Can I use a step up transformer?


Hi everyone :-) I am currently using a .3mv cartridge (Dynavector 20x2) with a phono pre amp (Manley chinook) that only has a 60db output for LOMC, I am not getting the gain I would like, I feel like I am at the boundries of over loading my tube linestage (Manley Jumbo Shrimp) with the volume at 3:00 o clock position.Would this kind of a device even help fix this issue? Where does it hook up?  Assuming it would.... And If you wanted to spend under $2000 for one, can you recommend one that should work well with my system?

Thanks

Matt M
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128mattmiller
Yes, you can! Be certain to match the SUT’s impedance with the Dyna’s. Actually the 20X-2 L’s got a lowish output impedance of 5 Ohms and Dyna advises to load it at 30 Ohms. I have a Denon and a Dyna(both 30 Ohms), that I’m using with an Auditorium 23, with excellent results.  You'd simply plug your phono cables into the SUT and it's output, via some good phono interconnects, to your Manley's phono inputs.  Of course, you'll want to experiment with the ground wire's placement too.  (http://www.auditorium-23.de/Accessories/Transformers.html)
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You don't need additional gain.  Your phono preamp provides a near ideal match for a .3mv output cartridge.  As long as you can turn it up even louder, there's nothing wrong with the volume control at the 3 o'clock position.
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I wouldn't think you need more gain either, not sure what you mean by overloading your line stage.  If you'd rather have the gain setting you use for phono on the pre match your other sources by boosting the cartridge output, OK, an SUT should work fine.  Just make sure you plug it into the MM inputs on the Chinook, or you will have overload problems.
+1 onywy61 ! Preamps usually sound better when used in the upper range of the volume control!
Matt, I agree with the others that there’s nothing wrong with having to use the volume control in the upper part of its range, as long as you never find yourself wanting to turn it up higher than it can go.

Also, I looked at the specs of all of the components in your vinyl playback chain and I don’t see any way that you could overload anything at any volume setting, aside from possibly driving the amp into clipping in the unlikely event that your ears or the speakers don’t overload first.

Increasing the amount of gain that precedes the line stage from the present 60 db to say 71 db, which could be done by using a 20:1 SUT (26 db gain) into the Chinook’s 45 db MM input would probably result in your using the volume control at not much more than 12 o’clock, rather than at the 3 o’clock setting you mentioned. However it would also result in the possibility that on extremely high volume dynamic peaks on some recordings you might exceed the Jumbo Shrimp’s maximum input spec of 5 volts. (Based on the specs, overloading of the Jumbo Shrimp’s input would occur well before the Chinook would be overloaded). There’s no point to introducing that kind of marginality into your system, IMO.

Regards,
-- Al
What yogiboy and Al said.  The ideal gain structure lets you run toward the end of your line stage's range - all things being equal (which they never are).

Now, from a noise floor perspective, it's possible that a step-up may help, but you'll be dealing with colorations (even with the best of step-ups) that are very possibly a trade-off you won't like.  You will be getting into yet another area where component matching will be critical. 

One overlooked attribute of a step-up transformer is that it works against you from a cable capacitance perspective.  You will have 100 (for a 1:10) or 400 (for a 1:20) times increase in capacitance (the square of the turns ratio) which may or may not matter, but is something to consider when selecting an output cable for your step-up transformer.

So (to equivocate further), it depends ...

Cheers,
Thom @ Galibier Design
Thom,
Just on the contrary. When I am using the Chinook with matching step ups this phono stage really starts to blossom.


Thank you all for responding. I knew I would learn some things by asking this question and I sure have from these responses. I really like the idea of not adding an additional component and more cables. Also, Things are dead quiet right now at these volumes ( I hate to inject anything that would impart noise). I like what Al and Yogi are saying about the volume knob being no big deal. To be honest, I play mostly everything around 12:00 position and pushing to 3 is really more than adequate, I guess i’m just being a little paranoid. Thanks again for putting me at ease.


Matt M
There is some downside to some step up transformers.

They may be susceptible to hum, due to magnetic interference.

Also turning the volume way up (without a step up) may increase the noise level.
Mattmiller,

Ive auditioned the Chinook not long ago. Using a .5mv cart, I couldn't figure out why  I had to crank the volume past 12:00 o'clock for a listenable volume, and I heard zero life coming out of the speakers.

I realized I didn't check to see if the dip switches were set for the high gain 60db setting.

Whilie I'm no audio expert, I can't imagine a  .2mv  difference making that much difference as  your preamp also provides a couple of DB's of gain as well. 

Just another thing to check before throwing in the towel and opening your wallet.

I found the Chinook to be a nice sounding unit. Quieter than my tubed Fosgate, at louder than normal listening levels-past 12:00 o'clock. The Foz however, edged out the Chinook with a more "realistic" presentation. 



Regarding matching carts and phono stages if you really want to see what they can deliver you should not stop on a basic level. This matter is not plug & play or just connect two units or  avoid using cables and connections.  Here it starts to become a really exciting adventure. It's a pitty that some audio afficinados never will cross the bridge...but this is the way it is.
Dear @thuchan : Could you explain a little:   What do you mean with: """  matching carts and phono stages.. """  and """   should not stop on a basic level. """

Thank's in advance.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.


Dear Raul,
Basic means using the settings (and ranges) the phono preamp comes with. If you do not stop here but use perfect matching cart/step up combinations thus precisely align the two facing coils you may enter into a different musical experience.
Dear @thuchan : I understand your first sentence. Could you be more specific in your second part of your answer? what to do to " enter in that different musical experience?

Every day is a learning day and I think I'm missing something very important down there.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
Have anybody has experience with COUNTERPOINT SA-9 ISOLINEAR TUBE PHONO STAGE for MC/MM. Was told  that it is "A very versatile and high performance tube Phono Stage that can configured for almost any situation"'   No need for step up Transformer. Or even Cary Audio PH-302 mkII Vacuum Tube Phono Preamplifier MM/MC'

Dear Tuhchan, the reason of my reluctance to mess with SUT's

was Dertonarm's description of matching the impedance and

inductance of involved carts and SUT's. I own + 40 MC carts

with impendance variations from 2 Ohm till 48 Ohms. From the

pictures of your carts which you posted to me I think that you

own + 100 MC carts. How many SUT's do you own?

I own FR- FRT- 4 with 3, 10, 30 and 100 Ohm but also Denon

AU-S1 with 3> 40 Ohms. I prefer Denon which is more ''puristic''

made. No switsches and (many) soldering points between all

the wire but direct connection between transformers and input/

output connectors. This Denon obviously contradicts Dertonarm's

assertinon as well as your ''precisely align the two facing coils''.

Assuming that my guess about the number of your MC carts is

correct you should own at least 25 SUT's (grin).

I don't think you need to spend that much to get results. .check out Bob's device but before you do that i notice that you are using a McIntosh power amplifier. .i had a 7270 for a few years likedit a lot. Mine had a switch on the back to increase the gain.not sure if your model dose but if it is the case perhaps try that and see what results you get.best of luck.
Hello.
K&K audio sales Lundahl transformers.
They have a kit that can be upgraded to their silver transformers. 
I have one and a friend has one.
I don't think you will find anything that sounds better at any price. 
But the cost is just over 1500.00
This is the best audio purchase around. 

Dear Nandric,
25 is enough :-)
or?

Dear Thuchan, How could I know; I own  only two?
You can certainly try a step-up but in my experience they color the sound too much and lose the low end. I've had Sony, Denon (2 kinds, they where the best IMHO), Dynavector, & Fidelity Research, they were great investments, I sold them all for more than I paid so I've not heard everything but I just find a well designed solid state phono preamp much more transparent. I use a Monolithic PS-1 with the PA-1 upgrade power supply, $1100 new with my Dynavector 17D Karat and Grace Ruby FE9+. I've heard better RIAA preamps but only over $4k. I'd love to try a tube preamp but too much money for me right now.
Humand,
matching MCs with the appropriate SUT is not an easy job. If you are using SUTs and they do color the sound, are loosing the low or high end, you definitely have a mismatch. And the result will be like you described.

Working with many phono stages and SUTs I found quite some limitations with 'active' phono stages that 'passive' SUTs overcome.
Dear @thuchan :  For the second time in the thread you posted: 

"""matching MCs with the appropriate SUT is not an easy job. """

first time you said:

""" use perfect matching cart/step up combinations thus precisely align the two facing coils you may enter into a different musical experience . """


and I posted: ""  what to do to " enter in that different musical experience? ""

I think not only me but some other gentlemans are still waiting your " light "/explanation.  Could you do it?, it's a critical analog audio subject.

Again, thank's in advance.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
Dear Raul,
I guess you know dealing with parameters in this matching process that we are facing two coils looking at each other, the one of the cart, the other of the SUT. You need harmonizing both in the best way. You know how to do it Raul as you are working in this special field. You also find good descriptions on the web (e.g. Rothwell). What makes it an experimenting job is the different quality of the coils and the windings. I found that good silver like from Silvercore or Kondo do contribute to a fine sound. Also the Jensen, the Joergen Shoe, some of the Ortofon, the Neumann BV 33, the Hashimoto are of excellent quality. Here again the careful winding and production process are of importance. At my Western Electric 618B SUT pure copper of the 30ies of the last century was used, not the reworked industrialized copper some other design come with. The windings are manually done with enough space.
Despite the frequency band is not as high as with modern designs the sound is overwhelming.

Dear Thuchan, I am a novice in this field and also very cautious

because of mentioned Dertonarm's ''theory'' reg. matching relationship.

 So I started with FR-FRT-4 which has 3, 10, 30

and 100 Ohms possiblities. I wanted to ''cover'' as many of my

MC carts as possible. The result was such that I wanted ''more''

so I bought this Denon AU-S1 which got many praises. So far

I am very happy with the results. I am also aware that I can't

compete with you or Raul. Anyway I am aware of my financial

bondaries and this was the primary reason to avoid SUT's for

a long time.

Dear @thuchan : Over the years I made it and still do several tests with vintage and today SUTs and with different phono stages and cartridges in my audio system and other well know friend's systems.

I'm not an expert on SUTs I'm still learning about and what I find out is that the most important subject is to match the SUT , NO that's not the whole word but I have no other, to the phono stage and not mainly to the cartridge as almost all we can think.What we are looking here is for enough additional gain to play LOMC cartridges with no " noise " levels.

LOMC cartridges are non-sensible to impedance and capacitance and its has very low inductance. We use a SUT because we need gain that our phono stage can't do it by it self.
Changes in impedance affects that gain/SPL and when we make changes on impedance and we hear changes  in the frequency  response range those changes comes not from the cartridge directly but comes from the interaction between the phono stage/SUT impedance/inductance.

Sometimes those changes in what we listen comes too because we are not even the SPL before and after any change we do and our ears are extremly sensitive to minute SPL changes, this issue is critic on any evaluation/comparation we do on audio.

Look here what Ortofon recomend to his customers about impedance subject where you can read is almost totally OPEN the impedance range because they know what I said above. Here too can you read the Lyra recomendation with his SL models :


http://www.ortofon.com/hifi/products/hifi-cartridges/mc-anna/technical-data


Lyra:  """  Recommended load directly into MC phono input:  Determine by listening .   """

Sometimes those changes in what we listen comes too because we are not even the SPL before and after any change we do and our ears are extremly sensitive to minute SPL changes, this issue is critic on any evaluation we do on audio.

The real problem on those changes on tonality or balance in the quality level performance comes mainly because the phono stage design is not really a good design that can't handle the complex impedances/inductances generated when we make changes about.

It's not a fault from the SUT or that the cartridge likes or does not likes the changes. As I said is a trade-off coming from the phono stage it self.

Is it the SUT a perfect device?, no it's not: it generate its own distotions, it has limtations at both frequency ranges, it's suceptible to takes electro magnetic pollution, generates its own noise levels and some other trade-offs.

Then why exist the SUTs as a gain external or internal to phono stages?

externally because could be that our PS can't handle LOMC cartridges, we need additional gain that comes with additional distortions including the ones generated by the IC cables and input/output connectors.

internal SUT comes because for almost all tube designers is the easiest design way to achieve the cartridge needs gain and in SS designs because that PS was designed thinking on MM cartridges and not LOMC ones or just was what the designer likes it.

Now, if we want the best " perfect " quality performance level on any LOMC cartridge then the best SUT is NO SUT.
Here we need a good designed active high gain Phonolinepreamp that has not or at least are at really minimum all the SUT limitations that per se goes against that sensitive and critical very low signal that comes from the cartridges.

Yes, everything belongs to the quality level design, selected design ( active and passive ) parts and quality level on the design excecution. Btw, the right active device for LOMC cartridges is bipolar one that we don't see it often because bipolars are a " pain in the ass " for this kind of unit designs. Designers on SS and tube designs that don't use bipolars they choose for JFET or the like because is more easy the whole Phonolinepreamp but exist a detriment in the quality levels against the use of bipolars. No, this is not an additional window to " discuss " in this thread.

In the past Lyra designers had a Phonolinepreamp with no internal SUT but was an active high gain Phono Stage. JC had very good reasons for that.

So, SUTs exist and will exist because something of what I'm posting here.

Btw, your sentence:

"""  . The windings are manually done with enough space """

IMHO this kind of work with a transformer must be achieved by a machine noit manually because manually there is no human been that can stay always not only with the required distance but tension  too and other subjects.

Anyway, here is my " take " about and of course that I can be wrong but till I learn something " new " from  the real experts that's my point of view.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.

So, if your quality sound level change when using a SUT don't change the SUT but your Phono Stage!.





Dear Raul,
Your position is quite a theoretical one: "the best SUT is no SUT".
Of course you always have to deal with compromises.
The weak point in matching is - and you are talking about it too - the phono stage.
When you have experimented with so many MCs and SUTs (and also phono pres) as I did and still do my personal conclusion is you need an excellent phono stage like the EMT JPA 66 or the Boulder 2008 avoiding SUTs. The funny thing is that the quality of the resistors you put on the personal cards in the Boulder is decisive for the sound. Such a small little thing!
You don’t need need investing a big sum on a phono stage when e.g. you go for a Manley Chinnok and use the MM input with appropriate SUTs.
You will be surprised what results you will hear and maybe you will change your opinion quickly.
Manually wiring of transformers is the best way you can do. Of course they are using small machines when doing so. 10 years ago I saw it at DaVinci Audio Labs when Peter Brem was still alive. I think in Japan some high quality producers like Hashimoto use it too.
Of course there are pros and cons to both sides of the argument.
I was happy with the inbuilt phono-stage of the Halcro DM10 (which was compared favourably to the Boulder 2008 in Stereophile) and never contemplated an SUT until I had the opportunity to hear the Kondo KSL-SFz in my home system with a variety of cartridges.
Now there was not an overwhelming difference in the overall presentation of the two methodologies (in my case at least) that anyone could say was immediately apparent and it took a great many listens to a variety of music for me to become convinced that the Kondo offered just a smidgeon more transparency on most cartridges.
On the Sony XL-55 (0.2mV) there was the slightest hum audible (only between tracks) and thus I prefer to run that through the active Halcro MC stage.
The Kondo is one of the priciest SUTs available, totally wired with silver and with silver RCA interconnects so perhaps a lesser SUT might not outperform the active Halcro phono- stage?
As with most things in this hobby of ours.....it's hardly advisable to proclaim the superiority of a single universal direction.
You pays your money and makes your choices 😎🎼
Investing in SUTs depends on how good is your phono chain and of course the system at all.
Using high efficieny speakers is an add on in my opinion as well as a good reproduction of high but also low frequencies.
Let me state in a somehow provoking way: it makes no sense using SUTs which allow you to harmonise the sound but also push it in the more stable and deep sound producing way when you have a mediocre table and phono stage. 
The good news is: today not so many real audio afficionados stick to a mediocre phono line and system. Good systems deserve using SUTs! The more excellent MCs you are using the more you understand the importance of SUTs. 
I like my MMs too. I am sure I will never convince someone of SUTs who is running MMs most of his listening life.
There might be some exceptions 🤗
One advantage of using an SUT (which I've never seen mentioned) is the ability to now alter the loading just as one can do with a MM cartridge.
Because the SUT plugs into the MM input of the phonostage, I can dial in a Resistance anywhere from 10K Ohms to 60K Ohms and the cartridge responds in the same way that a MM does.
Now I don't understand the science behind this and hope that others here can explain what is actually happening......but it works a treat on taming an aggressively bright LOMC and conversely, one which may sound slightly recessed or shy?

The fact is that, say, Ortofon and Fidelity research, made SUT's

for nearly each MC they produced. It is also a fact that the most

tube pres use SUT's for the added amplification (to the MM stage).

The question is if the later ''transistor pres'' compensated for their

weakness in the 80is. Anyway a good MC is expensive while an

combo of MM pre and SUT is not or need not to be. My assumption

is that a good MM pre is not difficult to produce and should be

consequntly not (very) expensive. BTW I have two systems in one

of which I use Basis Exclusive without SUT's and the other , Jasmine

LP 2 with improved MM stage for which I settled on Denon AU-

S1 (3>40 Ohms). I am very happy with this Denon and feel no

need at all to switch to the MC input .  

Dear @halcro : Please read very carefully here:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/can-i-use-a-step-up-transformer/post?postid=1342503#1342503

because those changes in quality performance level comes from the very complex interaction that produce impedance/inductance internally in the phono stage that can’t handle with aplomb it, not comes from the cartridge that is non-sensitive to those load impedance changes. Problem is in the phono stage that comes with some kind of " faults " by design.
Obviously that in an active high gain PS this kind of design is not for use with external SUTs so it’s not a design faulty, the designer made it to use it in the active high gain and not the other way around . The designer in your unit never imagine that some one will use the MM stage along a SUT, so there is a " problem " in that MM stage. 

The designer of your unit knows very well what I'm explained in this thread and that's why he left in the active MC high gain stage  a fixed 220 ohms impedance that you can't change it because is not need it to do it.

Please read it.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
If phonostage gain not enough, investing to higher output cartridge is wiser than to SUT. That's where math easily replaces all the science behind.
Dear @czarivey : Agree with.

If for example an active gain PS was designed for cartridges over 0.3mv and has no MM stage and we want to listen a 0.20 mv cartridge then we need to change, either, the PS or the cartridge with  higher output level.

As I posted, with LOMC cartridges what we always need is to match Phono Stage gain not impedances.

I think that existed and exist a misunderstood ( including me. ) not only on SUTs but in the overall subject.
Many vintage SUTs and even today ones comes with the possibility to choose different " load impedance " ( normally a selector switch: 3 ohms and 40 ohms or 20 ohms or whatever. ) and where the selected " impedance " has different  gain( 34 db, 26 db or 20 db or whatever. ). Other SUTs only said:  3 ohms to 20 ohms.

ALL those created the misunderstood because in a SUT we don't have to match the cartridge impedance with the SUT impedance that as a fact does not exist as we could think.
Again, only match gain with the phono stage.

Phono stages that comes with a selctor switch for MC load impedance ( normally at th first input stage. ) or/and different  gain levels goes against the quality performance level of the cartridge signal: it performs a signal degradation.

Overall interaction of all  these and the PS design generates several anomalies/distortions even could affect the critical/delicate equilibrium in the passive RIAA eq. frequency response deviation on both channels and certainly we can hear it.

@thuchan posted:   """  Good systems deserve using SUTs!  """

i disagree with. What we need for LOMC cartridge is way better active high gain Phonolinepreamp designs and that's all. I think this is still the real challenge for all designers.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.


Btw and for all those audiophiles that like to modify/upgrade by it self electronics like a Phonolinepreamp could be interesting that all them can check with a printed diagram the today RIAA eq. deviation after their modifications and compare it vs before those changes along today distortion levels and its changes.

I'm sure they will find a not so nice " surprise " .

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.

"If phonostage gain not enough, investing to higher output cartridge is wiser than to SUT. That's where math easily replaces all the science behind."

- sounds simple, but isn't. Using higher output cartridges you are facing several disadvantages you need to tackle at the matching process.

"What we need for LOMC cartridge is way better active high gain Phonolinepreamp designs and that's all." 

- looks also like a simple solution but isn't too. Otherwise we would have seen designs yet.

I am getting the impression this a lot of  theoretical talk rather having experimented with excellent MCs and perfect matching SUTs. 

A perfect matched SUT is not only able to provide the gain one needs, it also gives a more profound, stable, dynamic and deep sound structure,
in comparison to some Phono pres which provide thin air.


Dear @thuchan :   """  sounds simple, but isn't. Using higher output cartridges you are facing several disadvantages you need to tackle at the matching process. """

your statement makes no sense to me or at least makes no sense till you have a real explanation about.
 Please let me know, if for example: I own an active high gain PS designed for MC cartridges with at least an output of 0.3mv and things are that I own a cartridge with a lower output ( say: 0.20mv. ) that I really can't use it with.
Which are those several disadvantages you name it if instead of the low output cartridge I buy and use one with 0.35 mv?



"""   looks also like a simple solution but isn't too. Otherwise we would have seen designs yet.

I am getting the impression this a lot of  theoretical talk rather having experimented with excellent MCs and perfect matching SUTs.  """

totally false. Nothing of those is only theoretical and in my case I experimented for more years than you with the best vintage and today SUTs and with today and vintage top PS, either SS and tube designs.

In the other side we have not more SS high gain active Phonolinepreamp because it's not an easy design task and this is the main reason not you " theoretical " take.


"""  A perfect matched SUT is not only able to provide the gain one needs, it also gives a more profound, stable, dynamic and deep sound structure,
in comparison to some Phono pres which provide thin air.  """


with all my respect to you another " false " statements and no-sense ones.Thin air? that could be because a not first rate active high gain PS design.

What seems to me is that you speak for your own experiences that tell me for sure that you never experimented with a first rate active high gain PLP and that's why you are " hidden " between a bad PS alond SUTs. Believe me tehre is no " magic " down there but that you like those higher distortions.
As always, at the end we can't kill distortions.


"""  facing two coils looking at each other, the one of the cart, the other of the SUT. You need harmonizing both .... """

where do you learn this because IMHO is " false " too. That's is really a simplistic point of view with no facts. Where are those facts?


Regards and enjoy the music,
R.




But Master....it sounds so much better with the SUT.
Grasshopper.....it only sounds better because of the colossal distortions.
You need to eliminate all better-sounding equipment and insert ’finer’ pieces elsewhere in your system.

But Master....how will I know I have reached Nirvana?
You will know Grasshopper, when you have inserted enough ’fine’ equipment to give the foulest of sounds.

And then Master, will I have eliminated these ’distortions’ of which you speak...?
Only then Grasshopper......only then...👼🏼


Dear @halcro : All of us have to deal with each one audio system distortions, this is the real " name of the game ". I mentioned in my last post only because @thuchan gives no facts/explanation to his statements.


Additional @thuchan posted:

""" personal conclusion is you need an excellent phono stage like the EMT JPA 66 or the Boulder 2008 avoiding SUTs .. """ after this he posted SUT alternative is a better one but even if he did not posted this he gave two PLP that he took as his references on active high gain designs and for me that I listened one of them neither is a real reference. One of these units is all tube design and with several other negative factors too.

I prefer by a wide margin the unit you own that I know very well.

He posted too:

""" I found quite some limitations with ’active’ phono stages that ’passive’ SUTs overcome. """

with out explain those limitations and he told me that my comments are theoretical, go figure!

In the other side @thuchan is talking about the use of external SUTs. Coming from him this makes no sense to me.

Makes sense to you?

I insist on an explanation from his part because I think he could have something really new in his hands that my ignorance level can’t understand and as always I’m willing to learn especially in an analog subject so critical, sensitive and important.

I’m sure that he can put some true light here in benefit of all of us music lovers and audiophiles. Tha’s all.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.


PS.: Btw, I’m not against SUTs per se ( even I’m using now. ), things are that I’m in favor of MUSIC. Nothing else.
Please let me know, if for example: I own an active high gain PS designed for MC cartridges with at least an output of 0.3mv and things are that I own a cartridge with a lower output ( say: 0.20mv. ) that I really can't use it with.


Maybe you should pick a better example. The 0.2mV cart. will only be 3.5dB down from one with 0.3mV output. This should be well with-in any system capability to compensate with the volume control. I doubt that the 3.5dB increase in noise would be noticed. E.g. I recently assembled a phono pre for a customer that was MM input only. My TT has a cart. installed with an output of 0.4mV. To test the unit I ran my low output cart. into its MM input. Other than some extra noise noticeable when the music was not playing, it was an enjoyable listening experience. BTW, the MM unit I was testing was a tube design.

Dear @john_tracy :  The example per se was not the subject and only a reference to know which explanation has the gentleman that posted:

"""  Using higher output cartridges you are facing several disadvantages you need to tackle at the matching process. """

Maybe you need to read again some of the posts in this tread to understand it better.

In the other side you can't diminsh in any way those " only 3.5 db down " because we are not talking here to listen " only sound " but about top quality level sound reproduction.

"""  compensate with the volume control .. """" but this is not the main subject ( again. ) because at the performance level we are talking here we don't want higher noise/distortions but to stay at minimum.

3.5dbs means that the PLP needs to double the power and if the PLP was designed for at least 0.3mv output cartridges then its specs/overall characteristics could change in dramatic way.


Regards and enjoy the music,
R.



Dear Halcro,
Regarding your question of tuning the SUT by changing the capacitance I would not recommend doing it. You are creating a somehow high pass filter similar to a loudspeaker X-over.
3.5dbs means that the PLP needs to double the power and if the PLP was designed for at least 0.3mv output cartridges then its specs/overall characteristics could change in dramatic way.

We're talking voltage gain here, not power. If a phono pre is designed to handle 0.3mV cart. it will handle a 0.2mV cart. just fine. The only "cost" is a 3.5dB loss of S/N ratio when one supplies the extra 3.5dB of gain with the following line stage using the volume control. The phono pre does not have to double its power. Now if that extra noise is enough to kill a quality listening experience for you then you are entitled to your opinion.

As far as changing "characteristics" (its not clear what you are referring to here), if this were the case then your theoretical phono pre designed for 0.3mV cart. would not be able to play quiet passages without changing its overall characteristics. Presumably it should be able to handle from 0.0mV - well over 0.3mV so why should a cart. with less output change its "characteristics"? Like I mentioned, I played a 0.4mv cart. on a MM phono pre designed for 4.0mV cart., a 20dB difference. Other than the extra noise, no other changes.

BTW, I have read the whole tread and some of the posters here remind me of medieval clerics sitting around arguing over how many angels will fit on the head of a pin.


Dear John_Tracy,

what you are describing is an unbelievable but a not rare seen (and heard) phaenomenon. A planned mismatching! I believe you that it sounds fantastic in a way. I did some experiments as well. 

In the end when you put a matching SUT in front of the MM stage you win quite some deep and dynamic soundstage.

 


The design philosophy of my Basis Exclusive is the opposite of

the design of Halcro's Halcro. My MM stage can be only used in

unbalanced mode while except the input capacity for 100pF and

320pF there are no other adjustment possibilities. The MC

adjustments possibilities on the  other side are ''endless''.

There are the 12 fold Dip switches for the resistance and 6 fold

switches for the ''gain adjustment''. The min (basis)  gain is 32 dB

the max 70 dB. The added gain (to 32 dB) can be adjusted with

+ 4 dB, 8, 12, 18, 24 and 32 dB. The (obvious) recommendation

is to chose the lowest possible gain in order to get the lowest

possible noise. Ergo: for the LOMC's is the question if +.-70

dB amplification produces more noise than an well chosen

SUT.

Dear @thuchan : So have you answers to all those simple questions that  coming from what you posted and where you did not any explanation?

My question here is: have you specific answers or not ? and if not its ok, no problem but just tell us about one way or the other. Don't be " shy ".

regards and enjoy the music,
R.
Dear Raul, I am a little puzzled. You are stating in this thread:
> > "I’m not an expert on SUTs I’m still learning about and what I find out is that the most important subject is to match the SUT ..."

and also:

> > "in my case I experimented for more years than you with the best vintage and today SUTs and with today and vintage top PS, either SS and tube designs.“

Which statement should I follow? Anyway maybe we shouldn’t care so much about these two statements.
Regarding czarivey`s suggestion why not going for higher output MCs? In general he is right, when you are using weak phono stages (are you ? :-) this may help to get more dynamics.If you are running a phono pre with 60db gain you will not go very far with 0,2mV LoMCs – In this case you need going for higher output Mcs. But - and this is the downside: The effective mass is much higher, you have more coil on the cart carrier. Unfortunately this hinders the dynamics!LoMCs are always the spearhead of dynamics but with low output! There is no free lunch.

You are asking me why I said: " facing two coils looking at each other, the one of the cart, the other of the SUT. You need harmonizing both .... "where did you learn this because in your opinion it is " false " too. Raul, this is the basic principle of SUT matching. What should be false here? This is what you are dealing with when you are matching a SUT.You need trying to harmonize the specifications of the coil of the cart with the coil of the SUT. You described it very well when stating it`s not only about impedance matching.
If you do not accept this given fact you should not start dealing with this matter.
Anyway, I remember you asked me why I said some days ago „it is not an easy job matching LoMcs and SUTs“. Hope you understand better now.

Deciding which SUT is appropriate is a matter of personal taste and careful matching!
What were your favourite SUTs and LoMCs when you did your matching experiences?
We all want to learn from your experiences. Don't be shy too...
Dear @john_tracy :  Yes, mi mistake. I was thinking other thing and out of focus.

Anyway, increment in noise means lower dynamic range and noise is a kind of distortion too that we don't want it in any way. We don't want chage the original  characteristics.

In the other side normally PLP manufacturer gives the unit specs at certain " levels " and almost no one gives specs/characteristics at full output and the manufacturer normally try that active and passive parts on his units stay at " safe " area and problem is that not all manufacturers takes  provision of this and its parts instead to stay at 50% of the active/passive part manufacturer specs works ( normally ) at 80%+ of its intrinsec capacities and this is a problem against: " distortions at minimum " and for the PLP stay on manufacturer specs.

Yes, a designed PLP ( Phonolinepreamp ) for cartridges with at least 0.3mv can handle cartridges not even with 0.2mv but 0.15mv or 0.1mv but we have to " pay " for it: higher distortions. This is the real subject not only those numbers you are talking about.


Regards and enjoy the music,
R.