Current sensing phono stages w/Rega?

Hey folks,

Anyone using Channel D Lino C 2.0 or the Sutherland Little Loco with a Rega RP8? 

I got some great advice here on researching my first cartridge and phono stage upgrade.

Cartridge was upgraded from the Exact MM to the Ania Pro MC on my Rega RP8.

After researching the suggested phono stages, I home demoed a Musical Surroundings Nova III (with both stock walwart and optional LPS), Rega ARIA MK3 MM/MC, Black Ice Audio F159, and a Konus Audio Vinyle 1000MC Mark II.

The Konus is the only current sensing unit and the one I like the best. 

Two other current sensing units I would like to try are the Channel D Lino C 2.0 and the Sutherland Little Loco but came across the following:

The Absolute Sound Channel D Lino C 2.0 review excerpt:

Briefly, any phono cable/tonearm combination where twisted-pair-conductor cables are employed and the two conductors are not connected to the turntable (or shield) ground can be used. An example of a tonearm/cable that can’t be used would be a standard Rega ’arm where the shield is connected to one of the outer shells of the RCA, which is also a signal connection.

Stereophile Sutherland Little Loco review excerpt:

Your tonearm wiring must be fully balanced between cartridge and phono preamp, with no connections between any of the tonearm leads and ground. That means that the Little Loco won't work, for example, with your Rega arm, unless it's rewired. 

Has anyone rewired a Rega to work with either?

Thanks everyone!


@hleeid , Not at all. When Channel D adds the option of  voltage mode operation it adds an entire new voltage mode board and you have a choice of quality. It is like having two separate phono stages that use the same RIAA correction board. Unless you are sure you are going to be using a very low impedance cartridge for the duration you should add the voltage mode board if you can afford it. You can take a Lino C all the way up to 10 K if you are not careful. Having said all this I have to admit at this time the very best phonograph reproduction I have heard is in current mode. 

I am curious to know what cartridges have an internal impedance of 2 ohms or less.  My own MC2000 fits the criterion, and I know there are others such as the Haniwa that present an even lower internal R, but I would think the list is very short after that.  Also, maybe we should make a distinction between "works" and "works best" into a current mode phono stage. Hdm is quite right to point out that "works best" also depends upon the actual input Z of the phono stage.  With the 12-ohm AT ART7, which puts out only 0.12mV, you have a cartridge that is on the fence for either current- or voltage- mode.  I find that it works great with my BMC (2-4 ohms input Z), usually in the +7db gain mode.  It's a little more robust sounding into that device than it is into my high gain SS voltage-mode phono stage, but either works fine.  Don't you think it's a little severe to say that 2 ohms is the upper limit for internal R???  If that were the case, the market for current-mode phono stages would be very tiny. (Perhaps it is only a little better than "tiny" in reality.)  On the other hand, why would you want to use current mode with a 40-ohm cartridge that has 0.4mV output?  One reason would be if you don't own a high gain voltage-mode phono stage and mating such a cartridge with a SUT would be problematic (although could work with a 1:10 SUT, but preferably no higher ratio). Anyway, lots of folks seem to be using current mode with cartridges, even up to 20 ohms internal R.

The Mutech Hayabusa, which as been described as a continuation of the NLA Transfiguration Proteus, has a Coil impedance of 1.5Ω. 

I believe all of the My Sonic Labs (MSL) are under 2Ω with their Ultra Eminent EX having the lowest Internal impedance @ 0.6Ω.

ZYX Optimum: 1 Ohm

Of course the SL versions of Lyra’s range including their latest lower inductance “Lambda” series and the half-wound Koetsu Urushi Vermilion should also be considered excellent contenders.

There is an audiogon thread out there where fans of current gain have posted what’s worked well for them.

From my experience with various Sutherland Loco preamps (with an input Z of a fraction of an ohm) I’ve gotten great results with pickups up to 14Ω such as the “R” version - Denon 103R.

Those are all very expensive cartridges, and the fact remains that most current driven phono stages work well with cartridges that have internal R in the range 2 to even 20 ohms, though I would be leery of going that high myself.

All of the Ortofon Quintet & Cadenza Series are between 5~7 ohms starting at $346 & their vintage SPUs (LOMC versions) are between 2~6 ohms starting at $599 👍