Which Input to use?

When using a turntable with a moving coil transformer, which is the preferred input to use on my SN3. I know I can’t use the phono input as this is only for MM cartridges and no transformer.

When such transformers were common - so in the 60’s or 70’s, you would connect to the MM input.

You need to check your transformer… Err, read the instructions…!! :slight_smile:

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I’ll check it was just my dealer said not to use it as one cancelled the other out or some other kind of problem. The dealer said use any of the other unused inputs. I was just wondering if for there was any advantage using the CD input over say the tuner input, or doesn’t it make any difference?

A pure step-up transformer does not perform RIAA equalisation, it only amplifies the MC signal as it is. Therefore, it must be plugged into the MM phono input on the preamp/amp, which then performs the equalisation. A line input would not. E.g., from the Ortofon ST-70 transformer manual, the ST-70 is the black box on top, note my green highlight:

But maybe your box is not just a transformer, so read its manual. However, if yours did perform RIAA equalisation, it would not be passive like a pure step-up transformer (which has no mains connection), and would be more like a full MC phono stage, so in this case would go into a line input.


Thanks for this. I have a clearaudio Basic + and its manual says it has a preamplifier that automatically adjusts the out put between MM & MC. Would your instruction still apply, sorry for being so fussy.

The Clearaudio Basic is NOT an MC step-up transformer. Like you already noticed, it is a complete active phono stage that also performs the RIAA equalization. It supports both MM and MC cartridges and has switches for either MM or MC mode. Therefore, the Basic goes into one of the line high-level inputs of the SN3 (CD, Tuner, Stream, Aux), and NOT the SN3’s MM phono input.

If your turntable has an MC cartridge, make sure to switch the Basic to MC input. Note that there seems to be a switch for each channel, set them both correctly:


Thank you, that has answered my question.

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And which one of the line inputs you use, CD, Tuner, etc., does not make a difference

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Thank you

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