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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:50 pm 
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Location: East Toronto, ON, CA
I am writing to find out your experience relating to cartridges and phono preamp. I am sure majority would suggest that they are other factors to be considered, but I am wondering, in general, what would be a better route to take, expensive cartridge ($1000.00 and above), with a mediocre phono preamp (under $1000.00), or a cheaper cartridge with expensive phono preamp?

I welcome and highly appreciate input from each and every one of you.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:14 pm 
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Location: Oakville, ON, CA
Great question. If the expensive cartridge option tips you over into a MC from a MM, I would say cartridge over phono pre. If it doesn’t, I would say phono pre over cartridge. With the better phono pre, the flexibility of playing with loadings could be helpful in making the mediocre cartridge sing.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:23 pm 
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Location: Victoria, BC, CA
I'm experiencing the enjoyment of a better cartridge now with the same phono stage, and the difference is quite significant for the better. However, when my brother has brought his $2,500 stage down for a listen in the past with the lesser ( but still good) cartridge, the difference is more significant. As you have stated, there are many other factors at work, but my experience points toward the the phono stage.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:27 pm 
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Location: Barrie, ON, CA
I'd recommend phono stage, simply because it will be there for when you do upgrade the cart, which is a consumable.

Had this conversation today, and even though it's up stream, I liken the phono preamp to an amp and the cart to speakers, it that each will stretch the capability of the other over quite a margin. And few carts or speakers are so bad that you'd be exposing a problem by upgrading the phono pre or the amp first. Then you'll further appreciate an upgrade later.

Dependig on the present cart, I'd usually go phono stage first.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:28 pm 
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Location: Brechin, ON, CA
First off, I would say, confirm that your setup is proper.

If so, then explore some phono stages....Try working with what you currently have - cartridge wise...and then move forward.

Much depends on the overall direction that you are headed towards - building your system. In doing so, any investment that you make will hopefully be protected by changes that are made in other areas.

Happy Listening,

Francis R. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:30 pm 
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Phono stage for me as well. I found that the differences in cartridges although noticeable were much smaller with a lessor phono pre but when I stepped up to a better phono pre the differences in the same cartridges became much more obvious.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:36 pm 
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Location: Kitchener, ON, CA
+1 for phono stage first than cartridge.
Like someone has mentioned in this thread carts are consumables. You'll be keep replacing them, but investing into a good phono stage will benefit you far more. Good phono stage can make even crappier carts sound good, and better carts sound amazing.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:57 pm 
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Location: Fairport Beach (in Pickering), ON, CA
Its a very deep rabbet hole with a slippery slope while you have one foot in the air and the other on a banana peel! As Benetton said, you need to be sure the rest of your system will be able to resolve the upgrades. After that I would upgrade the component I like least ... cartridge or phono stage.

If the phono stage is being upgraded, buy the best MM stage you can afford. Then you can buy the SUT to suit your MC cartridge if you go that route.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:40 pm 
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, CA
I like some of the others, recommend the phono amp. All of my other components were a level or two above my phono amp and when I purchased one that closer matched the rest of my system it was very noticeable.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:54 pm 
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Location: Kamloops, BC, CA
A better phono-stage will let you hear what a better cartridge can do. Try a tubed one!
8)
https://www.canuckaudiomart.com/forum/v ... 32&t=43926


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:56 pm 
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Phono stage. Period. Buy a good one that can evolve with a new future cart. That is the process I followed with my two decks, and it worked a treat.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:58 pm 
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I say replace whichever component you like the least first.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:13 pm 
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The table would come into play.

But if the question included that it was on a cost no object table, to eliminate that factor, I would lean to the phono pre side. I find that many people underestimate the phono pre in the chain. I haven't found a "budget" phono pre yet that doesn't suck the life out of a decent system, or live up to the bold claims.



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:49 pm 
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Location: azilda, ON, CA
brownslane wrote:
Phono stage. Period. Buy a good one that can evolve with a new future cart. That is the process I followed with my two decks, and it worked a treat.

I totally agree with brownslane! I ran my Denon 301mk2 with my built-in phono in my ARC SP9, then with my new Gold Note PH-1 phono pre and the difference was startling! Talk about an upgrade! Now I am taking full advantage of this fab preamp with my AT ART9! Heaven!
Cheers, Doug


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:30 pm 
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Location: Delta, BC, CA
Phono pre will make the biggest difference... and like the man said.... it can stay while you try different Cartridges...On another note, received the Brand New ModWright PH9 prototype phono pre... been using it for a couple weeks.... very very nice... excellent separation and depth.... loving it...


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