Is SUT needed for a low output cartridge with a Gryphon Pandora & Legato phono module?

I recently upgraded my cartridge from a high output Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III to a low output Dynavector DV-20X2L cartridge. I changed the impedance settings on the Gryphon Legato phono module from 47k to 80 ohms and the results are very good. The Dynavector cartridge is noticeably better than the Sumiko. . Some have suggested that a step-up transformer may produce even better SQ results. 

I'm hoping that someone with a Gryphon Pandora preamp with the Legato phono module may have already experienced using a low output MC cartridge and can chime in whether a step-up transformer improves the SQ.


Waste of time in my view, SUT's are so variable both in quality and matching you'll be opening a pandoras box (couldn't resist).

The Gryphon phonos are very good, no need to look elsewhere.

I used one with an ultra low output Ikeda ( 0.15mc ) - dead quiet and very good - better than SUT's I tried at the time.

Thanks @dover and ​​​​@jasonbourne52 for your replies. According to the Gryphon Legato user manual, below are the specs including the available gain that @jasonbourne52 asked about.

Technical Specifications (Balanced operation) Signal to Noise ratio:

MM 86 dB Unweighted Ref. 10 mV

MM 90 dB A weighted Ref. 10 mV

MC 68 dB Unweighted Ref. 0.5 mV

MC 72 dB A weighted Ref. 0.5 mV

Gain MC: 68 dB

Gain MM: 38 dB

RIAA tracking: +/- 0.1 dB 20 - 20 kHz THD: 0.01%

Output impedance: 50 Ohms Input overload margin:

MC 30 mV pp

MM 700 mV pp

RIAA out: voltage sving 60 V pp



68db is plenty of gain for your Dynavector which has 0.3mv output.

The Gryphon phono, particularly your version, which is the latest, is superb.

No need to look to complicate matters.

Gryphon's most famous product, their first, was a superb moving coil head amp. 

Their latest phono stages are considerably better again.

Dear @cycles2  : " Some have suggested that a step-up transformer may produce even better SQ results. "


That some is ignorant/low knowledge and knows nothing what he is talking about.

I agree with  @dover .


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


With 68 db of gain, you certainly don't need a SUT.  I would personally recommend just sticking with using the high gain MC input of the Gryphon.  But, I would not make the blanket statement that this will always be superior to using a SUT and the MM input of your phono setup.  A SUT will add coloration and so it is, in theory, the less accurate way to go, but, that does not necessarily mean that everyone should prefer not using a SUT.  This is really a matter of personal preference.  Many of the very best phono setups I've heard utilized a SUT, whether added by  the purchaser (e.g., Audio Note phono stages, which requires an out board SUT for MC), or built into the phono stage by the manufacturer (e.g., Zanden, or Viva). 

Adding an outboard SUT to your setup would mean not only the considerable expense of the transformer, but also the expense of a high quality interconnect.  It also means the risk of hum intruding into the system.  That is why I don't recommend this approach unless you are willing to experiment and accept that it might not be the right choice.

SUT step up transformers should not impart sound quality,

simply boost the signal strength IF NEEDED (seems you do not). You still use your existing MM Phono stage, inside a preamp like I do, or separate phono stage with it's own riaa eq, then off to your Preamp. Phono stage and Preamp: that is where a sonic signature is created.

SUT’s change the impedance as a result of signal boost, it’s tricky, if not needed, NOOOO!

I know that the common wisdom is that a component is not suppose to impart its own sound ("straight wire with gain"), but, all you have to do is careful listening to know that they all do impart a signature so that part of the game is finding stuff that imparts a signature that you like.  I like the sound of iron--I like what transformers do to the sound--they tend to add smoothness without making the sound dull or murky or lacking in dynamics.  Transformers also tend to create a more enveloping soundstage (I suspect it is cause by phase shifting, but I like what I hear so I don't care if it is a coloration/distortion). 

This is particularly obvious when one listens to something like a unity gain in-line transformer buffer box that just adds transformer flavor to the signal--I I like what that can do in some systems that need that little bit of "sweetening."  I don't use one in my own system, but, then again my linestage has input transformers and output transformers, and my amplifier has complementary input transformers (a lot of iron). 

Thanks to all of you for your comments and suggestions. I agree with many of you that with the Gryphon Pandora & Legato phono stage, I don't need an SUT.  I have plenty of gain and the sound of the Dynavector DV-20X2L cartridge is amazing and it has a low noise floor.