Anyone compare Stageline N and Stageline S

Hi all,

Anyone has a change to compare Stageline N with HOMC cartridge with Stageline S with MC cartridge?

Are they performed almost the same?


It is something you can’t compare.
They both are build the same but driven by a total different type of cartridge and voltage.
With phono stages it’s all in the match.
So impedance plays a big role.
MM catridges can be more alive then cheap MC cartridges. But a good MC cartridge can be so much more then a MC.
You are asking if a BMW 325i drives the same as an BMW 325D.
Is it the same car? Yes. But the way of driving is total different.

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Your main issue using a HO MC cartridge with a MM stage like the Stageline N is that while the cart output is very high by MC standards, it’s still quite low by MM standards, so they tend to fall between two stools, as it were. That means you need to really wind up the gain on any pre-amp to get a decent level. It can also mean a sound that, for want of a better word, lacks a bit of “balls”.

I’ve heard of some using HO MC carts more successfully with a Stageline E, or even reports from Peter Swain of Cymbiosis, of using a Stagline S, but only if powered by at least a Hicap. I can;t vouch for either of these as I’ve not tried them myself, and it would probably be highly dependant on the cartridge choice too.

HO MC carts were really more of a solution to a particular problem; gain and noise with the integrated phono stages in valve pre-amps in particular, and meant you could run an MC cart with one without the need for an additional add on pre-pre-amp or transformer.


Are we talking about the Ultimo 10x here Richard, or were there others too? Thanks

Others too Chris.

I misread the topic starter his post.
Thanks Richard.
I tried a Dynavector 10x5 on a stageline N.
This is also a MC cartridge with a high output.
The senergy was bad, volume had to be high and all sound a little bit closed.
Then I tried a Linn Adikt mm cartridge.
This was wonderful, lot of drive and dynamics. Also nice air and mids.

Later on i put a Prefix S inside the turntable with an dynavector XX2.
That was a big upgrade.
But I can recommend for the stageline N a Linn Adikt element. Wonderful.


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