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Low Volume from Denon 103R

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Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby mgraziano1975 » 02 Feb 2017 00:46

Hi. I think this is my first post.

I recently upgraded the cartridge on my Denon 52F from an Ortofon OM3e to a Denon 103R. Now, I know it's a low voltage cart at .25mV, but I wasn't expecting such a significant drop. I'm unsure what to do, if anything. I'm above halfway on the volume control to get any significant sound. I have no idea of db level (no meter).

The Denon 52F was recently recapped. Tracking force is set at 2.5g. Tonearm was rebalanced. I don't have separates, but use a vintage Sansui G-9700 into Polk LSiM707 floorstanding speakers. LPs are a mix of old and new. Blues and Jazz and Classic Rock mainly.

Thoughts on whether I should get a phono amp? Should I not worry about it, since the receiver doesn't seem to be heating up after an hour of listening.

Thanks,
Mike

Home Theater System: Onkyo TX-SR806, Maverick Audio TubeMagic DAC, AudioEngine B1, Echo Dot, Denon DP-61F, Technics SL-BD22, Polk Audio LSi Series (4 LSi9s, LSiC, and PSW1000)
HiFi System: Sansui G-9700, Denon DP-52F, Ampex AX-300, Polk Audio LSiM707s.
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby Poinzy » 02 Feb 2017 00:49

You want a phono preamp specifically designed for MC cartridges.
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby Alec124c41 » 02 Feb 2017 01:05

Poinzy is right. LOMC cartridges put approximately 1/10 the voltage of an MM cartridge, or less. You need either a phono preamp that will take an MC cartridge, or a step-up transformer.

Cheers,
Alec
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby mgraziano1975 » 02 Feb 2017 01:40

Thanks. Would the phono MC preamp go between the phono inputs and the TT, or would I use the Aux or Tape inputs on the receiver?
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby pivot » 02 Feb 2017 02:51

Kevin R-M

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Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby Poinzy » 02 Feb 2017 03:03

mgraziano1975 wrote:Thanks. Would the phono MC preamp go between the phono inputs and the TT, or would I use the Aux or Tape inputs on the receiver?


Tape or aux inputs. The MC preamp boosts the signal to line level. Your receiver's phono inputs aren't designed for that.
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby dksp » 02 Feb 2017 13:43

You could also use a Step Up Transformer (aka SUT) like the Denon AU-320. It is a passive transformer that "boosts" the LOMC signal to MM levels. The SUT would go between the turntable and your big Sansui's (very nice btw) phono inputs .
Many believe a SUT is the best and only solution for a MC cartridge. I still haven't tried out, using my Yamaha's built in MC inputs.
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby merlin el mago » 02 Feb 2017 14:37

As other pointed use and step up with 1:10 ratio between your tt and your MM preamp. Other solutions is to use an MC pre-pre SS or tubes this last more complicated.

What's the effective mass of your tonearm? Denon needs to sing high mass tonearms in the range of 25gr.
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby Tympani1982 » 03 Feb 2017 02:33

Poinzy wrote:
mgraziano1975 wrote:Thanks. Would the phono MC preamp go between the phono inputs and the TT, or would I use the Aux or Tape inputs on the receiver?


Tape or aux inputs. The MC preamp boosts the signal to line level. Your receiver's phono inputs aren't designed for that.


If you use an individual MC head amplifier, which will step up your MC signal to 5 or higher mv, you will need to have RIAA equalization always. In this case you need to connect the MC head amplifier to your MM phono input.

But if you use a phono preamp with a built-in MC stage you don't need another line level stage. Just connect the output straight to your power amp.

Many lower end phono preamps do not have a built-in MC stage. They hype up the gain at their RIAA equalizer to accommodate the gain for LOMC cartridges. This would be an inferior design in general. Every amplifier (in this case the RIAA equalizer) has a limited gain and bandwidth product (gain x BW). If the gain is boosted up then the amplifier's bandwidth will be narrowed. S/N and distortion figure will be worsen as well. Try to use a step up device instead. A transformer or a MC head amplifier will be much better if of course budget is permitted.
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby Poinzy » 03 Feb 2017 03:21

Gosh, I wonder why moving coil cartridges aren't more popular? :lol: I had the relatively cheap and accessible combo preamp option in mind. What was I thinking?
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby fjdaigle » 03 Feb 2017 13:55

I use the DL-304, another very low output MC. You need a phono stage capable of at least 60 db of gain to get good sound.

Here's a good starting point: http://www.theabsolutesound.com/article ... ge-gain-1/
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby mgraziano1975 » 03 Feb 2017 23:37

I picked up a Denon AU-320. I'll report back how it works. Thanks everyone!!!
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby Laila1 » 04 Feb 2017 00:53

Sorry, but that's not what you want ... 36 X amplification and 36 ohm load.

Instead you need about 15-20 X amplification, and respective about 120-200 ohm load.

/ Lars
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby nuso » 04 Feb 2017 01:21

Denon AU-320 has switchable primary impedance 3 ohms or 40 ohms, and specifications say Step-up ratio 1:10 at 40 ohms. So I'd say it should be good match.
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Re: Low Volume from Denon 103R

Postby Hanuman » 04 Feb 2017 05:34

nuso wrote:Denon AU-320 has switchable primary impedance 3 ohms or 40 ohms, and specifications say Step-up ratio 1:10 at 40 ohms. So I'd say it should be good match.

Agreed, that's how I'd try it first. You might overload the MM input of the Sansui (which is quite sensitive, according to its spec.) if you try the 3 Ohm tap, which is really only there for the ultra low output MCs that were around in the late '70s / early '80s.
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