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Thread: MC Cartridge & SUT advice

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Midlands, UK

    Posts: 95
    I'm Kim.

    Default MC Cartridge & SUT advice

    I have an LP12 with Armageddon PS and am currently running a Goldring 1042 on an Origin Live OL1 (basically a modified RB250) into my EAR 864 pre amp. I've been concentrating on my digital source recently and I feel as though my TT has been a little left behind and am not using it as much.

    I am thinking about changing the turntable in the longer term, so probably not wanting to change the arm at the moment, but have been thinking about trying a MC cartridge. Though my pre-amp has a full compliment of Telefunken valves and I'm delighted with what it does, I'm told that the MC phono stage is a little disappointing. I'd love to change it for an EAR 868, but these appear to be like gold dust on the used market and so I was wondering if adding a SUT might be the answer. It would give me the option to change the cartridge now, but add the SUT at a later stage.

    So, does anyone have any MC cart + SUT combinations that they can recommend? Cartridge budget is probably about 400-500. My only experience with an MC was an Ortofon MC20 (I think) some years ago and I found that a little uninvolving in my set up at the time. I have never had an SUT.

    I appreciate that this is a question with a great many answers, but just pondering at the moment and looking for more food for thought.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 18,150
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    Hello Kim,

    I once used an Ortofon MC20 with the MCA76 head amp. Like you I didn't really like it and it is the only Ortofon cartridge I have sold on. In retrospect the uninvolving nature of the combination was most likely due to the MCA76 head amp: there are serious issues with the design, despite it having an admirably low noise figure.

    If you like Ortofon MC cartridges, then I can recommend the MC25FL. It has a mass of 10.5g, a dynamic compliance of 16cu and an output of 0.5mV (at 5cm/sec). As such, it only needs an SUT with a turns ratio of 1:10. I would have thought a good, used, sample of an MF25FL plus two 10:1 SUTs would be obtainable within your budget.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Midlands, UK

    Posts: 95
    I'm Kim.

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    Hi Barry and thanks for your thoughts.

    Just googled an image of the MC25FL - and turns out THAT was actually the cartridge I had before, not an MC20!

    Was more likely the setup I had at the time though, so open to the idea of trying again.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 1,298
    I'm Andrew.

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    If I'm not mistaken, your EAR's phonostage has built-in step-up transformers for MC cartridges. I've heard people say the built-in transformers are not much good, but those people are usually repeating what they've heard others say - and they're probably just repeating what they've heard others say. It could just be something that was said on a forum and has been endlessly repeated ever since.

    I suggest you get an MC cartridge and use it with your EAR before deciding to buy anything else.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Midlands, UK

    Posts: 95
    I'm Kim.

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    You may well be right Andrew. I think the comparison was also being made between the 864 and the EAR 868/912 - you would hope there would be an improvement!

    But yes, my thought was to get an MC and see how I feel about it. Then maybe borrow an SUT to see if the investment is worth it at a later date - my current amp gives me the option.

    I was looking at the Audio Technica AT33PTG just because it's within my price range, but the SUTs I looked at didn't appear to be suited to that cartridge. I wanted to make a selection that didn't prove to be awkward when I come to consider a transformer...

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Near Saffron Walden, Essex

    Posts: 5,884
    I'm Dave.

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    I agree with Andrew - there's nothing wrong with EAR transformers and the AT33PTG/II sounds wonderful into the EAR 834p and the 88PB.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Banbury, Oxfordshire/Panteg is where my late father was born

    Posts: 4,176
    I'm Chris.

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    I'm using a puresound T10 SUT, it works superbly well with Audio technica AT33EV and the OC9 MLII, should work well with the ptg also.
    Chris

    We've gone on holiday by mistake !

  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Midlands, UK

    Posts: 95
    I'm Kim.

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    Thanks Dave. I undersand that the 864 shares the same circuit with the 834P MM/MC, so good to know the two work well together.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Midlands, UK

    Posts: 95
    I'm Kim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris@panteg View Post
    I'm using a puresound T10 SUT, it works superbly well with Audio technica AT33EV and the OC9 MLII, should work well with the ptg also.
    ...and thank you Chris - I'll check out the puresound SUT too.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 1,298
    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yolakim View Post
    I was looking at the Audio Technica AT33PTG just because it's within my price range, but the SUTs I looked at didn't appear to be suited to that cartridge. I wanted to make a selection that didn't prove to be awkward when I come to consider a transformer...
    The AT33PTG isn't a difficult source and should be quite happy with a 1:10 SUT. If I'm not mistaken the transformers built in to the EAR are 1:10 and should work well with that cartridge.
    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    ... and the AT33PTG/II sounds wonderful into the EAR 834p and the 88PB.
    I'll take that as confirmation that my previous statement is correct

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