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Alternative to a SUT

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  • Alternative to a SUT

    I was having hum issues with the step up transformer in my third system and although the transformer was very subject to hum with small positional movement, a friend recommended an alternative to me. It was cheap, effective and I can detect no negative effect on sound.

    It is a Hagerman Piccolo-2 head amp. Cheap ($289) with variable cartridge loading and gain (up to 26 dB. I figured that it couldn't do much at that price but I was wrong!

    If you are having issues with a transformer, give it a look - https://hagerman-audio-labs.myshopif...olo2-mc-preamp

    This is on a system using a Lyra Clavis into a CJ Premier 15 phono stage.

    Click image for larger version

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    Main:VPI TNT V, SME V, Koetsu Urushi, Vendetta SCP2-D, Conrad Johnson Premier 14, Conrad Johnson Premier 11a, Wilson Maxx 2, Inouye power conditioner, Moon 280D DAC

    #2 Sota Cosmos, SME V, Lyra Clavis, Bryston BP17, Conrad Johnson Premier 15 phono, Classe DR3 VHC, Martin Logan CLS, Hegel HD12 DAC

    #3 Roksan Radius 5/Nima/Goldring Eroica LX Classe DR-7, Classe DR3 VHC bridged monos + PSE V monos (bass), Classe DAC1 DAC, Vandersteen 4A,

    #4 (AV) Marantz AV 7702 Mk2, Rowland 5, Wilson Maxx 2, Vandersteen VSM-1 (x4), Hsu VTF-15H Mk 2 (x2)

  • #2
    interesting that a steel case is not employed.
    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

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    • #3
      There may be some sonic benefits to a plastic case but it could just be their attempt to keep the cost down.
      Main:VPI TNT V, SME V, Koetsu Urushi, Vendetta SCP2-D, Conrad Johnson Premier 14, Conrad Johnson Premier 11a, Wilson Maxx 2, Inouye power conditioner, Moon 280D DAC

      #2 Sota Cosmos, SME V, Lyra Clavis, Bryston BP17, Conrad Johnson Premier 15 phono, Classe DR3 VHC, Martin Logan CLS, Hegel HD12 DAC

      #3 Roksan Radius 5/Nima/Goldring Eroica LX Classe DR-7, Classe DR3 VHC bridged monos + PSE V monos (bass), Classe DAC1 DAC, Vandersteen 4A,

      #4 (AV) Marantz AV 7702 Mk2, Rowland 5, Wilson Maxx 2, Vandersteen VSM-1 (x4), Hsu VTF-15H Mk 2 (x2)

      Comment


      • #4
        Its very difficult to manufacture a good Pre-preamp for phono. Back in the day I had a Counterpoint SA-2 . I considered it one of the finest and it would still do a number on many SUTs today I'm sure.

        SUTs are easier to deal with in manufacturing and probably , for the majority , cheaper. I do prefer an active gain stage rather than a SUT. Many will feel otherwise.

        That's the beauty of the hobby.
        Phono: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
        Custom Slagle Silver Autoformer Volume control
        Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Etsuro Gold, DaVa FA-1 Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
        Amps: Custom Direct Drive, Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2. Bedini 25/25
        Otari Bx5050II , DeHavlland 222
        Chord DAVE, MScaler, FARAD linear power supply mod, OPTO-DX optical connection

        Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
        Speakers: Beveridge Model 3 Direct Drive amps, REL S/2 x 2, Quad ESL pair

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        • #5
          Well there is something 'pure' about a SUT - nothing except windings of wire to get in the way of the signal - but the hum issues seem easier to deal with in an active stage.

          I liked Counterpoint gear too - one of the first preamps I had with any high end aspirations was an affordable SA-7, although I recall that they had a reputation for variable sound, unit to unit (mine was about as good as an Audio Research SP-14 I had that overlapped the Counterpoint)

          The Hagerman unit is so modestly priced (half to 1/4 of a good SUT) that I don't hesitate to recommend that anyone try it and see if it works for them.
          Main:VPI TNT V, SME V, Koetsu Urushi, Vendetta SCP2-D, Conrad Johnson Premier 14, Conrad Johnson Premier 11a, Wilson Maxx 2, Inouye power conditioner, Moon 280D DAC

          #2 Sota Cosmos, SME V, Lyra Clavis, Bryston BP17, Conrad Johnson Premier 15 phono, Classe DR3 VHC, Martin Logan CLS, Hegel HD12 DAC

          #3 Roksan Radius 5/Nima/Goldring Eroica LX Classe DR-7, Classe DR3 VHC bridged monos + PSE V monos (bass), Classe DAC1 DAC, Vandersteen 4A,

          #4 (AV) Marantz AV 7702 Mk2, Rowland 5, Wilson Maxx 2, Vandersteen VSM-1 (x4), Hsu VTF-15H Mk 2 (x2)

          Comment

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