I recently acquired a CJ Sonographe SG 3 with an Audioquest PT 7 arm and a Blue Point cart. I am using it with a Marantz 2226 receiver and Paradigm Studio 40 speakers. I'm new to vinyl so I have a question. I notice that some albums seem to play louder than others and also it seems like I need to turn the volume up around the 12 o'clock position to get decent playing levels. I do have the TT plugged into the phono input with the ground attached. Any advice or is this the norm? Thanks again for any advice.
not enough phono gain. use an outboard phono. plenty of cheap ones <$100.
Seems like you should have enough gain with your receiver to play the Blue Point. However, you shouldnt have wide variations in loudness between albums. Some will be recorded at a higher level than others, or will be more dynamic, but not more than about 6db or so. Is it entire albums that are different, or just tracks on the same album?
what's the problem? having the volume control in the middle of its range is a good thing. Do you need it to be louder than it is at the maximum setting?

it is true that some albums - cd's, too - are lounder than others.

my cd player is much louder than my phono preamp, and I suspect that is common, that most cd players have high output levels. some preamps and receivers have trim pots on the inputs so you can make them all about equal in volume. yours doesn't, so you have to use the volume control when you switch inputs. There are worse fates.
I agree with Lloydc, what is the problem? Most volume knobs are at their peak performance between the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock position. So if you happy with the volume with the knob at 12 o'clock, everything is wonderful.

Also, some albums are recorded at different levels, so you may hear some difference, but it shouldn't be that great. If you have to turn the volume knob up to 2 o'clock or down to 10 o'clock there could be another issue though.
The albums aren't that big of a difference. Truthfully, I noticed my Elton John albums seemed lower than the others, but it seems the same way on my cd's with his stuff. The 12:00 position is good with me, I just was curious because it seems like when just the tuner is playing it is considerably louder at a lower position. Thanks again for the input. I'm really enjoying this little rig. I have all my dads old albums and the Marantz was his when I was a kid. I saved it from being thrown out a couple of years ago and a good friend gave me the TT..it was just collecting dust in his closet.
Tuners are also higher output just like CD'S (2 volts).So what you have is normal.
There is alot of variation in how loudly LPs are mastered. I own around 9,000 LPs and play 4-5 LPs a day. Some records I have to really turn the volume knob up to get good volume and dynamics, and with others, the music just effortlessly jumps out of the grooves and comes to life at a lower volume setting. So what you are experiencing is normal. I've noticed that the longer the playing time of an LP, the lower the mastering volume tends to be.