Need advice on turntable cartridge upgrade / pre-amp 2011-04-03 05:33:36 Greetings all,My wife and I received an Ion Profile Pro turntable from friends as a wedding present late last year, and I've just gotten around to hooking this thing up. While I recognize it's certainly not a high end turntable, for us I expect it will do the job, and am looking to get the best possible sound reproduction out of it.Specifically, I'm wondering about the need (or lack thereof) for a pre-amp, as well as if it is possible to use a non-OEM cartridge on this table.I tested the turntable with Nirvana's "Bleach" album from 1989, and it sounded very punchy and really great through my system. I have a Harmon Kardon AVR-235 receiver, and a pair of JBL S26 studio series speakers, with a JBL E150 Northridge series subwoofer. While the Nirvana album sounded great and played at a great level, I got together with my father today and we threw on a couple of old King Crimson records, and I immediately noticed that while the sound quality was good, the volume was extremely low. Is the seemingly low playback volume just a result of the mastering of these early seventies records? I recall listening to these years ago on my dad's turntable through a 70 watt analog Onkyo amplifier, and if he turned the dial up to "2" the sound would be blasting. My receiver is logarithmic, and either goes to 0 or +10 and I had the thing at -10 to get a reasonable volume level! By comparison, I usually listen to CD's between -40 and -30 and they are LOUD at that level.This turntable does have line-level RCA outs and, i'm assuming, possibly incorrectly, a built in pre-amp. Can anyone tell me if that's the case, or should I invest in a quality pre-amp?Finally, I'm unsure of how to replace the cartridge on this turntable: the manufacturer's website is frankly terrible, IMHO. There support section for this turntable has almost no information, aside from a PDF of the user's manual. It's difficult to get at the cartridge and I'm not sure how to get it off. I'm hoping someone might be able to point me to a website/guide that might show how to remove/replace the cartridge? Also, I'm wondering what type of cartridge mount this table uses, and if there are any Audio-Technica cartridges that might be available that would work with this turntable's tone arm?I realize this got long and there's a lot of questions here, but sincerely appreciate any and all advice! Thanks very much in advance.