The Bent MU is no more so the best bet right now would be to find a used pair. From what I understand John Chapman of Bent Audio is getting close to finding a new transformer so he can start shipping MUs again.
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I would consider the more affordable step-up units like Lundahl and Cinemag until you decide about the phonostage. Your future phonostage might offer excellent MC inputs or high quality internals step-ups. Also, there is a better version of the Lundahls available soon that is not advertized on the K&K website yet (larger transformers than the existing ones - ask Kevin).
the BENT's are very good acording to doug deacon whom I trust about everything other than which Moterhead record I should buy next.
In the pro audio world, jensen transformers are sort of the last word. I used to run a pair with a lyra helikon and noit only did they sound dead flat but they measured *exactly* as they spec'd out. I had never witnessed that before in a real test of response and THD, but I was prettyy impressed. Don't count them out if they have a model that suits yoiur needs, they beat out Lundahls, sowters and altects among others, in my system.
I have a pair of the original copper Bent/S&B TX-103s which I had used prior to getting my K&K phono stage from Kevin. The K&K uses the new Lundahl LL1931 SUT, and can be wired for 1:8 or 1:12, kind of "in between" the standard 1:10. The Bent can be wired for 1:5, 1:10 or 1:20. Running direct into the K&K's MC input vs. into the MM input with the Bent's in line is quite illuminating. I'd say the Bent's sound excellent, perhaps just a bit of mid-bass bloom, and just a bit veiled on the top-end, but this may be the byproduct of having another set of connectors in the chain (which has an easily audible impact). The Lundahls in the K&K are a bit more immediate sounding, and have a real sense of cohesiveness throughout the entire frequency range, with a bigger sound than the Bent SUTs. I have to go back and look again, but I think Kevin loads the primary on the Lundahl, where on the Bent the secondary is loaded. Two very different ways to approach the probelm, and one that I'd like to listen more closely to. Good listening.
Let me try and clarify some misunderstandings- The Auditorium 23 model 103 step up transformer was voiced around the Denon 103. Every transformer must be voiced around something. This does not mean it can't be used with anything else. Universal doesn't exist. We've used the Auditorium 23 103 transformer very successfully with many cartridges like EMT, Shelter, Benz, Lyra, Magic Diamond, Dynavector and many others.
If you plan to upgrade the phono preamp any time soon, I would hold off on the transformers until you have that preamp in hand. The Denon is not so low that you can't run it straight in with many preamps, and if you can do so it will be more transparent, with greater impact and bandwidth.
If you keep your phono section, then it sounds like you may need a transformer. I will second the Jensen transformer vote; they are some of the most neutral we have seen.
thanks for clearing that up , what do you currently use, reccomend ,and with what results?
In the not too distant past I was considering the K&K, I just got side tracked by the Aud 23.
that is very good to hear,what is the context of the rest of your system?
I'm going to continue my research of the Lundhals Thanks
but stick around because I'm sure I'll have a few more questions for you.