Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

the thin end of the wedge

Better Cartridge

Rega Carbon
3
43%
Grado Black2
4
57%
 
Total votes: 7

obi_juan85
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Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by obi_juan85 » 02 May 2019 14:08

Hey guys. Currently I have a Grado Black equiped on my U-Turn turntable I've noticed that even though it sounds great the volume can be a little low which translates on having to crank the volume all the way up which at the same times translates on having a humming sound. I want to replace the cartridge when it's time, but my dad just changed his Rega Carbon for an Ortofon Red and it's offering me the Rega Carbon. I wanted to know your comments, will it make a change for the better? It's almost the same? Any information you can give me will be much appreciated. Cheers!

Alec124c41
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by Alec124c41 » 02 May 2019 14:41

It's free, so try it. You might like it.

Cheers,
Alec

obi_juan85
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by obi_juan85 » 02 May 2019 14:43

Alec124c41 wrote:
02 May 2019 14:41
It's free, so try it. You might like it.

Cheers,
Alec
True! Thanks

raphaelmabo
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by raphaelmabo » 02 May 2019 15:37

Haven't heard the Rega Carbon, but it's based upon the AT3600 and I have the Thorens TAS 257 with the same generator. A cheap'n cheerful cartridge if a bit light and bright. Grado Black is definately warmer sounding. Now, the Rega Carbon has an output of 2.5 mV and Grado Black has an output of 5 mV so the Grado should actually have higher volume. I wonder what phono pre-amp you're using.
It's normal for vinyl replay to have lover volume than, say, a CD or tuner.

obi_juan85
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by obi_juan85 » 02 May 2019 16:54

raphaelmabo wrote:
02 May 2019 15:37
Haven't heard the Rega Carbon, but it's based upon the AT3600 and I have the Thorens TAS 257 with the same generator. A cheap'n cheerful cartridge if a bit light and bright. Grado Black is definately warmer sounding. Now, the Rega Carbon has an output of 2.5 mV and Grado Black has an output of 5 mV so the Grado should actually have higher volume. I wonder what phono pre-amp you're using.
It's normal for vinyl replay to have lover volume than, say, a CD or tuner.
Thanks Raphael. I'm usind an Onkyo TX-8220 receiver. And I've talk to U-Turn who were the ones that said to me that Grado has a lower volume, than other cartridges that they sell (Ortfon Red for example), of course I have into considerations that bluetooth, CD and tuner have a higher volume, however the ratio between each other is considerable. I have to crank the volume up to 70/80 to have a decent experience, whereas cd can be a 50/80 volume. Thanks for your comment, under that consideration I guess that Grado is a better option.

patient_ot
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by patient_ot » 02 May 2019 17:18

The humming means you have some kind of grounding issue or interference. Search for how to troubleshoot that. Bear in mind also Grados are unshielded by design, so they can pick up interference moreso than other cartridges. Could also be a ground loop or something. I would make sure the TT and the receiver are far apart from each other, NOT stacked on top of each other. Vinyl playback isn't supposed to be the same volume as CD/digital playback, as others said.

obi_juan85
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by obi_juan85 » 02 May 2019 20:11

patient_ot wrote:
02 May 2019 17:18
The humming means you have some kind of grounding issue or interference. Search for how to troubleshoot that. Bear in mind also Grados are unshielded by design, so they can pick up interference moreso than other cartridges. Could also be a ground loop or something. I would make sure the TT and the receiver are far apart from each other, NOT stacked on top of each other. Vinyl playback isn't supposed to be the same volume as CD/digital playback, as others said.
Thanks Patient! I've tried several things with the humming but haven't been able (I even have another forum post on the subject). I have very limited space, and have tried several RCA cables, but still have the hum.

patient_ot
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by patient_ot » 03 May 2019 02:38

obi_juan85 wrote:
02 May 2019 20:11
patient_ot wrote:
02 May 2019 17:18
The humming means you have some kind of grounding issue or interference. Search for how to troubleshoot that. Bear in mind also Grados are unshielded by design, so they can pick up interference moreso than other cartridges. Could also be a ground loop or something. I would make sure the TT and the receiver are far apart from each other, NOT stacked on top of each other. Vinyl playback isn't supposed to be the same volume as CD/digital playback, as others said.
Thanks Patient! I've tried several things with the humming but haven't been able (I even have another forum post on the subject). I have very limited space, and have tried several RCA cables, but still have the hum.
This guy went through a bunch of trouble to remove ground hum from his system, might be worth a read. He does have quite a few components hooked up:

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2019/04/m ... audio.html

It could just be the cartridge though...

obi_juan85
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by obi_juan85 » 03 May 2019 17:15

patient_ot wrote:
03 May 2019 02:38
obi_juan85 wrote:
02 May 2019 20:11
patient_ot wrote:
02 May 2019 17:18
The humming means you have some kind of grounding issue or interference. Search for how to troubleshoot that. Bear in mind also Grados are unshielded by design, so they can pick up interference moreso than other cartridges. Could also be a ground loop or something. I would make sure the TT and the receiver are far apart from each other, NOT stacked on top of each other. Vinyl playback isn't supposed to be the same volume as CD/digital playback, as others said.
Thanks Patient! I've tried several things with the humming but haven't been able (I even have another forum post on the subject). I have very limited space, and have tried several RCA cables, but still have the hum.
This guy went through a bunch of trouble to remove ground hum from his system, might be worth a read. He does have quite a few components hooked up:

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2019/04/m ... audio.html

It could just be the cartridge though...
Awesome! I will take a look at all his "journey" lol. Thanks!!

Percivilla
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by Percivilla » 03 May 2019 18:32

Just to play devils advocate here...

You have the turntable plugged into the "phono" input right?

CD will typically be a bit louder, but you shouldn't have to crank it to hear the turntable.

As far as cart output, I have a Grado black and the difference between it and a higher output cart like a Shure M75 is maybe one notch on the volume knob.

obi_juan85
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by obi_juan85 » 03 May 2019 20:21

Percivilla wrote:
03 May 2019 18:32
Just to play devils advocate here...

You have the turntable plugged into the "phono" input right?

CD will typically be a bit louder, but you shouldn't have to crank it to hear the turntable.

As far as cart output, I have a Grado black and the difference between it and a higher output cart like a Shure M75 is maybe one notch on the volume knob.
Hey Percivilla thanks for your reply. Yeah the TT is plugged directly to the Phono input. My question regarding the Grado v. the Rega is based on the answer given by U-Turn when I wrote them about the issue I was experiencing they said "The Grado Black1 tends to have a lower output level, so the volume gap you are reporting is normal for the cartridge you have. If you are looking for a cartridge with higher output, then I'd recommend checking out the Ortofon 2M line". But my guess, as you say, is that the difference will not be that noticeable.

raphaelmabo
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by raphaelmabo » 03 May 2019 22:49

obi_juan85 wrote:
02 May 2019 16:54
Thanks Raphael. I'm usind an Onkyo TX-8220 receiver. And I've talk to U-Turn who were the ones that said to me that Grado has a lower volume, than other cartridges that they sell (Ortfon Red for example).
Ortofon 2M Red has indeed higher volume than a Grado, Ortofon MM cartridges has higher volume than many other cartridges. I've only had Goldring with higher output, the Goldring 2200, and it had so much output that it overloaded my quite inexpensive phono pre-amp, it is said to work better with more expensive ones.

I'm not familiar with your Onkyo and your numbers says me nothing, but it is normal for cartridges to be lower in volume than CD/Tuner etc. CD/Tuners and other line level units often has a fixed output level of 2 volts, this is standard. Cartridges can have outputs all over the place, there is no standard. Outputs of a cartridge depends on the coils, windings and generators, and different makers comes to different conclusion about what construction is best for the sound that they are after.

There are external phono stages/riia-amplifaction that has selectable gain (it's much less common with built-in phono stages in a receiver), so it is possible to pump up the amplification for cartridges with a lower output. But a Grado at 5 mV is not low output.

cafe latte
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by cafe latte » 03 May 2019 22:52

obi_juan85 wrote:
03 May 2019 20:21
Percivilla wrote:
03 May 2019 18:32
Just to play devils advocate here...

You have the turntable plugged into the "phono" input right?

CD will typically be a bit louder, but you shouldn't have to crank it to hear the turntable.

As far as cart output, I have a Grado black and the difference between it and a higher output cart like a Shure M75 is maybe one notch on the volume knob.
Hey Percivilla thanks for your reply. Yeah the TT is plugged directly to the Phono input. My question regarding the Grado v. the Rega is based on the answer given by U-Turn when I wrote them about the issue I was experiencing they said "The Grado Black1 tends to have a lower output level, so the volume gap you are reporting is normal for the cartridge you have. If you are looking for a cartridge with higher output, then I'd recommend checking out the Ortofon 2M line". But my guess, as you say, is that the difference will not be that noticeable.
The 2m red is very hard edged, kind of like broken glass IMO. If the OP likes the Grado sound at all they will hate the 2m red. The 2m red is sibilant to in a very unpleasant way.
Chris

obi_juan85
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by obi_juan85 » 04 May 2019 12:28

raphaelmabo wrote:
03 May 2019 22:49
obi_juan85 wrote:
02 May 2019 16:54
Thanks Raphael. I'm usind an Onkyo TX-8220 receiver. And I've talk to U-Turn who were the ones that said to me that Grado has a lower volume, than other cartridges that they sell (Ortfon Red for example).
Ortofon 2M Red has indeed higher volume than a Grado, Ortofon MM cartridges has higher volume than many other cartridges. I've only had Goldring with higher output, the Goldring 2200, and it had so much output that it overloaded my quite inexpensive phono pre-amp, it is said to work better with more expensive ones.

I'm not familiar with your Onkyo and your numbers says me nothing, but it is normal for cartridges to be lower in volume than CD/Tuner etc. CD/Tuners and other line level units often has a fixed output level of 2 volts, this is standard. Cartridges can have outputs all over the place, there is no standard. Outputs of a cartridge depends on the coils, windings and generators, and different makers comes to different conclusion about what construction is best for the sound that they are after.

There are external phono stages/riia-amplifaction that has selectable gain (it's much less common with built-in phono stages in a receiver), so it is possible to pump up the amplification for cartridges with a lower output. But a Grado at 5 mV is not low output.
Understood. Thanks. I will see if some of my acquaintances have a preamp that I can borrow to see if it's a better solution than changing a new cartridge (the Grado doesn't have more than a couple months). I will continue researching to see what could be a better solution. Thanks!!

obi_juan85
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Re: Rega Carbon v. Grado Black

Post by obi_juan85 » 04 May 2019 12:32

cafe latte wrote:
03 May 2019 22:52
obi_juan85 wrote:
03 May 2019 20:21
Percivilla wrote:
03 May 2019 18:32
Just to play devils advocate here...

You have the turntable plugged into the "phono" input right?

CD will typically be a bit louder, but you shouldn't have to crank it to hear the turntable.

As far as cart output, I have a Grado black and the difference between it and a higher output cart like a Shure M75 is maybe one notch on the volume knob.
Hey Percivilla thanks for your reply. Yeah the TT is plugged directly to the Phono input. My question regarding the Grado v. the Rega is based on the answer given by U-Turn when I wrote them about the issue I was experiencing they said "The Grado Black1 tends to have a lower output level, so the volume gap you are reporting is normal for the cartridge you have. If you are looking for a cartridge with higher output, then I'd recommend checking out the Ortofon 2M line". But my guess, as you say, is that the difference will not be that noticeable.
The 2m red is very hard edged, kind of like broken glass IMO. If the OP likes the Grado sound at all they will hate the 2m red. The 2m red is sibilant to in a very unpleasant way.
Chris
Thanks Chris. I'm considering the Ortofon Red because is the one suggested by the TT manufacturer, and it also has a lot of acceptance for people regarding "entry level" cartridges. But I'm happy with the Grado for now, if I make the "upgrade" it will be when it's time to replace it, the question here is if I should try the Rega Carbon my dad has for spare. On that topic, which other cartridge would you recommend that is an improvement from the Grado but kind of in the same price range. Thanks!!

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