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Thread: Opinions on Tribute SUTs

  1. #41
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

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    I'm Jez.

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    Quote Originally Posted by montesquieu View Post
    Alex I'm quite curious as to the rest of your system when you made that comparison.

    I've done it time and and time again, something repeated at intervals over many years, SUTS against both headamps and MC stages, compared using a whole raft of high-end cartridges from an Io2 to Koetsus to Miyajima to top end SPUs - and always the high-end SUTS always come out on top ... I've owned a few nice SUTs, not just the HM7s but Kondo-era AN-S6c, the internals in my current EAR 912, S&B TX103, Jorgen Schou for Ortofon SPU, quite a few others ... beating MC inputs and head amps alike essentially every time.

    Plus points for the best SUTs - quietness (once you get them positioned), immediacy, dynamics, musicality. Down side is principally matching, both impedance and gain - easy to get it not so much wrong, but 'not quite right' with sub-optimal results.

    Plus points for head amps - a lot less faff when it comes to hum, much more flexibility in matching with a variety of cartridges, and unquestionably more sound per pound. Down sides - hiss, and the ineffable ... I don't know, hifi wise they can be very good indeed, but musically even really good ones like the Slee Elevator (which I realy rate, don't get me wrong) just fall short of the very best SUTs for me. In my experience of course. But you pays your money ...




    I wouldn't put the ST80 anywhere near the top rank of SUTs, it's overpriced by a mile by the sound of the one I heard (with an SPU incidentally).

    I have heard great things about the Paul Hynes BTW I would love to hear one.
    I respect what you say Tom but I would say that for reasons long lost in the annals of hi fi but related to makers of MC's being used to using fine wire and winding stuff... SUT's were always more common. There is a dearth of really good high end head amps out there. Marco reckoned that the Paul Heynes pipped mine yes... it is around 1500 I believe and there are further upgrades I would be doing on mine if able to sell them at this price. he also reckoned it was not that much better than my MkI, which was itself upgraded after that before Alcarmicheal bought it. Since then there is my MkII as favourably reviewed recently on AOS.

    I don't doubt for one second your findings and sincerity on this but I would say that there are not many truly high end head amps out there to compare top SUT's against, and that the likes of offerings from myself and Paul Haynes my change your mind... or at least persuade you that the two methods are equal when equal effort and resources have been put into them
    Arkless Electronics-Engineered to be better. Tel. 01670 530674 (after 1pm)

    Modded Thorens TD150, Audio Technica AT-1005 MkII, Technics EPC-300MC, Arkless Hybrid MC phono stage, Arkless passive pre, Arkless 50WPC Class A SS power amp, (or) Arkless modded Leak Stereo 20, Modded Kef Reference 105/3's
    ReVox PR99, Studer B62, Ferrograph Series 7, Tandberg TCD440, Hitachi FT-5500MkI, also FT-5500MkII
    Digital: Yamaha CDR-HD1500 (Digital Swiss army knife-CD recorder, player, hard drive, DAC and ADC in one), PC files via 24/96 sound card and SPDIF, modded Philips CD850, modded Philips CD104, modded DPA Little Bit DAC. Sennheiser HD580 cans with Arkless Headphone amp.
    Cables- free interconnects that come with CD players, mains leads from B&Q, dead kettles etc, extension leads from Tesco

  2. #42
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 4,188
    I'm Jez.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alcarmichael View Post
    Hi Tom,

    The rest of my system was a modified 1210 as source, the head amp's and SUT's were into a Croft 25R/RS into a Croft series 7 to B&W 805's. If you're interested in giving the Arkless a go you're welcome to try it.

    Cheers,
    Alex
    Just noticed that Alex has very kindly offered to lend Tom his MkI Arkless head amp! Go for it Tom and Alex You have nothing to lose in allowing a top quality head amp it's voice amongst amongst the many very high end SUT's you've tried.. not that top quality head amps are common.. bit of a niche product! Hence you can not have tried many....
    I'm sure you will have the wherewithal to make up various loading plugs to experiment with your various cartridges Tom?......
    This should be interesting! Yes there is a further improved MkII... and if I was to be selling one for the 1500 of the Paul Haynes model there would be things I'd be doing above even the MkII... Head amps are such a niche product that I don't expect to sell more than the odd one here and there, it's not my "bread and butter".. my only stake in this is as an engineer, to try and show that when done properly etc the head amp option is at least as good as the SUT option... and of course much more flexible in cart matching etc I've no idea how this will turn out!
    Arkless Electronics-Engineered to be better. Tel. 01670 530674 (after 1pm)

    Modded Thorens TD150, Audio Technica AT-1005 MkII, Technics EPC-300MC, Arkless Hybrid MC phono stage, Arkless passive pre, Arkless 50WPC Class A SS power amp, (or) Arkless modded Leak Stereo 20, Modded Kef Reference 105/3's
    ReVox PR99, Studer B62, Ferrograph Series 7, Tandberg TCD440, Hitachi FT-5500MkI, also FT-5500MkII
    Digital: Yamaha CDR-HD1500 (Digital Swiss army knife-CD recorder, player, hard drive, DAC and ADC in one), PC files via 24/96 sound card and SPDIF, modded Philips CD850, modded Philips CD104, modded DPA Little Bit DAC. Sennheiser HD580 cans with Arkless Headphone amp.
    Cables- free interconnects that come with CD players, mains leads from B&Q, dead kettles etc, extension leads from Tesco

  3. #43
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 551
    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anubisgrau View Post
    That is an extremely unsophisticated circuit and not very quiet.

  4. #44
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: belgrade serbia

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    I'm gordan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    That is an extremely unsophisticated circuit and not very quiet.
    it depends how you define quiet, if you mean any audible noise associated with the PSU and mains, it runs on batteries hence more quiet than anything you need to plug into a socket. it has other issues that batteries introduce but this circuit has been chewed over and over on diyaudio.com and there are much better variations within a price range - certainly under a $100 to get it go

    of course, what paul hynes is doing is a completely different bag, he's a master of regulated supplies and ultimate PSs; not everyone is keen to recharge or exchange batteries every week or so.

    if anyone really wants to be reassured what top SUTs do with top headamps, i can borrow some from my or my freinds' stash, such as tango MCT-999, tango NN600-50k, ortofon T-3000, cotter mkII. they have fiercely defeated a plenty of $$$$ headamps or active MC stages, inc pass XONO, pathos inthegroove, various SOTA DIY work etc. i personally don't waste my time on these tests anymore but everyone is welcome to do so. and btw any of these costs less than any of the reverend headamps out there. you can start with ortofon T-3000 which i think SJS sells for 600 pounds.
    Gordan.
    Speakers: Oris Swing MkII
    Amps: Thomas Mayer 300b (main) or Hiraga La Maison de L'Audiophile 20
    Preamp: Dave Slagle EMIA AVC
    Phono Preamp: Shishido LCR by Solaja Audio
    Decks: Garrard 301 with Fidelity Research FR64fx (main) or Kuzma Stabi S with 4 Point
    Cartridges: SPU Spirit (main) or Koetsu Black revisited by Salai or Miyajima Shilabe
    Step Up Transformers: Tango MCT 999 (main) or Ortofon T-5000 or Luxman AD8000 with 8030 capsule or Fidelity Research FRT-5 or Lumiere SUT
    Digital: Akai CD-79 modded
    Wires: of sufficient length

  5. #45
    Join Date: Jul 2016

    Location: Welsh Borders

    Posts: 205
    I'm Gary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anubisgrau View Post

    if anyone really wants to be reassured what top SUTs do with top headamps, i can borrow some from my or my freinds' stash, such as tango MCT-999, tango NN600-50k, ortofon T-3000, cotter mkII. they have fiercely defeated a plenty of $$$$ headamps or active MC stages
    This may be true - or not, I don't know. But can't we have more moderate rhetoric, for heaven's sake? There seems to be something about online forums that brings out the suburban warrior in a lot of folks. It's not uncommon to read posts talking about how "my amp kills amp XZ", or "I heard a [insert name] system at a friend's house, and my system stamped all over it". It's a hobby for Pete's sake! Making comparisons is fine, and in fact it's a large part of what we like about forums. But we don't need playground warfare.
    IB

  6. #46
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 551
    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anubisgrau View Post
    it depends how you define quiet, if you mean any audible noise associated with the PSU and mains, it runs on batteries hence more quiet than anything you need to plug into a socket. it has other issues that batteries introduce but this circuit has been chewed over and over on diyaudio.com and there are much better variations within a price range - certainly under a $100 to get it go

    of course, what paul hynes is doing is a completely different bag, he's a master of regulated supplies and ultimate PSs; not everyone is keen to recharge or exchange batteries every week or so.
    What I had in mind was R1 in particular (on the circuit diagram visible in the link). What purpose does it serve other than to add noise to the signal? You could have the quietest power supply in the world and R1 would still be messing things up big time.

  7. #47
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 551
    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinitely Baffled View Post
    This may be true - or not, I don't know. But can't we have more moderate rhetoric, for heaven's sake? There seems to be something about online forums that brings out the suburban warrior in a lot of folks. It's not uncommon to read posts talking about how "my amp kills amp XZ", or "I heard a [insert name] system at a friend's house, and my system stamped all over it". It's a hobby for Pete's sake! Making comparisons is fine, and in fact it's a large part of what we like about forums. But we don't need playground warfare.
    IB
    I agree absolutely. I use hi-fi as a device for listening to music, not as a weapon to "stamp all over" somebody else's hi-fi. Of course the "shoot out" has been with us in many guises since caveman days but I would prefer to keep that attitude out of hi-fi.

  8. #48
    Join Date: Jul 2016

    Location: Welsh Borders

    Posts: 205
    I'm Gary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    I agree absolutely. I use hi-fi as a device for listening to music, not as a weapon to "stamp all over" somebody else's hi-fi. Of course the "shoot out" has been with us in many guises since caveman days but I would prefer to keep that attitude out of hi-fi.
    Hi-Fi for swinging pacifists! Count me in! We should rename the "shoot-out" as the "side by side comparison". By the way, does anybody share my suspicion that instant back-to-back comparisons are not a helpful way of choosing hi-fi components? I remember back in the 70s going into Lasky's in Tottenham Court Road and you could have any speaker you wanted demonstrated to you. There was a whole wall chock-full of of different loudspeakers from different manufacturers, all being fed from the same source via a multi-way switch. So you could ask to hear Santana and get the salesman to switch to a different set of speakers at the end of every line. Absolutely bewildering! You learn nothing. You get an immediate ear-pop or sugar-rush from the impact of a new sound each time one cuts in, but the very experience of being bombarded with sharp contrasts in a short time space really makes meaningful appraisal impossible. You really need to have the piece of kit, whether loudspeaker or amp or whatever, available for continuing listening sessions over a decent period to be able to decide if you like it (much less love it!). Of course, that is difficult. Especially via a shop. We are lucky in that the manufacturers associated with forums mostly tend to offer extended loans of equipment for trialling at home. Far more helpful!
    Sorry ... thread hi-jack. Just my two-penn'oth. Back to SUTs and head amps... !
    IB

  9. #49
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 1,712
    I'm Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkless Electronics View Post
    Just noticed that Alex has very kindly offered to lend Tom his MkI Arkless head amp! Go for it Tom and Alex You have nothing to lose in allowing a top quality head amp it's voice amongst amongst the many very high end SUT's you've tried.. not that top quality head amps are common.. bit of a niche product! Hence you can not have tried many....
    I'm sure you will have the wherewithal to make up various loading plugs to experiment with your various cartridges Tom?......
    This should be interesting! Yes there is a further improved MkII... and if I was to be selling one for the 1500 of the Paul Haynes model there would be things I'd be doing above even the MkII... Head amps are such a niche product that I don't expect to sell more than the odd one here and there, it's not my "bread and butter".. my only stake in this is as an engineer, to try and show that when done properly etc the head amp option is at least as good as the SUT option... and of course much more flexible in cart matching etc I've no idea how this will turn out!
    Probably need 100 ohm and 500 ohm .. though I would get a pretty good impression at just 100 ohm.

    And no I'm not terribly skilled in the soldering iron department but you probably figured that out already
    Speakers - 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys with custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Preamp - EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII with Ikeda IT345-CR1 and Ortofon 309 Limited tonearms; Cartridges: Miyajima Kansui, Zero Mono and Premium 78, Ikeda 9TT, Ortofon SPU Royal N and SPU Mono GM MkII, and GE VX II vintage mono; phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for early mono and 78; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport and RPI2 with HifiBerry Digi+ board, heavily upgraded Audio Note Kit DAC.

    'Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib und Gesang der ist ein Narr sein Leben lang.'

  10. #50
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Manchester, UK

    Posts: 125
    I'm Simon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anubisgrau View Post
    you can start with ortofon T-3000 which i think SJS sells for 600 pounds.
    I do have an Ortofon T-3000 SUT (another toroidal core btw), along with a Kondo era AN JP SUT, AI S800, Jensen JT-34K-DX and Hashimoto HM-7. As I have Ortofon MC70 Anniversary and Audio Note IO carts, both of which are low impedance low output, it is hardly surprisingly that Ortofon and AN JP SUTs are the best matches for my carts. If you have a similar low impedance low output cart the T-3000 will be excellent, if your MC cart has higher impedance and output you may find the HM-7 preferable.

    If we go back to the question asked by the OP, I would say that if you can get Tribute SUTs designed for your MC cart, then get them and you will not be disappointed.
    SJS Arcadia Line Level Pre-amplifiers, Headphone amps, MM Phono Stages and SET Power amps - service, repairs, upgrades

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