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  • To SUT or new Phono Stage

    I broke out my old Denon 103R with Soundsmith updates as well as a Midas Aluminum head shell. I was never that intrigued through my Allnic H1201 MC input. I was talking with Fremer about this and he said he heard an Allnic do very well with a SUT feeding into the MM input. I looked around on the internet and found a Bobs Device made for my Denon for $375. I figured, why not, so I bought it. Owe boy. I spent at least a week shielding not once, but twice (2 layers) of shielding over my interconnect. Then finding the optimum placement to reduce hum and noise. Its rubber banded to the side of my rack. I have it pretty dialed in now. And I must say. Holly Cow. It's a much improved analog playback in my system. That then opens up the question, do I get a Bobs device Sky 20 for my Hana, or do I look for a whole new phono stage.

    I had a SS phone here not long ago. It was more clean and dynamic than my Allnic. But it did not rock my world. It was just very nice. I really like what I am hearing with the Bobs and Allnic. But the noise is an issue. I don't hear it a low listening levels. But I get the wind in my fur like anyone else and turn it up after a drink or two. It's then that the low level hum becomes pronounced and heard.

    I have considered taking the Allnic to a solder slinger and having him install a set of micro screw terminals so I could install the SUT inside my Allnic and swap the SUT when I change cartridges.

    Thoughts
    Rex
    PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Custom SET 845 monoblocks, Dartzeel NHB108, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp, Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, STST Motus II TT, Vertere SG1 arm, Hanna ML, Allnic H1201 Phono pre, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, LPS to Modem Router and Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cabling throughout network, Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire.10 awg dedicated branch circuits to amps bolted to power cords. Significant upgrades to 120 volt main power panel. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.

  • #2
    forget transformer Step up , always fighting hum. try an active SS head amp instead.
    Last edited by JCOConnell; 10-16-2021, 03:14 PM. Reason: added "SS"
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

    Comment


    • #3
      The Bent Audio Mu was a high-water mark for me, it used S&B TX-102r hand-wound with silver wire and customizable loading using the appropriate value resistor across the binding post. The Mu case provided the ultimate in shielding. Don Slagle no longer makes them but they turn up used from time to time.

      Comment


      • Kingrex
        Kingrex commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting. Built in interconnect. And a very short interconnect.

    • #4
      Originally posted by Rob View Post
      The Bent Audio Mu was a high-water mark for me, it used S&B TX-102r hand-wound with silver wire and customizable loading using the appropriate value resistor across the binding post. The Mu case provided the ultimate in shielding. Don Slagle no longer makes them but they turn up used from time to time.

      Rob, how do they differ from what Don is making now?
      Speakers: Horning Eufrodite Ellipse III on Stillpoints Ultra 5S feet
      Speakers: REL Acoustics G1 Mark II Subs (pair)
      Tube Amplifier: New Audio Frontiers Ultimate 211 Special Edition Monoblocks
      SS Amplifier: Plinius SA-Reference
      Preamp: TW Acustic RPA-100 Line Stage
      Phono Stage: TW Acustic RPS-100
      Turntable - TW Acustic Raven AC w/ Black Knight Anniversary Upgrades
      Tonearm: Kuzma 4-Point 14" with Air Tight Opus-1 Cartridge (w/ EM/IA 1:20 Silver Wire SUT)
      Tonearm: TW 10.5" with Miyajima Zero Mono
      Vinyl Care: Furutech DF-2 LP Flattener - Degritter Ultrasonic & VPI Cyclone RCM
      Tape: Tascam 42B-NB (Refurb by Soren Wittrup)
      Tape Stage: Doshi V.3 Tape Stage
      CD/SACD: Playback Designs MP-5
      Streamer/Server: Aurender N30SA, Ediscreation Silent Switch OCXO w/ Ediscreation Silver reference LAN cable
      DAC: Lampizator Golden Gate2

      Power Conditioner: (2) Silver Circle Audio TCHAIK 6
      Wire: Custom Furutech PC's + Audience Front Row IC's & Speaker Cables
      Tweaks: Stillpoints Aperture II Panels & Stillpoints Ultra 5S's & SS's sprinkled about - DS Audio ION-001 Vinyl Ionizer - SRA Scuttle III Rack, Massif Audio Design, SRA Ohio Class and Symposium Super Plus Platforms

      Comment


      • Rob
        Rob commented
        Editing a comment
        Sorry, I have no idea. I did read somewhere S&B stopped selling their trafos to 3rd party resellers.

    • #5
      Those S&B are great transformers- I had a pair slip out of my hands.
      Phono: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
      Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas Lamda, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
      Amps: Custom Direct Drive, Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2. Bedini 25/25
      Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
      Speakers: Beveridge Model 3 Direct Drive amps, REL S/2 x 2, Quad ESL pair
      Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
        forget transformer Step up , always fighting hum. try an active SS head amp instead.
        A very debatable assertion.

        I’ve had multiple SUTs over the years and very seldom have experienced problems.
        Speakers: Rockport Avior
        Amp: Ypsilon Aelius Mk II (Silver Edition)
        Preamp: Pass Labs XS
        Phono preamp: EMIA LR Phono Corrector, Slagle Silver SUTs
        Phono: Continuum Criterion, Kuzma 4-Point, Lyra Etna SL Lambda
        Digital: dCS Network Bridge, dCS Scarlatti DAC
        Tape: Studer A80 RC, Doshi V3.0

        Comment


        • Slowgeezr
          Slowgeezr commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree. Been using SUT for years, nary an issue.

      • #7
        Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
        forget transformer Step up , always fighting hum. try an active SS head amp instead.
        not my experience at all. i have both solid state phono and a tubed phono with SUT's. zero noise of any kind from the SUT. i will admit 10 years ago i had an Allnic phono and an Allnic SUT and it was noisy. but the CS Port phono with the EMIA SUT is dead quiet.

        i agree that certainly some systems have noise issues with phono and SUT's; you are amplifying a very small signal and there are lots of variables.
        https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/615

        Comment


        • #8
          I tried an active SS phono. It was very quiet. Very good in many ways. But that particular unit did not speak to me.

          I think I might keep plugging along with the SUT and see if I cant get a better interconnect. I have my hum to a very low level when I have the volume very loud. The "rumble" from the needle on the lead in is almost more noticeable. At more normal listening levels, the SUT hum is pretty non existent. Its just been a lot of work getting to this point. But it shows it can be done. And since I don't see purchasing many cartridges, a SUT could be a nice way to go. I believe the Hana ML has the same electrical specifications as the Red so I could use the same SUT for both. And I have one for the Denon. That should last me a lot of years.

          Also, another thread has me looking at the DS 003.
          PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Custom SET 845 monoblocks, Dartzeel NHB108, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp, Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, STST Motus II TT, Vertere SG1 arm, Hanna ML, Allnic H1201 Phono pre, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, LPS to Modem Router and Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cabling throughout network, Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire.10 awg dedicated branch circuits to amps bolted to power cords. Significant upgrades to 120 volt main power panel. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.

          Comment


          • Tapetech
            Tapetech commented
            Editing a comment
            Are there any power transformers near the interconnect or SUT? Move them away if yes and see if that helps.

          • Kingrex
            Kingrex commented
            Editing a comment
            That is part of what I addressed in trying to quiet it. I moved cables around. It all helps. I think my interconnect is too long too. Anfd my shielding is only ok. I am actually thinking of using a coax interconnect. A piece about 8 inches and wiring it right into the Bob's device. Make it like the Mu.

          • Tapetech
            Tapetech commented
            Editing a comment
            move the power transformers away rather than re-shielding or moving the cables

        • #9
          I have used both and think that either can work well in the right circumstance. If you are dealing with extremely low output/low impedance cartridges, SUT’s can be a superb answer. In my case the Lyra Atlas lambda SL into an Audio Note S9M into an Audio Note tubes phonostage…no hum or noise, excellent top end and bass extension but ANUK custom wound the SUT for the cartridge.
          Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Audio Note M9 SE Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, HRS Equipment stand, Stillpoints Ultra 6 footers, Furitech cable isolators and plugs, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.

          Comment


          • #10
            It's down here on the leg of my stand. I spent more time reciently moving other power and interconnect that impact the whole. I actually spent the last couple days changing the crossover to driver wires that really shut noise down.
            Adding 2 layer of mylar over the interconnect was 70% of the noise reduction. 25% was where the cables routed and the SUT landed. 5% was other stuff around it.
            PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Custom SET 845 monoblocks, Dartzeel NHB108, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp, Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, STST Motus II TT, Vertere SG1 arm, Hanna ML, Allnic H1201 Phono pre, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, LPS to Modem Router and Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cabling throughout network, Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire.10 awg dedicated branch circuits to amps bolted to power cords. Significant upgrades to 120 volt main power panel. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.

            Comment


            • #11
              Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
              forget transformer Step up , always fighting hum. try an active SS head amp instead.
              Last week I heard how well a step up transformer works with a solid state phono amplifier from my friend Bernd.

              A Phasemation T-550 transformer on the AS Phonolab PRO phono stage. Audiospecials has given their MM input a special feature. It has not only the 47K Ohm standard input impedance but 6 more impedances. 100K, 32K, 24K,20K, 16K and 14 K. He now operates his Ortofon SPU with the 14 K setting, which gives him the low input impedance of 35 ohms for his SPU. With 47K, that's 117.5 ohms. Too much for the SPU. Harsh sound.

              The 14K literally gave the SPU wings in terms of sound. More CSE ( Colour, Stage, Emotion). The Phasemation has 1:20 (26 dB) amplification, which fits perfectly. It uses the SPU 1#E. As an architect, Bernd rather appreciates the purist design line, which fits perfectly into his flat. I like this very much.

              Click image for larger version

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              groovemaster

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              • #12
                I like it the old fashioned way.
                Having a tube preamp with a MM input, I decided to use a SUT for my Ortofon SPU Wood A .
                In the past the Ortofon ST-7 was doing a great job but its predecessor ,the Sculpture A Mini Nano step up, sounds definitely better. Also no problem at all of noise and hum.
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                For my vintage system the increase in sound quality by this small SUT is sufficient enough to stop searching for more. Highly reommended.
                Pre - McIntosh C22CE, Main - MC275CE, CD - Cary Audio CD303, Turntable - Thorens TD125 MkII, Tonearm - Schick 9,6, Cartridge - Ortofon Wood A, SUT - Sculpture A Mini Nano, Speakers - Dynamikks12,

                Comment


                • #13
                  Not to be rude here but it seems that you've tweaked both your turntable & phono stage to death. Maybe it's time to start over with a new TT and phono stage? 🤔

                  Most phono stages, like most preamps, are more hype than product these days. I auditioned more preamps than common sense allows( priced between $4K - 45K) before I found one that actually did something useful & meaningful in the way of sonic improvements - just saying.

                  I tried out a Allnic tube preamp with my McIntosh 2102 once and it did nothing to improve the sound, however a Conrad Johnson tube preamp did much to improve the sound to my tube system. CJ offers 2 different tube phono stages currently. If you're into tubes for records & tape maybe one of these are for you.

                  I use a EAR Yoshino 324 solid state phono with my Linn Sondek LPSE Klimax. It mates well and is sonically better to my ears than the Linn internally mounted phono stage. I prefer solid state for LP's & tape.
                  The EAR is very flexible too, has a mono switch, can accommodate 2 turntables( 1 MM, 1 MC), and has settings for multiple loadings.
                  I don't know if it is still being produced or not but it's definitely worth checking out if you like solid state for a phono stage.

                  SPL also makes a interesting stand alone solid state phono stage and a solid state preamp combo that incorporates that stand alone phono stage. I've not tried it out but if I were looking for a replacement that one would be at the top of my list for a audition.

                  Just my opinions.
                  Amplifiers: McIntosh: MC2102/MA6500, ReVox B780 Receiver, Revox Joy S119 Network Receiver

                  Preamplifier: Conrad Johnson Classic

                  Analog Playback: Linn Klimax LP12, EAR Yoshino 324, Lyra Kleos, ReVox B77MKII 2-Track 7.5ips/15ips

                  Digital Playback: McIntosh MCD500, ReVox Joy S119 Network Receiver

                  Analog Stereo Tuners: Magnum Dynalab MD 90t, McIntosh: MR75/MR78/MR7083, Revox B780 Receiver

                  HD Radio: Revox Joy S119 Network Receiver

                  Headphones: Stax: 2 Sets(Solid State/Tube)

                  Speakers: Spendor 8Se, Linn Majik 109, Klipsch Heresey lll

                  Cables: RM Crimson Music Link With Eichmann Bullet Plugs

                  Power Cords: Volex

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    SUTs solve many problems for designers. It is difficult to manufacture a low noise compelling active phono stage. If you can manage that- it will be expensive and it will mostly be SS FET input- which "can" sound very good.

                    Don't quote me , however, I believe that even Ralph Karsten of Atmasphere used to, or on request, include a SUT in his marvelous MP1 2 box and has said now that his preference is no SUT at all. I agree.

                    Now its not to say you can't get outstanding performance with a SUT- you may be able to. I run the Io 3 box and it is all active, there are compromises to both approaches.

                    When you introduce SUTs you must do the math, dress leads properly and find that "perfect" match for your chosen cartridge. It adds complexity. The good thing with SUTs is that you can get in inexpensively and the problem with SUTs is that you can get in inexpensively

                    The Bobs devices SUTs are great value, they also have to be placed properly with the correct shielded cable- or they will hum- check around.

                    Having said all that I continue to experiment with SUTs for fun... one of the most compelling is the Luxman 8020 series from the early 80s with silver wire toroid. Fabulous ! The other one that always seems to work well and is really good sounding is the EAR MC4 check around. I have also built in SUTs from Sowter into my projects.

                    Custom SUTs from Emnia or one of the best I heard is the Expressive Technologies are at the top of the heap. Location of your SUT, its construction or cables may be contributing to your hum. You must take a systematic approach to tracking it down.

                    When you choose a SUT you best make sure its with the cartridge you want to live with- because SUTs are one area where you get what you pay for.

                    Good luck Click image for larger version

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                    Phono: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
                    Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas Lamda, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
                    Amps: Custom Direct Drive, Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2. Bedini 25/25
                    Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
                    Speakers: Beveridge Model 3 Direct Drive amps, REL S/2 x 2, Quad ESL pair
                    Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      I have used a Ypsilon MC16 with my Lamm LP2 D and now my VPS100 which requires a sut for LOMC's. The SUT externally including connections and cabling still smoked the internal Jensen in the Lamm. I used a TP MC4 before the Ypsilon relatively substandard if you can believe it.

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