SN3 phono

New Head-Fier

Has anyone compared the SQ of the internal phono stage of SN3 to other external phono stages such as Chord Huei or IFi Iphono 3 or Rega Aria?

My current turntable is Rega Planar 3 with Exact cartridge.
I own SN3 combined with HiCap DR.

I’ve not compared directly, but it’s worth mentioning that for the £1,000 cost of the phono stages it would be possible to upgrade the P3 to a P8, which is likely to make far more of a difference. I certainly wouldn’t use an Aria with a P3, and my P8 works really well into the Supernait 3’s phono stage.

1 Like

I haven’t compared them either, but please be aware that the SN3 has high input capacitance (470pF) and at least the Ifi and Rega have a low (100-110pF) one. Not sure about the Chord.

This will affect which cartridges are a good match.

Thanks for the tip.
My cartridge is Rega Exact which its capacitance is 100pF…
So it is better to take suitable external phono stage

I wouldn’t know capacitance if it hit me on the head. I’ve just looked up the specs of my Ortofon on the recommended range is 150 to 300 pF. The Naim is 470 but it works fine. I’m sure the Rega would too; Naim have been using this spec for donkey’s years. It’s usually best to match components by ear rather than specs.

1 Like

HH is correct. Listen to the cart as well as looking at the specs. Higher capacitance generally helps reduce noise at the expense of dulling the top end frequencies. However some carts are too toppy, while other carts are bass heavy. Use your mark 1 ears to find a match if you can get a demo.


They still are (at least 2M), for some reason Ortofon just markets them as MM. Probably because the term is better known and in practice it won’t make a difference to the end user.

Yes, many MMs probably have rolled off highs (with a bump preceding it) because of too high loading.

Just be aware that the load includes the cables, including the tonearm ones, so you should add another 100pF to any number on your phono preamp to get closer to the actual load your cart will “see”.


You seem to suggest they’re mutually exclusive? While there undoubtedly is stuff that isn’t showing up in measurements (the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence), it’s a bit silly to ignore the stuff that does. But of course one should listen, but particularly in the case of cartridges that’s unfortunately very difficult in practice.

And to go back to this particular spec, there’s many requests for a form of EQ on the forum, so obviously not everyone wants a flat freq. response, and people might like what the high capacitance does to their particular cartridges output. But unless you can audition first, isn’t going for a flat freq. response a safer bet?

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.