Upcoming Review Update:
K&K Audio Premium Step-Up Transformer,
Some Tips on Eliminating Hum in a Phono Rig
By Steve Graham
A Step-Up Transformer (SUT) is probably the most important and at the same time, least glamourous purchase you’ll ever make if you have a low to very low output moving coil cartridge.
Audio reviewers in the know say that a SUT is the preferred way to couple a low-output, and the only way to couple a very low-output moving coil cartridge to a phono preamplifier. I’m not one to argue, at least not for the fun of it, so I’ve borrowed a mid priced, well, a sub-$1,000 dollar unit, to find out.
The K&K pictured is $650 US, or $600 as a kit if you wish to solder it up yourself. If you are feeling reckless with your credit rating, you can step it up a notch or three, and get one that has transformers wound with silver wire for $1,500 US!
Whichever version you choose, it will sport a pair of well-regarded Lundahl transformers. Some very high-end preamps and phono stages have Lundahl SUTs as standard equipment.
The K&K offers easy adjustability to work with a wide variety of cartridges. It also has a few different grounding options for eliminating hum, with which I’ve been experimenting. I’ll be sharing my grounding knowledge, such as it is, with you as well.
So, let the records spin.