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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: The K&K SE hybrid phono stage: a report
Post Subject: Stepping upPosted by Paul S on: 5/27/2007
If you try/find an acceptable active MC step-up, please share your experience.  I think the (stupid) Boulder op amp is the only one I've heard so far that does not sound severely "compressed" to me, and it really pisses me off that I have no idea at all why this would be so.  My best luck with MC transformer step-ups has been with the "dedicated" Ortofon pairing.  Even though this may not be the "best" transformer I've tried, it does work "the best" with its "companion" cartridge.  I suppose this has mostly to do with close impedance and gain matching, although Ortofon certainly has the facilities to have "voiced" the thing, if they wanted to.  I think the Ortofon tranny uses a Mu metal core, blah, blah, blah.  I plan to re-do my arm wire (again...) to lose a few connectors, since these just suck, every time (just not as much as active gain...).

I understand that there are other core materials that are stronger than the amorphous cores.  But who cares?  I like some things I find more of with the amorphous cores, particularly a certain sonic "integrity" that keeps timbral balance constant at all levels of volume and complexity, and they also seem to keep "inter-relational" dynamics in better balance/perspective .  Might be like those clunky old Alnico magnets for speakers...

In fact, once a transformer is a given I can't really think of a downside to the amorphous core trannies, apart from the fact that "big H" ones have to be physically larger than a couple of other cores types.

But that hardly applies in this case...

And, like you say, they are cheap enough to take a flyer.

Kevin Carter may still be out of town right now, but if you can remain pleasant ;>Wink he might be able to help you when he returns...

Best regards,
Paul S

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