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Quadratic Audio MC-1 Moving Coil Transformer

Phono Step-Up Transformer (SUT) with 28 and 22 dB Gain Options

Made in the USA
Quadratic Audio MC-1 Moving Coil Transformer

Quadratic Audio MC-1 Moving CoilPhono Step-Up Transformer

The Quadratic Audio MC-1 exemplifies an evolved transformer-based “Head-Unit” for phono stages. It takes the low level signal from a Moving Coil cartridge and passively increases the level to be compatible with standard phono preamps and receivers.

Commonly known as an "SUT" (Step Up Transformer), the MC-1 is an entirely passive transformer-based stand-alone step-up device for use between a moving-coil phonograph cartridge and a conventional Hi-Fi phono preamp.

The MC-1 offers user-configurable gain options of both 28 dB and 22 dB, accommodating a wide range of MC phono cartridges.  If you need help with this, please don't hesitate to reach out to us - we will be happy to make recommendations for your specific equipment mix.

The front panel is made of solid 1/2" (12.7mm) thick aluminum and has a subtle bead-blasted appearance.  The rest of the chassis is black-finished steel.  With a weight of over four pounds, the MC-1 is heavy for its size, and that weight is representative of the overall build quality. It rests on very nice padded feet, as one might expect with high-end audio gear. It you take a look at our interior photos, a high-quality glass epoxy circuit board is central to the design, and that's where you'll find the user-configurable gain jumpers. Of course, it's hard to miss those custom CineMag transformers, and as you look more closely, you will also notice the coaxial cables, terminated with TNC connectors, where less fastidious designs would get by with unshielded wires and plastic connectors.  Also notable are the high-end Neutrik RCA panel connectors.

Here are some key specs:

  • Gain Setting High: +28 dB
  • Gain Setting Low: +22 dB
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz – 100Khz
  • Recommended Load: 47k
  • Dimensions: W 6.5” (165mm) D 8.0”(203mm) H3.0”(76mm)
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs. (1.9 kg)

Hum and Noise Rejection

An important aspect of "High-end" audiophile audio is purity, the pursuit of which is as much about keeping unwanted signals out as it is about accurately transmitting the wanted signals. As you may know, the output voltage from moving coli cartridges is very low, and that makes their signals sensitive to environmental EM ingress.  The MC-1's CineMag transformers are shielded by mu-metal cans, which provide more than 30 dB of isolation, while Faraday shielding provides yet another barrier to unwanted noise.  These transformers also offer superior common mode rejection ratios (CMMR), which serves to further isolate hum. 

 With the MC-1, decades of experience in designing audiophile equipment is combined with multiple generations of transformer design and manufacturing expertise to create a class-leading product.


Quadratic has earned many positive reviews, many of which can be found online, but here is a quick sampling:

"Should you be in this exact situation, where you have an excellent MM phonostage you love, but just need a bit more gain, the MC-1 is the perfect solution"

"...the Quadratic MC-1 is in a league of its own"
Cartridge Dude, March 25, 2021, New Moving Coil Step-Up Transformer From Quadratic Audio, TONEAudio Magazine
"I've only had the Quadratic MC-1 for a week, but in short I've really enjoyed it and am glad I bought it. It's looking like it'll be getting a lot of play time here!"
"mulveling", January 9, 2022, Review of Quadratic MC-1 SUT With Comparisons to Other SUTs, AudiogoN Forum
"...the Quadratic was virtually immune to hum"

"Does it go so far as to produce a totally immersive listening experience? Absolutely, it does. This is one of the few times when a third-party product with a variety of settings can actually handle and do justice to a wide variety of different cartridges and handle each with ease, poise and dexterity"
Chris Beeching, September 25, 2023, Quadratic MC-1: a positive step-up, the ear HI-FI MUSIC GEAR
"I was very surprised when I tested Quadratic Audio’s MC-1 transformer this time. In addition to providing a powerful gain, it is also quite good at noise control, making the music fuller and denser. Although Quadratic Audio is currently a relatively new brand, if you consider the improvement in sound quality performance, it is really a good deal..."
Keith(?), August 2023, Quadratic Audio MC-1 booster boosts performance beyond expectations, AUDIOTECHNIQUE


Loaner Program

We think you will be thrilled with the sound you get with your MC-1, but we know too that perception is a highly personal thing, so in the unlikely event that you should find yourself less than thrilled, we are offering an exception to our customary return policy. If you return your MC-1 within 15 days, we will issue a full refund, retaining only $150.  If you keep the device between 16 and 30 days, we will retain $300.  In either case, you can think of it as a loan payment or rental fee.

The unit that we ship to you will be in pristine condition, and we will expect to receive your return in that same pristine condition, complete with the undamaged product box and all of the original packing materials.  We strongly suggest that you retain the outer shipping box as well, so that you can return the unit and its box in the same perfect condition.  You will be responsible for return shipping costs. Returns that arrive in less than pristine condition will incur additional restocking fees, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.


With so many once-great American brand names being sold to unknown offshore companies, it is really exciting to see Quadratic enter the space in a way that embodies and exemplifies a heritage that we once took for granted. We are genuinely pleased to represent the Quadratic Audio brand, designed and built in the USA, and partnered with CineMag, another great US company with a rich heritage and long history of excellence.

The MC-1 is made in the USA, and is covered by a limited warranty for a period of three years.

Quadratic Audio MC-1, right-front perspective

Here is another perspective.

Quadratic Audio MC-1, back panel

The high-quality Neutrik RCA jacks and ground terminal can be seen in this photo of the back panel.

Quadratic Audio MC-1, CineMag Inside

CineMag inside!

Quadratic Audio MC-1, Open

Here is a better look inside.  Jumpers for gain setting can be seen in the foreground, and the custom CineMag transformers are also prominent.  Coaxial cables with gold-plated threaded connectors can also be seen.

Quadratic Audio MC-1 Specs - Bottom

Here is a look at the bottom of the Step-Up transformer.

Quadratic Audio MC-1, included items

Quadratic Audio protects the MC-1 with a nice drawstring fabric bag and molded foam padding.  The package includes extra jumpers for gain selection, a printed manual, and the SUT device itself.

Quadratic Audio MC-1, product box

This photo shows the sturdy product box (we will also double-box for safe shipment).

Quadratic Audio MC-1, manual, PDF format

Here is the manual, in PDF format.

Purchase Information
"Free Shipping" Coupon Included!
Product Description SKU Your Price Quantity
Quadratic Audio Moving Coil Transformer MC-1  $1795.00
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