Are MC step-up transformers better?

I am currently looking to replace my current Naim Prefix phon stage with something else. I ws scouring my old "Listener" mags. and came accross Art Dudley's use of the Audio NOte MC step-up transformer, AN-S2. He swears by the use of of step-up transformer into a low gain phono stage versus adirectly into a high gain phono stage.
Has anyone any similair experience? Is it a better way to go?
Gerardff, you pose an interesting question. At one time, step up transformers seemed to have been somewhat of a mixed bag, according to the reviews I read from several years ago. There were problems of hum pickup which required the transformers to be moved around to find just the right spot. And they apparently could sound harsh or edgy due to ringing in the high treble.

I think that transformer technology must have taken a major leap forward during the past few years based on two observations. First, there are suddenly a lot of preamps that use built-in transformers for MC inputs instead of tubes or FETs. These include the ARC Reference, the Hovland, the Cary, the EAR and (I believe) a Rowland transistor phono stage. Second, a friend has recently purchased a Jensen transformer to use with his tube phono stage, and he reports that it is easy to place and does not have any hum pickup whatsoever and no ringing or harshness at all. (This could be due to internal double shielding.)

The big advantage of the step-up transformer, of course, is that you eliminate an active gain stage at a very critical point where every bit of noise or distortion the active stage may add will be amplified thereafter. Without doubt, the trade-offs will depend on the specific units you are comparing.
Excellent results can be achieved with MC step-up transformers, but requires careful selection and system matching. A few years ago I went on a quest to find the best step-up for my Ortofon MC3000 MKII cartridge (0.1mV output). I tried a Klyne active step-up (bad sound, not quiet enough), a Jensen transformer (really bad sound, no dynamics, poor resolution), and a few others. I ended up building my own using ultra-low noise Toshiba JFETs in a battery powered configuration. That sounded great! Later, I found an Ortofon T-5000 transformer. Now, also sounded good! Transformers are very sensitive to grounding, placement, and cable capacitance. So, the moral of the story is: Try before you buy and listen for yourself.
I came across an older Ortofon T-30 that I beleived was designed to compliment the MC-30. Very well built! It has a five setting pot in the front to adjust gain and I am not clear if it has silver windings. I have it paired with a self built AES PH-1 (Cary design) tube phono great with various cartridges! Setup is critical to avoid hmmmm!!I have it isolated in the back on a little shelf away from other cables. I wonder if "Djnorth" is familiar or heard about the T-30. I get excellent sound with a quiet background when properly set-up. Grounding is also critical.
Ortofon has a current model called T-20. You may want to give it a listen...and I have seen a few around used for sale.
I haven't tried the T-30, but if it is anything like my T-5000, then I'm sure it sounds great! I was on Ebay last night and typed in Ortofon. I found 4 transformers for sale: T-2000, T-3000, T-5000, and a T-20 MkII. A friend ownes a Forsell Air Force One turntable with a Koetsu Onyx Platinum Diamond cartridge (life must be rough!). Anyway, we tried my Ortofon transformer with his Koetsu and it sounded great! So, it appears that they will work well with other cartridges besides their own. Another thing to keep in mind when shopping for transformers is impedance matching. Some MC's have a low internal impedance (sub 10 ohms) while other are somewhat higher (30-50 ohms). Typically, a higher gain transformer likes to see a low impedance cartridge, due to the turns ratio and subsequently reflected input impedance.
Does anyone use a step-up with a Benz Ruby 2? Please give details.
Audio Note Step-up Transformer is the way to go. Try the silve wired wound ones. Will blow your brains out.