What VINYL ONLY Are Ya Listening To? Thread! ;)



Audioholic Overlord
Ortofon Black? That could be a 2M Black, a Quintet Black, or a Cadenza Black. :D

I'll have to assume the 2M Black because it's the only one that's a moving magnet type that would work with the built-in phono amp of your AVR. I had a Schitt Mani for a while and it was surprisingly good for $129. Now they've upgraded it to a Mani 2, and it's a bit better at about the same cost.

After I got the Reference 1's and the Luxman amp, I figured it was time to upgrade the phono amp again. I'll be honest, I just don't hear a whole lot of difference as they're all supposed to decode the RIAA response curve the same way. The big difference is when one has gone over to moving coil cartridges and GAIN and LOAD is far more detectable. Now for one of the turntables I'm running the Musical Surroundings Phenomena II+ and it's nicer and quieter than the older Mani, with more known settings. With the Mani I had to keep going back to a website (another forum) where there was a good posting that showed the best settings for various cartridges. With the Phenomena II+ I have the manual and changing settings is MUCH simpler as I switch out cartridges now & then.

There's a lot of really good phono stages in the $150-$500 range that would be noticeably better with that cartridge. Might be worth trying one at home if you can.
For MC cartridges, I would agree with you that one would need a phono preamp, especially to match the impedance of the cartridge. I wont go down that road of MC cartridges as its too much trouble for not very much return. My setup is very revealing and unlike a tuner working on cars, I'm very happy with stock. I rather get lost in the music than losing myself in the equipment like a lot audiophiles do. :)

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