Matching carts with SUT options

Matching carts with SUT options

Postby jmcox » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:11 pm

Could anyone give me advice with respect to how to best match different cartridge output/ internal impedance values with SUT options?

Thanks
VPI Avenger/Transfiguration Proteus, VAS Nova Gold .25, VAS .30 MONO/Ring Clamp/SDS/EAR MC4 SUT/Manley Chinook SE phono/Primaluna Dialogue Premium preamp/McIntosh MC 40 mono blocks/Ampsandsound Cornscallas/Kimber Select all cables, Furman Reference 15i
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Re: Matching carts with SUT options

Postby suntea » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:33 am

I realize this is not an answer to your question but are SUT's really needed with a VPI table? Does Harry think they help anything? Just wondering about this whole concept.
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Re: Matching carts with SUT options

Postby Brf » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:24 am

suntea wrote:I realize this is not an answer to your question but are SUT's really needed with a VPI table? Does Harry think they help anything? Just wondering about this whole concept.


Step up transformers' (SUT) have nothing to do with a turntables and are used to help match the MC cartridge with the phono pre-amplifier

To learn more about step-up transformers, I would refer you to Bob Sattin's (Bob's Devices) FAQ page https://www.bobsdevices.com/information for more information, or better yet, give Bob a call.
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Re: Matching carts with SUT options

Postby suntea » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:49 pm

Brf wrote:
suntea wrote:I realize this is not an answer to your question but are SUT's really needed with a VPI table? Does Harry think they help anything? Just wondering about this whole concept.


Step up transformers' (SUT) have nothing to do with a turntables and are used to help match the MC cartridge with the phono pre-amplifier

To learn more about step-up transformers, I would refer you to Bob Sattin's (Bob's Devices) FAQ page https://www.bobsdevices.com/information for more information, or better yet, give Bob a call.

Thanks, I will check that out.
Do you use one and what are your opinions on SUTs?
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Re: Matching carts with SUT options

Postby Orchids1 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:27 pm

The benefits of a SUT depend upon the gain and resistance settings on your phono preamp. If the phono preamp, itself, has variable settings that allow it to match the cartridge manufacturer’s recommendations, then I don’t think there’s anything to be gained, and possibly something to be lost, by adding a SUT. I believe the Chinook has a wide range of settings that should be compatible with all but the lowest output mc cartridges. Rich
Avenger (w/mods), SS Paua, Phoenix Eagle psu + tach, Sutherland 20/20 phono, Audionet Pre1G3, Benchmark AHB2 monos, YG Carmel 2 spkrs, JL e112 subs, Nordost/Audio Sensibilty ic, Kubla-Sonsa spkr cable; Auralic Aries renderer, Auralic Vega dac; Amazon Echo
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Re: Matching carts with SUT options

Postby edw » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:12 pm

I use an SUT even though my phono pre provides sufficient MC gain. To me, ths SUT provides additional drive and textures. Like adding a some truffles to you meal. YMMV.
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Re: Matching carts with SUT options

Postby Dorian » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:19 am

edw wrote:I use an SUT even though my phono pre provides sufficient MC gain. To me, ths SUT provides additional drive and textures. Like adding a some truffles to you meal. YMMV.

So when using the SUT you then plug into your phono pre’s MM input?
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Re: Matching carts with SUT options

Postby edw » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:58 am

Dorian wrote:
edw wrote:I use an SUT even though my phono pre provides sufficient MC gain. To me, ths SUT provides additional drive and textures. Like adding a some truffles to you meal. YMMV.

So when using the SUT you then plug into your phono pre’s MM input?


Correct. Will let you know how it works with the VTPH-2a in a few weeks.

A better resource for SUTs and calculations is RothwellAudio. Helped me debug a few SUTs:

http://www.rothwellaudioproducts.co.uk/ ... xplai.html
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Re: Matching carts with SUT options

Postby Golear » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:34 pm

Thanks for the very interesting links.

A few months ago, I discussed transformers with an audio designer of some repute. They were going to use transformers to convert balanced to unbalanced, and vice versa. In theory, one just has to look at things like the ratio of primary and secondary windings, etc. But in practice, there are some dark arts. The designer loved Cinemag transformers because the cores are heat treated. This is closely guarded info. And this is measurable stuff.

So it's possible that different brands of transformer can sound different, even if they have the same ratios, impedances and loading and other electrical stuff. Like interconnects, price/reputation might not have any bearing on whether you like the sound, or if it is compatible with your preamp.

(I don't use a step-up transformer, and I'm not endorsing Cinemag. And I'm not knocking the idea of using a step-up transformer. Just passing on the info.)
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Re: Matching carts with SUT options

Postby danomar » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:14 pm

There is much too much debate (IMO) about matching SUTs with LOMCs. I own four different SUTs and each works nicely: The biggest differences come from the different transformers and the way they are wired.

The quality of the transformer is, as far as I can tell, the most important aspect of an SUT. My latest (and probably last) SUT is a pair of Peerless 4665s. They outperform everything I have yet tried. I have used Beyer microphone transformers, CineMag transformers, and one that is specific to one of my preamps. The 4665s are something of legend, and my experience suggests rightly so. Their dynamic range surpasses what my cartridge can produce.

So yes, different transformers will sound differently, but I suspect that matching transformers to specific cartridges is another rabbit hole to fall into. I do not think that transformer X will work better with cartridge Y but would be interested if anyone has evidence otherwise.
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