Sutherland Engineering KC Vibe Phono Preamp
Abundant stacking and gain choices for both MM and MC cartridges
Conservative, careful body is stunningly all around fabricated and strong
Calm, dynamic, and melodic past its unassuming cost
While the phono preamp can frequently be a reconsideration, disregard this basic connection at your risk. As veterans of the audiophile game will tell you, a gifted preamp is vital for boosting framework execution. This is never more obvious than for the phono preamp on the grounds that the regularly minuscule sign put out via cartridges should be intensified many, many occasions over. This is particularly obvious on the off chance that you look to open the wizardry of low-yield moving curl cartridges. The capacity to intensify those little signals is just the start—the phono preamp should likewise do as such without adding commotion and mutilation, even a smidge of which can undoubtedly pamper the sound. So who do you need for that work? Ron Sutherland. Phono preamps are, without a doubt, his forte. The Sutherland line-up highlights no less than nine distinct models, including the approaching $8200 Phono Loco with its extreme current-mode plan. The remainder of the models range from the $14,000 Argentum to the $895 KC Vibe, which is presently his most submissively evaluated plan. Humble in value, dear perusers, just humble in cost.


40, 45, 50, 55 or 60 dB

100, 200, 475, 1k, or 47k Ohms

Single-finished information sources and results
Ground terminal

11" W x 9" D x 2" H (inches)

6 lbs


Privileged insights TAGS:
Phono Preamp, Vinyl, Records, Turntable, Phono Stage, Sutherland, Preamp Review 2018

At the point when you at last free it from the labrinth of defensive bundling, the main thing you notice is that the KC Vibe is little, yet the steel undercarriage makes it shockingly hearty. That uncompromising ness proceeds around back. My theory is that the KC Vibe's gold-plated info and result jacks are similar ones involved on the over two times as-costly 20/20. Regardless of whether I'm mixed up, these certainly ooze premium quality. The KC Vibe likewise includes a ground post, which ought to limit any ground-related nasties. What's more, very much like in other Sutherland phono stages, the KC Vibe uses a detachable power supply.

Sutherland doesn't utilize dunk switches in its plans. All things being equal, Sutherland uses jumpers mounted straightforwardly on the circuit board. Stacking and gain changes are made by eliminating the top plate of the unit and genuinely moving the jumpers to your ideal settings. It is a genuinely straightforward interaction—all you really want is a screwdriver to get the top plate off and a couple of tweezers to situate the jumpers. It's not the most advantageous technique, but rather I have never observed setting a progression of small plunge switches generally that helpful by the same token.

The stacking choices incorporate 100, 200, 475, 1k, or 47k Ohms. You can choose gain settings of 40, 45, 50, 55, or 60 dB. This makes the KC Vibe viable with both moving magnet and moving loop cartridges. You additionally notice the incredible arrangement of consideration paid to the game plan of the parts on the PCB—everything revolves around diminishing connections, twisting, and in general commotion level.


Set-up is straightforward. As may be obvious, the PCB is plainly set apart with the stacking and gain settings. I had been utilizing and partaking in the Rega P6 and Ania MC cartridge with my 20/20, so I attempted to reflect those settings on KC Vibe. While I had at first set the 20/20 at 64 dB of gain and 100 ohms, I observed that the sound took on a smidgen more weight at 200 ohms, so I set the KC Vibe at 200 ohms and 60 dB, it's most extreme level. I then, at that point, connected a bunch of Chord Shawline single-finished interconnects into the "OUT" jacks on the rear of the KC Vibe. Remarkably, there is adequate room between the jacks so that, would it be a good idea for you decided to do as such, you can utilize links with exceptionally considerable RCA jacks. Then, I took the hostage Rega interconnects from the P6 and connected them to the KC Vibe's "In" jacks. At last, I took the little power supply lead, connected it to the rear of the KC Vibe and connected the opposite finish to my High Fidelity Cables MC-6 power appropriation block. In contrast to the 20/20, the KC Vibe doesn't have separate power supplies for each channel, so you just need a solitary AC repository to get it fueled up.

In Use
I saw Stewart Copeland, he of The Police popularity, on some old period of the BBC's "Top Gear" on Amazon Prime. He was highlighted in the superstar in the sensibly valued vehicle section. I don't know how he did driving, but rather seeing him helped me to remember one of my beloved collections, which I had not paid attention to in some time, "Apparition in the Machine." I likewise pondered… I realize The Police were gigantically famous, yet what amount did individuals credit Stewart Copeland some time ago? I wonder on the grounds that it is absolutely impossible to get around this—the man is miles in front of every other person is in that band. I know, I know, that incorporates Sting, yet don't individuals detest him now in any case? I suppose Sting's voice is cool and possibly he thought of some great verses, however that truly doesn't come close to Stewart Copeland's drums. My unique squeezing of this record is exceptionally spotless, all in all, it's simple catnip.

The Police “Ghost in the Machine”

Stewart Copeland playing drums on this album sounds like what I imagine 1990 Michael Jordan looks like playing basketball against a team of fifth graders. I’m not exaggerating, someone should archive Stewart Copeland’s DNA. Listening to how he strikes, it’s honestly…so, so unique.

While I don’t particularly like the lyrics, “Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic” features truly incredible percussion. If I was in this band and I heard someone playing this, my head would explode. Whoever mixed this album is the second-runner-up genius here—wise enough to hear what Copeland is doing and feature it. What’s crazy is that while it’s so easy to fail when you completely go for it, Copeland completely nails it here. He reminds the rest of us that when you take big risks, you can get big rewards. Talent like this…it shakes you. “Invisible Sun” is a sort of interesting song, but not that interesting. Until you hear the drums. The drums sound German-perfect, as in German automotive engineering. I don’t know if it’s technical perfection. To me, it just sounds like overall perfection. The KC Vibe had impressed me from the jump.

Stewart Copeland playing drums on this collection seems like what I envision 1990 Michael Jordan resembles playing b-ball against a group of fifth graders. I'm not overstating, somebody should document Stewart Copeland's DNA. Paying attention to how he strikes, it's really… in this way, so remarkable.

While I don't especially like the verses, "Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic" includes really mind boggling percussion. Assuming that I was in this band and I heard somebody playing this, my head would detonate. Whoever blended this collection is the second-next in line virtuoso here—adequately astute to hear what Copeland is doing and highlight it. What's insane is that while it's so natural to bomb when you totally put it all on the line, Copeland totally nails it here. He helps the rest to remember us that when you face large challenges, you can get huge prizes. Ability like this… it shakes you. "Undetectable Sun" is a kind of fascinating melody, however not unreasonably intriguing. Until you hear the drums. The drums sound German-great, as in German car designing. I couldn't say whether it's specialized flawlessness. As far as I might be concerned, it simply seems like generally flawlessness. The KC Vibe had dazzled me from the leap.

Nat King Cole "The Nat King Cole Story"

While it might appear to be somewhat liberal to burn through $150 on a bunch of five records, Analog Productions' "Nat King Cole Story," cut at 45 RPM, will cause you to disregard that cost. The container set is actually unique. And keeping in mind that there are numerous champion tracks, "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons," is truly outstanding. Hearing this through the KC Vibe, it's similar as the 20/20—it's that mesmerizing, hoarse vocal in the entirety of its magnificence.

That sensitive piano and bass meet up and wait then, at that point, float acro

ss the space before you. However much this track amazed me, I in all actuality do think the 20/20 is significantly calmer on this track and along these lines more powerful than the KC Vibe, in spite of the fact that I contemplated whether I was additionally hearing a contrast between the 60 dB of gain in the KC Vibe and the 64 dB of gain in the 20/20. Cheerfully, Sutherland permits you to discuss these fine subtleties.

A decent phono stage will make his record und pressing and forceful, while a lesser one will drain a large part of the collection's essentialness. Fortunately, the KC Vibe is the previous. On "Screen," Siouxsie sings about government observation (indeed, that evidently existed even in those days) and how the media will in general make amusement out of wrongdoing and a wide range of human misfortune. Truly, the material is… fairly… dull, however peculiarly, what you most get is an unbridled feeling of force. There is simply such a lot of energy put away on that weird dark plate that you nearly feel the pointer tear through the notches. Also eventually, all you'll truly think often about is the amount L-O-U-D-E-R you can create it and the amount more instinctive it can feel. The KC Vibe shows here that it will move and allow you truly to hear and feel your musicSiouxsie and the Banshees "Juju"

To toss your phono stage a test, snatch some stone. Most isn't recorded especially well, so the phono stage should show its different abilities. "Juju," delivered by Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1981 possesses all the necessary qualities. Less workmanship rock and all the more stone, the guitars are clearly and the drums are tenacious on the band's fourth collection.


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