Koetsu RoseWood Standard upgrade?

Just mounted a Koetsu RoseWood Standard dIrectly into a Shindo Monbrison.
Is the price difference for the Signature worth the sonic improvement?
My "old" ears ain't what they used to be!
Also, should an Auditorium 23 tranny be used or is the Shindo enough?

Shindo Monbrison
Shindo Montille
VPI Scout II
Auditorium 23 cables all around
IIRC, the Koetsu has an output of .4mv, therefore, your Shindo will have enough gain.
The art of great sound goes beyond the mathematics of sufficient output. If it was that easy, everyone with basic electronic circuitry skills could do it.

To tap into that famous Koetsu magic (and, it is indeed magical) it takes more than a formula.

I have traveled the Koetsu ladder for over 2 decades finally arriving at the Platinum Tigereye. However, to unlock all the nuance that I paid for in reaching the Tigereye level, I recommend the Bob's Devices Sky 30 or the Blue Series 1131. See Art Dudley's Review:

I would definitely try the something like the 1131 if you can.
I ran a Jade in to my Monbrison, and didn't feel synergy was good. It had enough gain, but was anemic sounding. Looks like you have a nice system going there, enjoy!
Are you using Koetsu with VPI table/arm?
I tried a few Koetsus with my VPI Classic including
Rosewood and never felt them to be an ideal match.
Koetsu really needs high mass arm like FR
to really show them at their best, I believe.
I am using a Koetsu Azule Platinum on my JMW 12.7 arm and it sounds great with damping fluid. Without the fluid it is lacking in bass response.
I have the Koetsu Platinum Tigereye mounted on a VPI 12.7i arm. The synergy between cartridge & arm is excellent.
Dear Bogeybuster49: Yes, the Rosewood Signature Platinum is way better and with lower output too. I don't see any real trouble with the Rosewood in the VPI tonearm, I respect other opinions on SUTs but for me an active high gain phonolinepreamp is the best choice for the RSP or other LOMC cartridges. Yes an external SUT can works but then ( other than the SUT ) the very sensitive cartridge signal has to pass for additional stages: IC cables and connectors that degrade that precious cartridge signal. In the other side and talking on that kind of high quality performance level we have to think that the stand alone phono stage must be a real first rate design.

One of the gentlemans here posted that your Monbrison " is not a good synergy with " but this is a problem of Shindo design and in any way means that other SUT can beats a top well designed active high gain phonolinepreamp. IMHO if other audiophiles think that is the other way around and the SUT is better their way of thinking is telling us that they own or owned the wrong or not very well designed active high gain phonolinepreamp.

Of course and as always it's only an opinion.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Dear Rauliruegas,

It would be helpful if you elaborated on which active phono stages and which SUTs you used to make the comparison to determine that an active stage sounds better.

Dear Bobsdevices: To many but I can list some of them. I own/owned of heard it in my system or systems I know very well.

Now before listing: an active stage is not a guarentee that beats a SUT, it's the active device design and design execution what can gives us if it's better or not.

Other important subject is the audio/music reference/standards and own audio system targets we have because on that kind of comparisons that reference/standards we have are the critical issue.
In my case the reference is live music and my targets are: accuracy, very low distotions ( any kind ) and neutral performance to be nearest to the recording adding and losting the less of the cartridge signal.

A SUT is always the best unexpensive choice but as everything in audio items it has its trade-offs.
A well designed active stage almost always is an expensive " answer " and like all audio items is not perfect, it has its trade-offs too.

In the vintage years when appeared the LOMC cartridges almost any single cartridge manufacturer at the same time offered to their customers a SUT because the active designs on those times or were not up to the task or almost no one wont to design that kind of electronics.
Dynavector, Audio Technica, Denon, Highphonic, Audiocraft, Koetsu, Fidelity Research, Ortofon and the like did it that way.

Through my experiences the SUT trade-offs ( everything the same ) against an active high gain phonolinepreamp are at both frequency extremes where the SUT can't even that well designed phonolinepreamp. The external SUT's are more " problematic " because the cartridges signal must pass for aditional IC cables and connectors where that sensible signal suffer from several ways of " attack " as electrical polollution ( EMI, RF, and the like ) and obviously those connectors and solder in the IC cables where these sole cables always degrade the signal.

Now, I'm not saying that a SUT sounds bad, what I'm saying is that can't even or outperform a well designed active phonolinepreamp. Yes and due to those each one audiophile targets and reference/standards an audiophile could likes more the SUT over the active stage but this fact does not means the SUT is better or performs better ( everything the same. ).

These are some first hand experiences with aactive stages: Krell, Boulder, Dartzeel, Halcro, Sutherland, Atmasphere, Levinson, Pass/Threshold, Rowland Whest, etc, etc.

This the ones with SUT's: Audiotechnica, Dynavector, Denon, Audiocraft, Entré, Ortofon, Cinemag, Lunddahl, Jensen, Highphonic, Micro Seiki, Koetsu, Sony, Expressive Tech, Hommage, Audio Note, etc, etc.

Go figure my Denon DL-1000 weight is 10kgs and my AT 1000 T 8.5 kgs. I have on hand some of those SUT's that I modified for a better quality performance.

Btw, my active phonolinepreamp is a self designed one.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R .
Rauliruegas there are actually some really nice custom options available these days compared to the vintage ones you listed. Transformer cores and such have come a long way in increasing transparency. I would not be over paying for something like Tango, Altec, etc.

Some really nice SUTs from modern winders can be had from Tribute and Intact Audio. Optimized for your cartridge.
SUTs have come a long way recently. Reducing the inductance has made them more transparent. An active stage has to do a lot to the signal and you are actually introducing a lot to the signal path with an active stage. You are introducing another stage of amplification (at best FETs) along with connnecting cables inside the box or outside the box. Most of the connections inside the box are on printed circuit boards, and not point to point wiring. A well designed and executed SUT will convert the current to voltage so the phono stage will think it is seeing a MM cartridge instead of a MC cartridge. Yes, we are dealing with extremely low signals, but you can't make a generalization that SUTs by design are inferior to active stages. I have heard many well designed and executed phono stages. The best active phono stage I had heard in my own personal system was in a KRELL KRC-HR, which I still own and use for comparison. Currently I am using a MM stage from a Liberty B2B with a SUT that outperforms the KRELL, which I am just using right now as a preamp and bypassing the phono stage. What matters to me is what sounds the best. I go to a lot of audio shows and listen to systems at peoples homes. When I substitute a SUT in their system and bypass the MC sections, most of the time, there is a marked improvement in sound. Sometimes not. It is system dependent. I cannot tell you that a SUT is better than an active stage in all cases, just like I can't say that an active stage is better than a SUT in all cases. You have to consider the cartridge and phono stage combo before making that determination.
Dear Dnath: Well, customs options in a SUT is a very old " game " that came almost first from the begin. Examples:

whe Audio technica launched its top of the line LOMC cartridge MC 1000 it appeared along its dedicated AT1000T SUT, Ortofon VLOMC MC2000 appeared along the Ortofon ( dedicated ) 2000T SUT and the same when appeared the cartridges MC3000 and MC5000 but when I bought the Audio Note IO Limited II it came the Audio Note ( silver wired and optimized for the AN catridge. ) SUT.

So that custom mad is nothing new and does not change the SUT/active stage subject.

Of course that I don't heard yet all the SUTs down there but IMHO is unimportant in the whole subject.

You can compare the vintage Denon 1000T SUT against any today SUT and then you will know what I mean or take an Entré one or an Audio Note and the results will be the same. The issue is not that.

I explained some of the why's of SUTs, exist not as the best choice but as the best choice for a phono stage designer with out the right skills/knowledge to design an active high gain unit or for tube electronics designs but certainly not as the best quality performer. In the other side SUT is an unexpensive alternative but not the best one.

All goes around which are your audio music sound reproduction targets and how big is your wallet.

You can make a test the other way around, that's:

listen a top/first rate home audio system ( with active high gain phonolinepreamp. If is a SS electronics design the better. ) with performance characteristics as the ones I posted ( in the other post ) and compare it making only one change: the SUT of your preference ( any. ) and look/listen carefully at both frequency extremes and after you be aware of those differences you will understand why a SUT can't ( today ) even the best active high gain SS stages.

I already posted that I'm not saying that the SUTs sounds bad or totally wrong: NO, what I'm saying is that its quality performance level is a down step over the active high gain stages.
All subjects on audio have its own trade-offs and maybe the more critical trade-off in an active high gain stages is its high price if you want the best but there are several active high gain stages at affordable prices.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Dear Bobsdevices: +++++ " An active stage has to do a lot to the signal and you are actually introducing a lot to the signal path with an active stage. " +++++

this depends of the designer knowledge level and skills. Btw, my phonolinepreamp is a current not voltage design and today there is a trend to design in that fashion.

I think you need to make some comparison tests as the one I mentioned in my post to Dnath.

I think that what you like more are the MM/SUT distortions and certainly could be because you are accustom to or because you are a manufacturer and seller of SUTs and this could makes that your opinion been a biased opinion and not a neutral one.

Btw, I named Krell but never was one of my favorities but even that performs very well.

Regards and enjoy the music,