When using the Koetsu MC step-up which ARC inputs (low or high) did you plug into?
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 :-)
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.
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.
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!