Magnetic Personality


Keith Aschenbrenner, of Auditorium 23 (A23) manufacturers the finest step up transformers for moving coil phono cartridges. He produces five models for various cartridge types, including the extraordinary Hommage T1. Which one is right for you depends on your cartridge specifications (for example, low impedance or higher impedance).  They are, simply, one way to bring your vinyl playback up several notches.  Step up transformers add a certain quality of sound that cannot duplicated by any other method.  Have a moving coil phono cartridge?  You need a transformer to step up the cartridge voltage, so you may best benefit from the capabilities of your moving coil cartridge.

” Hey Matt,

Well, it’s 4am and I am still listening glued to the couch – I just can’t believe how well the A23 SUT works between the Allaerts and the Monbrison. I had tried several highly regarded step-ups over the last few months (Bent Mu TX103 Silver, Cinemag, Lundahl 9206, Koetsu MCR-1), none sounded as rich, textured, detailed, and controlled as the A23. Many of the other step-ups worked well with Jazz and Rock, but for Classical instrument separation was difficult, dynamics were compressed; with the A23 there none of the problems. Everything is well organized, controlled without loosing musical flow and drama.

I should have listened to you earlier and ordered A23 right from the beginning with the Monbrison 😉

Best wishes,

Rene – thoroughly enjoying myself with my “new” analog set-up”

Glad you are enjoying the A23 step up transformer, Rene!

2 thoughts on “Magnetic Personality

  1. Hey Jonathan,

    I am still amazed how well the Allaerts MC1B works with the A23 without even having to change any loading. Ok, on paper the Allaerts has very close specs to the DL103 and EMTs (22 Ohm internal impedance, requiring about 100 Ohm loading into a phonostage), but that did not tell me how much more control, organization, extension, and separation the A23 would allow to come through. The best part that it now combines all the strengths of the XOno (which i used before for the Allaerts) and the musical flow, rich contrasts, and texture of what I expect only from the best tube phono stage. And top end extension is perfect and sweet without even having to resort to loading resistors.

    At least I can now confirm that the Allarts MC1 series works really well with Shindo preamp/A23 combinations.

    Best wishes,


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