anyone used the Sutherland Phd high gain card?

Don't have a local Sutherland dealer and haven't read about anyone using its' high gain card. Have auditioned Artemis PL-1 which I really like but I hate to buy without comparing it to something else first. Is it worth my effort to go through the mail order and try out the Sutherland or this is phono preamp more suited to higher output cartridges?

Have a gyrodec/sme5/airy3sb/copland ct305/beard m70 mk2
I have a Sutherland PhD, and I love it! A very awesome Unit, which works flawlessly. Dead quiet, and I noticed a very nice improvement with separation of musical instruments, and voices on all my LP's.

Of course I'm using a hi-output original Benz Glider, rated at 1.8Mv, and didn't require any special boards (As you probably have alreasy assumed as much)

My good personal friend Thomas Back also uses the Sutherland, and it was on his recommendation that I bought the unit. Tom does have a short review of his unit on the Acoustic Sounds web-site (The main distributor of these products)

Tom uses a Lyra Titan Cartridge on his Clearaudio Table and I assume the Titan is a fairly low output Cartridge? One plus is, that if you need a special plug in board, with certain custom values, both for gain, or loading, Acoustic Sounds-Sutherland can provide one, so I'm quite certain that no matter what output Cartridge you desire to use, the Sutherland can be up to the task of being compatible for it. Hope this helps you. Mark D.
Thanks Mark,

The Titan has just more than twice the output of the Airy at .5mv which means your friend Tom probably doesn't require the card too. Still it's always encouraging to hear a customer endorsement of something you're looking at buting.

I like the idea about the card for gain but didn't realize there was one for loading too. Maybe I'll get in touch with Acoustic Sounds and see if they have extra ones. Getting the load right is always trial and error with me but some have suggested that 10K might be a better load for the cartridge.
Hi again, Yes, from what I can see, the Lyra Titan "Stereo" Cartridge is rated at .5mv, and the ZYX Airy 3 is I believe rated at .34mv.

The Sutherland is as I understand a dual mono design, anfd therefore uses two boards per channel (Gain+Loading) which plug into thier respective Mother Boards.

The factory supplied boards have gain settings of 45db, 50db, 55db, and 60db

The factory supplied boards for Cartridge Loading are 100 ohms, 200 ohms, 1K ohms, and 47k Ohms.

Of course as I mentioned previously, custom boards can be bought, and I even believe blank boards can be gotten, in which one can do the solder in of resistors etc themselves if desired.

I tried myself getting into the Acoustic Sounds site, but it appeared I needed a account name, and password? Hmm, never noticed that before. I have spoken with these folks by phone before, and they were very helpful.

Buying new, I thought I once read it mentioned that there is a 30 day free in home trial period, in which if you don't like the Unit, they will refund your money in full. Again, I hope this helps you! MarkD

I doubt many people would suggest 10K ohms for an Airy 3. Optimal loading is system dependent for sure, but 10K is almost certainly too high for that cartridge, with which I have some experience.

Assuming you have the LO Airy 3, I'd expect the optimal value to fall between 50 and 200 ohms. Based on Markd51's information, I'd suggest trying the factory supplied 100 and 200 ohm boards. That will give you a good handle on whether some other value is necessary and which direction to go.

Good luck in your phono stage hunt!
I have a Sutherland PhD with a Zyx UNI, (.24mv). The existing 60 db setting worked OK, but I put in the high gain card to give a little more boost so my average volume setting would be around 10 o:clock. The PhD has more than enough options for low output cartridges. Once you hear that uncanny black background coupled with great sonics, you'll know you have a 1st class phono amp. And I don't know where those who say it lacks dynamic oomph are coming from, suspect they haven't heard it with a great cartridge like the UNI...
Hi Jack, Thank you for helping out here with your findings, and hopefully the original poster will see this, and be assured that the Sutherland will be up to the task to meet his needs.

If not, this info goes to the archives, where others who may beinterested in the Sutherland PhD in the future can access this info, which in all actuality, there is very little here written about it from other users.

Yes, I concur whole heartedly with your findings also, that the imporvements in dynamics, and authority were immediately apparent, even with my "lowly" Benz Glider Cartridge. While there are certtainly better Cartridges on the market, I also have no regrets buying the Glider, as it sounds very neutral, tracks very well, and coupled with the Sutherland seems to be pure, free of grain.

I'm using a VPI HW-19 upgraded to MK-IV status. Sorbotahne Puck Suspension, Audiopoint Feet, AQ PT-7 Arm, with AQ Emerald Cable, Expressimo Stainless Steel Counterweight, and running out from my Sutherlans, am using Staightwire Maestro IC's to my McIntosh Pre-Amp.

I'm sure a better Cartridge, Tonearm Cabling, Tonearm rewiring would let the Sutherland do even more, and of course, even a better Table would let me experience much further that the Sutherland PhD is truly a very special product indeed.

My own good personal friend whom I've known for 9 years now, Thomas M. Back, who is a master Optical Designer, has had Telescopes made under his own name (TMB) which are world renowned, and like me a fanatical Amateur Astronomer, with some of the best personally owned Telescopes ever built by the hands of man has done a mini-review of the Sutherland he owns on the Acoustic Sounds Website.

Tom has confided personally in me, that he owns the Clearaudio Master Reference Turntable, and the Cartridge he uses is the Lyra Titan. He claims he has owned many top of the line Phono Stages, some even more expensive than the Sutherland, but being plagued by numerous Radio Station Antennas in his immediate vincinity in Ohio, he found many to pick horrible RFI interference. The Sutherland proved to be dead quiet for him, absolutely no RFI, and it's performance has proven itself to him quite admirably he claims also.

I'm very glad I purchased mine, and at least I know there's little for me to fear about the Sutherland ever "bottlenecking" my Analog section, and that future upgrades will no doubt better the Sutherland's performance. Mark