Seeking opinions on MC step-up transformers

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

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Well-known member
Jan 20, 2005
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SF Bay Area
I am asking for a friend who is in need of a good MC SUT as he is not very knowledgeable with phono systems. His system which I helped put together consists of:
1. SoundSmith Zephyr MIMC Star
2. Technics 1200 Mk7 Turntable
3. Rogue RP1 preamp
4. Dennis Had Hot Rod Inspire Stereo Amp
5. Klipsch Chorus speakers.

Upgrading from Grado Gold to SoundSmith MIMC Star, we can see that the Rogue is running out of steam. The volume is turned all the way to max and he's not getting the same sound pressure level as he did with the Grado Gold.
The spec for RP1 says 43db gain for MM, and 58db gain for MC.
The SoundSmith MIMC Star spec says: output of 0.40mV with DC resistance of 10Ω

I am thinking that he needs a 20db or 26db SUT to get good result with the MIMC. I've been reading up on Jensen, Lundahl, Cinemag (Bob's Devices), Hashimoto, Intact Audio (Dave Slagle), etc... and it looks like the Premium MC Phono from K&K is a good unit, as is the Jensen for about $600 budget. The K&K Lundahl looks to be a bit more flexible in case of cartridge change in the future. Any recommendation & comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,