Rega P10/Apheta 3 connected to Luxman EQ-500.

I recently acquired a Luxman EQ-500 phono stage and connected it to my Rega P10/Apheta 3 turntable. For those of you who are using the same combination, or have used the combo, can someone please tell me what should be the settings on the Luxman front panel? I'm a newbie to the analog world and do not want to accidentally damage anything. Any best practices that you have will also be appreciated.




I've had my P10 with an Apheta 3 MC and EQ-500 for over 2 years.  The EQ-500 has 2 controls that affect the overall gain.  One control has 3 settings: MM, MC-HIGH, and MC-LOW.  The other control is the gain control and it has 3 settings: 36dB, 38dB and 40dB.

The MC-LOW (for low output MC cartridges) will give you the highest gain.  The MC-LOW setting will provide 63 dB of gain when the gain is set at 36dB.  If you want the highest gain, you would set the gain at 40dB and use the MC-LOW setting for 67dB of gain.  The MC-HIGH (for high output MC cartridges) setting only provides 55dB at a gain setting of 36dB and 59dB when the gain is set to 40dB.  I'm getting these values straight off of page 11 in the owners manual.

I use the MC-LOW setting and 40dB of gain for a total gain of 67dB.  I could set it lower at 63dB (gain set at 36dB) but I like to have my digital and analog volume close when switching between the two.  If you use the MC-HIGH setting, I don't think you'll have enough gain at any of the 3 gain settings. 

I just tried the setting MC-HIGH and confirmed that it's not the right setting for the Apheta 3.  The sound was muted and less dynamic versus the MC LOW setting.

I have the exact same set up except with P8.

The alpheta 3 has a recommended input load impedance of 100 ohms. According to the EQ-500 manual the input impedance on the MC low setting is 2.5 ohms. Is this a mismatch to be concerned about?

the maximum capacitance setting on the EQ-500 is also 300 pF but the recommended setting per Rega for the Alphets 3 is 1000 pF. Is this a potential issue with sound quality? I have mine set to the 300 pF max.




I am using the balanced out on the EQ-500 and have plenty of gain on either MC low or high. It seems like the 40 ohm indicated for the high setting would be a closer match to Rega Alpheta 3 recommended settings?

the input impedance on the MC low setting is 2.5 ohms. 

No it is not.

When Luxman says the MC Low is 2.5 ohms they are referring to the cartridge's internal impedance, not the load the cartridge sees. The internal impedance of the Apheta is 10 ohms.

It seems like the 40 ohm indicated for the high setting would be a closer match to Rega Alpheta 3 recommended settings?

Not necessarily.

The Luxman MC inputs are designed for low impedance ( 2.5 ohms ) and high impedance ( 40 ohms ) cartridges.

Examples of low impedance cartridges are Koetsu's 3-5 ohms, Mysonic Lab 2-3 ohms.

Examples of high impedance cartridges are Denon 103 ( 40 ohms ).

Since the Rega APHETA 3 is 10 ohms, the low MC setting is probably closer to ideal. The Rega needs to see 100 ohms - try measuring the input impedance on the phono to see what the load really is on the "2.5 ohm" setting.

In reality as mentioned above, getting the gain right is as important as load, so nothing wring with trying the different settings and using your ears to decide the optimum settings.


Thanks clarifying Dover. I will measure to get actual on the 2.5 setting.

I can’t hear much difference in sound quality between the Low and high MC settings just a bit of gain difference so I will likely run at low as recommended. I have to be cognizant of too much gain in my system as the Cary SLP-05/pass X250 combo has alot of gain even for my relatively inefficient speakers. I am still running through threads trying to wrap my head around cartridge loading and impedance settings and how they are reported by the manufacturers.