Luxman MT-88 MC Step-up Phono Transformer
Experience the Absolute Purity of a Simple Design Executed Perfectly
Luxman designed the MT-88 Moving Coil Step-Up Transformer to be the best possible interface between MC cartridge and MM phono section. From input to output, every element of this compact and gorgeous device utilizes the highest purity components available. Featuring state of the art materials and Luxman's dedication to doing things the right the way, the Luxman MT-88 delivers unparalleled purity, smoothness and texture. This MC step-up transformer should be on every music lover's short list.
For decades, reviewers and devout audiophiles have extolled the virtues of using an outboard MC step-up device rather than the built-in MC section of their phono preamps. The MM section shoulders an enormous load, amplifying a tiny signal of only several thousandths of a volt into line level output of ~2V. Most MM sections offer 40dB of gain, which is a 1000% increase in signal level. What's rarely spoken of, though, is that in the vast majority of cases, the MC section feeds the MM section, so even when playing an MC cartridge, the MM section is doing most of the work. Most MM/MC phono preamps do not have a discrete MC section; many manufacturers frequently employ small, inexpensive transformers to boost the gain. This is where the outboard MC Step-up phono transformer comes in; these aftermarket transformers are vastly superior in every aspect of their performance.
To use an MC Step-Up Transformer, simply connect the RCA outputs of your tonearm to the input of the MC Step-Up Transformer. Then, connect the outputs of the MC Step-Up Transformer to the MM input section of your phono preamp. The enormous jump in sound quality trumps any concerns over inserting multiple connectors into the signal path.
The MT-88 is built around a high-efficiency, low loss toroidal core design. The gigantic volume of these cores allows the MT-88 to operate with vanishingly low signal loss, delivering huge dynamic range and exceptional music reproduction. The core material is Finemet(r); a soft nano-crystalline magnetic material developed by Hitachi Metals. Ideal for use in small-signal audio applications, Finemet(r) cores offer vanishingly low distortion characteristics and high-saturation magnetic flux density which combine to create a core material with near ideal magnetic permeability. This means Finemet(r) cores offer superior frequency extension, lower distortion characteristics and minimal signal smear.
Luxman impregnates each transformer with a natural resin paint shellac. This shellac is the same used to paint the world's finest musical instruments; it has excellent vibration reducing properties without "deadening" the sound. In the MT-88, the shellac keeps the OFC copper windings from vibrating.
The OFC transformer windings are straight-through from tip to tip with no breaks. This minimizes signal losses and keeps the signal as pure as possible all the way through. Transformers float on an energy-absorbing cushion of Poron, a rubber-like material which keeps external vibrations from affecting the delicate signals moving through the transformer.
A silicon-steel sheet curved into a U-shape is used as a magnetic shield. This specially constructed structure surrounds the transformer in such a way as not to spoil the flux activity of the transformers while shielding them from magnetic interference from the outside world.
A massive, 15mm thick top panel and a damped suspension structure suppress complex external vibrations across multiple bands from entering the structure. Brass footers help evacuate vibration from the chassis and provide a classy, finished look.
Luxman developed new RCA jacks for both the input and output terminals. These RCAs offer very high conductivity and great physical strength. Made from high Copper content brass, these jacks offer incredibly high-quality signal transmission.