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PHONO Stages.... Oh No.... help

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patientot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Apr 2019 at 7:27pm
IME (and not just mine), it is nearly impossible to get a flat-ish response out of the 440mlb cart OP is using without some kind of non-standard loading. 

With 100pf at the phono preamp, I had to tune the resistive load down to 39K in order to get a flat-ish response. 

See here:


The entire reason AT created the 540ML to replace the old 440mla/b cart was to get a flatter frequency response. 

Measuring using a frequency sweep on a reliable test record directly from the preamp out takes other factors like music and speakers out of the equation. It also shows how flawed our hearing is, in case we think we are hearing something that is not there. It can also help us confirm things we think are there but aren't sure. 

Short version: can't use a "standard" loaded 440 to evaluate any phono stage. The FR deviates too much from flat. 


Edited by patientot - 28 Apr 2019 at 7:31pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cyreg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2019 at 1:27pm
Originally posted by JohnnySH JohnnySH wrote:

 ….Found the Accession lacking bottom end and thin sounding....
 
try evaluate/listen again with the "figure 8" connector (on the PSU1) turned 180 degrees around Smile
The power phase/neutral connection has a big enough influence!
 
And...so has the power phase/neutral connection on your complete system (but mostly no choice)
TecnoDec/RB250/MP110>GramAmp2C/PSU1; Cyrus CD8SE; Cyrus FM7 > Exposure XXXV > Harbeth C7ES-3 '35th Anniversary' cables: DNM V3 Ic's; Expo DMFtwo LScable;    
SoloSRGII/BaPS> HD600
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2019 at 5:06pm
Some cartridges are toppy, some recessed, and some just right, yet the poor old phono stage designer has to please all whilst making the frequency response as faithful to the standard as possible.

I'm affraid that can't be done. It's like putting an athlete in a straightjacket and telling him to run a marathon.

Phono stages put simply, are fixed tone controls, yet if one suggests using adjustable tone controls one is shot down in flames.

Where there's no give, there's no give.

Perhaps other phono stage manufacturers massage the response. I have no idea. I just know what I do, and the AP checks my results.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patientot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2019 at 5:32pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

Some cartridges are toppy, some recessed, and some just right, yet the poor old phono stage designer has to please all whilst making the frequency response as faithful to the standard as possible.

I'm affraid that can't be done. It's like putting an athlete in a straightjacket and telling him to run a marathon.

Phono stages put simply, are fixed tone controls, yet if one suggests using adjustable tone controls one is shot down in flames.

Where there's no give, there's no give.

Perhaps other phono stage manufacturers massage the response. I have no idea. I just know what I do, and the AP checks my results.

Very true. That's what I've found as well. 

I would rather have the phono stage be "faithful" than adding anything or taking something away. 

I think some manufacturers do use a "tuned" response curve. There is one boutique U.S. manufacturer that does that - scooped upper mids and a big boost at both frequency extremes. Not for me. 

I think with cartridges, the best we can do is try to buy one that reasonably close to flat, or else experiment with loading or even tone controls/EQ. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2019 at 6:41pm
Just an idea for John, perhaps the Accession is a bit too honest or transparent, so I'd give an Era Gold V a try. Why? The bass is looser and leading edges a bit more relaxed. It might just be the ticket. Now, if that's too much in the opposite direction then it would suggest the Reflex M.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2019 at 6:56pm
Earlier today I was running an Ortofon 2M Bronze into my Accession M, and having read what John said was getting into a bit of a tizz, because it sounded a bit on the thin/bright side.

I've been using this Accession M for over a year constantly-on you see, so it's well run in. Anyway, I thought I'd try the LP Gear Vessel A3SE which Rome Castellanes had sent me a few years ago to try. The difference goes by the same name as the Gerry Raferty track I'm listening to as I type: night and day.

Definitely not thin, or dry, it's a very liquid sound with a generous but not overbearing low end helping.





Edited by Graham Slee - 29 Apr 2019 at 7:04pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patientot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 12:23am
I used to have that Vessel A3SE cartridge before selling it. I think it's a good cartridge, with some limitations. At the $99 USD level I prefer it over some other options. It's also based on a cart that has been around in various forms since the 70s, so an old/proven design. Never had a problem with it sounding "thin" at all with different turntables and phono preamps. Unfortunately I never got to test it with the Reflex because I had already sold the cart by then. 
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