learning what a huge difference cartridge loading makes!

As many of you know, I recently upgraded from my well modified Jolida JD9 to a  Pass Labs XP-15 phono pre.  Going through the XP-15 set up process for my Talisman V2 gold cartridge, I discovered what a huge difference in staging and articulation that a change of just 25 to 50 ohms makes.  It got me wondering how many systems/ cartridges that I've heard over the years, that I didn't like, were the result of a poor match in the phono pre?

I moved the Jolida to my man cave system, which uses a MM cartridge,  bypassing the built in phono pre in the receiver and got a significantly better sound there also.

Evidently, never gave load matching the attention that it deserved.... my system, your results may vary...  

Hi, Jim,

To really get a sense of the effect of resistance loading on a LOMC cartridge, try the extremes, and the (available) increments between them. You'll find that the optimal loading for your system becomes clear. The trick is to listen to a variety of music at each setting. Take some time to listen for impressions of the overall sound, and the nuances of tonal balance, soundstage, articulation, etc.; unless it sounds awful, then quickly move on. '-)  



Since you are into modding, I would suggest that when you have determined the loading you like, change the loading resistors to Vishay VAR. Give it an hour for your ears to adjust to everything you are hearing (and not hearing!), and enjoy, enjoy.

A word though: VAR resistors are about the most fragile things you are likely to have worked with. If you must bend a lead, use pliers on the resistor end to immobilize the resistor-lead junction, otherwise you will have a useless blob or two. Good luck!