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In Reply to: RE: CartridgeCompatibility posted by captsven on January 11, 2017 at 04:02:49
Do you have the "Series II S2 improved arm" or the "Series II improved arm". If the former then the arm mass is 9.5g. If the latter then it is 6.5g - the figure someone gave you at 12.5g is for the Series II arm.
The trend at the moment for MCs is for medium to lower compliance. So if you have the 6.5g arm, they wouldn't be such a great match - you should stick with (say) a Denon DL304 as your best match (for a high compliance MC). The 9.5g mass is still on the light side for the lower compliance Ortofons but still workable.
The MMs currently available aren't of the same standard they would have been at the height of vinyl in the late 70s, early 80s. I would suggest (if you like a neutral tonal balance) to stick with an MC. The higher end AT MMs like the 150MLX are on the bright/cool side of neutral. Whilst technically superb, they just don't sound right to me.
"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats
If he has the low mass tonearm without the detachable headshell, the AT-ART9 might be a good high-compliance moving coil. My AT-ART7 is supposed to be medium-compliance, but it turns out to be high-compliance as well. The new AT-OC9/III is also high-compliance.
Most low-output moving coils are medium-compliance and a few are low-compliance, but Audio Technica seems to making some fairly high-compliance moving coils these days. The arm/cartridge resonance frequency of my AT-ART7 in my SME V tonearm is between 6 and 7-Hz, but it is the best sounding cartridge I now own and probably one of the best sounding I've ever owned.
It is a fixed head shell.
I believe the fixed headshell tonearm has effective mass of 6.5-grams. If you want to try a low-output moving coil, the Audio Technica AT-OC9/III and the AT-ART9 would be good candidates. I don't know much about moving magnet cartridges.
So I need a low mass cartridge because calculated arm mass is low?
I think I need to read up on this.
No! You need a high-compliance cartridge with a low-mass tonearm. Both the AT-ART9 and the new AT-OC9/III are high-compliance moving coils. This is unusual because most moving coils are medium-compliance or low-compliance. Very few are high-compliance.
The mass of these cartridges are in the neighborhood of 8 to 8.5-grams.
So after some research, this is where I am at:
I need a high compliance cartridge (> 12) based on my tone arm.
I understand that your recommendation of the AT -ART9 & OC9/III are high compliance MC cartridges. If I want to try a MC, this is one of options. Hopefully my pre amp can handle this.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of this deal I am in, my options are the Sumiko & Sound Smith brands.
The Sound Smith options are:
Boheme HO - Comp. 22
Aida HO - Comp. 22
Norma HO - Comp. 28, Med. Comp. 22
These are all MM, not an issue with my pre amp.
I do not see a high comp. Sumiko cartridge.
I think those Soundsmith cartridges should all work just fine with regard to compliance. Check with Peter Ledermann at Soundsmith. He's the expert.
Thanks for the correction.
That Vinyl Engine website is great. I need to research this more...
The VE website is indeed great, but when you access their data bank on cartridges, keep in mind that private, fallible individuals have posted some of those cartridge specs, and they are not always accurate or edited by any "higher authority". It's something like Wikipedia.
Your last paragraph, I disagree. But what the hell, Ah,Ah, - shit, I forgot what I was going to say.
Oh ya, MC's suck.
No, not really, but, there's just something that is sort of, kind of, sounds CD like to me.
MM/MI ROLE MAN !
The interactions between the components are what make recommendations so difficult! Everyone will be basing the opinions on what they have experienced.
FWIW, I was brought up on a Stanton 681EE which is MI. I know exactly what you mean. Even now, on original jazz recordings from the 50s and 60s, the 681 makes some very pleasing noises. However, after trying out many different cartridges, my favourite would have to be the low impedance Stanton MMs for neutrality and technical performance.
Unfortunately these models are long gone and in the latter years, Stanton quality was so bad that NOS styli are best left on the shelf unless you are really desperate (or very lucky!)
In theory, the transducer principle (MI, MM, MC) should have no influence on the tonal balance of the reproduced signal. If you were to hear my digital transcriptions (which are equalised to a reference white noise response), I would doubt that you could consistently and reliably discern what the cartridge type was except by luck.
However, it is the differences in materials used, mechanical resonances, non-linearities etc etc which colour the sound in different ways. The higher the inductance of the coils, the more likely you are going to have more audible colourations coming through.
In a sense it's "what you get used to". Also, it depends on what your preferences are.
If you were to say to me that a particular cartridge sounded too much like CD, rather than be put off, I would be likely to check it out simply because I am after neutrality and fidelity. Totally the opposite to you I guess, but for me, digital is the reference and the record shouldn't sound any different....that is unless you really WANT it to! In which case, it comes down to what flavour you like!
"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats
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