Tavish Adagio, Parasound JC3+, JC3 Jr or something else in the $1.5K - $3K

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by TheVinylAddict, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. AvFan

    AvFan Well-Known Member

    Six months ago I was on the wait list for a Tavish Adagio and considered buying a JC3 Jr but ultimately decided on neither. I eventually bought a used Sutherland PH3D preamp and two very nice SUTs: the K&K Audio Lundahl LL1931 and a Hashimoto HM-3. I have wired both to allow load plugs on the secondary side of the transformers for ultimate loading flexibility. This proved more important to me than the convenience of having a load knob on the front of the unit like the Adagio. The Sutherland PH3D is powered by batteries so negates the advantages of the Adagio's outboard power supply. I had fun installing the SUTs in new matching enclosures with custom engraving and some walnut sides. I'm happy with the Sutherland/Lundahl or Sutherland/Hashimoto combos and their ability to handle a variety of cartridges.
     
  2. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    Very cool I have heard about the Ph3d as being quite the preamp......

    I have never tried a stage powered by battery --- how long do they last before needing changing? What size battery does it take?
     
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  3. AvFan

    AvFan Well-Known Member

    There is an engineering elegance to Sutherland's preamps that I think translates to good sound. Setting the PH3D at MM gain and then adding a SUT for MC duty provides lots of flexibility for a variety of cartridges. The phono side of my rig is absolutely silent. Sutherland recommends replacing the 16 D-cell batteries used in the PH3D annually.
     
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  4. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    @Pythonman @4011021 and other JC3+ owners - any of you run the JC3+ on balanced / XLR cables, in addition to trying and comparing to the unbalanced / RCA?

    I asked because for the gain of course Parasound has it listed at MM 48Db and MC 64 Db --- but they don't specify if that is for balanced or unbalanced? And if it is the spec for unbalanced what would that mean for XLR (seems like the gain would be excessive then?)

    By comparison the JC3 Jr shows two sets of specs for both balanced and unbalanced ---- and the balanced is shown as +6 Db across the board over unbalanced. Adding 6Db to the JC3+ would be astronomical gain in both MM and MC (54Db and 70Db)

    So what is the story on this? I am pondering purchasing but want to run it balanced ..........
     
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  5. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    I’ve tried both and it’s 6 dB louder at least on the JC3 + with the balanced. I’m assuming it is louder than 48(mm) and the 64(Mc). Through balanced my Hi output 2mv Hana is too loud.
     
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  6. ggergm

    ggergm you can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd

    Location:
    Minnesota
    I don't know about the JC3+ specifically, but having 6dB more gain on a mixing board's balanced outputs versus its 1/4" jacks is awful common in my experience.

    A little research says that same 6dB difference is built into my JC3. At least that's what another owner on your basic, misc. Internet discussion group has posted.

    And like with the JC3+, my owner's manual doesn't say if its gain specs are through the balanced or unbalanced outputs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
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  7. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    I am assuming on MM it is too loud? I would assume it would scream and be way too loud on MC with 64db gain even on unbalanced!

    If this is the case and the spec is for unbalanced (48db / 64 Db) I am now realizing running it on balanced will be way too much gain for the 4mv MMs and even the 0.4mv MCs I was thinking of running on it.

    It would be nice if the JC3+ had configurable gain options like the Jr. One of the biggest negative points on the JC3 (the first version - non +) was the 68Db was too much gain....... although trimmed to 64db in the + version it appears if running balanced it will still be too much. Of course it is cartridge dependent - but most of my MM's are in the 4mv range and my MC's are mostly 0.3mv to 0.4mv.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  8. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    Yes, the 6db is common - but what wasn't clear was whether the 48db / 64db spec on the JC3+ was for balanced or unbalanced - and the reason for the post. ON the JC3 Jr spec they showed both balanced and unbalanced specs.

    EDIT: I see you've edited your post since I posted..... :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
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  9. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    I emailed Parasound once asking if the gain values were for balanced or unbalanced and had no response.

    My cartridge is a Nagaoka MP-500 Moving Iron 3mV output. I tried both balanced and unbalanced and prefer RCA. I keep both cables connected into different analog inputs in my Halo but XLR is too loud and I never use it. RCA sounds amazing.

    My VM540ML which is 4mV plays great too.
     
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  10. ggergm

    ggergm you can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd

    Location:
    Minnesota
    My guess the JC3+ spec is through its unbalanced output. Otherwise, the JC3 Jr would have more gain than the JC3+, which would make no sense.
     
  11. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    And also fits with the Stereophile review of the original JC3, high gain through balanced and half that through single ended... The voltage gain measured at the balanced outputs was both higher than specified and on the high side in absolute terms, at 57.4dB moving-magnet and 77.4dB moving-coil.
     
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  12. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    I recall now you and I had a PM exchange on this a while back --- just went back and looked --- and we concluded at that time that it was probably an unbalanced spec.

    Now with yours and @Pythonman 's feedback it is now crystal clear -- if planning to use the JC3+ on XLR better to have low MM or MC cartridges. (like 2.5mv or less MM or 0.25mv or less MC).

    I am now thinking if I were to get one, it would be with the plan of unbalanced only.

    That is insanely high for mainstream cartridges --- I have read a lot of reviews about the original JC3 having too much gain, especially on MC, but was not certain about the 3+.
     
  13. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    @4011021 I am now balking at purchasing it (again) --- I assume you are still loving yours??

    I had designs about using it on balanced, but it is not a requirement......... still considering.........
     
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  14. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    I read a lot about it. It seems like it is not uncommon for higher end phono stages to have lots of gain. I've seen more expensive stages with even more gain. I suppose they have a very good overload margin and are designed to fit in a chain that can deal with them. The JC3 had 68dB MC and the JC3+ reduced to 64dB, but the JC3+ has 48dB in the MM stage and the JC3 was a bit less, 47dB, MM gain was increased in the new model. I think John Curl belongs to a high gain old school of designers. The RCA cables sound amazing so I wouldn't even bother trying XLR. I did because I didn't know what to expect but it was a waste of money in the MM stage with my cartridges.
     
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  15. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    Thanks....... good points and feedback...... appreciate your thoughts as always. :)

    I have an Accuphase C-2410 preamp coming next week and want to experiment with a couple of top end phono stages and amps in conjunction with it. I plan on also buying the AD-2810 or AD-2820 phono module that plugs into the C-2410 --- that will be fun to compare with the bevvy of phono stages I have and still am amassing :)!! I have no idea what to expect with the Accuphase avenue (yet) but it will be much more meaningful if I had some things to compare it to. I have an A21 amp, but will also be trying out the Accuphase P-4200 amp to compare there too.

    Anyway slightly off topic -------- but I have come back to this well many times and every time I do my extensive reading always has me tempted on the JC3+ ---- again.
     
  16. ggergm

    ggergm you can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd

    Location:
    Minnesota
    According to the spec sheets, the JC3+ has 2dB less gain than the JC3.

    I have found Nirvana with my JC3 using a very low output moving coil, one with its output in that 0.25mv range. I think that's what the JC3, in all three of its incarnations, is designed for. The phono stage's massive amount of clean, low noise gain works perfectly with cartridges like that.

    I don't know if you've seen this discussion, @TheVinylAddict, but I had to build an attenuator to make my JC3 sound good with a Plinius integrated amp I used in the past. I think your concerns here are very valid. :agree:
     
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  17. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    @4011021 --- if you eer think about upgrading your HINT --- take a look at a used Accuphase E-460 or E-470 --- I was thinking of your setup the other day when I was looking at the specs for that one... ... :)
     
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  18. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Another option for those just interested in MC carts without any adjustments (I know, probably not you :)) is the Benz Micro Lukaschek PP-1 T9, super dedicated to this one specific function, but very nicely implemented in an old-school way, and some great deals when they come up used, I'd probably get one if I didn't have my Conrad Johnson gear, and my highly modified Musical Surroundings Phonomena II+ ... I think our buddy here @Scott in DC still runs with one ...

    Benz Micro T9 Phono Preamp with case, literature, and Benz Micro Power Cord
     
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  19. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    Yes I’m using the high output Hana SH through the MM input. And it sounds fantastic through the JC3 +. I’ll try the balanced inputs if I get a very low output moving coil. It’s a versatile phono stage for sure.
     
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  20. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    Thanks but I think I'll keep it for a long time. My analog chain sounds fantastic.
     
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  21. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    The Parasound Hint 6 got a stellar review in the newest Stereophile.
     
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  22. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    Is this review online? Couldn't find it.
    When searching, I found the What HiFi? review. They gave the HINT 6 four stars out of five. The HINTO had five. They took a star off because they thought that it basically sounds as good as the original HINT but at a higher price where it has some stronger competition.
    Parasound Halo Integrated review | What Hi-Fi?
    Parasound HINT 6 review | What Hi-Fi?
     
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  23. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    It’s in the Follow-Up column on page 120 of the Stereophile May 2019 issue. Ken Micallef did the review.
     
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  24. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    I found a deal I could not refuse on the JC3+, so I took the plunge and bought one!

    It should be arriving this week I will update with pics later on. Not much time to reply today as the rest of the day running meetings, then I have to finish my taxes tonight but I thought I would update on the purchase!
     
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  25. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    Nice, let us know
     
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