MM cart with Supernait 3

Hello All

I have a SN3 and am pondering getting a turntable for it for the 150 albums I have.
I like the idea of keeping it simple and utilising the built in MM phono stage. My shortlist is the Clear Audio Concept Wood and the Rega P8.

So . . . am I missing anything obvious for the shortlist?

And . . . Why don’t more people seem to be making use of the MM phono stage on the SN3?

5 Likes

The better carts for both clearaudio and rega are mc. Eg the rega offer of p8 with a fitted cart comes with ania, ania pro or apheta at a discounted price. However you can just add a step up transformer in front thereby giving a signal suitable for the mm phono stage.

1 Like

Or buy the Clear Audio and use a really good MM like a Grado, or Ortofon, or high output MC like a Benz, or a Clear Audio!

1 Like

Why indeed? I have an Ortofon 2M Black on my P8, which connects to the SN3’s built in phono stage. It’s neat and simple, and sounds bloody good. I have a 2mm spacer under the arm to compensate for the Ortofon’s greater height.

9 Likes

Hi I have a P8 fitted with a audio - technica VM760SLC dual moving magnet. To utilise the fantastic Supernait 3 built in mm phono.

15 Likes

HH

To my mind you’ve got a very canny set up.
Few boxes delivering a very decent sound I would imagine.

Presumably you had your dealer set up the turntable and cart - or is this relatively simple to do? I’m clueless about such things. I do think the P8 design looks terrific in its paired back simplicity.

WolF
Looks great.
Thank you for uploading the pictures.
What made you choose that particular cartridge?

Because the SN3 has 470pF input capacitance and most modern MM carts have 300-400pF as their maximum (that’s including cabling). Assuming cabling will be around a 100pF you need a cart being happy with around 570pF. I’m not aware of any, but that of course doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

But the mainstream ones from Nagaoka, Ortofon & Audio Technica are excluded. Perhaps you could ask Naim what they recommend/tested with?

2 Likes

Hi Basically I wanted the best sounding MM cartridge I could afford to use with the P8 & Supernait 3. I would not read too much into all the cartridge specifications trying to match the exact specifications of the Supernait 3 built in phono stage. ( You may end up just going round in circles ). In the end I use my ears to help me choose. This cartridge extracts all the fine information from the record grooves and just sounds fantastic. However as I have found out it will also show up any poor record pressing you may have in your collection as it is very detailed. On a side note the VM760SLC cartridge design is very similar to the cutting heads used on the mastering lathe that cut out the grooves on the lacquer.

Good luck with the turntable search.

WolF

1 Like

I think you’ll find, regardless of the specs, the MM stage on the SN3 works with a wide range of MM cartridges. In most cases, the user can simply buy a MM cartridge they like off the shelf and it will work rather well. I don’t think Naim are even expecting people to think about compatibility in more detail than ensuring they choose MM over MC. They put a lot of care in the phono stage and intended it to be used.

Another big fan of MM here. Easy to maintain. Great cost performance. Broad compatibility.

6 Likes

This is an interesting cartridge video review that I found that you might like to hear and watch. Its best to watch it on the YouTube web site as it has the review comments etc.

However there is nothing like an in person evaluation of hi fi equipment before a purchase.

WolF

2 Likes

If you are asking if an MM cartridge is good enough for the built in phono stage of Supernait 3, generally I would say yes.

The cheapest Ortofon MC cartridge is £250 the dearest Ortofon MM is £800 plus. Based on my experience I would say that a higher quality MM cartridge deserves a stand alone phono stage

1 Like

My dealer set the deck up for me, but fitting the spacer and cartridge is not difficult. The dealer checked cartridge alignment using a few protractors to ensure it was just right.

As has been said above, I wouldn’t overly worry about detailed specifications. My dealer recommended the Ortofon, and I can confirm it works well. The AT used by WolF is another top MM cartridge and that combination with the P8 has also been recommended in a review of the Supernait 3 if I recall correctly.

You can do better of course - the P8 will take much more expensive cartridges, and a top flight phono stage will be better than the one in the SN3. But the point is getting a nice simple setup that works well and is a sensible price. I’m sure you’d be happy with either. Whether these cartridges would work well on the Clearaudio I don’t know.

5 Likes

OT.
Do you have powerline to SN3?

1 Like

I am a fan of Clearaudio, I suspect that Rega out-dominates their distribution in the UK.

You could have a look at Pro-Ject or the Michell Technodec . Pro-Ject seem keen to go with MC in their £1500 plus packages and Michell would need to put together with arm and cartridge. The Technodec has one very clear advantage over Rega, Clearaudio and Pro-Ject -it is designed to be upgraded . You can start with a 202 arm and move all the way up

The Concept is a fine turntable and comes with a quality MM cartridge ,

No you are not missing anything, Rega prefer MC as do Pro-Ject. Clearaudio like MM .

1 Like

How you view upgradability is of course a matter for each of us. To me, the beauty of the Rega is that it’s fit and forget. The Michell, like the Linn, is perfect for those who want to upgrade. But if you just want to enjoy your records in great quality at a sensible price, non-upgradability has an awful lot to recommend it. Constantly thinking of the next upgrade is a sure fire way of ensuring that one doesn’t enjoy one’s music in the here and now.

4 Likes

What you’ll end up with if capacitance is too high is rolled off highs and a peak in the freq just before that. Might be that some people find that pleasing, but whether that should be described as “works rather well” I’m not sure.

@1GiantLeap for the turntable I’d add the Technics tables to the list. The GR should fit your budget.

If you’re going to ignore the capacitance (see above / google MM capacitance), I would also the consider Nagaoka carts in addition to what’s already been suggested. But I would recommend trying to find one that’s designed for this kind of input capacitance.

2 Likes

Just get this with the pre fitted mm cartridge. Saves endless fiddling. It looks good, it’s well made, it comes ready to play with cartridge fitted and pre aligned. Put it somewhere level, that bit you need to do yourself, and you’re done.

3 Likes

From what I can make out, Naim have always used 470pF on their MM inputs (the N boards and Nait 1, 2) - often in conjunction with a 62k input impedance.

The SN3 demo to the media used an Adikt cartridge and I’m sure I’ve read that Rega Elys 2 and a Clearaudio one were used during development of the new MM stage.

I’m using an Adikt with my SN3 and have also tried one of the Audio Technica VM95 series with very good results.

2 Likes

Well those are normal 150-200pf cartridges. And I presume they sound alright.

You don’t see many threads titled “I can’t find a darn MM compatible with Naim phono stage

I assume there’s a reason for that.

1 Like