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.