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Welcome Licorice Pizza (LP) lovers! Setup guides and Vinyl FAQ.

RE: Yet (sigh) another post for cartridge recommendations

Some of those older full function tube preamps have ludicrously high line stage gain (31 dB!!) which in combination with high MM stage gain allows for MC cartridges to be run from them.

What you have is the same net gain as a much more typical 67dB MC phono stage plus 11dB line stage. In theory you could run a low output 0.3mV - 0.5mV MC cartridge just fine. The problem is that without the MC gain up front before RIAA, you might (or might not) notice a lack of dynamics in the resulting sound, though the overall volume level might be fine? I can't say.

In your setup I'd be tempted to try a Benz Zebrawood L/M/H (from Audiogon, at the top end of your budget), but I don't know which of the 3 output levels would be optimal for your preamp, since its configuration is unusual. I'd probably go for "M" in that case. You get lighter more nimble coils than H and you get a lot of your volume control range back.

I had a Glider L2 and a Wood M2 and SM - the new Zebrawood is much, much better than these models.

Edits: 01/10/22

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