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Posts by Yikes

here's a link to a manual for your pioneer TT (You may have to register) http://www.vinylengine.com/library/pioneer/pl-s50.shtml   FYI - The Denon DL 103R is totally inappropriate. 1st it's too heavy (the pioneer table max cartridge weight is 8 grams the 103R weighs 8.5 grams) also the denon should be used with a Tonearm that is more rigid than the pioneers. 2nd the Denon is too expensive for someone who's looking at the AT phono stage.   For a modest budget...
Shure only makes High Output MM cartridges. The AT will work with every Shure that I've seen sold in the last 30 years. Your cartridge is a MM cartridge, I believe that it is an OEM P Mount cartridge that came with the Pioneer TT. You can buy a replacement stylus, or Shure recommends the Shure M92E as a direct replacement. http://www.amazon.com/Shure-M92E-Moving-Magnet-Cartridge/dp/B00006I5SA/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1314852028&sr=1-1   be aware, this is...
Since I've never seen a Shure MC Cartridge the AT phono stage should work. i'd recommend replacing the Stylus of the Cartridge (unless you bought it yourself recently).   http://www.lptunes.com/product-p/shsr0025edt.htm   or   http://shure.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1501/~/stylus-for-r25-edt-cartridge
That Audio Technica is a MM phono stage, it can not be considered universal. It will however work with most inexpensive Moving Magnet (or Moving Iron) cartridges. If you state what cartridge you have I (or someone else) will be able to confirm whether the AT phono stage is appropriate.
The Benchmark was an OK (albeit over priced) DAC 2 or 3 years ago. I like many bought into the tremendous hype generated by numerous rave reviews and purchased a DAC 1. I found it a bit threadbare and analytical sounding. I tried for several months to build a system around the DAC 1's sound, but there is no turning a pigs ear into a silk purse. I sold it and moved on. Now it's three years further on and I seriously doubt that it's Cost/Performance ratio has...
define "affordable"   define "universal"   If you get a phono stage with a MM/MC switch it'll be "universal" as far as most are concerned,   I like the Cambridge Audio phono stages, affordable by most definitions.
yes, a cartridge's output is to low (generally less than 5 mv - that's 0.005 volts) for most amps to handle directly, to put it into perspective most sources output well over 1 volt p-p. In addition the phono output needs to undergo a standard (nearly) EQ in order to have a correct tonal balance (The RIAA Phono EQ - google it). You also need to determine what type of cartridge you have so that you can buy an appropriate phono stage.
http://www.spearitsound.com/nad/C316BEE.asp   this NAD trounces the Onkyo's
  Wrong!!!  As both I and Jason previously cautioned; A SE (1/4") to Balanced adapter is OK, but a Balanced to (1/4") SE is NOT OK. If a person does not know what they are talking about they shouldn't talk about it at all. Promulgating the false impression that Balanced to SE adapters (going to a 1/4 or 1/8 plug) are OK is doing a disservice to the community.  
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