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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: The Expressive Technologies SU-1
Post Subject: Re: The TX-103 optimization kits...Posted by Thorsten on: 1/24/2005

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 Romy the Cat wrote:
So, I have no idea who was a target market for those TX-103 optimization kits

There is no "TX-103 optimisation kit". There is a commercial stepup product. It was designed to be sold through current, existing delaerships and to people to whom the recommendation:

Remove the Stepunits cover.

Unsolder the following solder bridges according to the diagram 1 below and resolder them according to diagram 2 or 3 and evaluate which sounds best to you and then solder the whole thing in place.

We could of course have fitted plug in jumpers to a PCB for such people and Socket pins to insert loading resistors. Of course, most jumpers sound a lot worse than a good switch, and they still have this "take off the top" problem. 

MF Audio might offer a fixed ratio stepup at some time, but you cannot expect Dealers to reconfigure them for customers (I'd not let most dealers within a mile of a soldering iron) so one would have give the Dealers a switchable version they can lend to the customer (and do so for free or at significant discount) and all that strikes me as a lot of hassle. Therefore the commercial stepup is likely to remain switchable, intending to give the customer the confidence that he can take the stepup home and get the best from it by simply twisting some knobs.

As said before, I AGREE that this is suboptimal, but it seems to fit the market more or less well enough.

And honest, I'd rather have a product out there that the user can easily find the best system match than one that will not match many systems and where the customer cannot be bothered to invest the time to tinker and solder for a few hours and them promptly proclaims on the net his "Dominator X" $ 5 active headamp is miles better and people should not bother with my product....

So, the current MF Audio stepup is what it is.

Anyone wanting to just buy bare transformers, braid the input wires and twist the output wires, apply some screen to the output wires and then solder an RCA in-line socket to the input wires and an RCA Plug to the Output is welcome to obtain the TX-103 from one of the various DIY Distributors (Steinmusic Germany, DIYHIFisupply Hong Kong, Hornet HiFi Croatia and Bent Audio Canada) and to do so.

All the required info to so (for anyone actually capable of doing so anyway) is on the Stevens & Billington website (I know, because I wrote it)...

Of course, perhaps S&B & MF Audio would be best off dropping the supplies to the DIY Market, changing the relatively inexpensive and functional casework for something nice, solid and heavy that screams "High End" and charge three times as much for products and offer only "optimised" versions which require a large deposit to allow audition. Maybe then people would take the products more serious. I personally would not like such an approach much and I doubt too many others would be happy. 

Ciao T

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