Pyon Sound Electronics and Transformers

Pyon Sound’s most recent work has been developing their own unique line of electronics.  Transformers are carefully wound at the Pyon workshop.  Final assembly and testing are also completed by Pyon technicians, not a third party.  Coming soon will be a new statement phono stage, along with a preamp and power amp.  Preliminary details are shown, and these will be updated when development is complete.


Pyon Sound Step Up Transformers

While electronics can amplify small signals with ease, the unnatural distortions of most active devices overlay the sound, destroy the dimensionality and significantly worsen the signal to noise ratio of tiny analog signals from today’s best low-output cartridges.  While nothing is perfect, a carefully wound transformer, using the best possible core material, excellent wire and carefully chosen winding techniques, will amplify these minute signals with less audible distortion than any active device.  The tiny signals mean that saturation of the core is virtually impossible, so the most sensitive magnetic laminations, with the least pronounced hysteresis distortion, and minimal remanence can be employed for what is the most difficult job a transformer can accomplish.


Pyon Sound MC Master transformersPyon MC_Master_front
Pyon step-up MC MasterPyon MC Master-Duralumin Base
Pyon Sound input transformersT1-phono-trans-winding


The MC Master step-up transformer has been developed to assist in the highest fidelity reproduction of analogue music.  Pyon Audio signal transformers are precision-wound, measured and hand-finished by a master craftsman who has more than 20 years experience in transformer winding.  The MC Master amplifies the weakest signals from a low output cartridge by 15-30 times, making the signal large enough to be amplified by a phono stage with typical gain (most phono stages are designed to accept the signal of a typical moving magnet, like a Shure V15 or high output moving coil).

The chassis of the MC Master is precision-milled of solid block of duralumin for the highest rigidity.  The cover is made of solid block of Picawood, the ideal material for audio performance.  The chassis is supported by our special foot design for the highest anti-vibration and resonance performance.  The end result is the best possible chassis for highest audio performance.

On the rear of the MC Master, there are two pairs of RCA jacks for input and output.  These RCA jacks are specially designed and made in accordance with our precision engineering standard.  They are made of pure copper and phosphor bronze for best signal transfer and employ Teflon for best insulation.  They are finished with extra-thick gold plating for longevity and minimal noise.

Between the RCA jacks. there are two toggle switches for loading impedance selection.  A user may choose either a low or high position to match the requirements of a particular MC cartridge.

The MC Master has two different versions: for low impedance cartridges or high impedance cartridges.  Each version has an input impedance selector switch to match the impedance of a specific cartridge.  Most Japanese and Ortofon cartridges are categorized as low impedance cartridges, while many European cartridges are as mid-to-high impedance cartridges.


MC Master L

 This MC Master L is for low impedance cartridges, and its top cover is natural wooden brown.  It has two gain options:

  • Low impedance position : suitable for cartridges with less than 7 ohms internal impedance
  • High impedance position : suitable for cartridges with higher than 7 ohms but less than 15 ohms internal impedance


MC Master H

The MC Master H is for mid-to-high impedance cartridges and its top cover is charcoal black.  It has two gain options:

  • Low impedance position : suitable for cartrdges with impedance between 30 ~ 40 ohms
  • High impedance position : suitable for cartridges with impedance between 70 ~ 100 ohms




RIAA Correction

While the heart and soul of Pyon Sound is the Ultima Black Pearl Turntable and Iris Reference Tonearm, they cannot exist on their own.  An elite phono stage must be used that matches the resolving power of Mr Park’s analog front-end, and there are very few phono stages that can be considered elite.   After developing his turntable to reference caliber, he considered the different options to amplify and correct tiny signals from the cartridge.  Like several other notable perfectionists, he chose the LCR method.  The main point to consider when choosing a phono stage circuit, is how the original RIAA pre-emphasis curve was created when the disk was being mastered.  The processors that apply the RIAA pre-emphasis curve have predominantly been the LCR type.   


Iris Three LCR Reference Phono Stage


Iris 3 phono stage

 Iris 3 LCR


The IRIS 3 Phono stage is designed for the most faithful reproduction of analogue records to satisfy even the highly critical analogue music lovers.

The heart of the IRIS 3 is a pair of LCR units that process the most accurate and musical RIAA equalization.  These LCR units are the transformer-based RIAA equalization technology.  The in-house transformer winder, who has more than 20 years of experience, manually winds all LCR units with the greatest care and precision.

The IRIS 3 accepts one MM signal and one MC signal.

In order to amplify the delicate MC signal at its best, Pyon Sound developed the world’s finest step-up transformers for MC signal amplification.  The MC step-up transformer (SUT) utilizes proprietary technology for the most musical amplification of MC signal.  The results are dead-quiet backgrounds, ultimate resolution and explosive dynamics, while rendering sweet and warm tonality.


There are two SUT (step-up transformer) versions to accept a wide range of MC cartridges: 

SUT SE L: This SUT is for low impedance cartridges with or less than 15 ohm internal impedance. This SUT is best suited for most Japanese and Ortofon cartridges, which are categorized as a low impedance cartridges.

In order to more precisely match the cartridge impedance, there is an impedance toggle switch on the back panel of the IRIS 3.  The toggle switch is marked as “High” and “Low” positions.  Users can easily experiment to find the best impedance match for a given cartridge.


SUT SE H: This SUT is for medium-to-high impedance cartridges with over 40 ohms internal impedance.  Most European (except Ortofon) and American cartridges are regarded as a medium-to-high impedance cartridges.  The SUT SE H also has a two-position toggle switch to enable precise impedance matching for a given cartridge.


Iris 3 signalThe internal photo of the IRIS 3: The SUT SE at the far left is seen and the black square LCR units are positioned in the center.


The 12AX7 tube takes the first stage amplification of the music signal either from the SUT or from the MM input. Then, the music signal goes through the LCR unit for the RIAA equalization. Finally, the equalized signal is processed by the 12AT7 tubes for the second stage amplification.

All amplifying tubes are covered by spring-loaded shields to minimize EMI, RFI, microphonic and vibration noise.  The circuitry of the IRIS 3 is hand-assembled, with the greatest care, by Pyon’s master engineer.  The circuit is point-to-point hard-wired, with air-floating 3D architecture.  Also, the parts are world-class grade, including Supreme Silver/Gold/Oil capacitors from Mundorf.


Iris 3 signal wiring

The 10mF main capacitor can be upgraded to the Silver/Gold version for $900.


Iris 3 inputs

Various input and output RCA jacks are provided 

There are one pair RCA jacks each for MC and MM input.  A toggle switch changes the input between MM and MC.  There is another toggle switch to select the high and the low loading impedance for MC cartridges.  A single pair of RCA jacks are provided for output.  There is a 7-pin circular military style socket for power umbilical cord connection.



Iris 3 power supply


The IRIS 3 has a detached power supply chassis to isolate the main circuitry from the magnetic interference of power supply transformers.  The power supply of the IRIS 3 is completely tube-regulated.  The main power transformer is over-sized for longevity, minimal heat buildup, and best possible regulation.  The power supply circuitry is assembled with high quality point-to-point hard-wiring.


Iris 3 power supply wiring


On the back panel of the power supply unit, there is a sliding switch to select the input voltage for easy worldwide use. One can choose between 120V and 240V.  Besides the voltage selector, there an IEC socket for power cable and a 7-pin military-style round connector for the umbilical supplying DC power to the amplifying unit.

The feet of the IRIS 3 are specially designed to maximize the chassis isolation.



1. Type: LCR phono amplifier for MM and MC cartridges

2. Gain: 45dB for MM and 65dB for MC

3. Control Buttons: Picawood knob for power, MC-MM selector switch (Back), High-Low Impedance selector (Back), and Voltage selector (Power supply unit, back)

4. Cartridge Loading: 47K ohm for MM; 5-15 ohms for MC used with the SE L step-up transformer, or 60~180 ohms for MC used with the SE H step-up transformer

5. Phono equalization: RIAA

6. Polarity: Non-inverting

7. Output Impedance: 200 ohms

8. Output voltage: 1.0V RMS 10Hz to 20kHz, into a 100,000 ohm load

9. Power Supply: Tube regulation of both low and high voltage supplies; oltage regulation to better than 0.1%.

10. Tube Compliment:  two 12AX7 dual triodes and two 12AT7 dual triodes for amplification; 6CA4, 6BM8, and OA2 in the power supply.

11. Power Requirement: Selectable between 120V and 240V, 50/60Hz

12. Dimension WxDxH: 205mm x 305mm x 150mm plus the feet (20mm tall) for both main and power supply units

13. Weight: 7.9Kg for the main unit, 8.2Kg for the power supply unit. 18Kg NET for shipping.


Coming Attractions

Pyon Sound is hard at work completing three new additions to the Pyon Sound product line:

The Phono Master will feature 3 different dedicated step-up transformers for each channel (low-medium-high), and will have a transformer coupled 101D output tube.  

The Line Master directly heated triode line stage will feature: four 101D directly heated triodes; output transformers; two balanced inputs, three single ended inputs; one balanced output and one single ended outputs; independent left and right volume controls.  The power supply will feature:  dual power transformers, five chokes, and four tubes for rectification and regulation.

The Music Master will be a GM70 directly-heated triode, single-ended, class A, mono power amp, with single-ended input, balanced input, input transformer, 6SN7 input tube, EL34 driver tube, two 5AR4 rectifier tubes, 30 watts output, and Picawood side panels.

This site will be updated once these new products are ready.

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