Moved this question here from the Entry thread... you'll still think me an idiot for asking this, but: What the heck does a step-up transformer do? Why use the step-up trannie in addition to phono stage? Can somebody explain to me what might be the optimal situation in which step-up transformer is used? I'm trying to tread through the dark waters of vinyl (Got my Fremer DVD in the mail, hooray!) and it's fun & confusing at the same time.
So, if you don't have a phono stage already, you can't use step-up transformers at all, right?
I have a phono stage on my Plinius 8150 and don't have one on my Leben CS600. I haven't yet decided to which system I will add a turntable system. Supposing I'd try for the Denon 103 cartridge: would it be better adding a step-up transformer to the Plinius' stage (like the Denon 103-specific Auditorium 23 that Art Dudley mentions) or adding a stand-alone phono stage to the Leben, like a Pro-ject tubebox, Sutherland Ph3D or Era Gold V? Or if I get the phono stage to the Leben, do I still need to add the step-up trannie to maximize the potential of the Denon 103?
Obviously, I'm going to wait until our NYC Analog Drunkards' Convention on 2/22 for some of these questions, but wanted to understand these things a bit first... Thanks!