low output mc: noise free listening possible?

I'm considering buying a low output mc cartidge of 0.2 millivolt. This faint signal needs a high gain of 60 dB or even more.

Which phono-amplifiers are capable of delivering a noise free signal. Or do I have to accept a certain level of phono-noise?
I run a Denon DL-304 MC which has a .2mv output into a Pass XONO phono preamp. There is plenty of gain and no noise.
No noise (at all) from my Modwright SWLP (separate power supply).

No noise from my Lehmann SE. Through Audio Mirror PP1 linestage side or through Crimson Electric 510.

Slight background buzz at relatively high levels with Audio Mirror PP1 noticeable between tracks. Power supply on chassis with tubes, etc. Price compromise on a good sounding line stage tube pre.

Lesson - watch out for placement of power supply with tube pre's and phono stages. On that latter PP1 the overall benefits of the pre make the compromise acceptable...

Using DL103 and GAS Sleeping Beauty alternately, both relatively low output.

BTW XONO's freekin awesome too.


For an output that low, I would go solid state and look for a gain structure around 65dB (or more).

That's not to say a tubed phono stage can't work but you'll need to be careful with your choice.

Regarding your cartridge, if you take any 10 solid state phono stages there's a good chance they will be quieter than their 10 tubed counterparts.