Why are SUT's so pricey? And a few other thoughts

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by tyeeslayer, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have a Mitch Cotter SUT, and was having hum issues. Sounded great except for the hum, I stopped using it.
    Reading this, I'll have to try it again and experiment with placement.
    Thanks!
     
  2. edwyun

    edwyun Super Member

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    Yeah, that SUT is a bit excessive and probably has several internal transformers for the adjustability (hence the cost). But things like that are out there. Basically you're paying for the SUT to be able to work with a wide range of LOMCs.

    Yup. When I had hum, it was usually placement of the SUT or EMI/RFI from an outside source interfering with the low signal from the cart wiring/tonearm wiring/phono interconnects upstream of the SUT. You can try wrapping in aluminum, copper, mu metal to reduce the interference. Also, when I added a SUT, it required a change in my existing grounding scheme (which was quiet) to remain quite.
     
  3. edwyun

    edwyun Super Member

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    Ditto my experience with SUTs not coloring but providing life and bounce and magnifying dynamics and clarity. I had a Cinemag sky20 for time and was really impressed with it similar to your experience. Very quiet and I liked the available ground lift. For now using a Hashimoto HM7 into a Lehmann Black Cube SEII.
     
  4. MudSlideSlim

    MudSlideSlim Well-Known Member

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    The Japanese auction website (https://www.fromjapan.co.jp) often has 8 or so Denon AU 320 going for under $300 from time to time. The bidding process is a little bit odd and convoluted but it works. For me the Denon AU320s are well built and they set a high standard for value and quality. If you really wanted to splurge a Fidelity Research FRT-4 will go for the other side of $400 to $500 and it's excellent, the best SUT I've ever heard. Two TTs can be run each of these units.

    I've also used Rothwell's SUTs if one prefers something new and they're maybe easier too find.
    Andrew Rothwell blogs a lot on AK and he is very generous with his knowledge and time.
    Any of these SUTS should last well into this or maybe the next century.

    Michael
     
  5. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Try a vintage Fidelity Research FRT-4 SUT. They've 4x gain settings, an MM bypass and 3x selectable inputs for multiple arms or tables. I've found them extremely hum resistant vs other SUT I've tried. They're also the most open and natural sounding SUT I've ever used. The only downside is that they tend to be pricey and are beginning to get rare and hard to come by
     
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  6. tyeeslayer

    tyeeslayer Super Member

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    I decided to try out a Fidelity Research FRT-4. Ordered, and should have it in a week or so.
     
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  7. Todd Dodds

    Todd Dodds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I wasn't familiar with the FRT-4...now I want one :)
     
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  8. MurrayLives

    MurrayLives Born to lose, live to win Subscriber

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    I haven’t heard every SUT, but IME the more you spend, the better they sound, the more adjustability they have, and the smaller they get.

    8D9CFC60-C4D3-40CD-9753-F5804F0B0B8F.jpeg

    I have a Cinemark based SUT as well, and it is VERY small and quiet. I’m not exactly sure if I’d spend that money if I had a solid state phono stage, but love it with tubes.
     
  9. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Yes, I'm running a SUT based around Cinemag Blue 1254 transformers. Configured to switch between 3x gain levels, an MM bypass and 3x inputs.... I had to have that functionality after the FRT-4. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  10. vonclod

    vonclod AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I considered myself very lucky when I scored a Luxman silver wound for 500 Canadian..it was worth every penny.
    A properly matched SUT is magic.
     
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  11. rothwellaudio

    rothwellaudio Forums Sponsor Sponsor

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    All good audio transformers are expensive because their cores are made of expensive materials, they have multiple windings and they're shielded in expensive materials. They're also not mass produced. Whereas transistors can be bought for pennies, and even good op-amps cost not much more, transformers are more expensive by a factor of thousands.
    I agree that a small box brimming with transistors and resistors might give the impression that you're getting more for your money, but transistors and resistors cost very little and there's a worldwide electronics industry geared-up to automatically assemble circuit boards very competitively. Such items might look expensive but are actually a lot cheaper to make than step-up transformers are. That's basically why step-up transformers have become such a niche product - modern electronics can do a similar job much cheaper.
     
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  12. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Similar, though not better. I'm yet to hear a LOMC cart that didn't improve when used with a quality SUT.
     

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