Sutherland Engineering

TZ Direct


The TZ DIRECT advances our phono preamp range. It combines our most refined transimpedance input stage with a second gain stage derived from our legacy line stages. Each of those stages contributes to the musicality. Working together, the music effortlessly flows into your system.



Retail Price: $8,500



Sutherland TZ DIRECT Moving-Coil Phono Preamplifier – 10 Direct




I would like to congratulate you on the remarkable TZ Direct. I’ve finally had enough time to wrap my “ears” around the unit and must admit, I am somewhat at a loss for words describing the sound. I believe this is because the unit just gets out of the way and lets the recording define the sound. I’ve tried to find the unit’s sonic signature, but to no avail. What this means is that the rest of a person’s system will impact and define the sound, not. The TZ Direct. You really can’t put back into the music what was taken away. The TZ Direct just seems to take what it is given by the phono cartridge and sends that signal to your other equipment, and there, well, anything can happen.

The sound is well extended at both ends of the spectrum. I am especially sensitive to harshness in the treble region, most noticeably female vocalists and horn sections of jazz bands. Yet, I don’t want any detail or articulation covered up for the sake of smoothness. Here, I sense a complete lack of harshness or brittleness while retaining the detail that is there. On brushed cymbals, I can almost make out how many bristles are on the brushes. Closely recorded female vocalists retain plenty of articulation without emphasizing any sibilance that might be on the recording.

I am also sensitive to an overall sound that can only be described as thin. Quite a few audiophile systems in the pursuit of detail minimize the harmonic overtones that are so important to complete a musical expression. Horns should have a richness, double basses can resonate considerably, all depending on the recording of course. Female vocalists should sound like they have a complete body, rather than just a skeleton. I want music, not the shell of music. So when I listen to familiar music, I listen for a thinness or a richness to sneak in, from what I am defining as neutral. In listening to the TZ Direct, I don’t sense any addition or subtraction in this tone. A positive side effect of this, is that one can listen to vinyl for long periods of time without developing aural fatigue, assuming the rest of the system is up to snuff.

One last thought…I noticed a lot less congestion on complex classical music. There is plenty of air around the instruments and now I can make out more of each individual instrument. WIth well-recorded jazz, the decay of drums, cymbals, and bass, are wonderful, really helping the listener with the sense of space.

Ron, congratulations again. I hope this product is very successful for you. I couldn’t be happier that I own it.

Bruce B.


The TZ Direct offers just that. A direct and emotional experience, unfettered. I value components with nothing to analyze, and this absolutely delivers! There is something very special about Transimpedance in the analog chain, and it is difficult to describe, because the usual audiophile descriptors do not apply. Just so much information extracted for a beautiful experience. Low volume performance of the TZ Direct is also uncanny in its scale and weight, and once achieved in the system, allows one to simply relax and enjoy a quiet session with a full bodied presentation.

Paul H.


Well what more can I say than Bravo Ron!! My Denon DL 103R, Mutech Hayabusa, Koetsu Vermillion and treasured Dynavector XV-1s have never sounded better. My listening sessions are now emotional therapy of the highest order ~ Thank you!!

Chad S.



Transimpedance – Basic Introduction Owner’s Manual