Sutherland PhonoBlock User Manual

Page 7

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It can take quite a long listening time before a high resolution component reaches its performance po-

tential. The PhonoBlocks are no exception.

However, the PhonoBlocks distinguish themselves by including white noise generators --- one for each

channel. White noise becomes the input signal and passes thru all stages of the PhonoBlock. You can

even use the output of the PhonoBlock as a burn-in signal source for interconnect cables and the rest

of your system.

The inclusion of such a feature into the signal path may seem to contradict the previously stated (em-

phatically stated) value of an uncluttered signal path.

The challenge is to add this useful feature without ANY compromise to the signal path. Remember,

there are loading resistor circuit boards that plug into the PhonoBlock. The white noise generator cir-

cuit board plugs into exactly that same connector – instead of the loading resistor board. That same

connector is used to either add resistive loading OR as a place to inject white noise. When you are

finished with the White Noise Generator, just unplug it and replace it with your choice of resistive load-

ing. There is no added complexity on the main PhonoBlock board.


Sometimes ground loops can cause hum in a phono system. Breaking ground loops can be easy or it

can be a nightmarish frustration. In the difficult situations, grounding options can save the day.

For product safety and electrostatic shielding purposes, the metal casework of the PhonoBlock is elec-

trically connected to the ground lead in the IEC power cord.

There are, however, options on the audio circuit’s ground reference. Each mono chassis has three

grounding options. They are selectable by moving a gold-plated shunt.

Audio ground can float with respect to the chassis

Audio ground can tie directly to the chassis

Audio ground ‘softly’ connected to the chassis thru a 50 Ohm resistor


One gain/load configuration will be optimum for a given system. There must be a mechanism for find-

ing and installing that best choice.

The common way puts every conceivable option on the circuit board. Then only one of the available

options is selected using some sort of switch. That approach is conventional, convenient and it works.

Some products even have remote control to select configuration. On the down side, the circuit board