phono stage / step up for Koetsu carts

Now that the hunt is over, Koetsu be it. Can anyone here share info on which phono stages you guys are using with the Koetsu cart ?
How about step up transformers ?
I read that these Koetsu are sensitive to loading and optimal is 100 ohms.
thanks again for the info.
all the best....
I just bought a Joule LAP-150 Mkll and have been using the stock impute of 47k Oms. This is working well but I want to try 1000 Ohms as I think that may be the optimum setting for my system. When I was using CJ Act2 and Pass XOno I tried 120 Ohms, it sounded slow and the imaging was congested. I tried 1000 Ohms but liked 475 Ohms/1.922gr VTF best and stayed there. The current setting is 1.863gr but recent P/C changes have altered the sound and a heaver VTF may add desired fullness to the "body".
Nice looking system Samhar!!!
any compliance issues with your Basis tonearm ?
Thanks for the inputs.
I don't think so, the CJ/Pass set up was very revealing and there were no compliance issue that I was aware of then and none now with the Joule.
Well, if your going to get a Koetsu cartridge, and you want to use it with a SUT, why not get the Koetsu SUT which they make specifically for their cartridges? Go to Melvin Ang's website.
a Koetsu step up is definitely a possibility in the future though that is a pricey phono step up.
Anyone here have luck using EAR834p or Tron Seven with the Koetsus ?
Thanks !
I use the Nagra VPS. The loading is at 1000 ohms for my Koetsu and 500 for my Lyra mono. PLay with loading it will sound different with different wires and equipment. there is no one setting for all.
I started out with a Tom Evans Microgroove+ with my first Koetsu. This had an excellent tonality to it but was somewhat noisy. Probably a Groove would be way better but I have never heard one.

After trying many phono front ends--Nagra, CJ, Manley, BAT, Air Tight, Aesthetix IO and many others--I got a Wavestream Kinetics phono amp and am highly satisfied.

As you may now be noticing, a good phonoamp (or SUT) is the "hidden" cost of a Koetsu.

thanks for insight. I was looking at Tome Evans as well but not the microgroove, but the Groove x.
This looks like a long and interesting journey to the Koetsu world. Hope in the end its worth it.
What cartridge did you get?

Another thing: Regarding Step Up Transformers, there are opinions about this. Here is mine since I had to make the decision with my setup.

Compared to a mediocre phonoamp, a good transformer can often produce a seductive tonality--particularly a more pure midrange--on less-than-well-recorded music and they can be particularly "heavenly" with strings. However, based on listening to many, many recordings, I came to believe that SUTs achieve this heavenly sound by rolling off the highs and perhaps through other effects.

Obviously, my opinion depends on what music I like, particular recordings, the rest of my system and a limited sampling of the universe of possible options. My system is designed to reproduce symphonic works so I chose to go the active phonoamp route which is, unfortunately, ultimately more expensive.
I tried some ways, even with the Koetsu SUT. I would say, SUT is in final a top solution when it is done right but it is VERY difficult to get a top result. Simply most SUTs are mediocre and overpriced. It was frustrating to see what "Standard" is used in "High End" units.
When you want a good and fast result, how about an adjustable Transistor Phono Stage? Klyne 7 is very good, or a Pass Xono. They are not very expensive when you get them 2.hand and you enjoy your rig.

I use a Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum. Syntax is correct IMO , SUTs are very expensive, the good ones. Those folks that use the middle of the road SUTs might not have highly resolving systems to notice the artifacts they impose.

Manufacturers use SUTs to avoid a lot of very difficult design decisions and complexity where active circuits could be used. Admittedly, active circuits that are capable of handling LOMCs are very complex and subject to a host of sonic and environmental woes if not executed properly.

In my experience,I never met a SUT that could outperform a properly executed active device. The problem is: you have to pay dearly for the active device. You or I could more than likely build a SUT from scratch or component parts that would work... building an active device would take quite a bit more formal and practical education that the average audiophile would have.

I've tried my hand at DIY and I've built SUTs and active devices that work. I have also experienced home brew active devices that might rival some commercial endeavours. In the end it is about how much money, time and effort your are willing to invest and what compromises you are willing to endure. Time can teach a lot as you experience both sides of the equation so that you have enough practical knowledge to sit on one side of the fence or the other.

I use a Aesthetix Io Signature with two supplies and a Klyne 7. I could live with either, the Klyne is cute.

Good Luck!
Can you guys share which hi end step up transformers you are referring to ?
So far I only know of Bent Audio, Lundahl, Music First Audio, Koetsu step up, Ear MC4, MC10 Liveline (Hashmoto), Bob's Devices.
Any others you guys can share ?
This is an old thread but if somebody found the TE Microgroove "noisy", there was a problem somewhere else. I have one now and the system (with 100 dB/W speakers) is dead silent - nothing. I have to have my ear right ON the driver to tell if it's on.

Tom Evans' gear in general is as silent as it comes.
I've had excellent/best results with Koetsu's straight into tube preamps at 47k - magic with my Marantz 7 ( mounted on a Zeta tonearm ). Have had experiences with vintage Altec step up's - you really need to try before you buy, but my experience with most preamps using built in transformers is that they are restrictive. Sold Klyne headamp to Koetsu owner and he was very happy, preferred it to an Audio Note transformer.
I am getting good results using a Choir Audio H-7, which
uses Hashimoto transformers.
I listened always on 1 kilo ohm on the plp.