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Rothwell MC1 MC Step-Up Transformer

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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 phonostages. The purpose is not simply to allow moving coil cartridges to be used with moving magnet... Read More
Turntables & Phono Preamps -

The MC1 is a step-up transformer designed to raise the output of moving coil cartridges up to a level compatible with moving magnet phonostages. The purpose is not simply to allow moving coil cartridges to be used with moving magnet only phonostages (which most valve designs are, for example), but to allow moving coil cartridges the chance to realize 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 phonostage is obviously more convenient than a separate transformer and moving magnet phonostage, and a moving coil phonostage 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 optimized for use into moving magnet phonostage inputs. It features wide bandwidth, low distortion and carefully designed primary and secondary loading networks to optimize 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 minimizes hum pickup from other equipment.

Specifications:

  • 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 <20 ohms
  • Dimensions:  60 x 155 x 92 mm
  • Weight:  580g

*This is the load presented to the cartridge.
**This is the optimum load for the transformer, ie the input impedance of the phonostage that the MC1 feeds into.

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