Superline fine tuning

I know this has been discussed but I’m still kinda in the dark.
I just got a SuperLine and am using a Rega Planar 8 with a Hana ML. The SuperLine is being powered by a Hicap but I hope to upgrade the PS soon.
I think it sounds great without any of the plugs. When I experiment with the plugs the sound and the water just seems to get muddy.
Am I wasting the SuperLine without and plugs in it?
Anyone have a suggestion?
For noe, I’m just going with the sound I like best. And I guess that’s all that really matters.
But any ideas are welcome.

Oh, I’m using Spendor D9.3 speakers. Everything else is m8d to upper range Naim equipment.

While not familiar with your cartridge, I have superline but if your profile is up to date, the 202 may be a limiting factor. Few thoughts for you to consider.

Ask your dealer or the manufacturer for the recommended loading and try those value plugs, so that you can this into the superline. You might consider to amend your thread heading to include “ + Mana ML cartridge “, which may attract a Mana user.

The superline is a great phono stage, however with a 202, the latter may be your limiting factor. You might consider, instead of a SC ps on the superline, looking out for a 252 and SC. You will then have the option to listen to the superline powered direct from the NAC or via your existing hcap, unless you trade this as part of any changes.

It would also be useful if you detailed the value of the plugs that you currently are trying, although ultimately the choice will be personal.

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Another vote for the 202 being a constraint.

I’d expect a 52/sc or 252/sc to be a big step and either will power the SL better than a Hicap and nearly as well as using its own sc.

252s are expensive even s/h but getting cheaper. For SQ per £, a 52 is already a great bargain if it and the power supply were serviced in the last decade or so.

It is possible, if the sound is consistently muddy whatever plugs you try and doesn’t vary much, that the Superline has an issue. However, that wouldn’t be my first guess.

If your dealer doesn’t know which plugs should work with your cartridge, ask Cymbiosis. Once you have got it down to 1 or 2 and decided what (if anything)?else needs doing, they will also sell you an airplug - which works better than the standard plugs.

I use SL and airplug powered by 52/SC ( not by its own SC) into 300DR. For me, getting the right plug for Linn and Lyra cartridges was easy and the difference between plugs was easy to hear. You may need a bit more effort to get it right but it will be worth it.


I have a Hana ML as well, running a Superline with a HighCap DR. I use the plugs 1nF and 220R. Did some testning around and decided for this by ear, for now. No real deeper knowledge about loading etc. on my part, although I tried to read up a bit on the forum on the different plugs and values that come with the Superline .

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By ear is the only way.

I thought the superline came with a 220Ω plug rather than a 200 so you’ve delved deep.

Cap plug I found even 470pF can make a surprising difference to engagement but it’s cumulative with arm lead capacitance if comparing different arms/cables.

For the OP, you can use two resistor plug using the cap socket for the second. This puts them in parallel when you calculate the resulting value and gives you a few extra options to try. Fix the resistance before playing with cap plugs.


True, it is a 220 plug. My mistake. Didn’t know that it was possible to put in two resistor plugs. Thanks!

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Last time I moved and reassembled the system I forgot to put the resister plug back in, coincidentally also a 220Ω. For the next six months there was something niggling me about the sound but I couldn’t put my finger on it, I didn’t even think of checking the loading plug as I thought it was in place. I took great care to set up everything else and it was nearly there but I only discovered my mistake when I swapped in a rebuilt cartridge that took a different loading.

I did that with the 1nf capacitor. It was most odd. You would hardly detect any difference with or without in absolute terms, but without I found that familiar albums no longer engaged in quite the same way as they had done before. Replacing the plug and the snap was back!

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Always worth taking a photo or so before making any changes!

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