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Phono-Pre Amps & Cartridges Welcome to the Dark Side!

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  #71  
Old 01-22-2022, 08:49 AM
MonstaChuck1 MonstaChuck1 is offline
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I’ve recently had the misfortune of my Lyra Delos needle being snapped off by the cleaners, crossed with ankle surgery where I’ll have some downtime for a couple months. So down the rabbit hole I went and came around to the Koetsu lineup as a possible replacement. What I liked about the Delos was great imaging and attack and decay, but I couldn’t quite dial in a nice guitar crunch. Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories sounded great, classic rock to 90s grunge to Radiohead to Bon Iver sounded good but not great. Anyway, on to a few questions to help me decide whether I should jump up to a Koetsu.
(1) My preamp is a McIntosh C1100 with moving coil sensitivity 0.45mV and 60db gain. The Delos had 0.6mV output. The Keotsu Rosewood signature and Urushi non-Vermilion models have 0.4mV and the RSP has 0.3mV. I do not want to get a standalone phono stage as I have no room. Is the lower 0.3mV on the RSP a non-starter for my 0.45mV sensitivity?
(2) My turntable is an older Pro-ject RPM 9.1 with “ground it” base to reduce vibrations. The tone arm is 9” but a lightweight effective mass 8.5g. Given the forum’s discussion of Koetsu’s loving heavier tone arms is it a non-starter for these Koetsu’s? Are Koetsu’s overkill for this turntable? For reference my digital side is dCS Vivaldi dac and upsampler. I’d still catch my toe tapping a little more to the Delos vinyl, but 95% listen to digital out of convenience (and it’s very good). Also with the digital I didn’t have to choose better bass or better vocals via the MC ohm settings. Anywho, appreciate the forum and any advice here. Thanks in advance.
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  #72  
Old 01-22-2022, 11:05 AM
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audio bill audio bill is offline
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Sorry to hear about your Lyra Delos, unfortunately such accidents are part of life as an audiophile. Hope your ankle surgery and recovery goes well. Now on to your questions, hope I can be of some help.

I don't have any first hand experience with the C1100 but it's MC gain of 60dB for a MC with 0.3mV output along with 15dB from the line stage would generally be considered enough preamplifier gain for most setups. There are many variables though including amplifier sensitivity and gain as well as speaker sensitivity so it can be difficult to predict. I think the use of a 0.3mV output MC would be likely to work fine from a gain standpoint with the C1100.

As far as your second question I'm sorry to say that my expectations are not as positive. Most Koetsu carts have relatively low compliance and are best matched to medium to high mass arms in order to keep the arm/cart resonance in the desired range. I'd have some concern that the combo with your lower mass arm could likely result in resonance issues. In addition I do think that jumping up to a Koetsu would be going above the level of the Pro-ject arm so that you wouldn't be able to get the performance that the Koetsu is capable of. Higher performance carts like Koetsu are more demanding of the matching tonearm and I think in this case the arm would be the limiting factor of such a potential pairing.

Good luck with whatever you decide, and of course if you could arrange to borrow a similar cartridge to try that would be best. However most of us are not in such a position and cartridges are not commonly lent for audition by most dealers with the potential for damaging them.

Last edited by audio bill; 01-22-2022 at 12:01 PM.
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  #73  
Old 01-22-2022, 11:19 AM
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Koetsu makes a great cart IMO. A Blue Lace is on my short list to join my Opus1 and MSL Signature Platinum.
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  #74  
Old 01-22-2022, 02:42 PM
MonstaChuck1 MonstaChuck1 is offline
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Thank you for the quick and thoughtful reply Bill. Looks like another Lyra or maybe Hana Umami is a better match compliance wise. I do enjoy the comparing and contrasting of this hobby, but there are times I just want a quick fix. An upgraded vpi prime with pre installed cartridge is tempting but I’m guessing I’m better off finding the right cartridge. Thanks again.
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  #75  
Old 01-22-2022, 03:12 PM
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My pleasure, always happy when I'm able to be of assistance. I've been reading very favorable reports on the Hana Umami, it appears to be an exceptional performer!
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