[JN] magik ??

Christian Rintelen christian at rintelen.ch
Mon Feb 1 13:15:39 CST 2021

ok, without checking in the huge SUT grave aka grab box … these come to my mind

JT-346 AX
Tribute 1:10 nano
Tribute 1:20 nano
Silvercore 1:10
Silvercore 1:5
Silvercore 1:5 for 400 ohm Zin
Sowter 9570
Sowter 9990
Sowter 1090
Lundahl LL 1931
Lundahl LL 1933
Lundahl LL 1963
LL 7903 (for HO MC)
Haufe T-890

measuring and listening are two pairs of shoes… the tributes measure excellent, very little ringing, well behaved — but i keep removing them from my system after a couple of days. not my sound.

the sowters are excellent value for the money, nothing exotic, often too restrained. depending on model, measurements show multiple resonances, but the zobel values supplied by sowter are a good starting point.

the lundahls allow a direct comparison between mu-metal and amorphous core. both measure ok and mostly have one resonance peak that can be tamed with a zobel. one of the transformers where the zobel really does change the sound. the 1933 (mu-metal) and the 1931 (amorphous) are pretty much the same transformer with different cores. sonically, i prefer the 1933; the 1931 shows this super-detailed sound that may sound okay on a «normal» hifi system, but with horns, it gets too nervous. the 1963 is optimized for solid state phono stages. for high output MCs that need a little boost or galvanic isolation, the LL 7903 does surprisingly well in 1:2 or 1:4

the haufe is okay, sounds good with DL-103 or EMTs.

the silvercores with the big amorphous cores and pure silver wire are stupidly expensive, huuuuuge, show frightening resonances on the bench — but sound open, «musical» and offer the right amount of details. kraus wound me a 1:5 for 400 ohm Zin — which works great with soundsmith’s LO MI carts. 

where the transformers differ, is also in susceptibility to hum. the JT-346 is triple shielded; so far i couldn’t make it hum. the tributes are not too sensitive but can hum. the sowters will hum, but can be tamed. the silvercores don’t hum either although they have only one shield.

my go-to SUTs are the JT-346 AX (which btw is optimized for 6k8 load; if connected to a normal phono stage with 47k input, it will sound shitty!) and the Silvercore 1:10. the JT-346 offers spectacular value for money in terms of disappearance. you can’t hear it, it’s transparent, doesn’t hum, has well tamed peaks (with the zobel suggested by jensen) … the proverbial wire with gain. the silvercore has similar traits, but is a bit more dramatic. never exaggerating, but sort of like a 1970’s Neve console, it makes everything sound bigger, better, more colorful. (just w/o the Neve’s coloration).

in my experience, some SUTs benefit from zobels, some not. defining the zobel is not so easy because it has to fit to the cartridge and the DCR of the arm wiring. both components of the zobel, the resistor and the cap, are audible. chose wisely…

IMO people often place the SUT too far away from the phono stage. which is not the way to go — the secondary output of a SUT is a high Z output, and the interconnection to the phono input should be kept as short as possible. the cable between SUT out and phono in has to be low capacitance and low inductance or else it will roll off.


_ _ _
aka christian rintelen

> Am 01.02.2021 um 19:08 schrieb bear <bear at bearlabsusa.com>:
> On 2/1/2021 1:00 PM, sound-request at soundlist.org <mailto:sound-request at soundlist.org> wrote:
>> Christian Rintelen <christian at rintelen.ch> <mailto:christian at rintelen.ch>
>> To: Joes <Sound at soundlist.org> <mailto:Sound at soundlist.org>
>> Subject: Re: [JN] magik ???
> <snip>
>> as for the use of super exotic materials ? i?ve built amps using nothing but amorphous and nanocrystalline transformers from input to output and LCLCL supply filtering (only the mains transformer was conventional steel). the result was unlistenable. just incoherent details. exotic materials are fine for one core, but not for all. i have at least 20 different SUT of all kinds. of my two favorites, one uses a normal nickel core, the other an amorphous.
> Whoa!  Tell us more?
> What was the topology?
> Did we do any testing? Got pix of the results?
> Very curious. 
> -- 
> -- bearlabs.com --

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