Best MC step up transformer

I am trying to find the MC transformer for my system. Now I am using Koetsu Urushi + Audio Research Phono Ref 1 with Jensen inside. The sound is pretty good but as always I wanna make it better. I've tryed to use old Koetsu MC step up trans but was unhappy about it. The sound was dull, not clear. When I've looked through ebay and audiogon, I've recognized that they are a lot of unknown for me variants (from 6k$ kondo to 100-200 $). Could you advise the best variant from quality/price point of view ?
When using the Koetsu MC step-up which ARC inputs (low or high) did you plug into?
I personally use a Hiraga pre pre borrowed by a skilled audiophile,but you may found something interesting on Salvatore site.
I know one man quite satisfied with the concordant one on a high end system.
I have a Bob's Devices 1131 CineMag SUT. This is a brilliant SUT and sells for roughly 1200.00 Check out Bob's website. Art Dudley loves this device and has compared it against the best out there. I can't say enough about its build and sound quality. Best of luck.
I'm using a pair of silver Lundahl 1931AGs fronting a Sonus Veritas beta Venice. Transparency is not an issue. Neither are dynamics (micro and macro), transient response, harmonic development or musical flow. Bad news, not cheap.
I can't give you a reply that matches with your equipment or cartridge...but I am using a EAR MC4 SUT. With both a Lyra Atlas and a Allaerts MC2 Finish...

I'm very happy...

Here is a review with some more info
Transformer Design is based on perfection and knowledge, based on that , their differences are huge. Some of the better ones are made from Cotter, Fidelity Research and Jensen.
Most out there do change the sound (color), it can be depressing to work with them, I had also the ones from Koetsu, EAR ... really everything but neutral. Good luck. The Kondo SFz is indeed one of the better ones, but the pricing is "special" :-)
You can try to find a technician who replaces your Jensen with those from Jensen's best (no Manufacturer offers top quality here, why should they cut their profit...)..or you buy a better cartridge :-)
John_Tracy, do you any idea when the Venice will be ready for market? It's been in the works a long time.
I have the Bob's Devices flagship SUT... It's $1200 and results have been dramatic! See my review posted here (link below).
If you're on a budget then the Hagerman Piccolo is hard to bear, but it's not a transformer. It's a head amp using op-amps to boost the signal.

Have you seen Dave Slagle's transformers? Very nice. Custom wound to match your cartridge.
Allnic HA3000, check the reviews.
Any SUT delivered without a Data Sheet about it specs is wasted money (Most have no sheet or they are wrong), I would give any SUT to an external Lab for an independent check ... I saw so many where the Tech scratched his head and asked me "Paid more than $50,--??
I use a Raphaelite PM 1.1. I bought it through Pacific valve, and although they no longer carry it they might be able to get you one. About $600, and phenomenal in performance. It will give you a deeper bass response than most solid state MC stages.
For a more reasonable amount, how does the Lundahl LL1943 compare with the likes of the Audio Note, Fidelity Research or Auditorium 23 ?
I'm using a Tribute SUT, the current version (with a bigger core) to interface between TSD15 and EAR834. Fantastic performer...lot's of interesting emotional moments delivered.
I've checked it with a lab mesuring equipment: flat, no resonances anywhere=safe to use. The real drawback is the waitig time...

I'm thinking about a second cart-SUT. Has anyone tried Silvercore SUT's? Esp. mc25 in 100% silver against LL1941Ag?
I also have Bob's devices top of the line (with Cinemag 1131 tranny's) and it is far more transparent with a larger soundstage than any of the good SUT's that most build into their preamps....

Unfortunately you are going to find that some individuals do not think that SUT's are the way to go. (Reminds me a little of the tube vs SS debate).

There are some MC preamps that do a very good job but from a design standpoint it is extremely difficult to properly amplify very low impedence MC's as they behave as a low voltage/high current (relatively speaking) device. It's generally agreed that the best way to convert current into voltage (or vice a versa) is with a transformer.

Unfortunately the interaction between the low output MC and the phono preamp input is a tricky one. Although the quality of the step up is important it is all for naught if you don't present a load that the cartridge likes. IME the difference in sound quality of various tranny's (with a properly loaded MC) is very subtle in comparison to a SUT that is not loading the cartridge correctly which is a big reason why the tranny's are available in different step up ratio's and it also explains why most Japenese tranny's switches refer to ohms not to amplification factor.
The Sonus Veritas Venice is available now. Contact Kevin or Joe, I'm sure either one would be more than happy to set you up with one. And here's a heads up for all K&K phono pre owners: Kevin has a new upgrade in the works that is absolutely killer! This will apply to every phono pre (Art Audio vinyl ref., and Venice too) he has ever sold. So, keep an eye on his forum for an announcement.
Kevin has a new upgrade in the works that is absolutely killer!

Parts dipped in holy water?
I use a Lyra Erodin. Very transparent, does not color the sound and let's the cartridge do its thing.
Dear Syntax, no voodoo here. Kevin doesn't believe in it. By changing an active device to one with a different transfer function you can effect a real change. Not the usual audiofool crap. In this case existing JFETs are swapped for MOSFETs at the input. I have been listening to the change for almost 3 weeks now, playing with the bias to find the "sweet spot", and can report that in some ways the change is quite profound. Gone are all traces of the somewhat "wiry" JFET sound; replaced by a more open, nuanced tube-like sound. However, if you are a fan of the JFET sound this mod may not be for you.
Hey Jjrenman,
Well said. Even considering the excellent parts quality in the preamp I tested it with, when you replace a GOOD element in the delicate MC signal path (say, the designer chose an in-built $200 output transformer) with a GREAT $1200 SUT, there's simply no contest. It's probably akin to replacing a $5000 preamp with phono with a $20,000 preamp with phono.

And yes, ONLY if your cart likes it. Mine does. Bob made sure of that when I ordered it... No guesswork!