WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

the thin end of the wedge
MandM
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WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by MandM » 27 Sep 2018 01:45

A lot of talk about SUT's and what to expect. All I can say is WOW!! I hooked it up, reconfigured the Phono-Pre and fired everything up. All I can say is the difference is night and day. First the volume knob on my Pre-Amp is now set at 1/4 instead of 1/2 and the sound is incredible. On the low setting the mid-range dynamics are that much better. Bass is now tighter and even more of. On high, the volume of coarse is louder and the bass is even more, but the mid-range dynamics are effected.
The Power amps are cranking out the same volume as without the SUT but at half the effort.
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This is the most amazing change I have heard in my system and it was only $350.
Mike M

Hanuman
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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by Hanuman » 27 Sep 2018 03:51

wrote:The Power amps are cranking out the same volume as without the SUT but at half the effort.
Well, no, that's not how a power amp works. The power relationship is between the power amp and the speakers. The "work" is done by the speakers from energy supplied by the amp. Turning the volume up seems like pressing down on the accelerator but that's not how it works. In fact the volume control is more like a brake and turning it up is actually releasing the brake. If the output volume is the same as before then the amp is putting in the same effort as before no matter what is going on upstream.

TudorTurtle
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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by TudorTurtle » 27 Sep 2018 03:56

Mike, very cool. What SUT are you using?

Alec124c41
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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by Alec124c41 » 27 Sep 2018 04:42

The power amp has a fixed gain.
What is happening is that the preamp is receiving a higher signal from the phono stage. You adjust the output of the preamp to the power amp, to get the volume you want.
That said, yes, a SUT into a MM stage can sound quite a bit better than feeding an MC into the MC section of the same phono preamp. Mine is an FR.

Cheers,
Alec

MandM
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WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by MandM » 27 Sep 2018 13:00

Cinemag Transformers.
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Built by a Guy in Salt Lake City Utah. He sells them on e-bay. I was looking at Bob Devices also. The 3440AH (blue) is supposed to have better lamination's then the 3440A (red). I liked the selectable gain switch with 18 & 36 gain options.
As I said, my Ortofon Quintet sounded the best at 18 gain
Mike M

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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by lenjack » 27 Sep 2018 15:21

I'll bite. What is a SUT? Step up transformer for a mc?

Alec124c41
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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by Alec124c41 » 27 Sep 2018 17:01

lenjack wrote:I'll bite. What is a SUT? Step up transformer for a mc?
Bingo.

Cheers,
Alec

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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by Boltman92124 » 27 Sep 2018 17:40

Alec124c41 wrote:The power amp has a fixed gain.
What is happening is that the preamp is receiving a higher signal from the phono stage. You adjust the output of the preamp to the power amp, to get the volume you want.
That said, yes, a SUT into a MM stage can sound quite a bit better than feeding an MC into the MC section of the same phono preamp. Mine is an FR.

Cheers,
Alec
Why is that true? If the SUT is similar in gain to the MC section on a phono pre, why would it sound better? It adds another component and an extra set of cables as well?

Does it remove the need for cartridge loading on the MC?

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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by ChrisfromRI » 27 Sep 2018 18:25

The additional gain in a MC phono stage to support a LOMC cartridge requires electronic amplification, and no matter how you slice it, every time you amplify with an active powered device like a transistor or tube you add some additional degree of noise, distortion, and non-linearity to the weak signal coming from the cartridge. A Step-Up Transformer is a passive transformer that is simply a voltage multiplier and generally can often add less noise, distortion, and non-linearity to the weak signal than electronic amplification.

This is a general comment and there are plenty of examples of all electronic MC phono stages that do work just as well (or even better) as a Step-Up with a MM phono stage, but they are generally more expensive than the typical Step-Up and MM phono stage.

Alec124c41
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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by Alec124c41 » 27 Sep 2018 20:26

Chris said it. In this case you get more signal from the SUT than from the MC step-up in your phono stage, but the signal is also cleaner. The SUT input loading is preset for MC.

Cheers,
Alec

Boltman92124
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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by Boltman92124 » 27 Sep 2018 21:09

Alec124c41 wrote:Chris said it. In this case you get more signal from the SUT than from the MC step-up in your phono stage, but the signal is also cleaner. The SUT input loading is preset for MC.

Cheers,
Alec
And passive. Gotcha! Thanks.

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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by jdjohn » 27 Sep 2018 21:19

Congrats, Mike! I bet now you wish you had done it sooner :D Now you have to listen to all your records all over again :lol: Don't forget to now shop for a mono MC cartridge 8)

Of course getting the correct step-up ratio to match a particular MC cartridge is key. There's a good article in the Library here on VE that helps. I went with an adjustable model made by Signet/AT since I like to swap carts every so often. Denon made an adjustable model as well. There are usually several listed on eBay, but they are not necessarily cheap :shock:

MandM
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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by MandM » 27 Sep 2018 22:03

Its amazing how SUT's are such a mystery to so many MC users, me included. Cartridge Loading is still important. Step Up Transformers come in many flavors. All accepting different cartridge loads. This one I bought is good in the 1 to 20 ohm range. My Quintet likes 20 Ohms. Other SUTs are favorable to 20 to 40 ohm loads, etc. etc. They all output usually to 47 ohm MM load setting. Some SUT's are designed as Phono SUT's others are Mic SUT's that are converted to Phone SUT's
Gain is also different depending on which SUT you use. 18 to 38 db seems to be the avaerage.
Mike M

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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by ]eep » 28 Sep 2018 04:03

Congratulations. Yes, a SUT is very simple and very effective at I/V conversion. Much more so than an extra opamp, tube or transistor which amplify (ie modulate input current with small input signal) the tiny signal. It's simply the smartest way to beef up the tiny mc signal to mm levels.

No, it doesn't help your power amplifier, it makes the job easier for your phono-amp. (kind of childish not to understand and go pointing out that it does not work for a power amp when it's the pre-amp).

No, a SUT is not an extra stage. Not if you know what goes on in an mc phono stage. It's less. There are less components in the signal path, and the shorter the path, the less information will be lost, ie: the better the sound will be. Especially when the savings are invested in better parts.

For mc you need an extra opamp+cap or drive your tubes or transistors harder or use more stages. This has way more impact on sound than a simple passive coiled wirex2. I'm not that rich that I can afford a megabuck phono-amp but I have had a pretty awesome tube preamp stage coupled with a SUT, now an opamp based phono-amp that I totally reworked that is far beyond the retail version (with tube stage sold for 400-1000). I sincerely doubt I'll ever go back. In fact, I now own 2 silverwired SUT's.

Oh, just read above. To demistify: a transformer doesn't come in any flavor. It is simply a coil coupled to another coil by a magnetic core. The number of windings in each coil define the ratio. Oh surprise. And that's it. It doesn't have any impedance, resistance or anything. It's a wire. The impedance viewed by the cartridge is that of the mm stage devided by the ratio squared. So if your SUT is 1:10 and your MM phono has 47k input impedance the cart 'sees' 47,000/10²=470 Ohms. That needs to be at least 10x that of your carts impedance. Often Denons are high impedance designs with a lot of coil windings, therefore you can't use a high ratio SUT. But most MC carts (might I say 'high end') have around 10 Ohm and need to see >100 Ohm so you could even use a 1:20 Sut without getting into trouble. Where trouble means loss of frequency range and amplification factor. Again, less is more. For a 0.4V cart a 1:10 is best, for the rare 0.15V coreless cart 0:20 will be better.

A transformer doesn't come in dB, it comes in ratio. Because if the input impedance of your phono-amp is too low or the number of windings in you mc coil too high you will lose dB. Fast.
I forgot to say, rather obviously, a 1:10 SUT will step up voltage 1:10. Thus 0.4mV becomes 4mV. provided the input has a high impedance and the carts output impedance is low. The closer they get the less it becomes. This might lead to the strange problem that a higher ratio transformer will bring no better amplification. Ergo, again, less is more.

Get the ratio you need to get between 3 and 5mV.

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Re: WOW!! I just installed an SUT and it is incredible

Post by tlscapital » 28 Sep 2018 18:23

Alec124c41 wrote:...
That said, yes, a SUT into a MM stage can sound quite a bit better than feeding an MC into the MC section of the same phono preamp...
Mind clarifying please ? I am afraid not to understand what you're implying in that oddly formulated sentence :wink:

On the passive SUT matter, I get what the OP got to discover as an improvement for his LOMC cartridge.

Yet, I wonder if installing such a passive SUT just before my adjustable preamp would benefit my HOMC ?

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