Sutherland Engineering Phono Loco Reference Trans-Impedance Input Phono Preamplifier

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Description

Voted best product of the year in the category of Analog Components in Stereophile Magazine 2019!

There was a technology trickle down from PHONO LOCO to little LOCO. Glad to report the price went down quickly. The performance level will still seductively pull you into the music.
- Ron Sutherland

The first transimpedance phono preamp from Sutherland is the PHONO LOCO. It is an all out expression. Every design element was chosen for performance.

AND it performs beautifully.

There naturally followed the challenge to bring a big measure of that performance to a lower priced model. So there was a technology trickle down from PHONO LOCO to little LOCO. Glad to report the price went down quickly. The performance level will still seductively pull you into the music.

A Bit of History

Sutherland has been making phono preamps for a good long time. By focusing almost exclusively on phono preamps, their design and circuitry has benefited from continued refinement and improvement over the years. All of those designs were based upon voltage amplification.

The cartridge delivers a small voltage to the phono preamp input. This voltage is then multiplied to create a larger output voltage (along with RIAA EQ). A typical voltage multiplier of 1,000 can also be expressed as 60 dB.

One millivolt in → one volt out.

You may have also noticed a new kind of phono preamp design--usually referred to as 'current input'. Until recently, that approach has been very much in the background. But, listeners and reviewers are now giving it some serious consideration. And many love what they hear.

In short, the input signal comes from the current flowing through the cartridge, NOT the voltage from the cartridge. That current information is the input for a transimpedance gain stage. I.e. the input signal is current and the output signal is voltage.

Linking Into Your System

The connections on the back panel of the little LOCO appear totally conventional. There is the usual IEC input for the power cord, a ground screw for grounding the turntable, and two RCA jacks for the input signal from the turntable. Finally, two RCA jacks deliver an output signal to your line-level preamp.

There is, however, a requirement that both coil connections float with respect to ground. Turntable grounds and cable shields need to go to a separate ground wire. There must be no direct connection from either coil side to chassis ground.

Technical Specifications

Size

17" x 13" x 2" (WxDxH)

Shipping Box

22" x 17" x 9" (WxDxH)

Weight

  • Unit Weight: 15 lbs
  • Shipping Weight: 18 lbs

Operating Voltage Requirements

  • 105 -- 125 VAC, 12 watts
  • 210 -- 250 VAC units are available on special order

Note: operating voltage is NOT universal and cannot be field modified.

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