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MC4 Cartridge Transformer

For several years, the EAR Yoshino MC3 Cartridge Transformer has been regarded by knowledgeable audiophiles as the
stepup of choice for high performance moving coil cartridges. The MC cartridge design typically offers better
performance all round than the moving magnet (MM), but has a slight disadvantage in its very low output voltage - so
low that making an active amplifier to deal with it efficiently and in near-noiseless manner is all but impracticable.
However, the actual power available from an MC cartridge is typically higher than that from an MM type, and by means
of a transformer it is possible to increase the voltage available with next to no noise penalty, relaxing the requirements on
the following amplifier. Designing a transformer to achieve this task to a high standard is not trivial, but MC4 designer
Tim de Paravicini has over 40 year’s experience of working with audio transformers and has time and again produced
designs that exceed even the most optimistic expectations of transformer performance.
The MC4 builds on the strengths of the MC3 by adding one extra input tap, optimising performance over a wider range of
cartridges. Models with impedances between 3 and 40 ohms can now be accurately accommodated.
As with the MC3, bandwidth is substantially wider than the range of hearing, phase shift is very low and noise barely
measurable. In addition, the generous size of the transformer means that there is no limitation on bass performance at high
levels, while careful design and the use of an expensive magnetic screen reduces the effects of stray magnetic fields from
mains transformers etc. to negligible levels. By its nature, a transformer also completely blocks any DC path between the
amplifier and the cartridge, removing the possibility of DC current in the cartridge, which has been identified as a cause
of impaired performance in some cases.
If you like the virtues of a fine MC cartridge, you’ll love the MC4.

Specifications (Measured with “Termination”)


Input Impedances (Nominal) 3Ω, 6Ω, 12Ω, & 40Ω
Voltage Gain x30, x24, x18, x10
Frequency Response 3Hz- 100KHz +0.2dB-1.0dB
Phase Linearity Less than ±5 degrees (20-20KHz)
Rise Time 2µ secs (any level)
Channel Balance Less than 0.1dB
Channel Separation Greater than 70dB (20-20KHz)
Hum Rejection (External Magnetic Fields) Greater than 60dB
Equivalent Noise Contribution Less than 1dB
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Yoshino Ltd., Coombe Grove Farm, Arrington, Nr. Royston, Cambridgeshire SG8 0AL, England
Tel No. +44 (01) 1223 208877, Fax No. +44 (01) 1223 208761, www.ear-yoshino.com E-mail: earyoshino@aol.com