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Analog Playback
Topic: SU-1

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Posted by genesis168 on 11-23-2007
Hi, I am new here and would like to say hi.

I am a owner of an ET SU-1 and would like to know what phono stage would go best with it. Would a Lamm LP2 be a good match?Will be using a Dynavector XV1s with it. Thanks in advance

Posted by Romy the Cat on 11-24-2007

 genesis168 wrote:
I am a owner of an ET SU-1 and would like to know what phono stage would go best with it. Would a Lamm LP2 be a good match?Will be using a Dynavector XV1s with it. Thanks in advance
It is truly an interesting question. Expressive Technologies’ magnetic in my view has some absolutely unique sonic consequences to Sound and it might be very much benefiter or perhaps defeated by use less appropriate for the given transformer phonostage or cartridge.

I owned two SU-1 transformers and one SU-2. The SU-2 is different then SU-1; it is a toroidal version of SU-1. The SU-2 takes the SU-1 benefits slightly further but still it remains within the same Expressive Technologies’ family sound: dramatically increase dynamic, extend lower bass, very magically slow down lower mid-range and upperbass decay, uniquely “recompile” the entire Sound making all individual sound and notes as a part of “whole” instead of individual events. I evenly sold both of my SU-1 and left only with one SU-2, SU-2 has slight sonic advantages and it is MUCH smaller. Hey, do you know how I was selling one of my SU-1? Read the story:

With all my use of SU-1 and SU-2 I did not detects that they have any special attitude to special cartridges.  I used Shelters, Koetsu, few Denons, few Ortofons all of them were fine with ET transformers. They were the cartridges with different own impedance and with different output voltage – all of them were benefited by the “Expressivinization”. The lower of then was Denon with 0.12mV output and the highest was 3mV Ortofon SPU. I even liked what ET did with 5mV moving-iron Grado, and I disregarded all capacitance loading issues. Of course in all those cases you need to properly load each cartridge in accordance to own demands: ETs are 26dB fain, so multiply the loading resistor to 676 and go from there. I am sure your Dynavector XV1 should be very fine as well.

With phonostages is more complicated. I do not have a lot of exposure, at least successful exposure, to different phonocorrectors with ET transformers. When I got my very first SU-1 I had regular 834P and I liked the result tremendously. Since then I use only ET transformers with my reference arm and I some time to time (in past, not anymore) was looking for different better phonostages. I was all together perhaps 5-6 “expensive” phonostages and with not of them I was not able to get what I was able to hear from 834P, at that time it was already 2x834PT. The ET-2x834PT is a truly poltergeist-transparent combination and I always feel that get out of it some musical ghost presents that I never got form other correctors. It has to be said that I use in second stage some kind of 12AX7 aberration with mutual conductance much more then usual 12AX7. Soon I  will be converting the ET and 2x834PT into one atomic unit:

I also had LP2, I have to admit the I hate that phonostage. The LP2 own step up transformer makes LP2 to sound like a cheap SS transistor radio. The MM input of LP2 is slightly better but still is not so good. I have writhe about my disappointment with LP2 in many places:

 When I drove LP2’s MM input with SU-1 I had even worth result then with LP2’s default transformer. I have no deal why. I got rich the bogus 470pF shunt the Lamm has at LP2’s MM input stage, it helped little. I head perhaps 6-7 LP2s and everywhere I head the same flat washy-washy sound that I did not like. Perhaps you mileage will wary but for me the LP2 was very unsuccessful phonocorrectors.

It would be very interesting to try the Expressive Technologies own phonostage... I saw it and it was interesting...

Rgs, the Cat

Posted by genesis168 on 11-24-2007
Hi Romy, Here is my dilemma. I like the SU1
tremendously. Don't laugh....I had it hooked up to a
Rotel Michi RHQ-10 and the combo is sounds amazing
with my cartridges.

I recently was feeling itchy and bought a Pass XONO.
The Pass XONO cannot touch the sound of my SU1/Rotel.
The SU1/Rotel had that special SU1 sound I cannot
describe. It had balls, a huge walk in sounstage and
musicallity to boot.  So I hooked the SU1 to the Pass.
Sounded better than the active Pass but still not 100%
compatible. My last resort was to post it on yor
forum. I value your opinion and know you have lots of
experience with the SU1/2. Now, I have to sell the

I will have to look for an EAR834 to see how it goes.

BTW, the Rotel in the past have killed various
"Fremer" phono stages in the past....I don't know much
about this Rotel but it's certainly wirth mentioning.
Before I go crazy and get the Steelhead etc..I will
try to fing an EAR.

Thanks and best


Posted by Romy the Cat on 11-24-2007

Your Pass at it’s MM input should have adjustable capacitate. Drive it all the way down – the ER does not want to see any capacitance and for MC cartridge it is not necessary. I know what you mean but that “SU1 sound you cannot
describe” – it is like it takes Sound and reconstructs it, gluing notes and  regions in a new, absolutely unique order – it was exactly why I got hooked on ET transformers and I doubt that you found another piece of magnetic that would be able to do it.

You might look for EAR834 but I do not see why you need it.  If you get the result that you appreciate from you ET and Rotel Michi RHQ-10 then why do you peruse anything else? Did you indentify any specific sonic problems with your ET-Rotel combination that forced to look for a different phonostage?

I understand that you are new at this site and therefore you might familiarize yourself with following:

The Cat

Posted by genesis168 on 11-25-2007
Hi Romy, It's called "the itch". I was debating high and low before plunging for the Pass. I played around with the capacitance setting. I put it to ZERO and the sound lacked body. 100pf was a little better. Bass was tight but lacked absolute weight. Vocals were pure but lacked life. After living with it for close to 2 weeks. I found out that I was listening too much but not connected to the music which is when i switched back. It felt like a gush of fresh air. The SU-1 sound was back.. big, bold and wonderful.

I will take your advise and look for an EAR. See how it works out. I am a fan of transformers and this is by far the one of the best I have owned. What do you think about the Manley Stelhead?  I have 2 arms ahd the Steelhead has switching capabilities which beats plugging and unplugging cabes. Will read up on your other threads.



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