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Monday, December 19, 2011

Lundahl Silver MC Transformer Listening Test

Hi!

I finally had the time to compare the LL1933Ag transformers against the regular LL1933


The comparison was done with my EC8020 LCR phonostage. The result was quite remarkable. There is a very audible difference between the two. The silver transformers sound smoother, yet have a tad more resolution. A very pleasant sound with no hint of coloration or distortion. Very different than the common prejudice of 'silver sound' would suggest.

All the characteristics of records are more pronounced with the silver transformers. Electric guitars have more twang. Hammond organs sound a bit more dirty. The music has more character through these step ups. Or more correctly stated: the character of the record is better preserved.

I was very surprised since I did not expect a big difference. As some of my posts suggest, I'm quite critical about the importance of cable sound. The difference the silver makes in these transformers is an order of an magnitude more audible than the difference between copper and silver wire when used for internal hook up or interconnects.

Where does this leave the copper LL1933s? Should you replace them with the silver version? Of course these don't make the standard LL1933 a bad performer. It is one of the finest MC step ups out there. If you have your dream phonostage already, consider the LL1933Ag for an improvement. If you do not have a maxxed out phonostage yet, there might be other things to improve first before going for silver transformers.

Best regards

Thomas

6 comments:

  1. An old winder told me once that if there was ever a place to use silver it was in audio transformers, especially the secondaries. The magnetic permiabilty of silver is much greater than copper, far more than it is a better conductor, and this is where the silver hype originally came from. Kondo was using it in transformers, cartridge coils, speaker voice coils and MC step ups, capacitors and cables but it was the magnetic applications where it really shined... FWIW, YMMV etc...
    Peace,
    Charlie

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  2. Have you tried LL1660 Ag 10ma Ag version?
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi!

    Currently only the LL1931/33/41/43 are available with silver windings. I will do my best to convince Lundahl to also offer other transformers in silver

    Best regards

    Thomas

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi!

    I just got information from Lundahl that they are also preparing some samples of LL1660 with silver windings. I hope to have a pair by end of January to test. I will report about the results

    Thomas

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  5. Hi Thomas.
    Whenever I have listened to silver, the result is always the same.
    Smooth, relaxed sound but with the bad meaning.
    Lack of immediacy and excitement.
    Too uninvolving for my taste.
    Best regards from Athens,
    Peter

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Peter,

    my experience is very different in the transformers I compared. More immediate and involving sound.

    Best regards

    Thomas

    ReplyDelete