Roksan Attessa Turntable Package Going Active

Going Active

Tucked away adjacent to the output RCAs at the rear of the Attessa is a very small switch labelled 'passive' and 'active'. No, this has nothing to do with passive or active loudspeaker connections but refers, instead, to the disabling or enabling (respectively) of the Attessa's in-built MM phono stage. This is a fixed-gain (+46.7dB) preamp that offers a maximum 7.2V output from a 56ohm source impedance. The latter increases through low bass frequencies to 300ohm/20Hz, presumably through capacitor-coupling, although the RIAA eq does not adopt the more recent subsonic amendment and, instead, is flat to –1dB/4Hz and –3dB/2Hz [black trace, inset Graph]. So slightly warped LPs and big, flappy reflex-loaded loudspeakers are unlikely to be comfortable bedfellows for the Attessa!


The response shows a slight HF lift (+0.3dB/20kHz) – inconsequential given the larger response variations of most MM pick-ups – while distortion decreases from a maximum of ~0.015% through bass frequencies down to ~0.002% at 20kHz [red infill, and lefthand Y axis, inset Graph]. Of greater potential subjective impact is the reduced headroom of the phono stage – the output clipping at just 34mV input. This amounts to an input overload margin of +16.7dB (re. 5mV/1kHz or +19.7dB re. the 3.5mV rated o/p for the supplied Dana MM). So higher output MM upgrades should probably be avoided. Finally, the A-wtd S/N is also a little below average (and below the 70dB spec.) at just 62.3dB re. 5mV/5cm/sec. Judged in context, however, the built-in Attessa phono stage is an ideal, if temporary, 'get you on the road/out of jail' all-in-one solution. PM

Rayleigh, Essex
Supplied by: Monitor Audio Ltd, Rayleigh, Essex
01268 740580