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post #481 of 2591
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

An analogy every one will understand : consider your record player is a car. Your cart is an engine, your turntable is a chassis and your arm suspension system. They will happily sell you all three separately, resulting in a car that can do 400 km/h, provided the road is perfectly flat without a bump exceeding 1 mm . Because they either did not install any shock absorbers at all - or they are hopelesly mismatched for the actual resulting vehicle. The outcome of such a car in real world and its impact on the well being of its occupants and "innocent by-drivers" is unfortunatelly perfectly predictable and there is a reason why any DIY car has to past stringent atests in order to be allowed to be driven in normal traffic. You can and are allowed to do with your "phono car" whatever you please - including performing "Grado dance" - because you will be doing it on your records, not those belonging to those who sold you the equipment.. Which can and sometimes in extreme cases does culminate in yet more extreme phono sport - groove jumping. By the time any of the two appear, there is no longer anything like sound quality as we know and strive for left.

 

 

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post #482 of 2591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

Good stuff about Benz! Thanks for posting. It's a pity they seem to have basically gone out of business. I LOVE my Benz LP-S MR. It's a pity that when it gets "used up" it seems I will have to find another brand to replace it.

I also agree about the importance of arm/cartridge matching. My Denon DP-59L is one of those few TT's you mention that had a method of addressing that - the Tonearm "Q-Damping". Actually quite effective, and allows the 59L to work well with a remarkably wide variety of carts.

Yes, Benz LP-S MR is one of THE cartridges - I simply did not want to scare off/disgust new/younger prospective analog adopters, because it does carry the 5K $ price tag - in my view much more than just justified. I did not communicate with them for a while, will check ASAP whether there is any truth in your saying they basically went out of business. If it unfortunately proves true, you will have trouble finding anything comparable in quality at anything resembling the price - once you digest the initial cost, retiping of Benz is  ( hopefully not was ) a very reasonable priced affair.

 

Denon "Q-damping" is one of the most elegant and easiest implementable "ways to resonance-free Rome". Now only available as vintage equipment.

They were forced to do something, as high compliance carts like their top MCs, including your DL-S1, ill tolerate conventional tonearms - and they did it with flying colours. It was Japanese in general, not only Denon, that did commence to offer selective damping designs, but IIRC it was Denon that presented the first commercially available arm with antiresonator in mid/late 70s.

post #483 of 2591
Thread Starter 
What I understand about Benz is from my local dealer, via the US Importer, Musical Surroundings. Apparently Benz has not shipped any product (new cartridge or retip) in many months, maybe close to a year. Certainly hope that somehow the situation improves, but it doesn't sound positive. Let us know if you learn something more!
post #484 of 2591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

What I understand about Benz is from my local dealer, via the US Importer, Musical Surroundings. Apparently Benz has not shipped any product (new cartridge or retip) in many months, maybe close to a year. Certainly hope that somehow the situation improves, but it doesn't sound positive. Let us know if you learn something more!

Will be on the phone tomorrow morning.

post #485 of 2591

Can anyone try to describe the Grado cartridge "house sound"?

Is it anything like the Grado headphone "house sound"?

post #486 of 2591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

Can anyone try to describe the Grado cartridge "house sound"?

Is it anything like the Grado headphone "house sound"?

Only familiar with SR 60 headphones, and even that more briefly than not. VERY sensitive to quality of the amp diving them - from near crap to almost divine.

 

Similar with Grado carts; if you do not take at least decent care of the LF resonance, it would not matter much if you have Black or Statement.

 

I am more familiar with non wood carts with replaceable styli. Grado will never be the last word in treble, only in extreme well implemented cases will have superb bas, but where its true beaty lies is in midrange. No wonder - Joseph Grado is/was an opera singer, and I guess he did not like the hardness and stridency that almost every time accompanies MCs.

 

Grados are not "accurate" in measurements, particularly not in flat frequency response. They do excel in non linear distorsions and - for some surprising - in sheer tracking ability, particularly from upper midrange all the way down. That gives freedom from distortion and extremely good dynamic range - which translates to relaxing yet revealing sound. A good vintage Grado can track 110 micrometer at 300 Hz at its rated VTF of 1,5 g ! Only an ocasional Audio Technica can compare in this for some too extreme test, as music rarely exceeds 70 micrometer amplitude. That extra capability gives great extension and security in bass, which has to be heard to be appreciated. Once you hear it, it is no or really painful come back. This must be one of the reasons Mr. Ken Kreisel, who recorded many great direct to disc records, used then best Grado, Signature 2 , as reference cartridges for playback of stupendous discs released on Miller & Kreisel label. I even remember rather recent ebay sales of the very Signatures used for this purpose.

 

Grado will never sound closed in, dull or lifeless - even the cheapest model not. They are selected in various degrees of tolerance - the very same stylus can have three names, difference being the degree of precision which gets then those two colour dots on stylus.

Always better getting at least midle toleranced "lower" quality stylus than the cheapest and most inaccurate "better" stylus. They basically sound the same, from the lowest priced o the highest - but better it is, more relaxed and fatigue free sound it will provide in the long run. Of course, dynamics and extension, particularly in the treble, do go up with price. Properly adjusted Grados will always have very well defined and very wide soundstage - the depth gets usually beter with increased price. 

 

IF mated to an arm that can do them justice. No easy task, but can be done.

post #487 of 2591

I used a Grado Sonata for many years with speakers, and recently bought a new Sonata 1 and listen with headphones.  I've always found them to be nice.  As in, pleasant.  Fine bass extension and weight, smooth up the middle, and easy up top.  Technically decent.  Musically nice.

post #488 of 2591

I honestly think their carts and headphones are very different. Grado carts have great bass and their headphones pretty much lack it completely. Not to mention the highs. Bright headphones, smooth carts.

post #489 of 2591
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I honestly think their carts and headphones are very different. Grado carts have great bass and their headphones pretty much lack it completely. Not to mention the highs. Bright headphones, smooth carts.

I can not comment regarding headphones due to next to none experience; agreed on carts. 

post #490 of 2591

A couple of posts back, I mentioned Glasrubber

 

http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/glassrubber_e.html

 

as the best cleaning available for diamond stylus cleaning. Here the pics of its result on spanking new sample of Shure M97xe that had at the time of photo session 2 days ago less than 10 hours of use. 

 

THE MAGNIFICATION IS FIXED AT 20x , 80x, 350x

 

First, the new stylus cleaned with ELECTRONIC STYLUS CLEANER ( please disregard a "chunk" of dirt that landed on stylus during making of photos - it is quite a hassle to get focus right and did not want to risk an unecessary "oopsa" ).

 

 

 

 

Above is views  from the left side (the part of stylus responsible for the contact with the left side wall of the groove contauining recorded information for the left channel )

 

 

Follow pics from the front, showing azimuth details 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next batch of photos show the same new stylus after LIGHT / SOFT /GENTLE USE OF GLASRUBBER :

 

 

 

 

 

On all of these photos there is clearly visible improvement, but there is still some "gunk" clinging to the diamont in the left hand side; although it does not come in contact with the groove to cause direct problems, it does unnecessary add to the moving mass of the stylus - which is NEVER a good thing. That "gunk" is residue of glue/bonding agent used during manufacturing and is quite common; in future, I will post a true Virgo Intacta stylus with bonded tip, where the shroud around where metal shank and diamond meet normally accompanying totally new unused stylus is the proof of the virginity - it can be removed with much less agressive means than Glasrubber.

 

 

What follows is the batch of photos after full thorough Glasrubber cleaning treatment. Please note that although the same can be achieved without the use of the (preferably stereo ) microscope, ,working under the microscope allows for the application of Glasrubber EXACTLY where needed and not unnecrssary leaving marks on usually metal cantilever - glass IS very sharp and abrasive,

so use with necessary caution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For reference purposes, so that you will see what are you paying for in a stylus, a couple of images of the Shure V15VxMR and its superb Micro Ridge profile polished stylus :

( remember, MAGNIFICATION SAME AS ABOVE )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by analogsurviver - 1/18/13 at 4:54am
post #491 of 2591

Thanks!

  Thanks!

    Thanks!

post #492 of 2591

Hey Skylab, think either of these two TTs are worth considering, at the prices asked?  $225 for a Luxman PD277 and $500 for a mint Micro Seiki DD-35.  See my post here- http://www.head-fi.org/t/643811/interested-buying-a-turntable-a-good-idea/30#post_9069644  Thanks!

post #493 of 2591
Thread Starter 
I've never heard the Luxman, but I did own a Micro Seiki once, and I think that was the model. Nice TT. But I think the $500 ask is too high, although of course that entirely depends on the type and condition of any included cartridge. At those prices, I'd go with the Luxman, pending the cartridge question.
post #494 of 2591
Luxman comes with a Signet 5eA cart with under 40 hours play time.
Micro Seiki comes with unknown audio-technica cart.

There's also a guy selling a Bang & Olufson Beogram TX with a new B&O MMC5 cart, in perfect condition for $375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

I've never heard the Luxman, but I did own a Micro Seiki once, and I think that was the model. Nice TT. But I think the $500 ask is too high, although of course that entirely depends on the type and condition of any included cartridge. At those prices, I'd go with the Luxman, pending the cartridge question.
post #495 of 2591

Excellent photos, thank you.

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