100pf or 200pf ?

100pf or 200pf ?

Postby Dizastical » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:16 pm

Last night I installed my new Musical Surroundings NOVA III Phono Pre Amp. It sounds incredible to say the least! My question is.... What setting do people usually prefer with a SoundSmith Zephyr MK III? I have been searching but can not find much info on the difference between the two settings. I know that it is personal preference between the two settings. I just don't know much about these settings. What kind of sound signature do they have? What change in sound does it make from 100pf to 200pf? I have it set to 100pf right now. I figured Id leave it there for a bit and get accustomed to the sound before I make a change. I have the gain set to 40db and the load set to 45K. Thanks in advance!
VPI Prime / SoundSmith Zephyr MK III / Phoenix Eagle PSU / Phoenix RoadRunner Tach / Musical Surroundings NOVA III / Musical Fidelity M6si / Furman Elite-15 PFi / Blue Jeans Cables / Martin Logan Motion 60XT / ProJect VC-S MK II
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Re: 100pf or 200pf ?

Postby Dizastical » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:09 pm

The Zephyr MK III has an output voltage of 2.4mV. I reached out to peter for the proper settings of 40db and 47K. He said to switch between 100pf and 200pf and pick which ever sounds best. I just wanted to know what effect there is when switching between the two. I have been listening to the cartridge at 100pf as of now. The 40db gain seems to be spot on (volume wise) with using the internal phono stage on my PM8006 with an Ortofon 2M Bronze.
VPI Prime / SoundSmith Zephyr MK III / Phoenix Eagle PSU / Phoenix RoadRunner Tach / Musical Surroundings NOVA III / Musical Fidelity M6si / Furman Elite-15 PFi / Blue Jeans Cables / Martin Logan Motion 60XT / ProJect VC-S MK II
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Re: 100pf or 200pf ?

Postby YoungDave » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Capacitive loading is largely irrelevant with moving iron or moving coil cartridges. It is for moving magnet cartridges, which is not what the Zephr is, so the setting won't matter.

The resistive loading is important to all cartridges and is typically set to around 10-100 times the internal impedance of the cartridge. I do not see an internal impedance spec on the Soundsmith site, but he recommends loading at 47k or higher, and I guess I would start with that. No harm will come from playing with the full range of loading options, though.

Gain selection is whatever will permit you to drive the amplifier to its full output. If you have a gain setting that gives you the level you want at the volume control position that you want, you'll be fine. A simple rule of thumb is set your phono gain so that your cd player & phonograph are at about the same volume. No need to get too rigorous with the arithmetic.
2004 HRX, heavyweight platter, Gimbal Fatboy arm, Phoenix Eagle/Roadrunner, Dynavector XV-1s, Manley Steelhead, DEQX
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