Stageline N specs

I’m considering installing a MM cartridge in my LP12/Ekos turntable (the exposed cantilever on my Lyra is just too tempting for a “senior moment”). However, I see the specs are listed as 47kOhms/470pF. That’s an awful high input capacitance for most MMs (with 100-150pF from the arm cable, it’s ~ 600pF total). Won’t this wreck havoc with the frequency response of most MMs (in particular, the new Shure M97xE I have tucked away for a rainy day)?

The 35dB gain favours cartridges with a healthy output, the capacitance didn’t seem to be a problem with my Decca in an Aro (with a bit of extra headshell weight).

We had the same concerns when we reviewed the Stageline N specs. They seem hugely diverse from every other manufacturer and are well above the max capacitance quoted for nearly every modern MM cartridge.

However reading the forums we’ve decided to at least try it with Elys 2, buying a 2018 N.

Can’t tell you the outcome as we’ve not tried it yet.

I was very happy with both a Stageline N and the well regarded inbuilt stage in my XS3 - I couldn’t reliably put my finger on which I preferred either. I’d give it a listen at least.

Do post back when you get it installed.

Just a thought here, but I’m guessing NAIM designed the high capacitance to stop picking up RF. Perhaps an example of the cure being worse than the disease(?)

I’m running a Technics SP10 MKII with SME 3009 S2 Improved and a Shure V15 MKIII (also sometimes a Stanton 6800). I’ve just picked up a StageLine N which replaces a Dynavector P75 MK2.

Even though the two phono amps retail for similar money here, the Stageline is a significant upgrade both in presentation and detail, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone with Shure cartridges. And reading online before getting the Stageline it seems a popular combination.

I don’t know if it’s a perfect match and whether a different input capacitance might be better, but it does work well.

That’s helpful. Thanks. The V15/III was a little less susceptible to input capacitance than those cartridges that preceded and followed it,but its not clear why.

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This is the data that sparked my concern. At the estimated input capacitance of the Stageline-N plus arm cable, frequencies over 10kHz are basically gone:


It may not be the best match with the Shure cartridge. In my experience, brighter, and livelier MMs match best with the Naim cards or Stageline N.

One of the by products of using a Moving Coil cart (rather than a MM), is their relative immunity from these effects… :slightly_smiling_face:

The input capacitance causes a resonance in the cart response. With an MM, this is within the audio range - and is why MM are sensitive to input capacitance.

With an MC the resonance is much higher - and would only trouble a young dog… :dog:

I have to admit, the restrictive optimal matching characteristics of the Stageline N give me pause. Having a spare HCdr, the Stageline would seem like a no brainer but this topic crops up often enough, it seems like something not to buy untried on a punt. I was initially thinking of matching it with a Technics deck and a Sumiko cart on the big Naim system but having this topic appear in several threads I might shy away.

If that Sumiko was to be a Moving Coil, this problem simply does not apply.

MC’s are near immune (even high output ones) from the effects of Phono input capacitance.
See my post above… :thinking:

PS. Let me know if you need more detail on this…?

Thanks @IanRobertM I do understand that but appreciate the chip in nonetheless :slightly_smiling_face:

I have to admit, I don’t regard a good solution to a very restrictive matching of a Stageline N is to just throw more money at it and go to a Stageline S with a vastly more expensive MC cart. It seems like a simpler solution would be to not buy a Stageline at all. While all phono stages are likely to have synergy mismatches with certain carts regardless of actual compatibility, it seems like the Stageline is really twisting your arm to choose from a very narrow set or simply upgrade out of the problem.

Until this thread cropped up, I was thinking for sure it would be a Stageline N/HCdr but now, I’m sort of looking at a TEAC PE-505.

No. A High Output MC will be fine, into a Stageline N.

They are not - IMO (YMMV…) - ‘vastly more expensive’… :thinking:

Sorry vinyl newbies here. How does that work?

Our current Elys 2 MM via Google has a 7mV output. First two google hits on high output MC (example Hana EH) show output as 2mV. Would you need pre-amp volume cranked right up to get reasonable volume?

No it goes to the phono input or phono stage amp. 2mv is standard for MM but obviously you can’t connect that to a line input that expects 1-2.5v. Not to mention the equalisation would be missing.

Yeah I get that we already have a phono stage, but our cartridge seems to be a much higher output than 2mV so thinking therefore at fixed Stageline N gain the preamp volume would need to be much higher with a high output MC.

The Rega Elys is on the high side for a Moving Magnet cartridge, I think… 5mv is more typical.

The Hana EH is 2mv - my own Dynavector 10X is 2.5mV.

Yes, running in to a Naim N input, you do turn the volume a little more with the High Output MC’s - than you would with say the Rega Elys… :expressionless:

I ran DV 10X’s into Naim N boards for many years. Problem, not, this is… :thinking:


Ok good to know there are options. Would never have thought of an MC cartridge.

We’ll try the Elys 2 first anyway since we have it. If we need to change cart there’s obviously Google research to be done.