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Actually I am just curious rather than bothered. I loved the demo of his digital recordings. It just showed me how great his rig is. I had the same experience when a friend sent me digital recordings of his tricked out 301 with a Air Tight Supreme and Allnic h3000. It helped me to calibrate where my own system is at in relative terms. As regards SUTs, I would like to see him explore them because phono-preamps have such a profound effect on the final sonic result. He has all of the surrounding equipment to pass on some interesting insights. But for some reason, he doesn't seem to be into them much. I am speculating that it might be because SUTs are more of a "hobbiest" thing, rather than a plug and play piece of gear. This distinction is one that he made about himself in a conversation after the demo.
As for MF himself, so many people bash him on the web that I was prepared for the worst. I left the demo with a great deal of respect for his ears, honesty, and enthusiasm.
Fremer uses the Ypsilon external SUT's in his current reference setup.
He also reviews the Music First SUT in the latest issue - though he states a clear preference for the Ypsilon SUT.
FWIW he's also commented favorably on many phono amps that use (internal) SUT's - Manley, EAR, Lamm, Allnic etc. I can't see what your issue is?
I must admit that I read Stereophile rather spotily, so my impressions are perhaps poorly informed. I did not know that his current reference is the Ypsilon (and its external SUT). Anyway, what I think I am getting at is that I would like to see him do more reviews of external SUTs. The internal SUTs are often unavailable as separates. So reviews of some of the usual suspects, like Hashimoto, Cinemag, Lundhal, etc, through his current rig would be useful for me.
Based on what Paul wrote, we are both off base. I did assume that your basic premise was correct, that Fremer does not care for SUTs in general. Guess he does care for some of them, if they are sufficiently pricy and unobtainable. But I also agree that he is excessively bashed on the internet; he is not a bad guy at all. However, I am still SUT-less in Bethesda.
I own a Silvaweld phono stage, which I use only for MM and MI cartridges. The Silvaweld products were designed and built by Mr. Park, who lately is the designer of Allnic products. It is quite interesting to me the 180-degree difference in design philosophy between the Silvaweld phono and the Allnic H1500 and H3000 phono stages. The Silvaweld uses a JFET at its MC inputs to boost gain before the signal is fed to a tube-based RIAA corrector. If you use the MM inputs, the signal goes directly to that first tube in the RIAA. There are zero audio transformers, let alone any SUTs, in the Silvaweld. Further, the Silvaweld uses a conventional RC network to effect RIAA equalization. However, as you may know, the Allnic stuff uses a plethora of transformers, including a SUT for MC cartridge inputs. Plus it uses LCR for RIAA. It would be of interest to know why and by what process Mr. Park changed his approach to design.
Art seems to be the resident SUT enthusiast at Stereophile.
I suppose it would be interesting to get Mikey's take on a few of the SUT's you mention.
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