Question about step up transformers

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Maxray, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Maxray

    Maxray Member

    Providence, RI
    I am dying to use the phono stage in my Scott 299b with my Clearaudio Concept low voltage (.4mv output) MC cart. My understanding is the phono inputs on the 299b won't be able to deal with the low output voltage, and a step up trandsformer has been recommended.

    I am currently using a Clearaudio Nano Phonostage running it into a standard line in input on the Scott.

    Here is my question - are there large differences between the different step up transformers out there? I recently read a review about the Bob's devices models, and the K&K kit or assembled versions. Pretty large price difference between these. I am willing to spend the money if there is a marked audible/quality difference - curious about peoples experiences here as I am a total noob when it comes to step up transformers. Could use some guidance!


    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. try1256

    try1256 Super Member

    Winter Springs Fl
    I have a K&K basic SUT. Assembled it myself. Very satisfied. My cart has a .4 MV output as well. I used the 1:5 set up at first but changed to the 1:10.
  3. guiller

    guiller Toscaninichus Australis

    Buenos Aires (Argentina)
    The Clearaudio Nano has both MM and MC settings. I used myself a Nano with a LOMC Yamaha MC-7 to great results. So, in principle you don´t need anything else besides the Nano (used in the MC setting), unless, of course, you would like to try what is the effect of a transformer + Nano (used in the MM setting).
  4. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Española NM
    All SUTs I've used into a MM stage have sounded better to my ears than the corresponding MC stage. With the lowest priced one (a Denon AU-300LC) into my Luxman L-505u, the difference seemed limited to a little more liveliness, a little more "bounce" to the music. With my Bob's Devices 1131, that difference was more pronounced, but other positive differences, harder to characterize (for me at least) were also there. Possibly that overused phrase "blacker blacks" applies. More contrast, less politeness, more clarity. Yeah, it was expensive though. My Parks Audio Budgie SUT seems to do most of what the 1131 does, but at a friendlier price. Funny how that goes, eh?
    Grbluen likes this.
  5. bob06

    bob06 Addicted Member

    New Hampshire
    I would highly recommend SUTs. :thumbsup:

    JFRACE AK Subscriber Subscriber

    New Jersey
    I have 3 SUT's, a Triad, RCA,and UTC. All 3 have different outputs, as well as sonic differences. They will all have their own sound and application to some cartridges over others, so the cartridges "house" sound should play a key in your decision on which to get. I have also tried out a McMartin and a few others.

    My RCA plays wonderfully with my Denon DL-300 and my Pickering XLZ-7500S MKII, but the UTC doesn't match well at all. The UTC sounds better with a Denon DL-103, and a Van Den Hul, but also lacked when using a Koetsu black and Benz Micro wood bodied cartridge. So the RCA was a better fit on carts more neutral, with the UTC a better fit on bright cartridges.

    The Triad is the "low man on the totem pole", but sounds equal to me on all cartridges. It has a great bass response,but mids are probably the weak point. The UTC has even better low end and very nice mid range, but lacks on the upper end without a bright cartridge. The RCA seems to do everything really good, but doesn't have the low end of the UTC.

    I also like how the SUT's interact with my high output moving coil cartridges. I have an SAE 1000LT, and have also tried them with a Denon DL-110.

    So I'd look more into your cartridges characteristics, then the characteristics of the transformers that will be used in the SUT build and match it that way. 2 of mine also have multiple loading capabilities, so that also will help for loading.

    There are a few custom builders on here who can also help out with getting one done.


    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. rothwellaudio

    rothwellaudio Forums Sponsor Sponsor

    It would be possible to select three SUTs at random and get very different performance, but the application of a little thought can reduce the variables dramatically. First off, although there are some old SUTs with very high turns ratios and some microphone SUTs have very low turns ratios, your cartridge (and most modern LOMCs) needs a 1:10 turns ratio. Three different brands of 1:10 SUTs would sound a lot more similar than three completely different/random SUTs.

    Sticking to 1:10 SUTs, what differences can you expect from different brands? The more expensive ones will have a better bass end (probably) and should have a cleaner treble end. Also, some transformers are more prone to picking up mains hum than others.
  8. Chubba

    Chubba Active Member

    StCatharines Ont Canada
    Still liking my RWR Audio MCT-1 sut.It is old and Canadian but so am I.The manual says it should last forever..Wish I could.

Share This Page