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SUT or Phono Amp?

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SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby JBonner » 30 Aug 2013 12:55

Hi!, Some advice, if you will.
I am currently using an Angle Audio (non-virtual battery) phono amp on my Denon 103r feeding into a Quad 66 pre-amp.
It's not a bad sound at all, in fact for the money the Angle seems something of a steal. However, I would very much like to see how a Step-up transformer behaves in this system.
I had thought of buying either new Sowter or used Partridge/Beyerdynamic/Cinemag units for a simple DIY construction.
I would welcome any advice on any aspect of this project, from comparisons of the Angle Audio unit to SUTs in general to suggestions as to which transformers would be best for what I want.
Thank you in advance.
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby bauzace50 » 30 Aug 2013 15:02

Hi,
This is to point out an alternative to what you request. My experience has been very good with the Denon SUT model AU-300LC and DL-103R. All in all, an inexpensive setup which is highly satisfying.

Good luck in your project, if you choose higher specifications. You'll be on you own, and that IS good!

Regards,
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby Dr Pan K » 30 Aug 2013 15:21

i currently use cinemag blue diy sut's and they are amazing.

the denon step ups are mostly deisgned around the classic 103 and not the lower impedance 103 R but some, like B50 above, find them to be a good match for the R version too.
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby OneyedK » 01 Sep 2013 10:48

I'm using Lundahl transformers with my DL-103R's.
Chose them above Sowter, mainly because of their nice price.
I cannot compare to Angle Audio, but what I noticed with my Musical Fidelity is that it performs better in MM mode than in MC mode.
With the SUT's, bass became tighter, clearer and stronger. No difference in the mid and high frequencies.
btw, had to load up the secondaries of the Lundahls with 100k extra to get the sound just right.
I don't think I will switch back to an MC headamp, more likely to try even more expensive SUT's.
Technics SL-1200 Mk2 recapped / MN bearing / Funk Firm Platter / Denon 103R / Lundahl LL1681
Thorens TD 126 MkIII / SME Series III / Ortofon SME 30H // AT-OC9ML/II
Thorens TD 160 / TP16 / Stanton 681SE
Denon DP-1200 - WIP -
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby Dimal » 01 Sep 2013 13:48

OneyedK wrote:I'm using Lundahl transformers with my DL-103R's.

Out of interest :) , which Lundhal Txfrs are you using?

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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby niels » 01 Sep 2013 14:25

With a SUT you can get a good quality MM riaa only and live happily ever after I think.
Like so many others I thought one needed an MC riaa, I totally forgot about transformers, also because of no prior experience with them. After I got a Rothwell MCL a whole new world opened up for me, and I am never going back.....best purchase I ever did.
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby OneyedK » 01 Sep 2013 18:46

Dimal wrote:which Lundhal Txfrs are you using?

Lundahl LL1681
Technics SL-1200 Mk2 recapped / MN bearing / Funk Firm Platter / Denon 103R / Lundahl LL1681
Thorens TD 126 MkIII / SME Series III / Ortofon SME 30H // AT-OC9ML/II
Thorens TD 160 / TP16 / Stanton 681SE
Denon DP-1200 - WIP -
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby Dimal » 02 Sep 2013 10:03

OneyedK wrote:Lundahl LL1681

Thanks... :)

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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby hoolio » 03 Sep 2013 09:42

I use an Icon Audio MC TX SUT with the Denon DL103R through a Cambridge Audio 651P.
The SUT opens the sound up for the better with improved tones and sound stage, I can't go back.
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby abs1 » 03 Sep 2013 21:28

Dr Pan K wrote:i currently use cinemag blue diy sut's and they are amazing.

the denon step ups are mostly deisgned around the classic 103 and not the lower impedance 103 R but some, like B50 above, find them to be a good match for the R version too.


I'm using a Denon AU300-LC SUT with my DL-103R cartridge with great results, and before that I was using the same SUT with a DL-103 with equal results. The AU300LC is a fine match for either of these cartridges.

According to Denon's specs -

DL-103 output impedance = 40 ohms
DL-103R output impedance = 14 ohms
AU300-LC recommended cartridge impedance = 3 ohms through 40 ohms

I see no conflicts or mismatches there, and that's backed up by my real world experience. :)

Cheers,
Al
VPI Traveler, Denon DL-103r, Denon AU300-LC SUT, EAR 834P MM phono stage, Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum (KT120's) integrated, Jolida JD100A tube CD player, Audio Note 2.1B DAC, Tekton Design M-Lore towers. Shure M97xE w/SAS, Grado Gold1, Denon DL-103 as spares.
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby Dr Pan K » 03 Sep 2013 21:45

true, many friends here use the denon SUTs with both carts and good results but theoretically speaking there is a mismatch issue. Ever tried using a 150-180 Ohm SUT with the 103R ? you might be surprised
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby abs1 » 03 Sep 2013 22:35

Dr Pan K wrote:true, many friends here use the denon SUTs with both carts and good results but theoretically speaking there is a mismatch issue. Ever tried using a 150-180 Ohm SUT with the 103R ? you might be surprised


No, I've never tried a 150-180 Ohm SUT with my 103R. Wouldn't that choice be system dependent? Quite frankly, I went with Denon's AU300-LC for two reasons - one, because its specs fit into Denon's stated parameters for this cartridge and two, because at its low price ($259.95 US from LP Gear) I could afford to purchase it as an experiment and get rid of it easily if its aural performance didn't suit my ear. Happily it worked out fine.

With all of that said, I would like to try a new Bob's Devices Cinemag SKY SUT and an EAR MC4 SUT to see if the speculated performance increase exists and if it does exist see if the very large increase in cost ($260 for the Denon vs. $1700 for the Cimemag and $2400 for the EAR) is worth it. Unfortunately I would have to purchase both of these SUT in order for me to make the comparison. Presently, I'm not at all dissatisfied with the Denon, so at this juncture it's difficult for me to undertake this trial.

Cheers,
Al
VPI Traveler, Denon DL-103r, Denon AU300-LC SUT, EAR 834P MM phono stage, Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum (KT120's) integrated, Jolida JD100A tube CD player, Audio Note 2.1B DAC, Tekton Design M-Lore towers. Shure M97xE w/SAS, Grado Gold1, Denon DL-103 as spares.
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby niels » 03 Sep 2013 22:47

You can put the Rothwell stepup on your list also then.
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby OneyedK » 04 Sep 2013 09:28

Dr Pan K wrote:Ever tried using a 150-180 Ohm SUT with the 103R ? you might be surprised

I agree.
My DL-103R's both measure around 19 Ohm output impedance.
The LL1981 with 100k extra on the secondary presents around 190 Ohm to the cartridge. I like it like that.
Technics SL-1200 Mk2 recapped / MN bearing / Funk Firm Platter / Denon 103R / Lundahl LL1681
Thorens TD 126 MkIII / SME Series III / Ortofon SME 30H // AT-OC9ML/II
Thorens TD 160 / TP16 / Stanton 681SE
Denon DP-1200 - WIP -
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Re: SUT or Phono Amp?

Postby Dr Pan K » 04 Sep 2013 14:32

@ Al: try contacting David Gerren of cinemag directly and build your SUTs in house. they will end up costing a fraction and trust me, they sound like heaven (bought 3 pairs...)

I chose them over others because they have a "native" 180 Ohm loading without adding resistors, which could (in theory) alter the sound quality. And consider that i have a very fine, dead quiet phono with tons of settings and still prefer using it with SUT's
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