I notice a lot of the more expensive phono cartridges are MC and have a lower output level than MM. What is the advantage of an MC over an MM? What would happen if you had an MM cartridge and put your USP-1 on the MC setting...too much amplification?
1) MM cartridges have improved over the years, but some folks prefer the more expensive MC. It's a subjective call, IMO. You need to audition cartridges just like speakers. 2) Yup. I have an Ortofon Blue MM which works very well with the USP-1.
I notice a lot of the more expensive phono cartridges are MC and have a lower output level than MM. What is the advantage of an MC over an MM?
What would happen if you had an MM cartridge and put your USP-1 on the MC setting...too much amplification?
MC carts are lighter and capable of reproducing finer details than MM. MM are more rugged, cheaper and have higher output. Using a MM with a MC preamp can cause distortion due to over amplification, yes.
That was your first mistake. You took your lucky break and broke it in two. - Paul McCartney
My turntable came with a felt mat. My old Kenwood had a sturdy rubber mat. I see different mat suggestions from places like Herbie's Audio Lab herbiesaudiolab.net/ttmat.htm#ii etc.
Any suggestions from the ones of you that use turntables and have already crossed this bridge?
It depends on the table. I don't use any mat - I aggressively clamp the record directly to the platter, which lets the platter absorb/neutralize any vibrations from the stylus in the groove. I believe this is by far the best approach, but it requires a top-notch turntable. The vast majority of turntables have a noisy platter (motor vibration), so you want a mat to isolate the record from the platter vibrations. A felt mat can do this, but then you have the needle in the groove vibrations with nowhere to go, but that's the lesser of two evils. Some mats claim to both isolate from the platter and absorb from the record, but I'm not sure if I believe them, and I've never tried them.
"Do not speak- unless it improves on silence." -- Buddhist saying
2ch: B&W speakers, Pass Labs amplifier, PS Audio preamp, Denon SACD player, Sony HD radio tuner, PS Audio phono preamp, VPI Turntable, PS Audio PowerPlant
The USP-1's Phono section works fantastically with low output carts, so I wouldn't worry about avoiding them. I am using it with an Audio Technica OC9 mkII that has .25mv output and its great. Not sure where the poster that keeps warning against low output carts is coming from. Maybe it would be a problem with certain amps or with inefficient speakers. In my system I just set the phono stage switch to MC and its good to go. No "cranking" of the USP-1's volume is required. I rarely go above 12 o'clock on the volume listening to vinyl. If anything, it is nice to have a bit more range to work with on the USP-1's volume control. With cd's I really can't go above about 10 o'clock without making my ears bleed.
By the way, I can't recommend the OC9 enough as a budget but very high quality MC cart. It is capable of stunning sound and the USP-1's phono stage does it justice. The USP-1 is a tremendous value when you consider that a comparable stand-alone phono stage is going to cost about the same as the entire USP-1 unit. Now if Emotiva had included the ability to adjust impedance - that really would have been something . . . .
+1 on the phono stage and MC carts. My denon DL-160 is a high output MC cart at 1.60mv but I can't turn the vol past 10 o'clock. I have no doubt that a cart at .25mv would produce plenty of volume on the MC setting.
Last Edit: Aug 4, 2010 20:29:53 GMT -5 by twilkins
Sorry, have I missed something. Is there a switch on the back to select for MC or MM cartridge???
Yes, there is. It switches both the gain and the cartridge loading. Bigred7078 had a low-output grado cartridge which needed high gain but the MM loading, which is why he mentioned the need for turning the volume knob way up. Most cartridges wouldn't need this.
Post by RPA-1 man on Sept 13, 2010 19:51:23 GMT -5
I actually like the phono stage in the USP-1 better than the phono stage in the RSP-1. The sound quality is probably equivalent but the USP-1's phono stage is much quieter from my experience. I'm using a Pioneer PL-518 with a Shure V15 Type IV cart with Hyper-elliptcal stylus. I love it. I have no inclination to purchase another phono stage.
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2010 19:52:56 GMT -5 by RPA-1 man