Pro-ject RPM 5 worthy cartridge/phono stage replacement
Jan 6, 2013 at 9:46 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


New Head-Fier
Jan 6, 2013
[size=medium]Hi guys!  Please bear with me as new to both vinyl and this forum.[/size]
[size=medium]I am looking to get the best out of my RPM 5 without spending silly money (if I were to do that, I would be buying a higher specced deck instead).  It's pretty much going to be fit and forget.[/size]
[size=medium]My current (vinyl related) kit is the RPM 5 with the 9c arm/ Ortofon 510 MK II MM cartridge and the original (the very small black one MK I, I believe) Speed Box , (specs below):[/size]
[size=medium]Nominal Speeds 33-1/3 and 45 rpm - ** 78 rpm [/size]
[size=medium]Quartz Oscillator Speed Stability +/- 0.01% [/size]
[size=medium]Turntable Connection 16V/AC 190mA max (3W power consumption max.) [/size]
[size=medium]Power Supply Type Mains-fed Outboard Power Supply [/size]
[size=medium]Output Voltage 16V/500mA AC[/size]
[size=medium]Along with the original MK I Pro-Ject Speedbox phono stage (supports both MM/MC - specs below):[/size]
[size=medium]The  Pro-ject PhonoBox is a dual-mono MM/MC non-adjustable phono preamp with an outboard power supply. It makes use of a pair of JRC 4580D op-amps (one for each channel) and mid-quality passive components.  Construction quality is superb showing dual-mono circuit topography.  Comes complete with remote power suply unit (240V) and umbillical cord.[/size]
[size=medium]Manufacturer specification:- [/size]
[size=medium]•Output voltage: 200 mV for 5mV @ 1 kHz (MM) - 0.45 mV (MC) [/size]
[size=medium]•S/N ratio: 88 dB (MM) - 79 dB (MC) [/size]
[size=medium]•THD: < 0.005% [/size]
[size=medium]•Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz (± 0.5 dB) [/size]
[size=medium]•Input impedance: 47k ohm/100 pF (MM input) - 100 ohm/100 pF (MC input) [/size]
[size=medium]•Gain: 32 dB (MM), 53 dB (MC) [/size]
[size=medium]•Power consumption: 40 mA AC [/size]
[size=medium]•Outboard power supply: 16V/200 mA[/size]
[size=medium]All connected to a bi-amped Musical Fidelity AX-2 int/2x X-A200 monoblocks and exiting through a pair of ATC SCM 7 speakers.[/size]
[size=medium]I can potentially listen to any type of music, from Jazz to Hip-hop and Classic Rock to Modern Pop.[/size]
[size=medium]Should I be going up to a more expensive MM or HOMC?  Is my phono stage up to it (for either)?  Should I be also getting a higher specced phono stage as well as cartridge to get the very best out of the deck?[/size]
[size=medium]As for the deck itself I will never upgrade the arm, platter or anything else.  I just want to wring the most musicality out of the standard deck, anything more than that and I would be going down the new deck avenue.[/size]
[size=medium]On the phono stage front I have read good things on the MF V-LPS II/V-PSU II combo and on the cartridge front the Sumiko BP Mk II or DynaVector 10x5, but this was after reading forum postings and not knowing what types of music people were listening to.[/size]
[size=medium]Any advice or experience on any of this would be greatly appreciated.[/size]
[size=medium]Oh and on a side note, what price bracket for interconnects (from phono stage back to amp-will keep the Pro-ject supplied phono's from deck to phono stage-made by Van den Hul I believe), for a deck at this price point?[/size]
[size=medium]Many thanks for your time.[/size]
Jan 6, 2013 at 4:45 PM Post #2 of 2


100+ Head-Fier
Feb 16, 2009
I once owned the RPM5se. My advice is to ignore the maddening temptation to buy a bunch of new gear right now. Play around with what you've got and experiment with cartridge alignment, tracking force, hell, I would just enjoy what you've got until you feel very comfortable aligning and re-aligning your cartridge in the headshell and then only very slowly start the upgrade game. This Board is great for headphone related stuff, but there are far better Boards on which you can learn about vinyl playback. The Sumiko BPS is an OK cartridge, but just that. There are far better cartridges at the $500 and under price-point. I would look hard at Dyna, Ortofon, and the Denon DL103. I am not familiar with the ProJect phono stage but can tell you that if you find a used Simaudio LP5.3, you would be hard-pressed to do better. The 5.3 has been replaced by the 310LP which means the 5.3 should be available for $500-600 if you are lucky enough to find a used one. But there are tons of nice phono stages and right now I would focus on matching your table with a cartridge that suits your taste. ICs are way behind the list of things I would worry about right now. 

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