Don't know how to get any info at all on Expressive Technologies SU-1 MC step up transformer. All I know is that it's supposed to be one of the best ever. And also very expensive. I don't know of anybody who ever found one for sale. Very very rare. If you are lucky enough to ever find one, and have enough money to pay for it, then you are probably resourceful enough to find the info.
If you have to look for another option, which is likely, then you might look at the Kondo Audio Note silver wound transformer.You already have the M.A. Cotter Mk2. These are considered to be the next step below the SU-1, and these can be found. And it is entirely possible that the Kondo and Cotter units may be as good for less money. The SU-1 is so rare, that it is legendary, and I really don't know anyone who has compared them A/B. Sometimes legends get blown out of proportion, when they are so hard to find.
I was interested in one as well untill I did find a new one in England at Audio Freaks, you can contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The price is scary. Good luck.
Well, Paul? Is it really what they say it is? Is it better than a Cotter, or Audio Note? C'mon now, you can't leave us hanging on this one! We must know.
I really do not know, I have never heard it. A well respected friend in the audio community doesn't think it is worth the money. As for being better than the Cotter I will say yes, as for the Kondo, it comes down to what you like. I think that is what is the difference between the crazy audiophiles who need the most expensive and latest, and the ones who upgrade for the thrill of the music.
Stereophile did reveiw this item so you may want to call them for a back issue.
There is one ET SU-1 somewhere within this site for sale. Although the seller asks close to 150% of the original price but if you are serious about analog then SU-1 is unavoidable item. There is nothing remotely close.
Romy the Cat
I have to be the dissenter here. I had one of the Expressive Technologies in my system for about a month, auditioning it against two high end (traditional) phono stages. I was using two turntables, a Versa Dynamics and a Basis Mk4 with Graham arm. The cartridges were the Benz Ruby 2 and the Koetsu Rosewood Platinum Signature.
The first of the two traditional phono stages was the EASE Magnum Phono which was the final version of the Counterpoint 9 by Michael Elliott, before the demise of Counterpoint and the birth of Aria Audio.
The other phono stage was the Aesthetix Io in it's stock original form with non Signature electronics, caps and wire, and with a single power supply. This was before experimenting with NOS tubes. (This was the dead stock original version).
The EASE Magnum was clearly preferred by everyone who auditioned my system, including myself. The EASE used a FET in the first stage which should have helped tip the scale in favor of the Expressive, but the EASE scored lower distortion and more importantly, much less "tizzy" tonal balance and perhaps slightly less dynamics.
The Aesthetix Io beat both of these producing the most detail, the largest and deepest soundstage and with a sense of ease and liquidity while (slightly) exceeding the dynamics of the Expressive. Dynamics and gain are by far the strongest suit of the Expressive, at the expense of natural tonal balance and color.
I would describe the Expressive as sounding "audiophile" and contrasty, but in a nasty way. The transformer could be effected greatly by it's proximity to other electronics, including all motors.
Even in the most ideal position, it got beat up badly by the Io. That's why I returned the Expressive and bought my first Io.
The Io was later upgraded to dual supplies and NOS tubes and I though it not possible to be any better. That is, until the Io Signature version was released. This ultimate version with premium parts, dual supplies and NOS tubes is clearly in a class all it's own.
Aesthetix is available in 240 Volt, making it a practical choice for Germany. I believe Musical Surroundings is working on setting up a distributor and warranty station in Germany, perhaps through Clear Audio.
Good luck in your quest for excellence.
Albert, would you please remind me what do you mean when you're taking about the Aesthetix. Do you mean a phonostage with 454 tubes 43 gain stages, a shit loaded of the so-call "audiophile parts" and sounding windy like a seashell form the Florida beach? I can give you a long list of the phonostages that must not be used with neither SU-1 not SU-2. Your experience with SU-1 was quite predictable.
Good luck in your pontification for AAs excellence...
Romy the Cat
The person who promised to bring the Aesthetix back into my home only under a general anesthesia.
Romy, I will not waste my time answering a question that you already have enough attitude and opinion of to serve everyone at Audiogon.
I doubt you have done the audition I described, much less taken the time to evaluate on a high end analog system.
*** Romy, I will not waste my time answering a question
It was not the question that would require your reply.
*** that you already have enough attitude and opinion of to serve everyone at Audiogon.
Not quite correct. You serve them. I just point out the level of the servants.
*** I doubt you have done the audition I described, much less taken the time to evaluate on a high end analog system.
Comforting thought, isnt it? Although, you are very correct: I DO NOT participate in the auditions AS YOU DESCRIBED because I find that your evaluation methods methodologically are bogus and produce totally abstract and not-conclusive result.
Have a good day.
Romy the Cat
No wonder you were thrown off of Audio Asylum. It appears you have nothing but venom to contribute.
Once again we are blessed with the bombast and utterly laughable displays of psuedo audio knowledge which is Romy. After his welcome has been fully exhausted on the Audio Asylum board, he now tries to establish his parasitic practices here on Audiogon. We know, we know, you treasure your ban from AA like a badge of honor. Some badge.
After reading Albert's post regarding the IO, I successfully imagined Romy's inevitable response nearly word for word. About all that remains is for Romy to throw up (as in regurgitate) a further post claiming that the A'gon "big brother" has edited or censored his post. Poor Romy, so oppressed, so misunderstood.
Actually the nature of your juvenile act is incredibly transparent, Romy. Troll the boards, pick out something to bash, then trot out outlandish statements which have neither a basis in fact nor, more importantly, supporting evidence of any kind.
Oh sure, continue to use your common rebuttal, which only resembles logic in that it is "pretzel logic". Vilify someone else's evaluation method as inferior to that which you personally employ, yet give not even a hint regarding your methodology. One would think you'd jump at the chance to "educate" us on how your approach is preferable, as superior an intellect as you obviously believe yourself to be. But no, you won't because you are all blow and no go. Wait, though, I'll save you the time of responding that we "underlings" don't deserve for you to spend the energy required to enlighten us. We know that you'd prefer to let us suffer in our bliss of ignorance. To quote Henny Youngman, "Please"! As in please leave us alone.
Surely you will find the time and energy to respond to this post, more than likely through the use of circular argumentation or inane reasoning. But, please, PLEASE, spare us the fake fracturing of the English language. In one post you can be seen to use completely correct syntax and structure. In another, you make yourself look like the poster child for ESL. It, and you, grow increasingly wearisome. I'd wager that the sound you claim to hear from the IO is not from "seashell on Florida beach" but, rather, the wind blowing, having entered one of your ears and subsequently passing, unimpeded, out the other.
I actually enjoy reading Romy's threads. Most of the time I have no clue what he is saying since I don't use any of the megabuck components that he usually shreds apart with his claws. But, I read his (un)flavorful and almost vindictive descriptions of these with a light hearted ethusiasm that puts this assenine world, either within hifi or without, in a more liveable perspective.
At first : Thanks for all answers !!!
A special thanks to Paul for the tip whith Audiofreaks!!!
For the SU-1 here on Audiogon i have this month not enough money! Hey Albert! How long ago is it that you have the SU-1? Have the man it now and can i buy it? I can understand you both , Romy and Albert ! But Albert , i look only for a SU-1!!! NOT for a phonostage!!! Some people have a dream - my dream is a SU-1!!!!! Is here anyone from West-Virginia? Randall from his Stereo-Outlet says he has one for me! He wants 1200USD for it! LAUGH!!! Believe me , i want really a SU-1!!!
Thanks to all
Frank, I borrowed the SU-1 from a local dealer for testing when he was an active part of my audio group. This was several years ago, about the time Counterpoint went bankrupt. I had concerns about warranty work for my SA9 / Magnum Opus, and was looking for alternatives.
I understand you want the SU-1 and not a phono stage. The only reason I mentioned the Aesthetix is the performance for price ratio it offers.
The Io with volume control and spare input has enough gain for MC cartridges down to .1 MV, it serves as full RIAA, and replaces your existing phono AND preamp for little more than you will pay for a SU-1 by its self.
If money is no object and the SU-1 fulfills a dream, then go for it. You may not be happy going another route.
As for the dealer from whom I borrowed the SU-1. He sold it after my test, and he became a dealer for Aesthetix.
I'll add in that a number of years back I had an SU-1 in my system when I had one of the original Transfiguration cartridges with its miniscule output--not even my JP-80's MC stage had enough gain to play it without tube noise problems. The SU-1 actually worked quite well for me, but (1) I had it well away from motors and other transformers, in the same place my Lamm LP2 is now in fact, and (2) I had a VERY difficult time trying to get interconnects to use with it which didn't cause hum problems (the Expressive Technologies interconnects do work with it, but they are roughly as flexible as a garden hose frozen in the winter, and few others I tried (or could afford at the time) save the XLO Signature seemed able to work). Once I got it worked into the MM stage of my JP80 it worked very well (there are those who think that's the best way to use the JP80), although I always felt that the sound was slightly bass-heavy, probably a function of the XLO or the cartridge. Ultimately I sold it when my cartridge was wearing out, as I couldn't afford to upgrade/retip it without selling the ET. Sold mine to a gentleman in the Netherlands for $1700, so I'm a little surprised at the price being asked now on the A-goN--should have kept my unit instead of putting the money in my Keough, I guess. I think that the SU-1 probably is the best step-up transformer you can get, and is beautifully made, but it does come with its own set of compatability issues, and may not necessarily be the best choice in every situation, as Albert notes from his experience.
Give as a later version of the SU-1 ? The first cost 3500USD and the later version over 5000USD - is that right ?
Mine had a list price of $3500 when I bought it in the early 1990s. Got it used then for what I sold it for 3 years later. I did not know of any subsequent price increase; indeed, I doubt if there was any change to it, not much you could change, so don't see why there would be an increase.
I have seen and heard an SU1. It sounds just fine and very quiet (no hum pickup). It is very big. I'd say 12" wide by 10" deep by 8" high (30 x 25 x 20). Must be heavy, too. There is a lot of shielding and the transformers themselves are supposedly quite large. It's quite unique.
My guess is that the gain is about 26dB (20:1), having compared it to my new step-up. RCA jacks in and out.
Is that the way on Audiogon ? I , yes I , post a wanted for an SU-1 here on Audiogon ! 3 weeks later i became an good offer and i`m happy ! 2 hours later i don`t understand the world ! The man says ," Sorry but i have sold the SU-1 at a other man that gives me more money ! Why he makes ME an offer of 2000 Dollars , when he want more money ??? Why he don`t start a Auction , when he want more money ? Is this fair ??? and is this the way here on Audiogon ??? OK !!! Then i say good bye to this page !!!
"My last words are : POST A WANTED SELF"
Frank from Germany
Frank, I am sorry for what happened to you. I don't know the details but can see you are extremely frustrated. I hope things get better for you.
Thanks Albert for your answer ! I see it gives friendly people ! Thanks a lot !!!
Yes, Frank. We're not all like that here on Audiogon. You unfortunately got a "bad apple" out of the barrel. Sorry.
I recently purchased an Expressive Technology SU-1 for use with my Aesthetix I/O signature phono stage driving a low output Van Den Hul Colibri. I also was lucky enough to have borrower a Verion Mk 1 and a Bent Audio MU TX-103 in silver to do a shoot out between the three. (If any one is interested email me and Ill send you photos and sonic data I recorded. (Pcbemail@example.com)
I agree that placement and cable selection with the ET SU-1 is critical. Im finding that n my cable choice of Siltech FTM-4 Gold is working best. I still have a ground / hum issue but hands down the ET SU-1 is the most dynamic T/T Ive listen to date.
I have the original manual on the SU-1 and can scan this information if anyone wants.
I use a Tektronix oscilloscope and sound pressure meter with a calibrated test record to do my study. So I have gather two types of data, actual meter data and audible feedback with my own two ears.
It was just amazing the sonic extension that the SU-1 had moving from LP to LP changing the transformers and reading the pick values at the same time intervals. Waveform extension could be seen as voltage peaks on the scope. I actually have picture comparisons of all three transformers on the scope that I can send you.
My system consists of the following analog playback equipment. A SME 20/2 turntable with a Graham 2.2 arm with Hovland cables. I just brought the SU-1 from a dealer friend for only 2K and Im using Siltech HTM-4 gold cables as an interconnect to my Aesthetix I/O signature phonostage. My cartridge is the Van Den Hul Colibri with a gold coil and a wooden body. I have finally reached Audio Nirvana with this setup.
Daer friend: I own severals cartridges and tonearms. I'm a music-analog/lover and I can tell you ( with confidence on my 40 plus years on music and with confidence on my ears ) that " THE BEST STEP UP TRANSFORMER IS NO STEP UP TRANSFORMER " in the signal chain. When you put more stages ( transformer, cables, conectors, etc ) in the delicate and very low power signal that comes from your phono cartridge you ALWAYS degraded this signal. The best solution: a good preamp with built in phono stage ( with out a step up transformer inside ). When you hear this then you can hear your records for the first time. I really mean it.
I wonder what phono stage you might be using? I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that a step up device inevitably degrades the sound! The combination of a tube phono stage with a nice step up driven by a lower output cartridge has sounded best to me in my limited experience.
Dear Kleech:Why I already told that a step up transformer degrades the quality of the sound/signal reproduction ? .
Well: for you can use a step up transformer you have to have a preamp with a built in phono stage ( RIAA equalization ), like yours.Now, your preamp is a low gain unit in the phono stage and you need an out board step up transformer for you can listen to a low output moving coil cartridge.Imagine, for a moment, that your preamp has a high gain phono stage: then you don't need the step up transformer and the sound reproduction of the signal it will be more directly and the quality of that sound reproduction is far better than in the step up transformer way.
If you use a step up transformer you are putting an additional stages in the signal chain ( the signal goes over many meters of wire inside the transformer, has to go over additional conectors/cables, the transformer adds it owns distortions, it will be phase shift and more contamination in the signal, etc. ) so ALWAYS degrades the signal.
Now, maybe you like this colored sound, but this don't means that the quality of the sound is better with the step up transformer than with out it.
So the issue here is what are you looking for: this colored sound or the best quality sound/chain reproduction for the music. If you are a music lover then you have to choose the second option.
My advice for everyone is that always have an " open mind " about the audio/home system.
You have to try a preamp with a high gain phonostage, and in this way you can find, hear and understand all these issue. Maybe you like it or maybe not, but this is the only way to conserve in purest form the very delicate signal that comes from the phono cartridge and remember that your reference always has to be: Live Music, not other audio system.
The reproduction of the music at home is very complex task and has many issues. Every day I'm learning about it. My target is , time to time, been closer to the live music, or at least don't stay so far from it.
I'm a music lover, once time I was an audiophile: not anymore.
I agree that an "open mind" is a necessary prerequisite for enjoying this hobby. All reproduced sound is colored in one way or another...our individual experiences and preferences should dictate what palette we choose for painting our ideal sonic picture at home!