Originally Posted by arcorob
Bad analogsurvivor BAD
Half of what you said is true and half is so wrong you need to be on the horse end of the stick.
For a cheap entry level cart, yes, phono stage is not going to make angels sing and brass knobs shine brighter. But to say phono stage is overrated ? Why do you keep posting opinions like fact ?
One you get away from entry level, the phono stage is vitally important. Many newer receivers (and a lot of older) add phono to their systems as an afterthought. They are barely tolerable. Take that same system, a decent cart (MM, MI or MC) and add an outboard phono stage and quality changes.
I really don't want to go into this. You seem like a smart guy with a lot of buzz words and background knowledge but many times you post crap and call it steak sandwich.
Hope about the next time you are going to post these diatribe of mythical knowledge, you post some links to verifiable facts. I am POSITIVE that Michael Fremer would disagree with you on the phone stage. And then to say the cheapest phono stage will best even the costliest cartridge ? NOT.
Many phono stages don't do carts justice. THAT is the problem. The choke the life out of say, MC carts if they have standard 100ohm loads. Who the hell said 100ohms is the BE ALL END ALL .
Man...you make me want to take a pill....I love ya guy but stop being the guru and start being FACTUAL.
To be specific; I wanted to point out that cartridge loading IS more important than phono preamp per se. I do not like preamps with fixed imput impedance - because there are any number of audiophiles that will rather die than change or have changed a single resistor or capacitor in their equipment, phono preamps included. They prefer changing their equipment until they finally manage to get together units that do work together as supposed as a system.
Problem with resistive termination of MCs, although audible and therefore problematic, is NOTHING compared to what is in present equipment regarding capacitance that adverselly affects MM cartridges. Properly terminated quality MM has much going for it, if really done well, can compete with the very best regardless of operating principle. Terminate it electrically incorrectly and low cost MCs step into the picture ...Just one sample that is VERY widespread; last batch(es) of Technics SL1210 MK ?
have their phono cable changed; to no less than approx 450 pF ! In other words, useless for the vast majority of MM carts, Technics' own included. You can have zero input capacitance in phono preamp, and it would still not help - THAT cable is no go with MMs, period.
Cable capacitance is unfortunately something that will suffer first anything cable related is changed. For example, one vendor I usually buy my Tasker C112 ( super "expensive" - slightly below 2 EUR/metre ... - but although not stellar, IS good ) cable from ran out of stock and I needed that 1 meter of cable - right there and then. I bought C112 from another manufacturer - only to find out it has almost three times the capacitance of C112 from Tasker. Yeah, its only saving grace, it was 30% cheaper than Tasker ...
Please go to the http://www.milleraudioresearch.com/avtech/ for some recent(ish) objective measurements of phono gear; any phono preamp is likely to exceed the performance of even the best carts. Linearity of frequency response and distortion, particularly at high(er) level of record modulation, will be orders of magnitude worse than any electronics. Ever LISTENED to the signals from the test records as reproduced by turntables ? With headphones, to ever increasing level of modulation ? In linear, not RIAA equalized mode, where each and every failing is ruthlessly exposed ? Seen that on an oscilloscope ? No electronics, short of total overload, can put out so much crap. And yes, "perfect" cartridges do exist - they at least are capable of tracking what is on the record without falling to bits and pieces - but they still are no match for electronics.
Which is not to say there are no gains in getting as good phono as it gets.
Phono is VERY neglected in recen(ish) receivers etc and an outboard unit will certainly improve upon the performance of such afterthoughts. Many vintage gear offers extremely well done phonos; in those days, phono was king and line level "afterthought"; many better preamps, integrateds and receivers had the possibility to bypass the line section altogether, for the best possible sonics. Those buttons were labeled Tone Defeat , Direct, etc - essentially you could choose between an active or passive line level stage at the push of the button. And those vintage phonos are perfectly capable of teaching today outboard units a trick or two... - BUT it has to be said that equipment capable of such performance was perhaps more expensive back in the day than the current crop. Your $ or Euro or whatever can buy you today perhaps more than back then - but in olden days it was not almost exclusive bang for the buck, some did pursue quality, particularly the Japanese, price be damned ...