Borbely Audio phono stage

Has anyone tried the Borbely Audio phono stage or any of their kit in general? I am thinking about using one with an S&B stepup transformer for my brinkmann emt. An alternative would be to also use the S&B riaa unit and use the BA super buffer for the two active gain stages - unless there are any other discrete alternatives?


Dear Nick: You have a very serious analog rig and audio system that deserves something better that what you are looking for.

The phonopreamp, in my opinion, is an extreme important ( maybe the most important ) link in the audio system and in the analog quality music sound reproduction.
You already choose carefully your TT, tonearm and cartridge ( great ones ) for you can have the best out the LP's.
The critical signal that comes from your TT/T/C must be handled by a top performance phonopreamp where the inverse RIAA eq. has not any deviation, where the signal has to be amplified with out noise/colorations/distortions. So, you have to choose an audio device that can do that job with out step-up transformer that do a severe degradation ( this SUT means an additional cables, RCA connectors and an additional stage where the signal has to pass. Please don't do it, don't destroy the " true music " that comes from the cartridge. ) to that critical signal.

Regards and enjoy the music.
You think it would be better to use the borbely without the S&B stepup? Many people seem to think highly of this latter unit - as they do of the S&B transformer volume control. What is your experience with transformer? Which phono stages do you like?
Dear Nick: I owned several SUT's/head-amps and heard many others from Denon to Audio Note, from Ortofon to Expressive Technologies, from Classe to Koetsu and Micro Seiki: no one improve the quality sound reproduction and every one degraded it. I use SUT's from 150.00 to 8K in price, it does not matters the price is the transformers ( any ) that is wrong for this application.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear nick: Take a look:

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10-31-05: Rauliruegas
Dear Steve, Dear friends: There is a misconception about step-up transformers and that´s why ( like Doug says ) exist differents opinions.

No one in his healthy judgement ( sorry Doug ) can " love " them and if he do that confirm the no know-how about.

The SUT is an old patch for bad SS phonopreamps designs and for the inherent limitations on tube phonopreamps for handle low output MC cartridges. It is a " chip solution to a complex problem ".

Any SUT has many inherent disadvantages like: distortions generated at the core ( it does not matters if is: air core ), heavy phase discharge ( landslide ), high apt to take hum, the wide zone ( band ) can't go down to DC, severe roll-off at high and low frecuencies, the reactive impedance on the SUT is incompatible with the cartridge impedance: this cause that we never could have flat frecuency response when we are using SUT, this mismatch between the impedances promote that the signal that pass through any SUT will be equalized ( yes, exactly like the problems between tube amplifier and loudspeakers because of those impedances ).
Any time with any of you we can make the tests and prove all those disadvantages and others like the additional cables that you have to use, additional connectors, the SUT is an additional ( filter ) link in the analog audio chain: How can you love it? !!!!!!!!!!!

I want to let clear that there is no single advantage, in any way, using SUT's, any of them: it does not matters their design or price.

The SUT always be a : wrong PATCH.

Doug, I don't hate them because I don't have to use them. You like many others peoples have to tolerate them because you choose to handle a low output MC cartridge through a tube technology that preclude ( by design ) the use of low output MC cartridges.

Steve, till today: active amplification is the right way to go.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul. " +++++