Originally Posted by Rem1x
I found a lot of different cartridge music files, but didn't see any phono preamps.
All of the carts have been recorded trough "Graham Slee" phono preamp(s). For the exact model, configuration, cartridge loading, etc, etc, you can contact either Bob at www.p-mount-net or Michael Fremer at analogplanet.
*IF* you had any idea just how much time consuming meticulous adjustment of cartridges and "pairing" them to phono preamp with all the loading problems actually is,
you would have not even dare to dream asking such a question. Yes, the conditions are less than clear, yes, files are not normalized to some refernce signal, yes, some are not even at the correct speed - but I am stil grateful to both Bob and Michael for making them, as imperfect as they are, available at all. Still, you have to consider there WILL be losses in analog to digital conversion at the recording stage and also at the digital to analog at the reproduction stage - so far, no digital, DSD128 included, is totally indistinguishable from original analog. Both 48/24 and 96/24 files used are compromise at best - but still, should give idea of the general differences between the cartridges and phono preamps.
I will do similar, but without all the flaws known from the above - and I do hope no others will start creeping in. But I CAN tell you something: the importance of the phono stage IS OVERRATED by most audiophiles. It really starts to get important once the stylus/cart/arm/table is at the certain level - so worrying if a phono stage would improve say an Ortofon 2M Red ( providede that said phono is semi decent ) is misleading at least. If we are talking entry level, money spent on better stylus/cart/arm WILL always bring more sonically than phono stage. Remember, even the bloody dirt cheapest phono preamp you can possibly find anywhere HAS basically better performance than even the best ( and costliest - they peak over 30 K$... ) phono cartridge. Of course, there are differences in performance and subjective sound of phono preamps - but what comes to phono input should always be as good as humanly po$$ible - in the first place. Much, if not actually most of the differences heard with various phono preamps, can be tracked down to the electrical cartridge loading - ONLY if this loading is made exactly the same for both (or more) phono preams under test, has the test any real meaning. Loading can change frequency response by several dBs - how on earth should then be possible to evaluate RIAA accuracy by ear,
between say + - 0.5 dB and +- 0.1 dB speced phono preamps ? It could be that the worse RIAA speced preamp actually has electrical loading more suitable for the cartridge it is used with for the test - and overall result would be better than with more accurate RIAA preamp with (slightly) mismatched electrical loading.
All the above said - does not prevent me from using totally dual mono dual battery power supply pre-preamplifier for MCs ...
I will not start doing these recordings prior to getting a decent ultrasonic RCM - most likely DIY style. So, it will not be soon.