It’s never easy. Does anyone here have experience with matching a Rega Aura phono stage to a PS Audio Signature preamp? If so, could you tell me what capacitance and load settings you use for the Aura? There are 25 possible combinations and, not being a very technical person, I’d like some advice on where to begin. I do know that adage “trust your ears” but I also know that “a stitch in time saves nine.” Thank you everyone!
what cartridge are you using?
You came to the right place. I have my Rega Aura wedded to my BHK Signature pre. I use the lowest 1000 pF setting and leave it be. The Aura is a MC only phono stage. Unlike MMs, MCs are relatively insensitive to capacitance. Shouldn’t stop you from experimenting if you wish to, but technically I don’t drive myself crazy with that setting since it isn’t particularly important. Also I should point out you inherit capacitance in your phono cable. MCs are much more sensitive to resistive load and only you can really determine what’s best based on the cartridge you are using. I’m currently using a Sumiko Starling and have settled on 300 ohms by ear. I already knew what the sweet spot was for the Starling from using it with a second phono stage I own. I did experiment with the Aura and found in the end essentially the same load that worked with my other phono stage works for the Aura. If you have experience with the cartridge you are using, start with that. If not, start with the manufacturers recommendation and fine tune from there.
I have found my MC to be highly reasponsive to capacitance. It serves as a treble control for my Soundsmith and Ortofon carts.
In my system, Rega Aura + BHK pre make a great analogue front end. Aura is fed be Rega P10 & Apheta 3, for which Rega recommends 100 ohms and 1000pf. Gain on the Aura is set to is set to 63.5 dB to guarantee zero distortion.
Thank you brother Serhan. You’ve given me a solid starting point! Could I ask you what you use for interconnects and speaker cables? I’m asking all this because though my Rega/PS Audio/Spendor D9 produces a great, quick sound spectrum, it is a little too airy and at times too bright. My listening space is pretty much neutral, so I’m about to start auditioning different connectors. How does your system sound?
Sounds like you have a top notch front end. Spendors D series received a lot of praise over the years. If they sound a tad bright, I would consider testing various tow-in angles. An acquaintance who owns a pair of D7 said they sound fine close to the wall because the port is a special design and opens at the lower back. I am yet to listen to them.
My current interconnects are AudioQuest Water XLR. Speaker cables are AudioQuest Robin Hood Zero. To me, are tonally neutral and natural. I tested the Aura with PS Audio AC3 power cord. There were improvements to timbre and bass clarity.
I hope this helps.
Brother. Your friends advice was correct. I pushed the D9s much closer to the wall than I ever would have considered and they settle right into my room’s acoustics without getting either flat or boomy. I owe you one.
Brother, I am humbled and glad things worked to your liking. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Beautiful, Serhan, thank you again. As for the weekend, it will be divided between hiking and listening to string quartets on my system, which you helped improve. Right now the lineup is Beethoven No. 15, Shostakovich No. 15, Faure E minor (his only one), and Gorecki No. 1. A cigar will no doubt be in the mix as well. Peace, brother. - Jim
Good stuff. I love chamber music too. The community would enjoy hearing about your classical choices on the classical:
Brother - Thank you for suggesting that I post something about the four quartets I have planned for the weekend. I didn’t know there was a thread for music reviews. Maybe I’ll even casually give an opinion on whatever cigar I choose. Something about the D9s that I did not address but that has come up in lots o’ threads: the tweeters can be bright for Spendor. The company’s upper range has always been a favorite of its speakers over the years. With the D9s, careful cable matching is required and, of course, room acoustics have to be taken into consideration. I have very good high-frequency hearing and an active room. In the end, I settled on Cardas Clear throughout (interconnects and speaker cables) and Luna Orange power cables to my amp and preamp. What I wound up with is a beautifully balanced sound with speed, punch and depth. That’s all I have to say for now - I need to go outside and work off some energy.
Regarding Rega Aura Phono output to PS Audio BHK Line stage input I’m partial to the very high quality unbalanced cables provided with the Aura. My high quality balanced interconnects sounded a tad bright to me as well.
Given my Dynaudio speakers use fabric dome tweeters, I did not have any issues with copper XLR interconnects from Aura to BHK preamp.