Phono stepups

OK, I have read with interest the phono stage threads, but what I need is just a phono stepup transformer. Marakanetz
gave me the skinny on the amount of gain I need, which turns out to be somewhere in the area of 30db. As background, I am in one of those old age phases where I am trying to simplify everything. If I actually go thru with it, I will end up selling most of my other gear and ending up with a Fisher 400 receiver (modified to use EL-34s in pp triode mode), my LP12 with Ekos/Dynavector 17D2 (.23mV output) and some kind of decent CD recorder. The Fisher only accepts a minimum of 4.5mV, so I either need to get a stepup transformer of a high output cartridge. The Dynavector is great. It has lots of pace, rhythm and timing and great detail - it gets to heart of the music. I haven't found any reviews of HO cartridges that mention having a lot of swing. Most just talk about how smooth and airy they are - but, to me, that sounds like fat and slow. So, I am thinking that a stepup will have to be the answer. Since this system would end up being on the modest side, I don't want to spend a ton of money, maybe a few hundred dollars. Do any of you guys have a recommendation for a stepup that can accomodate a .23mV output 100 ohm cartridge? Or maybe you know of a suitable cartridge (I don't think Grado or Shure fit the bill though).

See if you can find one of the many Ortofon or Denon 320 transformers. Often available at eBAY at short money. Suitable for the vintage equipment you are speaking of without getting too tweaky.
The best stepups I've heard (and I've tried 4) were the new Stevens & Billington TX-103s. In North America, you can order them from

They offer 1:10 gain (or 1:5 if you wire them the other way). Soldering required. Bent are very helpful.