my line stage has a sensitivity of 500mV...so for a 5mV cart i need at least 100x amplification i.e. 40 dB. Most stages i look at are around the 40dB mark so im ok. If i was to go for a lower output MM cart like say a Nagaoka MP500 at 3mV id rather have 45-46 db of gain. Cheers, Colby.