Benz LP and SUT's...

For those of you who own or have owned the Benz LP cartridge, I'm wondering what step up transformers you have used with it?

Have you ever compared different SUT's with it?

Which ones worked well and which ones not so well?

Thank you for sharing your experiences with me and Merry Christmas to you all.
It is a 40 ohm cartridge if I remember right. Most SUTs won't work as they are 5 ohm designs. Look at the Auditorium 23 or similar. I am working from memory. Of course the Audio Note is fine as it is adjustable.
Hi Dgad,
Thanks for the response. Yes, the Benz Ebony LP has a 38 ohm internal resistance and a .28mV output. I must say that I have never understood the relationship between cartridge and SUT impedances. I'll be using the Artemis Labs Ph-1 ( ) with the step up transformer. The phonostage allows for adjustable loading on the back of the unit. Will this allow me to use any step up transformer?

As a side note, I noticed you are using the TW Acustic phonostage. Is that a pure tube phonostage or is it using some sort of solid state, mosfet, jfet etc head amp in front of the tubes?

Thank you for your comments,

I have owned many Ruby's H, 3H, 3. These cartridges are a bit of a pain. They really like about a 1000 ohm load. But will work well at 500. If you drop down to 100, forgetaboutit. Now, I have also owned my share of Step-ups and with out a doubt, Bent or any using the S&B trannies are the best. The problem you will have is finding one with a ratio of 1;10 which is 20db of gain. This will give you 470 or so ohms to start with. If you can find a 1;5 with about 15 db of gain your up well over 1000 and the sky's the limit. The more common 1;20 ratio w/ 26db or gain, you do not want. This will start you at 117 ohms way to low for a benz. I may be a little off on my numbers but there close. Now that being said, you can always re-wire them for what ever ratio you want. The Stevens and billington tx-102 copper trannies are out of this world and the silver are god speaking to you. The old mitch cotter step ups are also wonderful and they are getting better and better with age. I used the high version with a benz ruby 3 with great results.

Anyways, I'm sure there will be other recomendations just remember you need at least 500 ohms and preferably more to open the Benz up. Like the EAR MC-4 is not for you. Its good but not for you. John chapman has a new step up using a custom magnequest tranny. If he has put his step- ups back into production, I know their good. He will also get you where you need to be. One of the best guys in this business hands down.

Merry Xmas Don
Artemizlabs uses a sowter transformer and it looks from the drawing that the primary and secondary turns ratios are non adjustable on your preamp and the loading of the cartridge is done by placing a resistor across the secondary windings.I am sorry but I have not tried a sowter with my benz LP ebony.But do use it with a copper Billington TX103 and the new Lundahl 1931 I load the secondarys of both so the cartridge loading is about 500ohms I have been using about 750 for the Lundahl recently but the cartridge is not fully broken in yet.The maxxed to the max K+K phono using the 1931 sounds quite a bit better to my ear than the Tx103 and the first generation K+K phono.This is more likely due to the actual pre amp differences than the transformers.Both sound great and I am sure your Sowter will too.Both Kevin Carter at K+K and John chapman at Bent are great to talk too if you need help.
No Regrets

The TW does not use a SUT at all. It is pure tube. I think it is a FET current source but not sure. From what I understand, there are 2 impedanxes. The coil impedance & load. You need to accomodate both. I also use a Souther SUT in a different phono stage (I have 4). Mine is for a 3-5 ohm coil impedance. Adjusting the load can be done but isn't very audible. My phono stage has the load adjustable to ground. I would definitely look to change the Coil impedance to 40 ohm if you can on your phono.

Thank you so much for sharing the experiences you have had with the various Rubys. I have heard good praises in regards to the Bent Mu and trannies from the Stevens and Billington as well, but had no idea if any of those would work with the Benz LP. I will be sending John Chapman an email tonight and see what he has to say about his new step ups and the cartridge. Thanks for trying to help me understand this a little more.

Hi Brianhutch,

Thank you for your response. I think I may not have been clear in regards to how I wrote my previous post...I'm using the Artemis Labs Ph-1 which only has about 50db or so of gain and no step ups. The Pl-1 is basically the same as mine but has buildt in Sowter step up transformers. Sorry for the confusion.

So I'm curious about the TX103 and the Lundahl 1931. Do you think that either of these will work with my Ph-1?
Would I be able to get the proper loading by changing the loading resistors on the back of the phonostage or does the loading happen prior to the stepup?

Thanks again,
Hi Don
No problems using the ph1 loading connectors as they load across the inputs which will be your transformers secondary or output windings,and a chat with either Kevin or John is never lost time.Kevin sells a very high quality adjustable loading module and you can flip resitors in and out of the circuit in seconds its super handy,I love the unit he fitted in my new phono and plan on installing one in the older phono I assembled myself.You can decide where it sounds best in seconds.
Hi Don,

I thought I would add my comments about SUTs. I don't have a Benz LP cartridge but I've compared several SUTs using a Lyra Olympos cartridge. These comparisons were done with an Artemis Phono-Pre PH-1 (the best phono-pre I've heard with MC and MM cartridges.) I first combared some S&B, Tribute and Lundell SUTs. I loaded each of these SUTs differently to get the best sound possible for each SUT. They all had different turns ratios. After doing this, I thought the Lundell SUT was the best of the three with the Tribute coming in a close second. The S&B SUTs were just plain horrible.
Later I got a chance to listen to SUTs made by Dave Slagle of Intact Audio. These SUTs had a 1:27 turns ratio. Again, I loaded them to my taste. The Intact Audio SUTs were much better than the Lundells. No suprise, all the Intact Audio iron I've used in my preamps and amps was vastly superior to any other iron.
The Intact Audio SUTs stayed in my system until Mike Sanders of Quicksilver stopped by my place with a pair of his Quicksilver SUTs. Again, I loaded them to taste and I was surprised. They sounded better than the Intact Audio SUTs. The turns ratio on the Quicksliver was 1:13 while the turns ratio of the Intatct Audio SUTs was 1:27.
Later I was talking with Dave Slagle about the fact that his SUTs got beat. He thought a better comparison would be to compare the QuickSilver SUTs with a pair of Intact Audio SUTs with a 1:13 turns ratio. So Dave sent me a pair of Intact Audio SUTs with 1:13 turns ratio to compare to the QuickSilver SUTs with their 1:13 ratio. The Intact Audio SUTs with the 1:13 turns ratio sounded much better than the QuickSilver SUTs with a 1:13 turns ratio.
I also had a chance to listen to some vintage Leak SUTs thanks to a friend. These were very good but they were not as good as the Intact Audio pair. My friend told me that the Leaks were the best he had heard period. When I told him the Intact audio SUts were better, I don't think he believed me. However after listening to both, he agreed that he Intact Audio SUTs were better. He called Dave Slagle about a week later to order a pair. He also sent the Leak SUTs to Dave to measure.
Anyway Don, it might be worth your time to try a pair of Intact Audio SUTs. Dave is great to talk to! He can also give you some tips on loading. Hope this helps.