Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

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pedro ebro
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Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by pedro ebro » 17 Feb 2019 21:44

I'm baffled, because REGA uses in its phono preamplifiers capacitance of 1000pf 4300pf and comments that it is appropriate for your MC phono cartridges, when they load like any other cartridge 10ohms, and in this forum all comment that the capacitance is irrelevant in MC cartridges, what am I missing, THAT WE ARE LOSING ????????

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by raphaelmabo » 17 Feb 2019 22:26

Capacitance is important for MM or high output MC's, for the MM input.
For low output MC cartridges, it is the ohm that is important. MM and high output MC's has 47K ohm. This is a standard. Low output MC cartridges can have different ohms, that is why more expensive phono preamplifiers has variable ohm setting for low output MC cartridges. But 100 ohm is common for many low output MC's. It's not only Rega phono pre's...

Low output cartridges has fewer turns of wire around the coils and therefore lower capacitance and they don't need any specific loading in the phono preamp. MM and high output MC cartridges has more turns of wire and therefore needs a certain loading.
(it is the added turns of wire that pumps up the output level on MC cartridges so they becomes high output MC's, so they are electrically a little bit different than low output MC's, they are like MM cartridges).

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by tlscapital » 18 Feb 2019 02:31

raphaelmabo wrote:
17 Feb 2019 22:26
Capacitance is important for MM or high output MC's, for the MM input.
For low output MC cartridges, it is the ohm that is important. MM and high output MC's has 47K ohm. This is a standard. Low output MC cartridges can have different ohms, that is why more expensive phono preamplifiers has variable ohm setting for low output MC cartridges. But 100 ohm is common for many low output MC's. It's not only Rega phono pre's...

Low output cartridges has fewer turns of wire around the coils and therefore lower capacitance and they don't need any specific loading in the phono preamp. MM and high output MC cartridges has more turns of wire and therefore needs a certain loading.
(it is the added turns of wire that pumps up the output level on MC cartridges so they becomes high output MC's, so they are electrically a little bit different than low output MC's, they are like MM cartridges).
Well yes and sometimes no; when I first used my HO MC Denon DL-102 cartridge, I left my preamp as pre-setted by the manufacturers adjustments for MM cartridges. As it is advertised to be "compatible" so. Yet after some serious improvements through my tweaks, I ventured in my preamp and decided to adjust it by ear. What a discovery that was.

Before it was performing good. Now it truly integrated the rest of my phono chain to deliver it's truly best. Load at 100 Ohms, capacitance 100 pF and gain at 60 dB ! Howzat for an exotic cartridge ? Mind you the cartridge and the phono stage are also interacting with the amp and into the speakers, so it's the whole signal process in th chain that counts.

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by Jim Leach » 18 Feb 2019 04:41

I have the Benz Micro Silver, same as you Raphael.

I have the specs on it from B-M but they don’t help much. I think I’m running 47k and not enough gain (in my 47k Aragon gain is not adjustable, only impedance and capacitance). I know the wire/cable add some capacitance and impedance but I can’t measure the capacitance and don’t seem to hear any difference with changing the loading.

I feel it needs more gain and perhaps a different loading (although I’m pleased with the sound as it is, I wonder if there’s more to be bad)

Any thoughts?

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by abril » 18 Feb 2019 09:25

Low output cartridges has fewer turns of wire around the coils and therefore lower capacitance
lower inductance
It is the relationship between the inductance of the coils and capacitance of cables and phono stage that causes a low pass filter to be generated.

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by raphaelmabo » 18 Feb 2019 10:23

tlscapital wrote:
18 Feb 2019 02:31
Well yes and sometimes no; when I first used my HO MC Denon DL-102 cartridge, I left my preamp as pre-setted by the manufacturers adjustments for MM cartridges. As it is advertised to be "compatible" so. Yet after some serious improvements through my tweaks, I ventured in my preamp and decided to adjust it by ear. What a discovery that was.

Before it was performing good. Now it truly integrated the rest of my phono chain to deliver it's truly best. Load at 100 Ohms, capacitance 100 pF and gain at 60 dB ! Howzat for an exotic cartridge ? Mind you the cartridge and the phono stage are also interacting with the amp and into the speakers, so it's the whole signal process in th chain that counts.
To my knowledge, Denon recommends 1K ohm loading for the DL-102, not the MM standard 47K. This is a choice made by Denon. Most other HOMC's are done to match MM's electrical specifications so they can be used easily in standard MM phono pre-amps and phono stages. The DL-102 is an oddity here. :)
Last edited by raphaelmabo on 18 Feb 2019 10:36, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by raphaelmabo » 18 Feb 2019 10:34

Jim Leach wrote:
18 Feb 2019 04:41
I have the Benz Micro Silver, same as you Raphael.
Nice, I hope you'll like it. :)
I have the specs on it from B-M but they don’t help much. I think I’m running 47k and not enough gain (in my 47k Aragon gain is not adjustable, only impedance and capacitance). I know the wire/cable add some capacitance and impedance but I can’t measure the capacitance and don’t seem to hear any difference with changing the loading.

I feel it needs more gain and perhaps a different loading (although I’m pleased with the sound as it is, I wonder if there’s more to be bad)
The MC Silver is made for 47K MM inputs so that is fine.
Regarding capacitance, typically one can say that the cables adds 50-100. So if you have a capacitance settings of 100 in your phono pre-amp, then this adds to the wires so you get 150 - 200. If you have a setting of 220 in your phono prea-amp, then you get 270 - 320.

Regarding gain, the MC Silver has an output of 2 mV, this is a little lower than a typical MM cartridges. MM cartridges are usually around 3 - 6 mV. HOMC are usually 1.5 - 2 mV so a little bit lower. Standard gain for MM phono preamps is 40 dB, but some has adjustable gain so 45 - 50 dB work wells with HOMC. For LOMC, you need 60 dB and sometimes even more.

Now, the phono pre-amp that I uses - Thorens MM02 - is fixed at 40 dB. I just raise the volume control on my amplifier. No problem. :)

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by Jim Leach » 18 Feb 2019 12:47

Thank you!

I’m turning up now (and adjusting balance- but that’s another issue) but I’d prefer to have the output similar to CD. My D2A automatically “de-emphasizes” the CDs so we don’t have windows popping out of the house.

I’m planning a rebuild of the D2A but then I think outright replacement might make more sense...

I was just wondering if maybe I could optimize my settings but it seems I’m about there now.

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by pedro ebro » 18 Feb 2019 13:19

We have all seen the importance of the values ​​of capacitance in picofarads in the MM cartridges is dramatic in the frequency response, my sumiko pearl sounds better with 100pf and my shure v15 3 sounds cleaner with 400pf since the MM have a lot of copper but They have a lot of voltage and MC little copper but also have very little voltage, some fan of you electronics has one of those machines that show in graphics what happens when we go from 100pf to 1000pf picofaradios in an MC cartridge or any of you British that can be in contact with the guys of REGA audio and tell them their secrets, I have tried the denon 103 at 420pf and at 100pf and I would say that they sound different, at the moment I am left with 100pf but I have to listen more

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by lini » 18 Feb 2019 19:15

p_e: That's not the first time I've seen a comparatively high input capacitance on an MC input (e.g. Braun A2: 0.01 µF). However, you need to consider, that low-output MCs typically have inductances in the x to xx µH range, and even high-output MCs typically only have a few hundred µH - compared to a few hundred mH in case of typical MMs and MIs, while very low inductance, still high-output MMs/MIs would be in the xx mH range and low-output MMs/MIs in the x mH range. So most usually it's xxx mH to xx to x µH, i.e. roundabout factor 10000 to 100000 apart. Formula for the electrical resonance frequency is f(res) = 1 / (2 x pi x (L x C)^0.5), so it's the product of inductance and capacitance that counts - and hence, while MC input capacitances in the xxxx to xxxxx pF range might seem pretty high at the first glance, these still would merely be roundabout 10 to 100 times higher than a typical MM input capacitance in the xxx pF range. So, as you can see, even those high capacitances wouldn't have quite the same effect on a typical low-output MC as an input capacitance of a few hundered pF on a typical MM or MI with a few hundred mH, as it would still take quite a bit more capacitance to pull the resonance as far down. Or in other words, the resonance bump will still remain in the ultrasonic range even with such high MC input capacitances.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by pedro ebro » 18 Feb 2019 20:19

the high capacitance can have electrical benefits in terms of filtering type radio frequencies? or another type

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by afs97cjh » 19 Feb 2019 14:29

When I got a phonostage with adjustable loading (Naim superline) I experimented with the resistive loading at first, leaving the capacitance at whatever the cable and phonostage happened to provide. I was using a DV 17D2 at the time and found a loading of 470Ohms worked best of those I had available (the cap socket can also be used to parallel resisors so a few plugs can give quite a range of loadings), however, I had a bit of a radio breakthrough problem and adding a 1nF load reduced Radio Moscow to a negligible level but dulled the sound a little (10nF reduced it slightly more but dulled the music a lot more). As a compromise I acquired a 470pF loading plug and found that I prefered this to either no cap plug or 1nF. The difference was subtle but enough to keep the 470pF load when after a change from a Target style steel and MDF rack to something less ferrous cured the radio pickup (don't ask me why and it's not why I changed racks) I still kept the 470pF load.
The 17D3 that followed loaded the same as the D2. At some point I got a loan of a 453R plug that was all the rage for dynavectors (without a cap plug) but still prefered the combination of 470R and 470pF. My next cartridge was a Transfiguration Proteus and that was best at 100Ohms and no additional capacitance. All this with a Naim Aro, when that was replaced by a Schroeder Reference with the same Proteus my preference was to add the 470pF plug again. Make of that what you will.

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by tlscapital » 19 Feb 2019 15:21

raphaelmabo wrote:
18 Feb 2019 10:23
To my knowledge, Denon recommends 1K ohm loading for the DL-102... ... not the MM standard 47K.
You are right Raphael, at Denon they recommend a load of 1K or above... I might try more one day, but I believe that I am best with my 100 Ohms as it is now since I tested that years ago to have preferred then that value by ear.

Indeed, but it is often claimed to be "compatible" to the MM inputs. Which is "true" but then it is really not performing optimistically with a 47K Ohms load value.
raphaelmabo wrote:
18 Feb 2019 10:23
Most other HOMC's are done to match MM's electrical specifications so they can be used easily in standard MM phono pre-amps and phono stages. The DL-102 is an oddity here. :)
Evidently it is a real "eccentric" cartridge that performs very well only if all is well accommodated for it I have learned through my long and lengthy tweaks in fiddlings. Ultra low compliant as well... But what a reward in the end !

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by raphaelmabo » 19 Feb 2019 23:56

tlscapital wrote:
19 Feb 2019 15:21
You are right Raphael, at Denon they recommend a load of 1K or above... I might try more one day, but I believe that I am best with my 100 Ohms as it is now since I tested that years ago to have preferred then that value by ear.

Indeed, but it is often claimed to be "compatible" to the MM inputs. Which is "true" but then it is really not performing optimistically with a 47K Ohms load value.
There are a few HOMC's that are specified as > 1K ohm. Benz Ace for example. But the less expensive MC Silver (that I have) is 47 K. More expensive or exotic HOMC's seems to be made for more expensive phono pre-amps with adjustable settings. Many cheaper MM pre-amps does not have or does not allow ohm-change. So quite logical if the less expensive HOMC's are more set to standard MM settings. If you have pre-amp that allows you to adjust settings, so feel free to experiment I guess. And the "recommended settings" is not always what one likes. :)

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Re: Capacitance cardtridge MC ?

Post by davidsrsb » 20 Feb 2019 07:21

pedro ebro wrote:
18 Feb 2019 20:19
the high capacitance can have electrical benefits in terms of filtering type radio frequencies? or another type
The RF signal you are trying to filter has changed. In the 1970s the breakthrough was Radio Luxembourg at 1439 kHz.
These days your mobile phone, probably above 1GHz is more likely to interfere and you need much smaller capacitors, with very short leads to make much difference. 100pF smd is a good start.

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