SUT advice

I am restoring a Garrard 401 and intend to mount a Ortofon 309D, the 12' version. I chose the 309D for the flexibility of removable head shells and intend to use, alternately the Ortofon Silver Meister SPU(0.3mV) and the Miyajima BE mono cart (0.7mV). I am looking for advice on a SUT, compatible with both carts that will be plugged into the MM input on my Nagra VPS phono.
This is a fun project and not to compete with my main vinyl rig.
Any suggestions/comments welcome
Thanks in advance
5730ac72 b4ae 4369 9106 b94235ab9855sunnyboy1956
Ortofon Verto should work nicely.
Hello Pradeep,

How's your 401 project going? I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts when your project is done. What kind of plinth did decide on?

Are you looking to improve upon the SUT's built into the Nagra?
Hi I've been thrilled with my E.A.R. MC4 SUT into my 2nd Input in my Nagra...

The primary cartridge I've been using in a Allaerts MC2 Finish (.2mv)...

I will say my Lyra Atlas via this SUT also sounds pretty damn great into the Nagra...I won't say it's better than than the MC input...but it's more resolved and pleasing...I tend to flip back and forth some depending on the recording...
I like Jfrench's recommendation of EAR products very much. Their vinyl components are outstanding.
I use Dynavector SUP-200 with excellent result with Miyajima Zero mono but it is only 0.4 mV so the gain may be a bit much on BE mono. Don't know about Ortofon cartridge but I find the Dyna similar in tonal balance to Ortofon T-100 SUT except for better speed and pacing and just a tad leaner with more resolution.
Many thanks for all the comments/advise
How does the Ortofon Verto compare with its more expensive sibling, the 80 SE ? This is high on my short list and I did get to hear it, albeit too briefly with the Miyajima BE. It obviously should match well with the Silver Meister SPU.
We decided on a plywood plinth with a rosewood veneer. It's a slow moving project in the sense that the woodwork has yet to start.
The 0.3mV of the Ortofon SPU is way too low for the Nagra to handle. Actually , the Garrard restoration is an opportunity to do the many vinyl things I have longed to : a 12" arm, mono playback and an old style SPU.
Ideally would like a single SUT that can handle a range from 0.3mV to 0.7mV without unplugging the leads at the Nagra end.
Would like to check out your Dyna recommendation but I don't think there is a local dealer. Maybe on my next trip to Singapore.
On current reckoning the Ortofon 80SE is the front runner.
Hi my EAR MC4 has 4 taps I think it fits your description. Here's a good review btw ...and covers the various gain/loading options...

It's worked very nicely for me...and my Lyra at .54 mv and the Allaerts at .2mv..

I am actually thinking of trying a different SUT...maybe one the Ypsilon' real reason other than experimentation...possibly the Allnic SUT also..

Curious what others come back with here...
Check out the Bob's Devices with the 1131 Cinemag's.
I've been through this recently for SPU Spirit and SPU Royal and tried a few SUT's at various price points.

I found the Denon AU300LC resonablly well balanced but loses a lot of detail, the Ortofon Verto played the age old trick of being overly bright in an attempt to sound detailed. in fact I tried the Verto out with a wide variety of carts and came to the same conclusion every time. I settled on a Phase Tech T1 which is astonishingly good. I also tried a friends Bobs devices SUT and it was also excellent but didn't directly compare with the Phase Tech.
I have the MM card for the Nagra VPS on order. Do I need the dealer to install it ?
Hi it's pretty easy. their is a jumper behind the front panel that needs to move positions, then install the's held in place by the RCA jacks and the screw on collars, then a ribbon cable from main board to mm card.

5 minutes tops. Easy.

The ribbon cable is a bit delicate...pretty sure it's silver wiring and just needs to be fully inserted into the connector (make sure the connector is fully pulled up...then insert ribbon cable...then push down on both sides of the connector.

Really not much to go wrong...

Since you started this thread...I went back to using the Lyra Atlas on the Nagra MM card via the EAR MC 4 SUT. (I also run it this way tube only vs the SS gain needed on the MC card). I may have to modify my comments above...I think the Rockports are revealing more...and I like the EAR SUT and Nagra MM tube only better than the Nagra MC card w SS gain engaged.

Anyway, I think you'll enjoy playing around with a SUT...pls keep posting which SUT you try and you're thoughts...

I live in Athens, Greece.

I have been involved into Hi Fidelity audio reproduction since 23 years ago. It was back in 2002 when I decided to set up a thoroughly new system. At the same time I started studying again electromagnetism in order to refresh my knowledge acquired through my studies as mechanical engineer.

During the last 10 years I have been member of local audiophile clubs and have attended numerous listening sessions at friends' homes mainly. I do not know how many vinyl cartridges I have listened to but it is more than likely to be more than 50!

I am also a professional coil winder and manufacturer of extreme hi fi components. More specifically I'm winding whatever you might think of and of course I'm manufacturing MC step up transformers at ratios 7.5x up to 80x with exactly same frequency response.

As you might well think, I can wind any SUT transfofmer for any MC cartridge that exists. I had wound a 40x SUT and it was already playing at a friend's system, it was driven by a Lyra Parnassus. This cartridge was hands down the best I had ever auditioned. There was also available a Benz Micro TR without the ebony wooden case. It was naked with 1 ohm internal impedance and 0.1mV output. We plugged the Benz TR and I could not sayb that it was better in all aspects, equally good sound but not clearly better.

It then came into my mind the idea to wind a special pair of transformers, dedicated only to Benz TR, with a step up ratio of 80x! That would be the greatest challenge, as nobody in the world designs and manufactures SUTs at such 'extreme' ratios. Under these insane ratios, you must be very careful to the DC resistance of the tonearm wire, as the losses rise by the square of turns ratio.

The pair of SUTs was ready and moved to my friend's house for the first audition with the Benz TR cartridge. It took only one turn of the vinyl for us to be so thrilled like never before. I never remember myself sitting in front of a susyem speechless and completely amazed to that degree!
After my thorough experience in cartridges and SUTs matching, manufacturing etc, all I can say is that

Benz Micro TR cartridge (specially the naked version with gyger diamond but all of them are not that different) combined with a 80x SUT is the best combination I have ever experienced in my life, something that lies into its own world, it is a combination that thrills your mind and captivates your sould like nothing I have ever experienced!
I tried Bob's DEvice's new Sky Cinemag SUT with my Ortofon Anna (.2mv, 4ohm ) into the MM stage of my Zesto Andros.

The SUT was Bob's demo unit with the low output section broken in, but not the high output section.

On high output section, it seemed a little bright and since I have a high gain preamp, I tried it at low output.

The overbrightness went away and I still had more than adequate volume for rock levels at 60 volume level on my preamp. It was an improvement over running directly into my MC stage on the Zesto. Bass was deeper and better defined. Treble was even more airy and there was more space around the instruments.

On Bob's recommendation, I have since gone back to the high gain setting in order to break in that part of the SUT. This yields the lowest possible noise floor as my preamp only needs to be at 40 max for rock level volume.

As I put more time on it, I have noticed the brightness going away, so this will be the setting I leave it on.

I have not AB'd other high end SUTs so can't comment on whether Bob's devices are better or worse, but I can say it's dead quite in my system and the results have been worth the $1250 intro price for the SKY.

interesting post! do you sell these SUT's or work for a manufacturer? Curious to get more info...this post has me wondering if I should check out a different SUT...I am happy with what I have...but as you never know until you try...thanks
Hello Sunnyboy.

Have you considered building your own? Not from scratch - but buying the transformers, resistors, connectors, and box. Advantages: save a PILE of money, use the components that YOU prefer, and get some real satisfaction from the result. I say this especially in light of Petavgeris' posting.

I use Sowter 8055's (OCC option) with Vishay VAR resistors and Relcap RTE styrene caps for the loading circuits. This improves considerably on the Koetsu SUT and rivals (but not quite equals) the big AN rig (direct comparisons in my own system). My cartridge is a Koetsu platinum (.3mV).
Hi Terry
Many thanks for your response. Any idea how much the DIY kit costs viv a vis some of the SUTs mentioned in this thread ?
Hello Sunnyboy.

Sowter transformers about 200 GBP for the pair (directly from Sowter), $100 for the resistors and caps. I use Eichmann female RCA's at $50/pair. The biggest advantage is flexibility: you can build in alternative resistances with a switch or two, and use that to tune your sound without the use of reactive tone controls. All in, less than $600; and that is using the type of premium components that few would use, unless they were charging 10x the price. After all, manufacturers have to make a living too.
Hi Pradeep,

I purchased a couple of Hashimoto HM-7 transformers from Isao Asakura at SoundTraditions. He provided me with all the instructions I needed to wire up my own SUT and I couldn't be happier with the results. I'm using it with a zyx 4d at .24mV. Saved a few hundred bucks as well.