K&K Audio has moved!

Over the past month both K&K Audio and my family have moved 18 miles northwest to an unincorporated part of Chapel Hill. It’s quieter here and the pace is more relaxed. It’s been a painful physical transition due to the stuff (mostly audio related) I had accumulated over 27 years at the prior address. I have only had my audio listening system up for five days now after nearly 4 weeks. I have been pleasantly surprised that the new listening room, which is only about 5-10% bigger than its predecessor, is more to my sonic taste than the one I’ve used since 1995.

I am sorry that the telephone number has changed (unavoidable, because it’s a landline), but the new contact info will be posted on the website at the same time as this update. I look forward to talking to you in the future! The next rendition of the Maxxed-Out Phono Preamp is on my list of projects, as is a higher current version of the 300-600V shunt regulator. I am just as impatient as anyone to get these products tested and fully developed…

New Lundahl MC Step-Up Transformer

Lundahl has developed a new moving coil step-up transformer that meets a need present in both the tube and solid state phono preamp worlds.  That need is created when the phono preamp has more gain than is necessary for the usual MM cartridge levels ( 5mV), but not enough gain to interface well with an MC cartridge that has an output level of 0.2-0.5mV.  If your phono preamp has a gain at 1KHz in the neighborhood of 50-58dB you are in that range where you need to use the preamp volume control at a higher than normal setting to get the music level up to “normal” levels with a low to medium output MC cartridge.  This results in poorer noise performance and audible loss of dynamic contrast.  With the LL1963 you can step the signal level from the cartridge up by 10dB or 16dB to overcome this problem.

I recently had an e-mail conversation with a music listener who tried a pair of LL1963s between his MC cartridge and a high end tube phono preamp with 58dB of gain and he wrote after hearing it in his system, “It’s not that often when you encounter something that is a game changer and affordable.”  He had borrowed his buddy’s step-ups to audition and following the audition purchased a pair and the corresponding PC board for himself so he could install the transformers into his phono preamp chassis.  They are also available in the format of the Premium MC Phono Step-Up, kit or assembled so they can be installed without soldering.

Price Increases on “Other Kits”

After much deliberation I have made relatively minor increases in the prices of the support kits that I have offered since the beginning of K&K Audio in 2003. The price for the earliest of these, the Basic Current Source Kit, has never been changed! Transformer prices will remain as they are for at least 7 more months.