Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

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josh00023
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Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by josh00023 » 25 Aug 2019 13:45

I have a Akai Amplifier Model AM-U03. The Phono input clearly states in the manual that the turntable connected should have a Magnetic Cartridge. Does it really matter? Moving magnet Or moving coil?

Below is the Specs for the Amplifier's Phono Input. Photos.
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Specifications for the cartridge I am currently using is a Grado Black 2.
• Frequency response: 10-50,000 Hz
• Operating principle: Moving iron
• Channel separation: 30 dB @ 1 kHz
• Input load: 47k ohms
• Output: 5 mV @ 1 kHz (5 cm/sec)
• Inductance: 45 mH
• Resistance: 475 ohms

Does it really matter what it is as ? I know you can't plug a ceramic cartridge into the input.

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by JDJX » 25 Aug 2019 14:47

Yes, a move coil usually has less output than a magnetic cartridge .
So, a moving coil compatible phono pre amp is usually needed.

Having said that...
There are a few "high output" moving coil cartridges that will work with a moving magnet phono pre.

Also, you can a get a moving coil "step up transformer" (SUT) that will enable you to use your moving magnet input /pre with a moving coil cartridge.

BTW, your Grado can be thought of as a moving magnet as far as a phono pre is concerned . :)

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by wojtekf » 25 Aug 2019 16:49

Sensitivity at the level of 3mV with the impedance of 47kohm suggests you can use MM/MI cartridges for this phono input (like your Grado Black 2). Or high-output MC cartridges.

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by josh00023 » 25 Aug 2019 20:08

There seem's to be an idea that they are supposed to have a difference in the sound.
That certain types of cartridges sound better than others. Doesn't higher output lead to more distortion?

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by JoeE SP9 » 25 Aug 2019 20:44

josh00023 wrote:
25 Aug 2019 20:08
There seem's to be an idea that they are supposed to have a difference in the sound.
That certain types of cartridges sound better than others. Doesn't higher output lead to more distortion?
Yes, many think MC cartridges sound better than MM/MI. I prefer them, especially the low output ones.
No, higher output does not lead to more distortion.

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by wojtekf » 25 Aug 2019 21:14

josh00023 wrote:
25 Aug 2019 20:08
There seem's to be an idea that they are supposed to have a difference in the sound.
That certain types of cartridges sound better than others. Doesn't higher output lead to more distortion?
The difference is not related to the level of the output. It's related to the mass of the moving elements.
https://blog.audio-technica.com/audio-s ... artridges/

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by josh00023 » 25 Aug 2019 21:21

I haven't seen to many cartridges that go beyond 5mv. My thing is Playing records with higher frequencies I notices that certain cartridges don't seem to pick them up as good. I am wondering if more range the cartridge has doesn't seem to matter if it doesn't translate it properly. The Grado Black 2 I have seems to be doing a better job at picking them up.

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by lenjack » 25 Aug 2019 23:29

You are completely compatible.

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by Collux » 25 Aug 2019 23:41

josh00023 wrote:
25 Aug 2019 21:21
My thing is playing records with higher frequencies: I notice that certain cartridges don't seem to pick them up as good.
Cartridge 'loading' will also influence this aspect.

Here is a lengthy thread on the subject
https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... php?t=6674

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by lenjack » 25 Aug 2019 23:59

True, but that's well beyond the scope of his question. From the tone of his post, it would appear that he is a neophyte in these matters, and we don't want to lead him astray

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by Collux » 26 Aug 2019 00:09

Fair enough........

May have been better put: that the cartridge match with the OP's Akai AM-U03 built in pre-amp, also influences.

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by AudioFeline » 26 Aug 2019 06:20

JDJX wrote:
25 Aug 2019 14:47
...
Also, you can a get a moving coil "step up transformer" (SUT) that will enable you to use your moving magnet input /pre with a moving coil cartridge...
Further to points raised above, the Akai AM-U03 Amplifier appears to be a consumer-level amp. You will be less likely to hear the better quality provided by a MC cart with a SUT used with the amp's (MM) phono input. A reasonable quality MM cart will work fine with it.

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by raphaelmabo » 26 Aug 2019 09:19

Any cartridge that works with MM (Moving Magnet) phono input will work, this includes MM cartridges, MI (Moving Iron), MP (Moving Permalloy) and HOMC (High Output Moving Coil). They are all designed for 47K Ohm moving magnet phono input and with a high output to match. But if in doubt, consult the cartridge maker/seller.

Cartridges that won't work: LOMC (Low Output Moving Coil). They require a special MC phono input, or a step-up transformer to make them work with a MM input. Or low output MI-cartridges (they are quite uncommon, I only know of Soundsmith expensive ones... their standard MI's are high output).

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by lenjack » 26 Aug 2019 14:56

Don't overthink it. Your Grado will work perfectly, with this amp. Sit back and enjoy, and find something else to worry about.

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Re: Phono input on amplifier, Does it matter what cartridge you input to it?

Post by lini » 26 Aug 2019 16:37

Josh: Basically MCs and MIs also are electromagnetic cartridges (i.e. the operating priciple ist just a bit varied compared to regular MMs) - unlike crystal/ceramic cartridges.

And the input sensitivity just tells you the minimum output voltage the cartridge needs to provide for accessing the maximum power output of an integrated amp or receiver with the volume control turned up to the maximum. So a higher output voltage of the cartridge doesn't harm, but instead just means that the maximum power output will already be reached at a lower volume control position.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

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