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Are separate phono stages louder ?

stereoman

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2016
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4,595
Hello. Just a question regarding separate phono amps. Do they give at least so much loudness as a CD input ? I mean MM. So that one does not need to have so much volume difference between CD and Phono. If so how many dB should MM phono have to be loud enough close to CD input sensitivity ?
 

Al ears

Moderator
stereoman said:
Hello. Just a question regarding separate phono amps. Do they give at least so much loudness as a CD input ? I mean MM. So that one does not need to have so much volume difference between CD and Phono. If so how many dB should MM phono have to be loud enough close to CD input sensitivity ?
Generally no. Your SACD player has an output voltage of 2v many phono preamps don't put out this much often being in the order of 1 to 1.5v.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
276
160
19,070
My experience is similar to Al's. A bit of history is relevant:- Before CDs the alternative sources to LP were typically a radio tuner and tape/cassette deck. My old tuners output 300mV to 500mV, or about half a Volt. CD players were designed to be 2 Volts, but many have crept up to 2.2 or more (louder equals better, right?). So they were much louder than LP or tuner sources. They still are!

Meantime, amplifiers haven't changed enough and many are too sensitive. This means you get max volume by about twelve o'clock on the volume knob. This impresses buyers who think amps are powerful, but is a bind at home where you want maximum sensitivity and range on volume, and quiet backgrounds. Some amps, like my Primare, allow you to alter the input sensitivity which overcomes this.
 

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