Want to make sure I have the correct settings for my phono pre-amp


So I have a Jolida JD9 II phono pre-amp.

I have a Hana SL MC Cart. This Cartridge calls out for >400ohms for the impedance.

I have the following settings set on the Jolida:

- 1000ohm for the impedance

- Using the High Output for the interconnect (since the Cart is low output and according to the instructions). The manual states to use these outputs for Integrateds and line stage pre-amps

- For the Voltage Gain dip switches: set to MC Low

The Impedance setting of 1000ohms, I know I can try different settings but for the other settings, I believe that is what I am supposed to use according to the instructions but wanted to see if anyone else has used this phono pre-amp or have any opinions.

Using the high outputs definitely sets the gain really high as on my Integrated, I turn up the volume just a couple of notches and the music is already pretty loud.





I’d also try the 300ohm impedance setting on the pre. I have a Hana SL and it seems to like something very close to 400ohms in my systems. 1K may sound a tad too zippy depending on the the rest of your gear. Easy to try and let your ears be the guide.

Try the Low outputs for the interconnects.  I think you'll find you have less distortion and better control over the volume.  I'd give the 300 ohm setting a try and see if you like that better.  Leave the dip switch on MC Low as you have it.  I've never tried the Hana SL with my Jolida, but the recommended 400 ohm works well with my other phono stages.

According to specs:

Phono Stage:

            MM:                            60 dB, 5 mV 

            MC High:                    75 dB, 0.5 mV – 1.5 mV

            MC Low:                    85 dB, 0.25 mV – 0.5 mV

If 60,75 and 85 dB are gain value, set it to MC High 75 dB gain will give you better control of volume level.


It seems you've been wrestling with this since March 2021?


These specs seem a bit odd to me.  60dB gain is usually for a MC cart with output around 0.5mV.  36-42db is more consistent with MM gain.  I've never seen MM gain that high before.  Accordingly the MC High and Low gain on this phono all seem really high.  Clearly I'm missing something here or this phono is meant to be paired with a really low gain amp?


According to the manual, it states the Low Outputs are for use with Pre-Amp Separates and it is 200 Milivolt.

I guess I can try it, shouldn't hurt anything


I guess I can try it, shouldn't hurt anything

Agree, you can try High output or Low output with any Gain setting to achieve best control of volume level with highest signal to noise ratio possible.


Good point. The weakest cart I own is .26 mV.

65 dB is perfect.

I have this preamp too, do not follow the instructions. You need to try all the different combinations and listen for the best to suit yourself. Now I know this can be a pain, however it can be done on the fly and if you can get a helper to manage the switches, it should go smoothly. It is easy to eliminate some settings as they just won't sound right.

Cartridge loading is for the benefit of the phono section not the cartridge, which does not care a bit how you load it unless you get too low- at which point its output will decrease. FWIW a LOMC cartridge cannot 'ring' (distort) at audio frequencies; its inductance is too low.

A LOMC cartridge will produce noise at a very high frequency (+100KHz) due to the interaction (resonance) of the inductance of the cartridge in parallel with the capacitance of the tonearm cable (and the input capacitance of the phono section). This is essentially RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) injected directly into the front end of the phono section and it can be as much as 30dB higher than the output of the cartridge.

If the phono preamp is unhappy with that it will not sound right- it might sound 'zippy' and you may get additional ticks and pops caused by high frequency overload.  If the phono section is immune to the RFI you won't hear any difference due to loading.

So you should always try the highest loading setting possible; the industry standard for cartridge loading is 47,000 Ohms.

If you have to load the cartridge to get things to tone down and sound right, the additional load that the cartridge is driving is extra work that it has to do. This will cause the cantilever of the cartridge to be a little harder to move as it is interacting with the generator in the cartridge. The result of this can be that the mechanical resonance of the cartridge in the arm may not be what you expect. 

MM cartridges behave the same way, but the resonant peak is not as high and is much lower frequency owing to the much higher inductance of the cartridge; they do require loading because the inductance is so high the cartridge can actually 'ring' if not loaded properly. But that's a different topic.


Thanks for all the advice.

Out of all the audio stuff, getting Vinyl to play right is the most challenging (at least for me) but I am always learning something new thanks to all of you.

Going to continue tinkering and playing and I need to set some time to do a comparison between the Jolida and my existing Moon 110lp which is a good unit also. I swear, I think I need a week for doing just that, lol.



Sounds like by accident you chose a difficult route into vinyl. Typically, provided you get a pre-mounted and aligned cartridge or the Tuntable from a dealer. Then you just plug stuff in and might try changing the loading on the fly… it makes almost no difference, and you enjoy the music. That has been the way it has been for me for fifty years.

I just purchased a phono preamp which said to use the high-gain setting, but the distributor recommended the low-gain setting and turning up the volume.  He said this eliminated one gain stage and made the preamp sound quieter and more transparent.  You should try this, as long as the volume isn't turned up too much, like 3/4 or something like that.  But halfway or a little more is fine. And you have been going on with this for a long time.  Maybe you need to seek some help from someone with more turntable experience that can work with you.