The acronym "LCR" simply means that the RIAA phono correction is performed using one or more inductors (L), in addition to capacitors and resistors. Classic phono stages use only C and R to create the RIAA filter network. Personally, I have always wondered why using an inductor in the filter would necessarily be "better". On the other hand, the LCR type phono stages I have heard do generally sound great. I would leave it to real experts like Intact Audio to explain the advantages of using inductors in the RIAA. There are a few even more esoteric phono stages that achieve RIAA correction using only inductors and resistors, known as "LR" types. Never heard one of those.
How does it compare with the the best tube unit you have heard in your setup? Minus the tube rush, of course.It sounds much better than the BAT tube stage that I had a couple of years back. In hind sight, that phono stage may very well have benefitted from using an SUT with it. I didn't know that then and just assumed it sounded a bit bland and lacking excitement.
On the topic of an SUT, Herb Reichert in his review of the KTE used an SUT with some of the cartridges he tested it with, and reported very good results. I suppose one might conclude that any phono stage could sound better with an SUT and the best cartridge match as such. I would like to buy an SUT to experiment with.
wish it had additional balanced output.
I thought so too. My JC-3+ has balanced outputs and I really like that feature. But after comparing using the unbalanced outputs I really don't hear any difference other than the 6dB extra gain from balanced plugs, which can be accounted for in the gain settings. I have not had balanced inputs on any phono stage I've owned, but that's OK since most tonearm wiring uses RCA plugs.
My question on this topic is, if the signal from the cartridge to the phono stage is unbalanced, is there anything gained by running balanced out to the amp? I think I read somewhere that there is no merit in this but I can't recall.
To build an LCR type phono with a true balanced circuit would require lots of parts that would have to be extremely well matched. Easiest to do with solid state phono gain stages.
If you run the single-ended signal from a phono stage into a balanced linestage driving a balanced in and out amplifier, then you would benefit from the latter connection but no you would not benefit vis a vis the cartridge and noise therefrom.
I reached out to Tim at Kitsune. But they always take forever to respond.
@themollusk79 I do not notice any hiss or background noise at all with my unit. They do say that you should keep the power supply as far from the main unit as possible to avoid noise, but mine are pretty close together and I still don't hear any noise.
You might have a bad unit, or perhaps something related to the gain settings. Something is definitely not right.
Thanks for confirming what I suspected. The noise isn’t any sort of interference. It is just typical background hiss at a level that would be associated with a cheap phono stage. With a capable stage, that should not be audible unless the volume is cranked to an unlistenable level. I have contacted Tim a few times bringing up the issue - so I just hope he is reasonable about it.
Are you still enjoying your unit?
Dear @snackeyp : " I suppose one might conclude that any phono stage could sound better with an SUT and the best cartridge match as such. I would like to buy an SUT to experiment with. "
The review in STPH that you are taking as a reference to buy a SUT does not means that your Kleos ( that I own. ) will sounds better with a SUT in your KTE because is a way different cartridge that the MSL used for the reviewer where that cartridge has a 0.6 ohms impedance.
You can buy the SUT but with the Kleos is useless do that your KTE is very good match for it. Of course that your MUSIC/sound targets and priorities are unique and perhaps the SUT goes more with those targets/priorities.
Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONs,