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The MC1 is a step-up transformer designed to raise the output of moving coil cartridges up to a level compatible with moving magnet phono stages. The purpose is not simply to allow moving coil cartridges to be used with moving magnet only phono stages (which most valve designs are, for example), but to allow moving coil cartridges the chance to realise their full potential. Transformers have much more benign distortion characteristics than active circuits and they are capable of producing a truly sublime soundstage with detail and separation unsurpassed by the more common transistor and op-amp alternatives. Don't be misled that transformers are an audio anachronism long since made obsolete by the wonders of modern solid state technology - they're not. The reason that they are so rarely seen nowadays is that transformers are incredibly expensive compared to transistors and chips. A complete moving coil compatible phono stage is obviously more convenient than a separate transformer and moving magnet phono stage, and a moving coil phono stage made entirely with solid state circuitry is considerably cheaper to produce than one with transformers, hence the rarity of moving coil step-up transformers. This is shame because many audiophiles have never even heard a transformer coupled moving coil cartridge and don't know how good it can sound.
The MC1 is a fine example of a step-up transformer designed specifically for modern low output moving coil cartridges and optimised for use into moving magnet phono stage inputs. It features wide bandwidth, low distortion and carefully designed primary and secondary loading networks to optimise the performance and give beautifully reproduced transients, free from ringing. The step-up ratio and impedance make it compatible with a wide range of cartridges and effective screening against external magnetic fields minimises hum pickup from other equipment.
The MC1 is compatible with most moving coil cartridges available today from makers such as Lyra, Koetsu, Ortofon, Audio Technica etc.
turns ratio 1:12.9
voltage gain 22dB (x12.9)
input impedance* 100 ohms
optimum load impedance** 47k + 150pF
bandwidth 5Hz - 36kHz (+0/-3dB)
cartridge compatibility (o/p) 0.3mV - 0.7mV
cartridge compatibility (imp.) internal impedance