The Auditorium 23 step-up transformer for Denon DL103 MC Cartridge
The Auditorium 23 is a manufacturer in Germany who was famous in the audio circle in Euro. The A23 SUT is one of those products of the company frequently talked about in english audio forum. This SUT is tailor made for the Denon DL103, users swore that this is the best SUT you could find in the market. At 975 USD, seems like a good investment if it is as good as people claimed. After thorough research, I decided to try this SUT for my 103 collection.
The owner named Keith, excellent service and a real gentlemen to talk to. The SUT shipped fast, well packed, and I imemdiately connected the SUT to my 103 mounted LP12.
Denon 103 in my system
My System at the moment was a Sound Smith ruby cantilever DL103r with UWE Malachite shell, Heed Audio Quasar MC/MM phono, ASR 6150 Integrated Amp, and Tannoy Turnberry 85 anniversary Limited Edition speaker.
Actually the Heed Quasar phono is one of the best HK$10 phono I have ever owned, it is warm and dynamic, with fast rythm and pace. Bass is good, not great, but fast. This is a powerful and enegetic sounding phono.
Adding the A23 SUT, with the MM phono of the Heed Quasar, the sound sound open up immediately, with significantly more details. And the sound was more smooth and delicate. The sound truely improved, not in a subtle way.
I also do a very brief comparison test with the EAR MC4, almost double the price, the MC4 didn't get much advantage. The A23 taste a bit more neutral, the MC4 taste more strong and bold. I am of the view they are SUTs of same level, you can choose between the two base on your sound preference.
My advice, all 103 users should get one.
Will give you a long term report later. I expect a significant improvement after proper run-in
The first impression