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post #1531 of 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Googolplex147 View Post


Thanks, that looks great! Although the amp is a bit pricey, I like that it also has a headphone jack so I'd just need that one for both speakers and headphones.

Exactly why I suggested that amp for you. Topping makes good amps at affordable prices. You might need to stretch your budget a little, but you'll know that it's worth it.

post #1532 of 2538

My TC-760LC came in the mail today. I finally was able to hook it up at 4AM. I am blown away! I never thought that it would be as good as it is. And to thing that I only bought it to bring me up to line level for when I buy my first headphone amp.  biggrin.gif

post #1533 of 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Nova View Post

My TC-760LC came in the mail today. I finally was able to hook it up at 4AM. I am blown away! I never thought that it would be as good as it is. And to thing that I only bought it to bring me up to line level for when I buy my first headphone amp.  biggrin.gif

TC760LC is the best bang for the buck in this line. No idea how good MC performance actually is, but should be good with reasonable output carts. LC means it has a volume control via a potentiometer, meaning it can drive an amp even if that (head, power, etc ) amp has no means of controlling the volume.

 

I have TC750 - and it sounds surprisingly good with the carts I have tried so far. I will actually have to measure it, particularly to verify how high is the phono overload, a potentially Aichille's heel of anything powered off 12 V single ended power supply. All three carts I have tried so far have (much) lower output than for MM average 1 mv/cm/sec and therefore this could not be a problem. Will try it with a "normal" output cart and some hot recording, as well as measure it.

 

Even with these low output carts, there was no objectionable noise. Of course, there are quieter phonos - at a cost, but in either case noise from the recording and vinyl is much greater than the noise of the cart/preamp at listening volume while record is not playing.

 

It does not add any thick veil over the sound - at the price, probably impossible to do better.

post #1534 of 2538

Speaking of hot recordings, this was what had happened to me for the past few weeks. After aligning the cart and adjusting the VTA etc, I found out that there is still sibilance with my AT440MLa cart which was regarded as sibilance killer by a lot. I was just stumped and don't know what to do. The tracks sounded hot and has prominent treble. Then I thought maybe it's just my gear, so I accepted it and leave it at that. I played a different LP, an older pressing, and there was no sibilance at all. I compared the older pressings with the new releases and turns out the newer pressings have very hot treble. Is this normal for new records?

post #1535 of 2538
Thread Starter 
Not as a general rule, no. I don't experience unnatural exaggeration of sibilants on the vast majority of new records I buy. In fact right now I can't think of any that have this. I have bought a few new records lately that I felt were intentionally mastered to sound soft.
post #1536 of 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by penmarker View Post

Speaking of hot recordings, this was what had happened to me for the past few weeks. After aligning the cart and adjusting the VTA etc, I found out that there is still sibilance with my AT440MLa cart which was regarded as sibilance killer by a lot. I was just stumped and don't know what to do. The tracks sounded hot and has prominent treble. Then I thought maybe it's just my gear, so I accepted it and leave it at that. I played a different LP, an older pressing, and there was no sibilance at all. I compared the older pressings with the new releases and turns out the newer pressings have very hot treble. Is this normal for new records?

 

It depends on many factors. One can make the recording as well recorded as possible - that includes cutting at the highest possible level in order to have as great as possible signal to noise ratio. That is the same as assuming every driver that will drive on your designed road will be behind the wheel of at least middle class Ferrari - and that he/she knows how to drive at almost racing standard.

 

Last 3 or so dB of dinamyc range of phonograph record usually are intentionally sacrified for easier tracking - mastering engineers must be realistic enough and know what can be reasonably

expected from the buyers of their products. Yes, there are cartridges that can track velocities in excess of 100cm/s, there are phono preamps that for all practical purposes can not be overloaded - and there is no cartridge that can track the amplitude in bass cutting head has no trouble recording.

 

Some musical discs known to present such torture tests are known to exist, yet sensible mastering will try to avoid excesSsSsSsssSSSSssssive ( that is about how it sounds if stylus for any reason can not track correctly and/or phono preamp gets overloaded ) levels.

 

Same as with cars - you can not go around a bend with your pickup truck as with your Ferrari.

At about the same price difference.

 

AT440MLa can sometimes tend to this if its electrical load is not optimal - it would take gross misalignment/&misadjustment to derail it that much mechanically - despite modest costs, it is one of the better trackers.


Edited by analogsurviver - 7/27/13 at 8:15am
post #1537 of 2538

Wow. I've spend a lot of hours this weekend learning about tone arm resonance, cartridge compliance, etc... my head is spinning!  

 

My SME 3009 improved (fixed head shell, 6.5g) tonearm is getting rewired back in Canada and I'm starting to narrow down my cartridge choices.  

 

1.  The Soundsmith cartridges look like a great choice for a really light arm since they are high compliance, light weight, and don't need much in the way of recommended tracking force.  There are some very good reviews out there, but not that many... I've been looking at the Carmen/SMMC3 range.

 

2.  The Ortofon 2M black, while a little heavier, is relatively high compliance and a recommended tracking force that will work with the SME. It also seems like it would do well with the 3009.

 

I have not completely ruled out MC, but there seems to be more recommendations to go MM with this arm than MC and it appears easier to find higher compliance MM vs MC.  I also think this option will play well with my selected phono stage.

 

I'd be happy to hear any thoughts, comments, etc... esp. if anyone else is running any really light arms.

post #1538 of 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipsupt View Post

Wow. I've spend a lot of hours this weekend learning about tone arm resonance, cartridge compliance, etc... my head is spinning!  

 

My SME 3009 improved (fixed head shell, 6.5g) tonearm is getting rewired back in Canada and I'm starting to narrow down my cartridge choices.  

 

1.  The Soundsmith cartridges look like a great choice for a really light arm since they are high compliance, light weight, and don't need much in the way of recommended tracking force.  There are some very good reviews out there, but not that many... I've been looking at the Carmen/SMMC3 range.

 

2.  The Ortofon 2M black, while a little heavier, is relatively high compliance and a recommended tracking force that will work with the SME. It also seems like it would do well with the 3009.

 

I have not completely ruled out MC, but there seems to be more recommendations to go MM with this arm than MC and it appears easier to find higher compliance MM vs MC.  I also think this option will play well with my selected phono stage.

 

I'd be happy to hear any thoughts, comments, etc... esp. if anyone else is running any really light arms.

Well, SME 3009 Series II Improved non detacheable headshell arm is still a " bus" when compared to really lightweight class, like 3009 Series III, Infinity Black Widow (around 3 gram eff mass ), not to mention Transcriptors Vestigal ( around 5 g lateral, 2 or less vertical ) or the lightest of them all, Transcriptors Microtracer as featured on Transcriber turntable ( approx 2 gram ). Technics SL series of linear trackers is also very low effective mass design, approx 3 gram eff. mass. So is Opus 3 Cantus linear tracker ( some 20 or so g lateral, approx 3-4 vertical ). Experience ( and in some cases daily use ) with all of the above except Microtracer - I and my high compliance carts felt great relief back in late 70s when switching from "heavy" Series II ( like yours, lightest version ) to Vestigal.  

 

One MC that is kind of readily available and has highish compliance that works at 1.4 gram VTF is Denon DL 304, or its more posh relative, DL S 1. But please note both of these are about as demanding of the phono input as it gets. Low output ( 0.12 mV IIRC ) and highish internal impedance of approx 40 ohm  - making life tough both for head amps and transformers.

 

Soundsmith ( up to date Bang & Olufsen ) carts are supposedly good - but do not overlook NOS B&Os, as they are peculiarly "common" in your neck of woods. Specially top models featuring sapphire cantilever are said to be preffered by some over current Soundsmith ruby cantilevered versions. Both tend to burn a decent hole in the pocket.

 

If you areeeeeee paaaaaaaaaatient and can waaaaaaaiiiiit  til you get the vintage MC cart(s) that fits the description,please PM me for these, way too rare to post on any forum as the shoestring on which is based supply of these has been stretched way beyond breaking point decades ago and only sporadically it is knotted together to allow for an odd sample to come through.

 

Of currently available MM carts, Audio Technica AT 440MLa, 150MLX and 150ANV would fit the bill. Ortofon 2Ms are a bit lower compliance, but should still work reasonably well.

 

If you have money to burn, Van den Hul can make you a high compliance/low tracking force Colibri.

post #1539 of 2538

Pretty sure Soundsmith has different compliances if you ask them.  If that matters...

 

 

http://www.sound-smith.com/cartridges/movingiron.html

Quote:
The Carmen is available in high and medium compliance versions

 

So, yeah.

 

 

What I gather from reading around here and there, is Soundsmith and Ortofon are almost two polar opposites in sound.  Maybe even comparable to things like a Senn 650 and AKG 701.

post #1540 of 2538

Thanks gents.  As always some great information here.  I've never thought about my SME as a heavy weight!  tongue_smile.gif

 

I'm assuming the Ortofon being on the brighter side, the Soundsmith more like the 650?

 

Looks like I have more research to do!

post #1541 of 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipsupt View Post

Thanks gents.  As always some great information here.  I've never thought about my SME as a heavy weight!  tongue_smile.gif

 

I'm assuming the Ortofon being on the brighter side, the Soundsmith more like the 650?

 

Looks like I have more research to do!

As a shock to the Linn crowd - some arm and or cartridge manufacturers did provide plastic mounting hardware back then in order to bring down the mass as much as possible. Sometimes it simply saves the day with high compliance carts - no mention has been made of the premium proponent of these, late Mr. Pritchard and his ADC and later Sonus cartridges. Some of these, particularly early models, had compliance as high as 65 cm-6//dyne

( or 65 cuft in British parlance ) - and for that high compliance practically any real arm was too porky - cartridge alone was too massive to stay above 8 Hz LF resonance. ADC and Sonus never did produce low mass carts - they were about 5.5 gram and although later models did revert to ever stiffer suspensions, all of these should avoid massive arms as pleague. Calculate what a mass reduction of about one gram possible with plastic mounting hardware can bring - and you will realize why it is sometimes soooo desirable. 

 

One arm that is not too porky but is far stiffer structurally than anything in my previous post is the original Mission 774 designed by John Bicht. It has 5 gram effective mass. 774 - no letters added, those were later lower cost and quality arms. 774 uses SME mounting, so it can be directly substitute for far inferiour sounding SME II and III. 774 can handle MCs with aplomb, unlike SME II and III. V and IV are another story, but at a hefty price increase and inability to really acommodate high  compliance carts.

post #1542 of 2538
Yes shipsupt, Ortofon the brighter of the two.

And don't take those as literal statements. Besides me not hearing either one, it was more in a figural sense. Yes, read more.
post #1543 of 2538

I have a quick question: I have a Grado Gold 1 cart attached to a Music Hall MMF 2.2.  I am using a Pro-Ject preamp.  The USB one.  I forget exactly what is called.  But my question is this:  I have read that the Grado cart is a Moving Iron variety.  Do I set my phono amp to MC or MM?  I have been setting it to MM, but recently have begun to question that choice.  Any thoughts?

post #1544 of 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMoJo View Post

I have a quick question: I have a Grado Gold 1 cart attached to a Music Hall MMF 2.2.  I am using a Pro-Ject preamp.  The USB one.  I forget exactly what is called.  But my question is this:  I have read that the Grado cart is a Moving Iron variety.  Do I set my phono amp to MC or MM?  I have been setting it to MM, but recently have begun to question that choice.  Any thoughts?

Grado Gold 1 produces typical output voltage of MM cartridges, requiring gain setting for MM.

 

There are low impedance/output versions of Grado movng iron design ( TOTL or just below it ) that require MC setting for gain. 

 

For any magnetic cartridge ( velocity transducer ) you can derermine gain requirements/compatibility here : http://www.kabusa.com/pregain.htm

post #1545 of 2538

analogsurviver:  thanks for your quick response.  I ask because it sounds so much better on MC.  The bass is better and the overall sound is warmer and more full bodied.  Am I hurting anything using that setting?

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