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  • Step Up Transformers

    Who uses them and what are your favorites. I have an Expressive Technologies SU-1, Kondo, Ypsilon MC-10, built in Jensen in my ARC Ref phono and the build in Lundahls in my Tron Syren.

  • #2
    Its hard to compare when its built in to the preamp, most of them have fixed values for an 'average' or broad range of cartridge loading. This isn't a problem when you match a SUT made for a specific cart but what happens when you want to try other carts with different outputs and loading req? At this level you want flexibility and the ability to change resistive loading makes or breaks it for me. the K&K kits using Lundahl's are very good and offer variable gain and loading in one unit.
    Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

    "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

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    • #3
      I know the SUT's I have and what load I will end up with and what cart is suited for it. The Kondo is for my Knodo IO-M. The Expressive is for my Lyra Kleos SL or the Dynavector XV-1s, low out put low impedance.
      The Ypilon MC-10 for carts around 0.5 output.

      Comment


      • #4
        I use them as a phono stage with MM input capability for some cartridges I have is the most flexible way to go.

        Best I have had in my system is a custom silver one from Emia (Dave Slagle). Currently giving it a run for the money is a FET prototype. I have an older Audio Note that's good but not at the top level. From memory the Auditorium23 was very good. In another audio life I briefly have Naim's top of the line and it worked magic on the LP12 at the time.

        Have never heard the Kondo or the Miyajima but they are supposed to be special also.
        Tannoy Glenair, April Sound SET 50 monoblocks and LR phono, EMIA silver remote attenuator and Strain Gauge, Mono TT - AE 208 TT, Abis 1.2BCS arm Miyajima Premium BE, Stereo TT - Fairchild 750 Schroder Custom BA, Miyajima Kansui, Mac Mini w/ Roon, Bel Canto RefLink, Dac 3.5VB, Wadia 860x.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pcosta View Post
          I know the SUT's I have and what load I will end up with and what cart is suited for it. The Kondo is for my Knodo IO-M. The Expressive is for my Lyra Kleos SL or the Dynavector XV-1s, low out put low impedance.
          The Ypilon MC-10 for carts around 0.5 output.
          I get it, but how do you match the resistive loading of your SUTs to the DCR of the cart?

          Of the ones you have the Ypsilon has resistive loading via RCAs, I'm assuming they're shorting plugs of various resistive value?
          Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

          "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

          Comment


          • #6
            It is not exact. There is a range, and I think I am willing to accept it not being right on. In theory low impedance carts work well with higher gain SUT's.

            Comment


            • #7
              Interesting thread. Use my Kondo step up at the moment with my Lyra atlas and Koetsu coral stone. Have not used it yet with the Kondo IOM but that should be a marriage in heaven.

              Have not used my Expressive sut for many years but it is still an absolute fantastic sut: it was a very good and beautiful combi with my Van den Hul cartridge and CAT preamp which I have sold many moons ago.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've really never played with SUTs for decades. The old ones really just lost too much information and IIRC also sounded bright.

                I did hear the Expressive Technologies what two decades ago when Gindi reviewed it for me (with the Hovland preamp) and it sounded pretty good with the vdH Grasshopper IV (?) though I thought the sound in his system just a touch thin, illuminated and soft.

                But transformers have come a long way and that was why started the thread on Bob's Devices SUTs a while back. Being able to eliminate the phono cable was very intriguing. In fact, would love to see something where you could reduce or eliminate the phono cable totally. Then there were people who felt the Allnic SUT into the phonostage's line stage sounded better than the built in the phono stage (and its SUT).

                Hope Bob V. jump in since he uses the Kondo SUT and Io at his store. I've heard it there and it was impressive sounding but know there's been some improvements in his analog setup since then.
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment


                • GaryB
                  GaryB commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                  I've really never played with SUTs for decades. The old ones really just lost too much information and IIRC also sounded bright.
                  Miles - my experience has been that SUTs are very sensitive to loading. If it sounds too bright then it's worth trying to lower the loading to a lower resistance. Most MM stages have a 47K input impedance which isn't switchable, so you've got to be willing to take some clip leads and experiment. Once you find a value that sounds good, you can permanently hook it up.

                • Mockingbird
                  Mockingbird commented
                  Editing a comment
                  There are some complicated "mathy" formulas for coming up with snubbing capacitors to smooth out the response of transformers (to eliminate ringing). Mostly, this was done in big tube amps, but I wonder if there is any merit to adjusting the capacitive and resistive loads, based on measurements (with a good LCR meter), or through a signal generator and oscilloscope. I know most audiophiles poo-poo the scientific method, but it sure beats chasing ghosts. There are many interacting variables: capacitive coupling, inductance, resistance, leakage, the source load (including phono cable, tonearm wiring), the phono stage input load (including cables, and the miller capacitance of tubes, etc..). Maybe it's too complicated, but it would be nice if someone figured it out, and showed how to duplicate the results using a commonly available LCR meter.

                • Rhapsody
                  Rhapsody commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I use both the CFz (copper) and the SFz (silver) Kondo SUT's with the I0-M cartridges on both the Kondo Ginga and the Acoustic Signature Ascona. I use the SUT's with the M1000MKII w/phono board option. Since the IO-M and both of the Kondo SUT's were designed together they of course are a "perfect match".

                  Myles currently has the latest version of the SFz and the M1000 MKII at his place, but he does not have the IO-M cartridge.

                  When the CFz is installed in the system it sounds great, until you replace the CFz with the SFz which is a few steps up sonically in all regards.

              • #9
                Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                I've really never played with SUTs for decades. The old ones really just lost too much information and IIRC also sounded bright.

                I did hear the Expressive Technologies what two decades ago when Gindi reviewed it for me (with the Hovland preamp) and it sounded pretty good with the vdH Grasshopper IV (?) though I thought the sound in his system just a touch thin, illuminated and soft.

                But transformers have come a long way and that was why started the thread on Bob's Devices SUTs a while back. Being able to eliminate the phono cable was very intriguing. In fact, would love to see something where you could reduce or eliminate the phono cable totally. Then there were people who felt the Allnic SUT into the phonostage's line stage sounded better than the built in the phono stage (and its SUT).

                Hope Bob V. jump in since he uses the Kondo SUT and Io at his store. I've heard it there and it was impressive sounding but know there's been some improvements in his analog setup since then.
                Myles

                I know when I owned the Hovland, they loaded their MM at 33K, so that would make the Expressive behave a little different then at 47K. I always felt the vdH's to my ears were always thin sounding.

                Truthfully in my system when I compare the Expressive to the others it really brings the bass energy and force to the table, all things being equal. A friend has an early Allnic H3000 phono and he prefers the Expressive into the Allnic vs Allnic straight up.

                Comment


                • MylesBAstor
                  MylesBAstor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Well I know some feel the ET was the best SUT ever made. And I wouldn't disagree about the vdH.

              • #10
                I prefer head amps over SUTs. I have a CJ premier 6 tubed unit and an electrocompaniet MCII SS unit. Both have adjustable loading and sound excellent.
                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 (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
                  I prefer head amps over SUTs. I have a CJ premier 6 tubed unit and an electrocompaniet MCII SS unit. Both have adjustable loading and sound excellent.

                  what cart are you using with the Premier 6? Its been a real long time when I borrowed one from my dealer on different occaisons, with fresh nuvistors to boot and it seemed to do more harm than good, imo it wasn't quiet. The best head amp i've used was the Klyne sk2a.
                  Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

                  "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by Rob View Post


                    what cart are you using with the Premier 6? Its been a real long time when I borrowed one from my dealer on different occaisons, with fresh nuvistors to boot and it seemed to do more harm than good, imo it wasn't quiet. The best head amp i've used was the Klyne sk2a.
                    I'm using it with a relatively high output shelter 501 mkII cart. And no, its not as quiet as solid state but I like the way it sounds and its quiet enough.
                    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 (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by pcosta View Post
                      I know the SUT's I have and what load I will end up with and what cart is suited for it. The Kondo is for my Knodo IO-M. The Expressive is for my Lyra Kleos SL or the Dynavector XV-1s, low out put low impedance.
                      The Ypilon MC-10 for carts around 0.5 output.
                      I've got the Kondo here now. Have you tried it with other than the Io? I see the Kondo has both 30 and 1.5 Ohm inputs. Which do you use with the Io?

                      I was also thinking just for the hell of it, trying the Kondo into the Doshi. But right now, I sacrificed one of the MM inputs so have a SE and Balanced phono input. So all that is left is a 10 K SUT/MM input.
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Well, when I want to listen to a moving coil cartridge I find myself drawn to very low output ones. My two favorites are the Miyabi Standard, sadly no longer available, and the Benz TR. I haven't found a headamp or a phono preamp with enough gain to really drive these. My favorite SUT is the Homage T1 from Auditorium 23, next choice would be a Kondo or and then an Audio Note UK. Now to the most important thing about SUTs; they have to match the cartridge. My third favorite moving coils come from EMT and they need something different to match. Auditorium 23 makes the Homage 2 for this very reason. If you are not using the very lowest output cartridges then their is the alternative of the Alnic SUT which gives you the ability to fine tune the output and load.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          I have a few. Jensens inside my Lamms, Silvercore GMBHs in my Valvets. Outboard I have a Koetsu for my Koetsu and a MYSonic Lab for my MYSonic and TechDAS carts. Currently I'm using the active stage in my EMT. I should try the step ups into the MM input but I'm liking what I'm hearing now so the temptation is weak.

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