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Thread: MC Cartridge & SUT advice

  1. #11
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Dunfermline, Scotland, UK

    Posts: 12,393
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

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    Rothwell make some good SUT’s at good prices, you could also consider a head amp if you like a presentation a few rows nearer the band. Rothwell make one, as well as Firebottle here.
    “Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio”

    Hunter S Thompson

  2. #12
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,166
    I'm Tom.

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    Andrew is correct, the step-up transformers in the 868PL (I assume this is the model) are the same as those in EAR's MC3 step-up (three ratios available 1:10, 1:20 and 1:10) and are decent quality indeed the MC3 used to sell for about £1000 on its own before it was replaced by the MC4.

    It's the step-up transformers in the EAR 834P phono stage that people tend to dismiss and in general I would agree with them, it's an entry level product that while fairly competent has been pumped up in price way beyond any justification. (I think when it came out, the base MM version used to sell for under £300, it's about treble that now).
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  3. #13
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 1,310
    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ali Tait View Post
    you could also consider a head amp if you like a presentation a few rows nearer the band. Rothwell make one, as well as Firebottle here.
    Yes, I'd forgotten to mention that a headamp is a possibility as an alternative to buying an outboard SUT.
    This is the one I make:
    http://www.rothwellaudioproducts.co....c_headamp.html

    Hifi_dave (Radlett Audio) has a Headspace on dem and I think he's a dealer for EAR and Audio Technica, so perhaps he could try the AT and the EAR in MC mode and compare it to the AT/EAR/Headspace and let us know what he thinks.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Midlands, UK

    Posts: 95
    I'm Kim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by montesquieu View Post
    Andrew is correct, the step-up transformers in the 868PL (I assume this is the model) are the same as those in EAR's MC3 step-up (three ratios available 1:10, 1:20 and 1:10) and are decent quality indeed the MC3 used to sell for about £1000 on its own before it was replaced by the MC4.

    It's the step-up transformers in the EAR 834P phono stage that people tend to dismiss and in general I would agree with them, it's an entry level product that while fairly competent has been pumped up in price way beyond any justification. (I think when it came out, the base MM version used to sell for under £300, it's about treble that now).
    Tom's comment is really the reason for the original post: my preamp is an EAR 864, which I understand is basically an 834L and 834P in the same box. If I could find a used 868PL I would be a very happy chap!

    I still think the earlier advice is valid - get the MC cart, try it with my current amp and try an outboard SUT or headamp when I can

  5. #15
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,166
    I'm Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yolakim View Post
    Tom's comment is really the reason for the original post: my preamp is an EAR 864, which I understand is basically an 834L and 834P in the same box. If I could find a used 868PL I would be a very happy chap!

    I still think the earlier advice is valid - get the MC cart, try it with my current amp and try an outboard SUT or headamp when I can
    Ahh gotcha I had the model wrong. I know the 868 but never played with an 864. Yes a decent outboard SUT or head amp is what you need. Andrew's suggestions are certainly worth checking out.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Midlands, UK

    Posts: 95
    I'm Kim.

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    Just thought I should complete the thread with an update:

    I ended up buying a Audio Technica AT33PGT/II and fitted it the other day. I've read it takes 20+ hours to run it, but through the EAR 864 phono stage switched to MC it does sound like a significant step forward already.

    Unable to wait, I also bought a barely used SJS Electroacoustics SUT http://http://sjselectroacoustics.blogspot.co.uk/ from a very nice chap. This does take the performance to another level, though as Andrew and Dave have said, the EAR transformers are very respectable (I'm not giving up the Hashimoto's though!).

    Thank you for all of your advice - super helpful as always.

  7. #17
    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 think you'll be very happy with that combination, good choices.
    Chris

    We've gone on holiday by mistake !

  8. #18
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 36,248
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    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.
    It was probably me who started that rumour and I'm happy to repeat it again. Having owned the MM/MC version of the 834P. Tried with various MC carts, I found the internal SUT's in the unit are bland sounding and veiled. The Fidelity Research and Osawa SUT's I had at the time, sounded far better used through the MM side of the 834P.

    I don't rate the 834P as special anyway. It's pleasant in MM use, but not outstanding and it is way overpriced second hand now. I replaced mine with a Graham Slee ERA Gold V which wiped the floor with it.

  9. #19
    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 think you'll be very happy with that combination, good choices.
    Thanks Chris - I'm sure I will be!

  10. #20
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: west yorkshire

    Posts: 16
    I'm ADRIAN.

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    The 834p has a lot of gain (designed with the idea of running the one with a volume control straight into a power amp) so I can play my Moving Coil Dynavector DV xx-2 through the EAR on mm setting so not using the built in transformers . But I would not say it sounds any better for not using the in built transformers. Am I forgetting something here?
    Last edited by Castroil; 30-05-2018 at 22:50.

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