It is a matter of taste; the only Koetsu I have sold so far[ a Vermillion] is being used with a Tron phono stage [tube] and works well. But SUTs work also and Audio Note makes some good ones. Their top one is fantastic by all reports but mega $. The Bob's Devices SUT would be a good one to try if you are not sure ; you would lose few dollars if you found you didn't like SUTs or wanted to upgrade to a more expensive one. I think what you should ask yourself is whether you like the sound of your present phono stage; if so I would try a SUT. I am getting a Rosewood myself shortly pending selling some gear ; it is a good choice in the price/performance spectrum.
A few options: I believe Bob from Bob's devices uses a Koetsu.
Another member uses a Choir Hashimoto SUT w/ his Onyx. Another option is David from almost live audio, who carries Koetsu and A-N SUT's. Another very good line is the Silver Core from Germany. Since you already have a phono stage, perhaps you could try a few SUT's.
I know diddly about SUTs, but I did know of the high reputation of Bobs devices which use a variety of Cinemag transformers, The mavens talk about the transformer used in specific models.
I have auditioned about a dozen SUT's for my Koetsu's (originally had Redwood Platinum and now have Onyx Platinum). My two favorites are:
1) Choir Audio H7. It uses the best available transformer from Hashimoto. Price is $1679 and Choir offers a 30 day in home trial.
2) Cinemag 1131 (blue label) from Bob's Devices. Price is $1195
I have purchased both. In my system the Cinemag has better overall frequency extention while the Hashimoto brings out the famous Koetsu midrange a bit better. Both have a very large soundstage and I recommend both highly.
..another tact is to get an excellent high output cartridge so there is no need for the step up, or cables to get it connected. If you listen to the Benz Ebony H, you might even like it better than the Koetsu, whose time has come and gone for me.
Thanks everyone for your input. I'm looking into Bob's and Choir. I'm happy with the 834P particularly since I recently found some tubes that really make it sing (Mechans didn't mean to discount your input on the other thread). Knowing the price of Audio Note gear, I have to think that either Bob's or Choir are the better values. I'm really looking forward to the Rosewood. Has anyone bought one recently? It seems that the price now is over $3K.
They were just under $3000 on my last dealer sheet but it could have gone up since then.
Jaffeassc, you say knowing the price of Audio Note gear....... Do you know the "real" price? You would be shocked at what a distributor actaully buys it for and the mark-up!
Knowing the "real" price of anything audio would I'm sure make me feel a little ill. But isn't that true of most items, audio or otherwise. Everybody's gotta make a living.
I have always believed that the best bang for the buck in SUTs must be those made by Jensen in Southern California. Those guys really understand transformers. They offer guidance, and they make a few different models suitable for cartridges with different electrical parameters. Audiophiles don't pay much attention to Jensen, however.
A lot of good recommendations for SUTs. I agree with Lewm that Jensen makes terrific SUTs. I've heard a number of impressive tube phonostages where Jensens were on the front end.
I sort of disagree with the generalization made about the Audionote transformers being overpriced. Audionote's lower line transformers sound quite good and are competitively priced. Like most of the rest of the Audionote line, one pays dearly when moving up the line; the premium stuff sounds better, but, costs MUCH more for comparatively small increments of gain.
Larry, thanks for the vote of confidence on the AN "lower line" transformers. I'm not really prepared to spend more than $1k or so just getting into SUT's. I recently listened to the S8 paired with the M8, AN MC cartridge, and "big" AN table. Not sure which AN amps they were going through. AN E silver sig. speakers, i think. Very impressive.
Where did you hear that Audionote setup? The big table, if it is a TT-3, is extremely rare. It is the best table I have ever heard, but the three large power supplies for the three motors, and the 800 watt draw per per supply makes that table highly impractical.
I use a Nagra VPS with mine and it sounds great. I also tried the BPS and that was very good.
I heard the AN set-up at Deja Vu in Virginia. It was the TT3. The power supplies are awesome. I dare anyone to stop the platter from rotating once you flip the on switch!!