1. Time for some upgrades in server hardware and software to enhance security and take AK to the next level. Please contribute what you can to sales@audiokarma.org at PayPal.com - Thanks from the AK Team
    Dismiss Notice

Audio Research SP9 phono input vs MM/MC

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by Giovanni68, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Giovanni68

    Giovanni68 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Hello everybody,

    a couple years ago I went through a refresh of my very vintage hifi (...) setup which I own since I was in my teen age (and looooot of water went through), I bought an AR SP9, a Michell Gyrodec and a twin KT88 Chinese tube amp, an Aeron AR890 to match my old JBL4311B and couple my less old but still vintage Sony CDP-X505ES CD player.

    I mostly listened to digital music since the turntable is huge and I don't have a proper space for it and with work I have not enough time to move it back and forth to listen to my few old records, first instance was the difference between MP3 and FLAC, wow, night and day (I know not everybody agrees) but at the end of my busy woking season I finally mounted the rewired Rega RB300 tonearm on the Gyrodec and listened to a few of my records and what a pleasure nonetheless scratches and bumps but it sounds so much more "natural" than either the CD or FLAC versions not to mention the pleasure to physically see the disc spinning.

    Question being, now I have an AT3200XE cartridge which I know being an MC with high output but there as well is a Shure V (whose exact model I can't tell since there is no type on the sides as where there should be) and wondering the day I will have to eventually change the AT what would my preamp fit better, the Shure I already own (need the stylus to be replaced) or what?

    I also got, into the package I bought, a Kiseki MCT2 step-up, I know this being a very looked after piece of equipment, the ex owner I guess used it couple with another cartridge which went probably lost but now I have no need to use it and as such I was thinking to sell it to fund new smaller speakers (but I know I would miss the JBL sound...), question being, should I keep it for when I will eventually get a new cartridge or can I give the SP9 the output of the Shure straight away (which I know being an MM should go just fine) as to get rid of extra stuff like the Kiseki?

    One more question re the SP9, is it worth upgrading to MKII and is it easy to do it at home?

    Grazie


    Giovanni
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    21,237
    Location:
    SE PA
    Might be cheaper to sell the SP-9 and buy an SP-9 III (skipping the MK II as the 9 did get better with each step). The change was a big pile of components and maybe even some circuit boards, I don't think this his Harry Hometech work.

    I would keep the Kiseki and seek out a nice MC cartridge in the 0.4-0.6mV output range since the MCT2 seemed to be designed for a 0.4 output Kiseki cartridge. For those that are going to talk impedance matching the input impedance of this unit according to VE is 5.3Ω.

    Post pics (drag and drop) of the Shure and folks will id it for you. Maybe it is worth some coin for you to move on. Others will say the Shure is the keeper and recommend a stylus for you.

    The SP-9 has 46 dB gain from phono to line level and some more after that to main outputs. It seems to work with cartridges of fairly low output (of the normal output level cartridges), to about 1mV. But that would require the volume control to be well exercised to the low numbers on the clock. It will work with a wide range of cartridges and with the Kiseki, you have the flexibility to use almost all good cartridges.
     
  3. Giovanni68

    Giovanni68 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Here the pics featuring the Shure V pick-up Shure V-2712.jpg Shure V-2711.jpg
     
  4. Giovanni68

    Giovanni68 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Might be cheaper to sell the SP-9 and buy an SP-9 III (skipping the MK II as the 9 did get better with each step). The change was a big pile of components and maybe even some circuit boards, I don't think this his Harry Hometech work.

    I have been living without the AR for such a long time, I don't mind it as it is, I was just wondering if possible to make some DIY upgrade otherwise it is fine as it is, thank you.

    I would keep the Kiseki and seek out a nice MC cartridge in the 0.4-0.6mV output range since the MCT2 seemed to be designed for a 0.4 output Kiseki cartridge. For those that are going to talk impedance matching the input impedance of this unit according to VE is 5.3Ω.

    The Kiseki had a place with the ex owner because, as far as I remember, he had to have a Koetzu pick-up needing the step-up, in my case, for the amount of vinyl I own and play and for my pick-ups it is a waste to have it sitting there to collect dust and it might both help pay back what I spent for the stuff I bought as well as to start and putting something on the side for speakers I want to buy in the future to upgrade off the JBL4311B.

    Post pics (drag and drop) of the Shure and folks will id it for you. Maybe it is worth some coin for you to move on. Others will say the Shure is the keeper and recommend a stylus for you.

    Pics in the above post, grazie!

    The SP-9 has 46 dB gain from phono to line level and some more after that to main outputs. It seems to work with cartridges of fairly low output (of the normal output level cartridges), to about 1mV. But that would require the volume control to be well exercised to the low numbers on the clock. It will work with a wide range of cartridges and with the Kiseki, you have the flexibility to use almost all good cartridges.

    So far, if I got it right, there is no real need for the step up at all and I might as well use the Shure (provided somebody helps me find out right model and I can get a replacement stylus) should the AT3200XE fail or need being replaced, is it right?

    Thank you so much for your patience and reply!!!


    Giovanni
     
  5. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    21,237
    Location:
    SE PA
    Yes, I think you are fine if the SP-9 can provide the volume you need from the AT at less than say 2:00 on the control. You need a bit more for quiet parts and there is no problem running with the volume control all the way to 4:00 or so. Above that there might be some noise. So you can use your cartridges. I would start a new post with your Shure pictures in Turntables forum for good answers, asking what stylus to get for it.

    Selling the SUT is a fine idea given the direction you want to go with your system.

    The upgrades for the SP-9, I don't know of many as most have gone the II or III route. I have a friend with a III that has all new high performance caps in it. That might be something you could do to the 9 and make it better than it is now.

    There are some that have done the preamp swap for a couple hundred € going up a model or two is the reason I mentioned it. Most consider each iteration of the design a nice leap up the sonic steps. But if you were happy with the 9, maybe just a refresh and some careful choices for cap upgrades would be a good move. Might cost as much as the sell and buy newer version, though. Depends on the market.
     

Share This Page