Seeking opinions about phono specific interconnects

To start with, I am not in the crowd that opposes using cables as tone controls, so let's let that subject lie dormant (I'm also not in the analytical purist crowd). What I'm interested in here is getting suggestions for a phono cable that might tame an Audio Technica AT-MONO3/LP cartridge without making the sound soft. I find that a Cardas Clear Cygnus phono cable is just too soft sounding. I'll add that I am exceptionally sensitive to higher frequencies due to having Hyperacusis. That sensitivity is the reason for the question.

I suppose that a possible alternative is a different cartridge. Might that be a better solution?

Ag insider logo xs@2xmwh777

IMO, for you, the best solution would be a multi-band equalizer.

I would start with an inexpensive one, if happy with the effect, keep looking for one that fits your system best and perhaps higher quality

If nothing else, you will have learned which frequencies need taming for you, that helps when evaluating models of cartridges/cables/phono stages/any component you might consider in the future. 


Does your preamp have two outputs? Put eq between preamp/amp after riaa eq has occured.

Do you have a tape loop to try an equalizer in/out of circuit?


Phono stage is a Manley Chinook. The existing cart is a high output moving coil (1.2 mv). The recommended load is 400-47,000 ohms. I usually prefer the lowest setting to minimize brightness. A similar example is that for moving magnet carts I usually set the capacitance below the spec. amount, again to reduce brightness. Don't forget that I am very much more sensitive to brightness than nearly all other people.



Your suggestion is a good consideration as a tool for learning purposes. I may just look into the idea.

here’s a dbx 31 band, free shipping, 30 day return

IF you like it, remember it is used. I would buy it and the Rockwell. IF the DBX is totally quiet, then keep one, return the other.

after using a couple in the past, I realized: t's a mistake to try and get perfectly flat, messing with each band. Just find the ones that make a difference for you.


You couls get an inexpensive sound meter, and a good CD (not LP) with individual frequencies, tripod mount, seated ear level,

you will learn more about your speakers and their interaction with the room. you might use the equalizer to solve a peak or dip that is occurring 


This one is most tempting, flat bypass; 4 memories; spectrum analyzer, tape loops.

I would still buy/keep/return the NEW Rockwell.

originally came with both a MIC, and Remote Control, you would need to confirm with seller, they might not even be aware of those.





Try the bluejeans phono cables. Excellent and inexpensive. No brainer to see if it will make a positive difference for you.


Before you start buying equipment and cables why don’t you just adjust the VTA/SRA and / or do the most simple adjustment of the VTF (cartridge weight) you will be so surprised how much you can change the sound. My personal recommendation would be pay a professional like to make sure your cartridge is setup properly. Also, Now that the weather might be changing where you live you might want to check and see if your turntable is level. The easiest/ cheapest way is buy a ball bearing and put it on the platter. Adjust until it doesn’t move. If you do not have feet that can adjust use playing cards and sheets of paper. I hope this helped. 

OP's Hearing Problem will not be relieved by refining VTA, .....

"I'll add that I am exceptionally sensitive to higher frequencies due to having Hyperacusis"


Equalizer Inputs/Outputs: check,

Some, like the Rockville have XLR and/or MIC jacks, no RCA. for those, XLR/RCA adapters can be used

Others, Like the BSR have RCA in/out

Someone alerted me to this discussion thread, as hsounds mentioned the service I provide,

Upgrading tonearm cables can help, but it is likely the icing on the cake, not the way to achieve substantially better performance. I've been setting up 'tables for many years, and these days hardly anything fazes me. I dial in everything, and the lack of noise, width and depth of the soundstage, richness and dynamics can be dramatic in most cases. It's worth it on almost any rig costing say $2k or more. I've worked on turntable systems worth well over $150k down to a $200 Crosley integrated -- the young lady with the latter expressed elation with the sound, which is what it's all about.

I travel a fair amount. I just got back from doing a setup in southern California and am likely to be going back that way soon to do more. I'm driving to the Tampa show next week (I'll be spending time in the Convergent Audio Technology room if you're there, would enjoy meeting you), doing setups at the show and en route before and afterward. It's so rewarding to see happy clients, and they tend to be really fine people. As a result I get referrals and repeat clients.

Brian Walsh / TTsetup