Pioneer PL630- upgrading the phono cable?

I have a Pioneer PL630 with an upgraded Audio Quest 404B (essentially a Hana Umami Red) Moving Coil cartridge. I still have the OEM phono cable and am considering replacing it with a higher end cable /ground to reduce RF interference and to lower capacitance, and provide the best possible signal to my Rega Aria preamp. Has anyone done this with their turntable (any higher end turntable) and does it provide a noticeable sonic improvement?


an upgraded Audio Quest 404B (essentially a Hana Umami Red) Moving Coil cartridge.


What does this mean? Is it lower output / impedance now?

No- this is more of a purist's question regarding the ability for me to perceive an audible difference if I replace the 44 year old OEM cable with a higher end aftermarket phono cable that offers better RF insulation, lower capacitance, and SUPPOSEDLY a more transparent sound to the preamp. 

For clarity, I replaced my Shure V-15 Type IV moving magnet cartridge with a much better Audio Quest Moving Coil cartridge.

Having low phono cable capacitance is important with MM cartridges, but it's not likely to be an issue with MC, unless perhaps you're using some odd cable. As for RF, you may get better results by using a shielded cable, but on the other hand you may not - the only way to know is to try.

If it's a cable that was OEM to go with the Pioneer TT, chances are that you can easily do better without spending a lot of money.  On the other hand, there is no urgency.  Why not listen to the OEM cable for a few weeks, then purchase a reasonable cost modern alternative?  Do you live in an area with high RF pollution?  If not, shielding may not be necessary, and without shielding, capacitance can be lower than with.  That's if capacitance is of concern.

@cleeds many MM want some cap while MC don't. So my experience is somewhat reversed.

@musicearlyadopter so your cart is a high output and not electrically similar to the Umami you reference? If so the reference was a distraction from the topic at hand.


I have upgraded phono cables in nice but non-audiophile turntables a couple times. I could never hear a difference. The last was in an AR turntable with a pretty good cartrige.

I am a big advocate of carefully choosing interconnects, cables, and power cords, and have done so multiple times over the last fifty years as I have built and upgraded my system.

That has been my experience. Yours could be different. It will also be depended on how good the rest of your system is.

Ghd, how can you say in the same post that you never heard a difference among phono cables and also that you’re a big advocate of carefully choosing interconnects, etc? Seems internally contradictory, especially since a phono cable might be expected to make the most difference due to its job description.

To all, thank you for your insights- I have elected to leave the OEM cable in place and listen to the cartridge when I receive it this weekend. It is a rebuit Audioquest 404B which was commissioned and made by made by Scantech (later renamed to Lyra). I am told that the generator in this cartridge is the same as a Hana Umami, which is why I even mentioned that as an aside.

Dear @musicearlyadopter  : Scan-Tech is whom build Lyra cartriodges under its specifications.

Your AQ cartridge was made it by Exel that not only makes Hana cartridges but many others marketed cartridges from several years. Exel has more than 40+ years designing and making cartridges. Exel is an excelent cartridge manufacturer.

Could be that your AQ has part of the Hana overall signature but certainly is not exactly as the Umami Red.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,



@musicearlyadopter  : Not all AQ cartridges were made by Exel, its latest top of theline Fe5 model was manufactured by Scan-Tech.



It is my understanding from reviewing the history of Audio Quest that they commissioned Scantech to make their very first MC cartridge - model AQ404B in 1982. It is good to learn that Excel had a role in later AQ models- thank you!

Geneology aside, how are you liking your cartridge with the OEM phono cables?

It is great- I am not sure my 70 year old ear could discern the difference in an upgraded audio cable- LOL!