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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:22 pm 
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I apologize for my ignorance, but I am wondering if anyone of you can explain, in simple words, the difference between a step-up transformer MC and a phono preamp. Can I use a step up with a phono preamp, which can accommodate both, MM and MC cartridges?

Which will provide you a better sound in general, a STUT or a full-blown phono preamp?

Thank you so much for your input.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:52 pm 
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A Sut is usually used for MC cartridges. It is plugged into the MM input for the higher db out that MC requires.
A full phono pre usually has capability for both MC and MM.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Depending on the vintage, I'd suggest that only some phono stages have the extra gain and loading settings for a moving coil cartridge. Also, inexpensive phono stages may not be well suited for moving coil, it's not easy getting really low noise, high gain stages. This is one of the advantages of a step up transformer, they don't introduce noise themselves.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:07 pm 
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There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the OP. The combination that will sound the best is the step-up device (either passive transformer or active pre-preamp) or phono preamp that is best-matched to your specific moving coil cartridge. From my experience though, switchable (MM & MC) phono preamps rarely do justice to a quality low-output moving coil cartridge. There is more to it than just increasing the gain, and switchable units are usually just moving magnet preamps with a switch to give them more gain. They are not optimized for moving coil use.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:20 pm 
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Quadzilla wrote:
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the OP. The combination that will sound the best is the step-up device (either passive transformer or active pre-preamp) or phono preamp that is best-matched to your specific moving coil cartridge. From my experience though, switchable (MM & MC) phono preamps rarely do justice to a quality low-output moving coil cartridge. There is more to it than just increasing the gain, and switchable units are usually just moving magnet preamps with a switch to give them more gain. They are not optimized for moving coil use.

Hi Mike... you may be right about the switch Gain thing but i just got a Rothwell Rialto class A circuit phono pre.
It doesnt use global feedback in the circuit and no opamps.
As you know I've owned the Graham Slee SE2 and the psu1.
Even though it was a dedicated MC head my Rialto has more depth and detail.
Rothwell agrees with your way of thinking as they highly reccomend buying their sut for the Rialto for MC.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:10 am 
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Part 1
Calculator required.
https://www.vinylengine.com/step-ups-an ... dges.shtml

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:24 am 
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naimkid wrote:
Which will provide you a better sound in general, a STUT or a full-blown phono preamp?Thank you so much for your input.

For the money, I think an SUT will deliver better sound, but I don't 't have a great deal of experience in this area. I bought an Audio Interface CST-80 SUT when I made the move to LOMC and never felt the need to move on from it.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:43 am 
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ripblade wrote:
naimkid wrote:
Which will provide you a better sound in general, a STUT or a full-blown phono preamp?Thank you so much for your input.

For the money, I think an SUT will deliver better sound, but I don't 't have a great deal of experience in this area. I bought an Audio Interface CST-80 SUT when I made the move to LOMC and never felt the need to move on from it.


I prefer a dedicated MC phono preamp that is matched to the LOMC catridge, then a SUT (matched to the cartridge) with a quality MM phono preamp. As a last resort I would use a switchable preamp. I have tried a number of them, and I have yet to find one that was well-suited to most LOMC cartridges.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:46 am 
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and here comes the other side of it...: :P

LOMC tends to require a well matched transformer, regarding the impedance. There are general rules about that..find them and follow them (as practice goes).

IMO and IME, a well matched transformer and LOMC will outperform most MC inputs (with the given LOMC in use) on the given RIAA preamp.

This is my experience, across the board, with nary a different outcome in the past 35 years. This, with my hands and ideas (modifications, changes, etc) inside the cartridges, inside the transformers, and inside the RIAA preamps. This means, I'd doing my best to maximize the matching and mating of each and every part, together, in the given chain of reproduction.

Due to the variables in play for the average person who is not tearing things down at the given levels mentioned... mileage will vary....

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:40 am 
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I use LOMC cartridges on about 10 tt's currently in my rotation with some using SUT's that are both active and passive, some with preamps with dedicated MC phono stages and and some with MC/MM outboard phono preamps. Depending on the required gain for the LOMC, I find that they all get a little bit noisy when a lot of gain is needed. It's always best to test the cartridge and match with your SUT or preamp for the lowest possible noise without getting a second mortgage. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:02 am 
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Hence the variety and the math.

http://www.jensen-transformers.com/tran ... ving-coil/
http://www.ys-audio.com/MC_Table_PDF.pdf

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:56 am 
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I am in the same boat as the OP. May I tag along? I too,,,, am a newbie. I don't mean to Hijack....sorry.
I have a recently acquired Pioneer PL 70 and C21 Preamp. Purchased a Hana SL MC Cart from a vendor here on Cam.
He suggested the Hana and set it up for me on the TT. Showed him the Preamp as I had never had owned one.

Running the TT into the pre and from the Pre into a Pioneer SX 3800 (60 wpc) through the jumper jacks in the back of the receiver. I really have to crank the volume on the Pre. Found out that the specs on the Pre is that it is wanting 2.5 mv from the MC cart. The Hana is a low output cart at 0.5 mv. Hmmmm...

I think I need a step up as well....

Stevo


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:11 am 
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Stevohemi wrote:
I am in the same boat as the OP. May I tag along? I too,,,, am a newbie. I don't mean to Hijack....sorry.
I have a recently acquired Pioneer PL 70 and C21 Preamp. Purchased a Hana SL MC Cart from a vendor here on Cam.
He suggested the Hana and set it up for me on the TT. Showed him the Preamp as I had never had owned one.

Running the TT into the pre and from the Pre into a Pioneer SX 3800 (60 wpc) through the jumper jacks in the back of the receiver. I really have to crank the volume on the Pre. Found out that the specs on the Pre is that it is wanting 2.5 mv from the MC cart. The Hana is a low output cart at 0.5 mv. Hmmmm...

I think I need a step up as well....

Stevo


I don't know your preamp, but it sounds like the C21 phono input is for Moving Magnet cartridges (similar to the one in your receiver). Most are like that. A step-up device would likely cost you more than a phono preamp with moving coil capability. These are not optimum for moving coil use (unless you get a dedicated MC preamp), but should be fine if you are using a vintage receiver.

You would connect it directly to a line-level input on your receiver, and the C21 preamp would be redundant unless you intend to replace the SX-3800 with a proper power amplifier at some point. If you want to get a dedicated MC phono preamp, the Rega Fono MC is a nice unit. I have one that I got from Chipmunk1957 that I am using in a second system with an Ortofon MC20 Super, and it is very nice. You should be able to find a used first generation unit for less than $200.

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Sorry, Mister Vice President, 'The Handmaid's Tale' is not a documentary.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:46 am 
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Full blown phono pre-amp... the better ones have different selections for MC and the over all quality and sound is 2nd to none. I use both as my Korg needs MM to work, though I have a MC cartridge, so I use a step up for the Korg, but when I just want to listen to tunes, I use my B&D switch box to go to my Phono Pre-amp. Sound is superior.

To clarify the Korg system is for playing around by recording the LP and making adjustments.... kind of being your own engineer... eg.. you always thought you wanted more bass in a song...feel free to crank it with the recording...!
Otherwise, for just laying back and listening to tunes.... Phono pre-amp is the way to go.... especially the new ModWright PH9..


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:30 am 
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In theory the passive device will not add any noise or artifact to the signal therefore it "should" result in better signal reproduction.

Using that deduction, I had acquired a Denon 10:1 SUT for the DV20XL to feed thru the MM input on a phono preamp. I wasn't overly impressed and found the gain a bit weak for my cart which is rated at .28 mV output. Perhaps 13:1 would have been better. But isnt there also some detriment to usint too high an impedance?

Eventually got an iFi iPhono2 which has flexible gain and resistance settings. At the 62db gain setting it is just right based on other line level signals, albeit not as loud as the digital sources via DAC to line level.

Adding an SUT before an MM preamp input does not eliminate the need for active amplification. It simply increases input voltage to within compatibility range of an MM preamp. Might as well start with the proper preamp to begin with.

Either way, just stick with quality options and you can't go wrong.

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