, this situation partially damaged the record I was listening to, and destroyed the stylus. The tonearm problem is why I am having the turntable repaired (less than a hundred dollar problem), and also why I am replacing the cartridge. The cartridges are difficult to locate, but I have found one.

As for better turntables.......especially in my current system, I realize there are many better choices out there. I simply am not interested at this time in getting serious with analog. This is simply an inexpensive, entertianing experiment involving my old OOP records as well as a 28 year old turntable which I once adored. It is mostly nostalgic in nature, although it may precipitate a renewed interest in Analog. In the end though, even though my records are in excellent condition, any possible upgrade would depend on how well I re-learn to listen around the cracks and pops!

Regards, and thanks for your post.

GW, sounds like you have answered your own question. My 4002 suffered the same problem as you and I had it repaired, but then I started to get the opposite problem - the arm wouldn't go down! That turntable is now in the attic after being replaced by an Oracle Alexandria MkIII with Rega 300 arm and BPS.

salut, Bob P.
Considering you you know the limitation of your turntable I would go to Radio Shack and buy their cheap moving magnet pre amp. I say this because the B&O will not even give you a clue as to how good anologue can be. I would not spend too much to get it runnung.
Good Luck