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capacitance serttings

Posted on September 18, 2023 at 05:00:05
Posts: 22
Joined: March 8, 2023
If a low output moving coil cartridge (Denon DL301Mk2) doesn't give a recommended capacitance setting, what would be a good starting place?


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RE: capacitance serttings, posted on September 18, 2023 at 05:23:39

Posts: 9316
Location: NJ
Joined: December 11, 2000
I have never seen a recommendation for a capacitance setting for a low output MC cartridge, never because of the low number of windings in the coil.

It will be just fine with whatever the preamp or SUT already has. The resistance rec is what to pay attention to


RE: capacitance serttings, posted on September 18, 2023 at 15:28:54

Posts: 2517
Joined: January 11, 2011
Low output MCs and low impedance MMs (like Pickering XLZ) are insensitive to capacitive loading. However, if you are using a SUT, the capacitive load of the MM input (including cabling) can affect the frequency response and transient response of the SUT so you want to minimize the cable length between the phono stage. The SUT would give guidance on the recommended MM input load settings if they are important. Ortofon give specifications for their SUTs assuming a 200pF load for the MM input.
Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats


"Low output MCs are insensitive to capacitive loading", posted on September 19, 2023 at 05:23:15

Posts: 10025
Location: Greenville SC
Joined: February 25, 2007
True, with the exception of Rega moving coils, it would seem, which have a recommended capacitance load setting of 1000 pF. The only issue with that is, try finding phono stages with the ability to set moving coil capacitance that high. Rega's phono stages have that ability, but if I recall, the only other one I found was an expensive Pass offering.

Several Asylum Inmates have contacted Rega's US distributor for an explanation, but we've heard nothing.

If someone's handy with a soldering iron, adding a couple of picofarad caps isn't that big a deal. But for those who aren't, and are considering a Rega moving coil cartridge, it's a consideration.

The following specs. are from the Rega UK site:

Load settings for adjustable MC stages

Impedance: 100 Ω
Capacitance: 1000 pF
Gain setting: High ('On' position for Rega phono stages)


RE: capacitance serttings, posted on September 21, 2023 at 11:26:26

Posts: 154
Location: Berkshire
Joined: July 12, 2010
Usually as little as possible with an MC but experiment if you have this adjustment.
I sometimes find adding a half to one a nF can help reduce a certain analytical quality. A Dynavector 17D3 on a Schroeder Reference loaded at 470R into a Naim Superline was more enjoyable with a 1nF plug, on a Naim Aro it took 470pF. An Ortofon SPU Royal N didn't benefit from extra capacitance on either the Schroeder or a Korf SA9R and took a load of 220R and even benefitted from the very low capacitance Lyra Phonopipe cable despite the Superline's 100pF baseline input capacitance.


RE: capacitance serttings, posted on September 22, 2023 at 05:16:29

Posts: 12496
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
17D3 has a coil impedance of 32 ohms according to the specs on the DV web-site.

As such, I would suspect the optimal loading could be anywhere between 330 ohms (10x) and 3300 ohms (100x).

So your choice of 470 ohms (which is all the Naim Superline offers) does not, I suggest, let it shine. :-((


RE: capacitance serttings, posted on September 22, 2023 at 16:40:36

Posts: 154
Location: Berkshire
Joined: July 12, 2010
There are a pair of DIN sockets on the back of the superline for loading plugs labelled for Resistance and Capacitance. I have plugs for 100R, 220R, 470R, 500R, 560R, 1kR along with 470pF, 1nF, 5.6nF and 10nF, other values can be made up. No plugs give a loading of 10kR and 100pF. There will always be some capacitance from the arm cable to add to to that of the phonostage. Lyra claim 32pF and my Ortofon cable is quoted as 80pF, the Schroeder and Aro arm cables have no published data I know of and aren't easily exchanged.
I originally tried a cap plug to try and reduce some radio pickup but once I'd cured that problem by changing to a non ferrous rack I found I preferred 470pF to no plug. The DV was retired for a Transfiguration Proteus which liked 100R and no cap with the Aro but moving it to a Schroeder Reference the 470pF plug ended up back in play after a couple of years without.

From phonostage to speakers my system is all Naim, not sure my results would translate to something radically different but if the option is there to listen to it's easy enough to make up your own mind.


RE: Aah, thanks for putting me right ..., posted on September 22, 2023 at 18:40:48

Posts: 12496
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
I didn't realise the Superline allowed load plugs.

Interesting your Proteus likes 100R (100x coil impedance). Have you ever tried higher-value plugs - like 220R or 470R?

(You might get more 'airyness'.)


It is easy enough to just add a capacitor., posted on September 25, 2023 at 18:52:17
Industry Professional

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Location: So. Cal.
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Have Fun and Enjoy the Music
"Still Working the Problem"


i always START at 100 ohms, posted on September 26, 2023 at 13:55:32

Posts: 15354
Location: canyon country califiornia, orig from buffalo ny
Joined: June 9, 2000
from there, listen to higher and lower at increments. soon, you will find the right sound for yourself.


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