Widely recognized as, 1. The best current available transformers-Hashimoto-beyond Tango and Tamura. 2. Step up Transformer is the best configuration with a MM phono stage. This step up is considered as good or better than Audio Note, etc. A completely passive device. Very small dings.
"The Live! MC-10 features the Hashimoto MC-903 MC step-up transformer. Haven't heard of Hashimoto? Well, forget Tamura and Tango, the Hashimoto brand in my estimation is “best of breed.” Hashimoto Electric Co., Ltd, embodies some 60 years of transformer design and manufacturing experience. Mr. Takao Ishiguro, who is currently a technical advisor for Hashimoto due to his semi-retirement, has been the heart and soul of the Hashimoto transformer line for the past 30 years.
Isao Asakura, SoundTradition's president places great importance on chassis selection and proper mounting techniques. He recognizes that when signal voltage is only a fraction of a millivolt it is prone to contamination by hum and EMI. Even slight vibrations of the hook up wires can impact the sound quality. Therefore, he had spent over a year experimenting with various chassis designs in order to optimize the performance of the HM-3 transformer. The MC-903 uses a 2-mm thick aluminum chassis which is damped to reduce vibration.
An astounding sonic bargain! The Live! MC-903 is a perfect illustration of the maxim that money can't buy you sonic happiness. You could spend thousands more and not come close to the MC-903's inherent musicality. It can hold its own even in the company of ultra high-end analog gear. Warning: you'll most likely be unable to resist its siren call. For the record, I have certifiably fallen in love with its superlative sound quality. Highly recommended!
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The MC-903 gives you a cartridge loading option and it is real easy to flick those switches from low to high and back again to determine which loading works best the old fashion way – by letting your ears be the final arbiter when it comes to sound quality.
Type: Transformer-based step-up device
MC Cartridge Loading and Gain:
3-Ohm setting (2 -7 Ohm, 32 dB)
12-Ohm setting (7 - 40 Ohm, 26 dB)
Recommended Phono Stage Load Impedance: 47 kOhm
Dimensions: 162 x 158 x 112 (WxLxH in mm)
Weight: 4 lbs."