Revox B795 turntable: A Tale of Two Cartridges
Tip #96
Dick Olsher (November 2022)

First, a bit of history. I purchased both of my B795 turntables off eBay, and as you might expect, both required servicing. I turned to Jack Clark at JM Technical Arts ( for repair. This is apparently the only factory authorized Revox service center in the U.S., and in my experience, well worth the effort

So when all was said and done, I ended up with two nicely refurbished tables. One is currently outfitted with an Audio-Technica AT-OC9ML MC phono cartridge, while the other is setup with an AT 440MLa MM. Yes, I realize that a MC on a Revox B795 sounds heretical since conventional wisdom advocates for a high-compliance cartridge in this application. The original MM Revox shipped with the B795, the P20 MDR, featured a static compliance of 40 cu at the recommended VTF of 1.2g. The 440MLa is specified at a static compliance of 40 cu, and a dynamic compliance of 10 cu, which I assume was measured at 100 Hz since it’s a factor of 4 lower.

It turns out the that AT-OC9ML is not that much different in terms of compliance: 35 cu static and 9 cu dynamic. In practice, I have had good results with this cartridge, it doesn’t quite track as well as the 440MLa, but is otherwise superior in every other respect. Spatial information is more lifelike, and most importantly, tonal balance is much more neutral. I found the 400MLa to be closed in at the top resulting in a lower-midrange emphasis that distorted the timbre of female vocals.

Of course, when it comes to phono cartridges, sonic findings are greatly influenced by the associated phono stage. The Pentagon PS3 phono stage rarely pops up on the used market, but when it does, be sure to grab it. I most certainly did. Setup for MC high-gain and an input impedance of 100 Ohm, it matches up very well with the AT-OC9ML delivering oodles of detail and textural refinement.