Author Topic: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp  (Read 1485 times)

Offline S Clark

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Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« on: March 31, 2020, 05:23:41 PM »
Any of you ever heard the Sutherland phono preamps?  A buddy just pulled the trigger on the 20/20 and is making great claims.  Under usual circumstances, I'd just pay him a visit and listen for myself... but these aren't normal circumstances. 
Anyone ever put one in their system?
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline Folsom

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2020, 09:47:20 PM »
I'd like to. They certainly have some marketing that isn't really beneficial in a physical form but looks nice. What I don't get is no selectable capacitance loading?

Offline Nick B

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2020, 10:18:48 AM »
Don’t know anyone who has tried one. Pretty sure I met him at a CES years ago. Took time to speak with me. Nice guy. Here’s the link to that phono preamp

https://sutherlandengineering.com/products/2020/
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Offline doug s.

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2020, 10:22:43 AM »
cartridge loading can be set at 100, 200, 475, 1k or 47k ohms.  are you referring to something else?

doug s.

I'd like to. They certainly have some marketing that isn't really beneficial in a physical form but looks nice. What I don't get is no selectable capacitance loading?

Offline HAL

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2020, 12:49:34 PM »
Some cartridges need not only a resistive load (like you have shown), but also a capacitive one like moving magnets for flatest response.

Offline doug s.

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2020, 01:23:56 PM »
cannot this be done by proper choosing of interconnects?

doug s.
Some cartridges need not only a resistive load (like you have shown), but also a capacitive one like moving magnets for flattest response.

Offline HAL

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2020, 02:22:30 PM »
Not always.  My Shure Ultra500 cartridge needs 47K Ohms and 250pF loading and the SME 3009 arm cables have 110pF, so have to add 140pF more in the preamp.

Offline doug s.

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2020, 04:09:07 PM »
may be true, but from what i've read, in most systems people cannot hear the difference between something like 250pf and 110pf capacitance in mm cartridges.  i take it you've tried both and can hear the difference in your system...

doug s.
Not always.  My Shure Ultra500 cartridge needs 47K Ohms and 250pF loading and the SME 3009 arm cables have 110pF, so have to add 140pF more in the preamp.

Offline HAL

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2020, 04:16:34 PM »
With my Shure MM yes, I heard a difference in the high end. 

MC cartridges will be different.

Offline doug s.

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2020, 04:21:24 PM »
yes, i understand that capacitance isn't an issue at all w/mc cartridges.

i suspect that mr sutherland thinks folks aren't going to spend large dollars on fono stages if they're using mm cartridges.  in your case, i wonder if just adding a longer i/c between your tonearm cable and the preamp would do the same.  but it's probably most cost effective to do what you did.  and, if you owned a sutherland, you could likely do the same.  or maybe it would not make a difference w/the sutherland?  i've heard it said that this is very system dependent..

doug s.
With my Shure MM yes, I heard a difference in the high end. 

MC cartridges will be different.

Offline S Clark

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2020, 04:36:28 PM »
So I need to know the inductance and capacitance needs of the cartridge, then the values of the headshell wires, then the values of the phono cable, then the values of the interconnect before I can the phono pre set for optimum performance... :shock:

I'm beginning to feel like Groucho in this scene from "Horsefeathers"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMC3QwMtQk0
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline HAL

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2020, 06:37:53 PM »
If you are using MC cartridges the load resistance is the important parameter to find.  They usually put it in the specs as recommended load resistance.   

Most MM cartridges need 47K Ohm loads typically.  The load capacitance is a spec from the mfg.  I just use my capacitance meter to check the cable to headshell wires.  A lot of DMM's now measure capacitance as well.

A test LP will let you check frequency response. 

You do not need the inductance measurements. 




Offline doug s.

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2020, 08:55:07 PM »
a bit o/t, but...

here's a killer cheap cartridge that sounds great, and has an excellent 0.3x0.7 mil nude bi-radial stylus.  it went toe-to-toe against a far more expensive turntable/cartridge set-up, when mounted on an empire 598.  (ya, i know, now you can tell me how my oracle mkv w/o-l dc motor and h-p power supply, o-l silver taper toneram, ortofon mc25-fl lomc really must suck - ha!  :mrgreen:)  fwiw, capacitance is rated "100-200pf".

https://www.ebay.com/itm/173273317326



doug s.

Offline Putz

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2020, 09:20:36 PM »
Former Sutherland owner here. I had the PH3D model ($1,000) for about 5 years and it was a great unit for the price. Ran on 16 D batteries, used Op Amps and gain/load settings were adjustable using jumpers.

Ron Sutherland specializes in phono preamps and knows what he is doing. If one of his units suits your needs, definitely worth checking out. Finally met him at CAF last year and got to thank him for the enjoyment his phono stage brought me.

As my system evolved it was time to upgrade and I tried multiple pricier ones that did not seem worth the expense. Finally settled on a Zesto Andros that went for almost $5k new. Sold the PH3D the first day I listed it for sale. My ad of course mentioned "batteries not included".

Offline Nick B

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Re: Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2020, 10:03:21 PM »
Former Sutherland owner here. I had the PH3D model ($1,000) for about 5 years and it was a great unit for the price. Ran on 16 D batteries, used Op Amps and gain/load settings were adjustable using jumpers.

Ron Sutherland specializes in phono preamps and knows what he is doing. If one of his units suits your needs, definitely worth checking out. Finally met him at CAF last year and got to thank him for the enjoyment his phono stage brought me.

As my system evolved it was time to upgrade and I tried multiple pricier ones that did not seem worth the expense. Finally settled on a Zesto Andros that went for almost $5k new. Sold the PH3D the first day I listed it for sale. My ad of course mentioned "batteries not included".

Ah, yes, I remember that unit with all those D batteries.

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/sutherland-ph3d-phonostage/
Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
Supratek Chardonnay preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Audio Envy cables
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
PI Audio UberBUSS