SCULPTURE A  Mini Nano

Moving Coil Step Up Transformer

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 Sculpture A  Mini Nano SUT

“Within their price range and level of performance, the Mini Discrete Phono and Mini Nano Step-up are without a doubt simply astonishing. The Sculpture A solution will surprise and amaze music lovers that are enamoured with high performance analog playback, and that are either looking for a new and unique solution, or are just bored with their actual phono stage ... one that without a doubt is much more expensive than these Sculpture A products.

We strongly advise them ... without a priori ... to experience the Sculpture A Mini Line. 

They may be had at a mini price, and come in a mini size ... 

... but, they perform to the max !

Dominique Mafrant

Haute-Fidélité  - June 2020

 

Design Goals

With our full understanding  of analog technologies and how they have developed over the years, we aim to improve our designs with new technologies.

 

Each of our highly customizable products is tailor-made in small quantities, built to your specifications only, without ever compromising on technology and workmanship.

 

SCULPTURE A products will provide you with years of music bliss, retrieving the most accurate signal from your record collection.


Design Principles

 

SCULPTURE A product designs are guided by the following principles:

 

Fine-tuning

Fine-tuning both by ear and with distortion analyzers to achieve best sonic and measurement figures

 

Material

Inventive designs based on carefully chosen materials

 

Continuity

Full emphasis on the integrity of the signal path from the cartridge to phono stage

 

Circuit

Zero feedback circuitry

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TRANSFORMER TOPOLOGY

Toroidal

Nano-Cristalline Core

WINDING OPTIONS

1 : 5

1 : 10

1 : 15

1 : 20

1 : 26

1 : 30

1 : 40

Custom upon request
MATERIAL

99.99% Copper
OTHER

No Dip Switch
BANDWIDTH

20Hz - 60kHz  + / - 0.5dB  

Mini Nano SUT

$ 995

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Diapason D'Or Award

for the Sculpture A Minis

Vincent Cousin - May 2020

what they say ...

Ammonite

"Shugs"  |  May 2020

 

Step Up Transformer (SUT) Comparisons

" ... Our stereo SUT comparisons were made using our upgraded Technics SL-1200GR turntable (linear PSU, Ammonite Audio modular machined alloy armboard) with Glanz MH-94S tonearm.  Phono stage is the Lehmann Audio Decade, and all cabling is Zavfino 1877Phono Mahone. Cartridges used were the entry-level Ortofon SPU#1S (price £425), Phasemation PP-300 (price £1395), and Miyajima Shilabe (price £2775).  These cartridges have coil impedances ranging from 2 ohms to 16 ohms.  

 

LPs used included Trentemøller ‘The Last Resort’, Arne Domnerus ‘Antiphone Blues’ and various (mostly Beethoven) classical LPs, with a bit of Weber thrown in.  The LPs were chosen not just because they are well recorded and well played, but significantly because they contain a lot of ‘ambient’ acoustic cues, and rendition of spacial information is something that does vary between SUTs ... So, what did we hear ?

 

Listening 

Sculpture A Mini Nano : We were sent two Sculpture A Mini Nano SUTs – one with 20:1 gain and the other with 26:1 which is optimised for Ortofon SPUs.  These SUTs are small, and neatly finished and we think they look rather classy, in an understated manner.

 

These SUTs are quite unusual inside in using toroidal transformer cores which are made from ‘nano crystalline’ material.  I thought that was some sort of marketing hype until I looked it up, and this stuff does exist and is known to sustain much higher magnetic flux than materials usually used in transformers.

 

Both these SUTs share one key attribute – near total silence – you can place them anywhere and there is no discernible hum.

 

The Phasemation T-300 at £550 is excellent in this respect and the Sculpture A SUTs are at least as good, if not slightly better in rejecting hum. We started with the 20:1 Mini Nano and with the Phasemation PP-300 cartridge we were greeted with the most divine, spacious, organic, colourful and vibrant sound – appreciably more involving and enjoyable compared to the Phasemation T-300 SUT which is of course cheaper!  Whatever we played, whether the Trentemoller or classical LPs, the result was the same, but we’re all still haunted by the sheer energy and body tone of Arne Domnerus’s sax on Antiphone Blues.

 

Switching cartridges to the Miyajima Shilabe, again we heard the same improvements compared to the T-300, but Miyajimas really do need impedance optimised primary windings and the Miyajima ETR-STEREO does let the Shilabe show its true and wonderful musical potential ... albeit at at the much higher cost of £2550.

 

Moving on to the Ortofon SPU#1S, the 20:1 Mini Nano was immediately preferred to the already enjoyable T-300 but not ‘quite there yet’.  Switching over to the 26:1 Mini Nano was a bit of a shock – the little SPU#1S now sounded a whole lot more cultured and expensive, with even more vibrant portrayal of sounds, instruments and ‘immeasurable’ things like the acoustic space between instruments, the moments of not quite silence just before an orchestra takes a collective intake of breath as the conductor’s baton is raised – musical suspense.

This pairing is so ridiculously good and I’m full of improved respect for the £425 SPU#1S, and I cannot wait to hear the SPU Wood A through this 26:1 Mini Nano SUT!

 

I like these Sculpture A SUTs very much indeed, particularly since they sit, in terms of price, between the excellent Phasemation T-300 and the finely adjustable Miyajima ETR-STEREO.

 

In summary, this has been a fascinating comparison, with all the SUTs doing well ... but for someone prepared to spend just short of £695 - $995 -on a SUT, the Sculpture A Mini Nano SUTs are fantastic in every respect and true audiophile bits of gear by any standard, let alone their relatively modest price.

 

Even better, they are available with a wide range of standard step up ratios (1:5 / 1:10 / 1:15 / 1:20 / 1:26 / 1:30 / 1:40), and we have also asked the team at Sculpture A to build a mono SUT and a stereo SUT optimised specifically for Miyajima stereo cartridges.  We have no doubt that both will be excellent in every respect. "