SuperLine Loading Thread.

Posted by: Julian H on 26 April 2008

Since there are now a few SUPERLINE's about and many are expecting them shortly I thought it would be a good idea to have a thread where we could all contribute our experiences.

Please keep all discussions on topic. The ultimate intention is to have a database of users opinion for each of the various cartridges being used.
Posted on: 26 April 2008 by Adam Meredith
A little note - (from S.S.): -

"The prototypes had 1nF not 1uF i.e. 1000x smaller than he states.
The production units have 100pF built in, that's 10,000x smaller than he says.
If you add the 1nF load plug the combined capacitance is 1.1nF
If you don't have a cap load plug the cartridge sees 100pF"
Posted on: 26 April 2008 by kuma
A good idea Julian.

I'd also think that it would be helpful if a SuperLine owner states the system make up including arm & table choices, of course.

I'd think that the loading can vary to some degree depending on the system and owner's sonic preference.
Posted on: 26 April 2008 by Cymbiosis
A very good idea Julian Smile

Currently, best results I have gained with the Dynavector TK Rua and XV1-s are with a 470R plug and no capacitance plug fitted. (LP12/ARO/Geddon)

Best results with Akiva so far are having the 560R plug fitted and the 1nF plug. (LP12/Lingo/Ekos Se/Keel)

Currently I have about half a dozen different resistive loading plug values additional to what you will currently find in a Superline box (many thanks to Steve S) I'd just like to evaluate another couple of values first and then I'll be in a position to post about my findings.

Kind regards,

Posted on: 29 April 2008 by Action
Hi all
Ive started running my 17dmk2 at 500r in the r socket with no cap loading.Sounds stunning to say the least.May change at a laater date after superline has burnt in but will keep you posted.
thx all
Posted on: 29 April 2008 by Julian H
Hi Mike

You should try the 5.6nF plug combined with the 500ohms one; this gets you nearer to the "S" boards recommended for Dynavector cartridges previously. Also, I assume there is a 470ohm resistance plug on its way to you?

Posted on: 29 April 2008 by Action
sunds like a new cartridge anyway!!!
did you let yours burn in or did you go straight for those settings
thx again
Posted on: 29 April 2008 by Fozz
with the Rua I left it on 470R and briefly tried the low cap plugs. did not like as much so left it to burn in with no cap plug at all. Peter of Cymbiosis may have a suggestion for starting values for the 17dmk2.
Posted on: 29 April 2008 by Action
The loadings im using are his base settings .He is going to play around over the next 8-10 days and come back with some new values.peter asked me not to reveal anything else about his current experiments.sorry
Posted on: 29 April 2008 by Fozz
and related to that I wonder why Naim decided to use fixed value plugs. would it not have been possible to have some form of variable resistor/cap?
Posted on: 29 April 2008 by Action
Who knows?? what goes on in salsbury,but this is a gem of a box and the experts if left alone will soon sort it out for us mere mortals
now just one more lp then bedtime
see you in 8-10 days
Posted on: 02 May 2008 by tonym
I'm currently using a 500R with my TK Rua. Sounds pretty fab., but I know Dr P. & Jon Honeyball found the 470R better with Jon's XV1s.

I haven't got a 470R yet to experiment with, but anyway I'm surprised 30 ohms should make that much difference.
Posted on: 02 May 2008 by Cymbiosis
Originally posted by tonym:
I haven't got a 470R yet to experiment with, but anyway I'm surprised 30 ohms should make that much difference.

So was I Tony, but both Jon and I were left in no doubt through his system.

I am currently experimenting with values between the 220R supplied as standard with the Superline and the 470R special with the XV1-s and TK Rua as perhaps we may get better results?
Dynavector say one can load them down to 30 ohms and the 17D3 100 ohms. Personally, I found the sound with the 220R loading not as good as the 470R hence why I'm now looking at values in between.

I'll post my findings soon.

Kind regards,

Posted on: 02 May 2008 by David Dever
am currently experimenting with values between the 220R supplied as standard with the Superline and the 470R special with the XV1-s and TK Rua as perhaps we may get better results?
Dynavector say one can load them down to 30 ohms and the 17D3 100 ohms. Personally, I found the sound with the 220R loading not as good as the 470R hence why I'm now looking at values in between.

Agreed–we used a TK Rua at CES with one of the pre-production SuperLines* at 500R||1nF, good but not perfect–the 220R||no capacitance plugs were a bit warmer, fleshing out guitars and drums, but transients began to suffer....using small-enough resistors (twisted together if necessary at one end), one could easily sort out a load anywhere between a nominal 330R and 400R.

Using an XX2mkII at home presently, but a TK Rua might be my next cart!

* - Pre-production units had capacitive and resistive loading ganged by channel (left CR, right CR) rather than by type (left R/right R, left C/right C).
Posted on: 02 May 2008 by Doughty38
Whilst my Ortofon Rohmann is being fettled by Expert Stylus i'm using a Denon 304 with excellent results with a 500R plug and no capacitance. I will post my findings once the Rohmann is reinstalled and I've played around with the loading.

Lp12,EkosSE,Lingo2,Cetech subchassis and armboard)
Posted on: 02 May 2008 by packerman
I got mine too today as well. Must be flooding out of Salisbury now.
Has anyone tried it with a Benz LP and Avid please.
I think Naim used it with a Benz LP at one of the shows so what did Naim use please.
I started off at 500? and 5.6 nF and will wait a bit to get used to it before experimenting.
Got to wait two weeks for LP 12 to be deprefixed and XV 1S to be installed in that deck.

Posted on: 02 May 2008 by Doughty38
Just put a 470R plug in the Superline with my "lowly" Denon DL304 (in place of the 500R). Wow!! It may only be a 30R difference but the difference is significant. I feel a late night of music playing developing.

LP12/Ekos SE/Cetech/Lingo2
Posted on: 03 May 2008 by JeremyB
Ok so far:
Helikon Mono 1k no cap sounds fab.
Koetsu Onyx (current low output version) 100R (no cap) but a little "soft" 220R is too "hard" (distorted?). I am pretty sure I need something in between - 150R? Not sure what the procedure is, will check.
Posted on: 05 May 2008 by Julian H
After nearly two weeks since my Superline and (new) Akiva installation I thought I would post some thoughts. I must stress that the following are my preferences in what is a very revealing active system. All references are back to the 560+1 combination.

220 only – flat, muddled, a bit like owning a lesser cartridge.
500 only – appears to be holding back a bit, a slight veil to the music, less depth
500+1 – music appears to be going away from me, lost all sparkle
560 only – a bit hifi, music appears a little less passionate.
560+1 – the most enjoyable homogenous performance
560+5.6 – leading edge definition is lost, bass is soft and looses vitality/drive
560+10 – you’re havin’ a larf
500+220 – extremely detailed but thin

The music for this experiment was the rather wonderful (and beautifully recorded) Tears of Joy by Antonio Forcione.

It’s interesting that after a few hours experimentation how immediately obvious the differences are between (most of) the plug combinations.

The difference between the 560 only and 560+1 is not an easy, carte blanche answer. I imagine some, with less revealing systems, would prefer the 560 alone which gives the cartridge a little more lift. However, the 560+1 works best for me.

If I only had the 500 plug I guess I would have been quite happy with the performance over the Prefix but having heard the lift you get with the 560 all I can say is THANKYOU NAIM. Big Grin

Posted on: 05 May 2008 by Cymbiosis
At last some time to post Smile:

My findings below are not complete as yet as I am awaiting a 430R which being only a little less than the 470R is going to be very interesting with the Dynavectors in particular!

I think with Julian's excellent post above, we now have enough information to point you all in the right direction.

I'll copy as far as I can, Julians general bullet point layout for ease of reading - More follows shortly:


1K only - Bright, in one's face but tuneful and detailed.
560 only - Better than 1K, sweeter, more tuneful, very detailed, excellent dynamics.
500 only - Sounds tamed versus the 560, lost the edge, slightly veiled, not as musical.
470 only - Flatter, loss of detail and dynamics, a bit ploddy as compared to the above. Yawn.
390 only - Flatter still, more loss of detail, slow - not the way to go, loading wise.
320 only - Even flatter, slower, everythin becoming rather indistinct. Confirmed this is the wrong direction to follow.
220 only - Didn't bother.

Given the 560R was so much better, I have limited myself to checking the capacative loadings with this resistive value only so far. These comments are in relation to 560R and no cap loading:

560 +10nF - Everything sounds tubby, more rounded, slower less tuneful, thick.
560 +5.6nF - Everything sounds a bit more veiled, a bit more rounded, less punch, not as musical, but much better than 10nF*
560 +1nf - Fantastic! everything has clicked into place for me, so musical, bounce, punch, attack, detail all better than before. Musically wonderfully satisfying - could listen for hours Cool

* If I remember rightly, this is the K loading but I preferred less capacitance!

I used a selection of music from the following albums:

Grace Jones, Nightclubbing.
Norah Jones, Come Away with me.
Massive Attack 100th Window.
John Lee Hooker, The Healer
Simple Minds, Street Fighting Years.
Susanne Vega, Solitude Standing
Stone Roses, The Second Comming.
Rush, A Farewell to Kings.
Pink Floyd, Final Cut
And a couple of others that now escape me!

Now on to the Dynavectors.

Kind regards,

Posted on: 05 May 2008 by Cymbiosis
My findings with the TK Rua:

1K only - Rather in one's face, detailed and tuneful but a tad splashy, difficult to settle to as it's a bit too much for me. "Hi-Fi" - oh yes!
500R only - This is better, sweeter, cleaner, punchy, energetic and tuneful. Detailed. Less Hi-Fi more music.
470R only - Better still, more tuneful, everything flows better than before, excellent dynamics and punch. Everything seems to be in sharper focus than before. Every one just seems to be playing better!
390R only - It's slower, a bit restrained, polite. Nice, but not that nice. It seems to do pretty much everything the 470R does but less so - I'm not as keen as with the 470R, but this could possibly help if one has a rather strident sounding system. Dare I say an Olive system with IBL's in a bright room?... If you get my drift! Still very tunefull but just has lost it for me. Note to self..... must try something between 390R and 470R.
330R only - Flatter, slower, restrained, less musical - heading in the wrong direction here.
270R only - Flatter still, slower, a bore.
220R only - Didn't bother.

Adding capacitance: Well, I tried all three loadings on the 500R and 470R and the results were very consistant: The more you add the warmer, veiled, stodgier and thicker the sound gets. I'd say anyone wanting to try this should restrict themselves to the 1nF as any more seems OTT to me! Smile

My findings with the XV1-s loadings were exactly as with the TK Rua in as much as easily the best results were obtained with the 470R with the 500R following some way behind. However, the XV1-s performance was really in a different league to the dear old TK Rua. I really couldn't believe just how much of a difference the Superline was showing me between these two different cartridges. The Superline is a truly remarkable phono stage and when listening recently I was minded to remember that I perhaps rashly compared the differences I heard between the Prefix and Superline to the differences heard when comparing the 252 to the 552 in a recent Forum posting! Well, no, in retrespect I may have been rash, but I don't think I was wrong at all. The Superline realy has moved the bar up not by inches, but by yards Eek (not centimetres but by meters for those metric one's amongst us).

I used a selection of music from the following albums:

Grace Jones, Nightclubbing.
Norah Jones, Come Away with me.
Massive Attack 100th Window.
John Lee Hooker, The Healer
Simple Minds, Street Fighting Years.
Susanne Vega, Solitude Standing
Stone Roses, The Second Comming.
Rush, A Farewell to Kings.
Pink Floyd, Final Cut
And a couple of others that now escape me!

System used for most of the evaluations: Superline, SNAXO Burndy, Supercap, 552, 300 and Kudos C20's

The turntables: LP12, Keel, Ekos Se, Akiva, Lingo 2. LP12, Aro, Heavy counterweight, Dynavector TK Rua and XV1-s with Armageddon.

I hope you find these observations useful and can use them as a guide within your systems. Smile

Kind regards,


P.S. Why did I use the C20's? Well, practicality and I like them alot, they were easier to set back up in the demo room following customer demonstrations than say SL2's. The rest of the equipment was left warmed up on two Fraims for the entire duration of the test's.
Posted on: 06 May 2008 by Cymbiosis
Thanks very much for your kind words guys Smile However, it is a labour of love so I'd be doing it anyway! Big Grin

Originally posted by dsteady:

We used the 500R and 1nF primarily with the TKR. Connon also had a Transfiguration Orpheus which was very nice, but didn't - for me - quite justify the cost doubling over the TKR. Perhaps it'll respond better to a different loading. The Orpheus may have been more tuneful in some instances, but the TKR seemed to carry greater emotion, as well as having a sort of expansiveness that I find I like. The TKR and C20s are a great match.

Hi Daniel,

I can understand your cap loading with the TKR when using the 500R, as with the 500R the TKR's presentation was a tad brighter and more forward than with the 470R.... with this load I didn't feel I needed any cap loading plugs in place as the internal loading sounded great.

Both 500R and 470R were wonderful musically and I just wanted to sit back and enjoy the music rather than get on with the listening tests in hand....Ho, hum Roll Eyes However, IMHO it really clicks with the 470R!

Certainly the 430R test plug I have arriving soon will be an interesting comparison against my current TKR & XV1-S favorite, the 470R!

Glad you like your C20's and now see if you can lay your hands on a 470R!

Kind regards,

Posted on: 07 May 2008 by randywong
Can the Superline suitable for MM cartridge? Please advise the loading if it can be used (Rega-Exact, output: 6.8~7.2mV).

Thanks n rgds,
Posted on: 07 May 2008 by BigH47
No MC only IFAIK
Posted on: 08 May 2008 by kuma
OK. It's the start of my experiments:

Here are all the loading plugs that come with the SuperLine.

As Peter suggested elsewhere, apparently, you can obtain 560R and 470R Resistive plugs available upon request.

The back of the Superline.

This is the panel that wobbles. I don't recommend undo the transit screws ( x 2 ) whilst the unit is upside down. :x

Here's the system:
A non-cirkused LP12/Lingo I ( no filter )/ARO/Miyabi 47.
driving a 52 & CB 140 ( replacement for a Nait 3R )
My reference phonostage has been a 47Labs Phonocube with a double power supplies taking the advantage of its dual mono cct. ( just as the SuperLine )
So far this combination was the winner over others I have on hand. It sort of makes sense because the phonostage was specifically made for the cartridge. ( much like the Akiva/Linto thing )
Altho, I have used a Linto with the Miaybi occasically for the fone listening because much like the Stageline/Prefix, the Phonocube suffers from some RFI via a high sensitivity headfones.

Both units sit on the Mana reference top for the time being.
The Superline is powered directly off the 52 making a simple and compact. ( an extra boxes are NAHA and a CB HiCap )

None of the new *fancy* cables are used. Every cables are stock. They do make a worthwhile difference but since I am using a stock cables on the Phonocube, I am keeping them the same for now.

Here's my starting point for the loading.
A 220R for the resistive loading ( left ), none for the capacitive ( right ).

I am not sure if there will be a consensus in loading options even for the same cartridge since a system make up would influence greatly. Not to mention subjective preference and probably my findings will be pretty useless for anyone else. I'm probably the only one running a Sondek with a Miyabi/47.

But I am curious to find out how SuperLine does with the Miyabi 47/'Cube as well as the Phonosophie No.3 with the Akiva/Linto.

Nothing else it would be fun for me. Big Grin
Posted on: 09 May 2008 by kuma
Preliminary Findings:

I have throughly geeked out for the night and I haven't even gone through all the combinations.
I stuck mainly with a 220R resistor.
My starting point was with no cap. So any impression belows are against the 220R/No cap which meant that every time I changed the plugs, I had to go back to the original setting and then do it again. ( ABA unless change was so drastic, no need to go back to it )

• Even slower. The music lost all the punctuations. Note blends in. Bleh.


• Slower and bland. A note sort of blend in and nothing particularly interesting going on.
• Transients are softened a bit.
• No tonal balance change. It just sounds softer

220R/5.6nF **
• A better pacing but not as good as the original setting in terms of timing.
• Much more focused than the 10nF setting.

Moving on to other Resistor plugs. I kept the cap plug empty. ( need more exploring there )

500R/No cap
• Bright!
• Quite noticeable sibilance
• Somewhat musted lower register making the bass line muddy. Sounding like a cable running on a wrong direction.
• Lose any tension or pouse in the music. Guitar plucks lose any kinda life.
• Just boring and timing is so messed up

100R/No cap
• Better than the 500R and firmer grip in the midbass but not anywhere near the control and linearity of 220R/No cap.
• Recessed midrange. No sense of immediacy or tactile feel. where's the vocalist? Too distant.

375R/No cap
Some experimental in between 220R/500R resistors.
• A bit more fleshed out than the original setting but less open
• Bass goes softer, too. Overall mellower and not enough kick for me.

So far, a 220R/No cap is still my reference point.
Against the Phonocube, it does better in terms of bass linearity and overall noise floor. It's undeniably the Naim sound we love.
The Miyabi/47 can sound rather heavy weighted on the bottom with the wrong loading or other phonostages. The SuperLine balances out and shapes up through Miyabi's frequency range nicely.

What is surprising is that it images further back than the 'Cube. I don't mind a bit more of a forward midrange and image presence particularly for the vocals. I realise that this is partially due to the WATT 6 where the midrange is recessed compared to Naim speakers or other UK monitors.

I like the organic natural feel the Phonocube creates with the Miyabi/47. I would like to see a bit of that from the current setting.
To be continued...

Records Used
Unlike Julian H's list, the records I used are not well-recorded except the Art of Noise. But those are the tunes I enjoy listening over and over for a comparison.

Michael White: the X Factor

Jose Feliciano:Self Titled

Ramsey Lewis: Les Fleurs

Art of Noise:Below the Waste

I must say that by now, I can change those plugs blind in a second. Big Grin