Stellar Phono MM gain setting?

I have just received a new Stellar Phono and I am in the process of setting it up in my system. I am using a MM Nagaoka HP-150 cart which has an output voltage of 4.5mV. What gain setting would you recommend? And, what should I be listening for to determine what is the best setting?


I use the same Cart with the PSA Nuwave Phono Converter at the 5 mV setting, sounds great.

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If I remember correctly, in the manual it recommends what to select based on your type of cart, voltage, etc.

Somewhere around 40db should be enough for that cartridge so use the preset setting of 44db.

4.5mV is fairly high so I reckon you’ll be happy with it set at the low gain setting. If you have another source like a DAC, you’ll want the gain to be roughly the same. For example, if you like your preamp to be around 40 while you listen to your DAC, when you listen to your TT, you’ll want the level to be about the same and enjoy listening to the phono at 40 as well.


So, would there be any sound quality difference in the low vs medium setting. Or, is volume the only difference? With my previous phono (Schiit Mani) I would play the Stellar GCD at around 20-25 for critical listening. Looks like for about the same volume with the SPP at the low gain setting the SGCD will be in the 30-35 range.

How does the 5 mV setting on the Nuwave relate to the low/medium settings on the SPP?

You got it. All it’s doing is adjusting the gain added to the signal so it’s essentially just adjusting the volume.

It’s just a tad more gain than the medium on the SPP.


So, I guess I will probably set the SPP to the middle level gain, if there is no degradation in audio quality. That way, the volume on the SGCD will be more in line with what it is when I use digital sources. Thus, I won’t accidentally forget that I had the volume at 30+ and blast myself out when I go to a different source. Make sense?