Any update on MU step-up replacement?

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meby

Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« on: 24 Jan 2008, 10:25 pm »
Hi is there any update on release date to the replacement for the MU step ups?
Thanks,
Mike

John Chapman

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #1 on: 25 Jan 2008, 07:47 pm »
Hello!

I get almost daily e-mails about the MU - feeling really bad that is is taking so long to get shipping again. I've been wating for quite some time for the latest round of transformers for testing. 2 of the 3 needed for these tests are here now and the other is due in the next month. Once I get all those I'll do another round of listenning tests - it is hard to predict if one of these 3 will be 'the one'...... If it is it won't take long to start shipping - all other parts (lots of them!) are in stock now. 

Thanskj!

John

Agrippa

Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #2 on: 2 May 2008, 07:18 pm »
Any more news from the step-up front?  I'm in dire need of good step-up these days, but if the new MU is close to being unveiled I'd be happy to wait for that unrivaled tweakability.

andlor

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #3 on: 6 May 2008, 02:49 pm »
Hello,
I'm waiting too :drool:!! I need a step up and I want to buy this!!!
Regards
Andy

John Chapman

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #4 on: 13 May 2008, 03:39 pm »
Hello!

Finally I have a new transformer I am happy with. It's a unit wound by Magnequest that we worked on together over a good part of the past year.  We tried quite a few options and this one really stood out from the rest and it felt good to land on something like that! Just now getting the sheilding can's on order and arranging a production run with Magnequest so it'll be the end of June or so before I get the stuff needed to make the first production run.

Pricing should be the same as before - or very close. The 1:10 / 1:20 gain switch will be standard now.

I'll have a couple pairs at VSAC.

Thansk!

John

gundam91

Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #5 on: 15 May 2008, 07:36 am »
John, can you share the reason(s) behind making the 1:10/ 1:20 gain switch standard on the new production? On your website you had stated that this may averse affect the sound.

FrankC

John Chapman

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #6 on: 15 May 2008, 03:47 pm »
Hello!

I always try and get everything not needed out of the signal path. Sometimes I get a bit carried away with this! When comparing switched to fixed ratio units I was really hard pressed to say I could hear the switch but I felt with the old model that if you knew what ratio you wanted for certain then why add the switch. It adds to the cost as well.....

Over time I could see that as users changed systems that ratio changes would be needed. Despite the fact folks think they have made that final cartridge or phono stage purchase  the urge to play with new gear rears it head over time! This combined with the fact the new unit uses a simpler switching arrangement signal path wise made me think it was time to add the switched gain as standard. If someone wants just a fixed ratio that can be easily done when we build your step-up for you.

Many Thansk!

John

gundam91

Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #7 on: 15 May 2008, 06:52 pm »
Thanks for the info, John. For me, as you have indicated, flexibility will be good to have. Looking forward to when this product resumes production. I had e-mailed you a few times before asking for an update on this. I just found this thread last night, so I figure I will post here instead.

My stimulus check should be coming in June. I will put it aside to pay for this baby! Is there like a sign up sheet or something so I can get in line?  :lol:

FrankC

Sonny

Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #8 on: 17 May 2008, 05:52 am »
Hey Frank...

I got the new Autoformer TAP pre from John, and so far, it's amazing!!!

You could come up for a listen if you'd like.

I bet the Step Up will be amazing!

Tuan

John Chapman

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #9 on: 18 May 2008, 06:59 pm »
Hello!

Tuan - Glad the pre-amp is off to a good start!

Frank - I do keep a 'keep me posted list' that will be used when order time comes. Pop me an e-mail and I'll mark you down on that list. This has taken so much longer than hoped that I promised myself I would not 'announce' a ship date until I really had a firm date and won't take official orders until then. Good news is that once the production parts are here I will have enough parts to make lots of step-ups so I certainly can look after anyone who will want one from this first batch of parts.

Thanks!

John

gundam91

Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #10 on: 2 Aug 2008, 09:04 pm »
Hi John,

Any updates on the production run, and when we could expect the first batch to be ready for shipping?  :green:

John Chapman

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #11 on: 2 Aug 2008, 10:39 pm »
Hello!

I was trying to get an update myself last week! Lots of folks on hollidays lately. I should know more this week and will post then. Still waiting on Transformers and the Sheilding cans......All other parts are in stock big time.

Thansk!

John



JasonB

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #12 on: 14 Aug 2008, 01:23 am »
Did a quick look through the back pages and couldn't find any info about when the TX103s were no longer being used in the MU step-up.

What is the reason for the switch?

If it has taken this long to source a suitable replacement will the new MU be of equal or superior quality to the previous iteration in both measured performance and sound?

Can you give us any indication whether prices will be higher or lower? And will this be a finished product or will just the transformers be available for those who want to try to assemble their own project.

John Chapman

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #13 on: 14 Aug 2008, 01:52 am »
Hello!

About 1-1/2 yars ago S&B - makers of the tx103 transformer -  suddenly stopped selling the tx102 and tx103 to everyone to concentrate on marketing their own products.

I went on a search of step-ups that finally ended with a new custom unit made by Magnequest. It performs great both sonically and on the bench it is excelent - flat to about 90Khz and then a nice roll-off from there out to the 200Khz limit of my AP unit.

I actually like the new one better myself but I also liked the tx103 so I expect there would be systems or users that might prefer one or the other. That's the way of audio when comparing any two really decent products. For this reason I refrain from using 'better' when comparing things....... So far 3 of 4 folks liked the new one better and the 4th thought it was very good but was not sure if he liked it better than TX103's.  Bit of a non issue for most folks since tx103's are going to not be availiable in any reasonably priced currently shipping product.........


The price will likely be about the same - just a hair higher since all units will now ship standard with 1:10 / 1:20 gain switch and will have provisions for loading both the primary and the secondary of the transfromer. Most the time they would ship finished but for diy/oem I'll have them as raw transformers too.

I keep thinking I'll get this wrapped up then time goes by - so I am reluctant to specify an eta. I am motivated to get'em done - I have lots of the parts and lots of folks waiting for them! Only need to get the transformers wound and canned up.

Thansk!

John


JasonB

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #14 on: 14 Aug 2008, 10:03 pm »
Very much appreciate the info, John.

One more thing; will there be both copper and silver versions?

John Chapman

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #15 on: 14 Aug 2008, 10:40 pm »
Hello!

To put my reply in context first a bit of background..... Late in the 'S&B times'  I discovered that the copper and silver TX103 was not the same transformer. Although very similar in design they used different wire gauges. At the time I heard this it was kinda an 'ah-ha' moment because it had always been a mystery why the copper and silver TX103's were so wildly different in sonics. Copper and silver are different as you'd expect but the difference in that tx103 was way beyond the differences I heard - for example - with the tx102 level control transformers.

Interesting to me was that silver vs copper was not a 'no brainer'. Many systems would like one or the other best but in the demos I did locally it was about 50/50 - the same number of folks chose copper and silver as the best for them. This was without regard for costs.

My goal with the new step-up was to get the sonics I wanted via design - rather than wire type. It seems a sensible way to do the initail design and certainly less expensive than doing it via silver wire! For at least some time the new units  will be copper only. If we stumble into the wire gauges needed for silver then we'll try it after we get some history on the coppers but in this case if we do a silver it will have to be the same transformer using the same wire gauges - and so I would not expect the wholesale change tha the silver vs copper on the tx103 was.

Back to the bench.......

Thansk!

John



nullspace

Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #16 on: 29 Oct 2008, 09:19 pm »
Hi John --

Anything new on the MU? In particular, for those of us that are into DIY, I'd like to know if/when you'll have the raw transformers available and how much they'll be. Thanks.

Regards,
John

John Chapman

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #17 on: 29 Oct 2008, 11:14 pm »
Hello!

Well I am really quite frightened about making predictions now! So far my record is rather poor to say the least. Slow progress being made - I have 3 pairs here as of a week back and have 2 built into enclosures. Still need to get the shielding can's on order - although finally I have sources pretty much worked out.

When they are finally around I will definitely have them as a DIY part as well. I had hoped to keep pricing about like before - looks like with the rather exotic shielding can plans I have it might bump a bit - likely to about $500 a pair or so as a guess.

Thanks!

John



nullspace

Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #18 on: 30 Oct 2008, 12:32 am »
Thanks John. I will certainly keep an eye out for updates.

Regards,
John

No Regrets

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Re: Any update on MU step-up replacement?
« Reply #19 on: 24 Dec 2008, 04:34 pm »
Hi John,

I was wondering how things were coming along with the MU?

Also, I was hoping you could tell me if it will work well with the Benz Ebony LP cartridge.  It has an output of .28mV and an internal impedance of 38 ohms.  I will be using it in conjuction with the Artemis Labs Ph-1 phonostage.  It's an all tubed, 3 gain stage unit that allows for adjustible loading on the back side of the phonostage.  Below is a link that gives the specs and talks about the loading capabilities.

http://www.artemislabs.com/PH-1-vacuum-tube-phono-preamp.html 

I think I'd like to use it with the 26dB gain option. I've never really understood the relationship between the step up transformer and the cartridges impedances, but I know that it is very important in order to get the great sound.  Please forgive my ignorance, but I really need your help with this.  In case it helps you to know the rest of the system, First Sound Presence Audio Line Stage and the Bel Canto SET40 single ended 845 triode amplifier.

Thank you for your help and Merry Christmas.