Author Topic: cartridge thoughts  (Read 4468 times)

Offline Ingvar Ahlberg

cartridge thoughts
« on: October 02, 2021, 12:12:29 PM »
Although I have a few good cartridges, Denon DL103-S, Ortofon SL15, Ortofon SPU ET, Decca London, JVC MC-1 and MC-2, SATIN E18 and being very satisfied with those, especially the two JVC carts and the SL15 I still wonder what more there is to explore.

The Audio Tecnica ART-1000 is a "copy" of the Neuman/JVC design,looks incredibly well built, available in Sweden for the equivalent of 81.000 ZAR and looks like the generator system is replacable, screwed to the bearer body, but might just be something very like the MC-1 for quite a lot of money.

The Koetsu cartridges I havenīt listened to since the early 80:s when they arrived on the Swedish market but are still around and producing nice looking things, pretty expensive but a wide price span too, is that a route to test?

If forced to pick one of my carts to live with for the rest of my record playing days it would be either the SL15 or JVC MC-2 (a bit "darker" voice than the MC-1).

Still curious thou so just wondering of You have any ideas, tips about something I should test, new or vintage, cheap or expensive but worth the hole in the wallet?

All ideas and thoughts appreciated.

Ingvar
A senile Swedish loudspeakermanufacturer, ponytail and all, why is he here?

Responsible for H.A.D Halland Audio Design and The vacuumed cat Company.

Offline gavinbirss

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2021, 03:15:54 PM »
Cactus needle from Soundsmith? (Hyperion)

Audio Technica OC9 series and Hana?

Offline Ingvar Ahlberg

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2021, 03:41:54 PM »
Quote
Cactus needle from Soundsmith?

Very good advice, environment friendly, but needs another kind of step up device than those I have I suppose, Bamboo transformer?

Perhaps @Agaton Sax have some input there?

The AT OC9 series of cartridges are interesting, looks like You could get very fine cartridges for modest outlay. (all AT products I ever encountered were great value for money, sometimes far above that).

Also pretty good prices up here on AT products, Sweden is a small country (on a citizen count view) but the vinyl interest and use seems to be vital and the product supply is quite good, probably the big names have their distribution chain centers in EU so anything You want is just 2 days away.

Ingvar
A senile Swedish loudspeakermanufacturer, ponytail and all, why is he here?

Responsible for H.A.D Halland Audio Design and The vacuumed cat Company.

Offline Schalk

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2021, 03:50:07 PM »
I can vouch for AJ van den Hul, the Crimson and Colibri series. Currently running the Crimson Black as well as the Colibri Grand Cru. Fantastic resolution of every sliver of detail without being in your face. Had previously the Colibri XGP, Crimson Red (now with Agaton) and a previous version of the Crimson Black. Not the ultimate in physical fit and finish according to some, but to me it is what it feeds my ears and senses. The world just goes away when I sit back and listen to these. Previously in a past life I had Kiseki, Dynavector  and some others. I am at a very happy place now...

Offline Vinotinto81

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2021, 04:00:41 PM »
I don't know you are interestd in it, but it is best Carts for me, DS Audio DS-002 and its equlizer.
(when I got it, my previous cart Lyra Titan was away from my system.)


https://www.ds-audio-w.biz/
https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/ds-audio-ds-002-optical-cartridge

this is Optical Cart, which use LED technology.
almost 40 years ago there was same technolgy by normal light, but disapered from the market because of the problem of heat/temperature.
a Japanese Startup maker succeeded to revive this technology by using LED technology and is expanding their production to all over the world now.

I don't know any Agency is there in SA but hope you can have any change to test it.




Offline Ingvar Ahlberg

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2021, 04:37:34 PM »
Quote
I can vouch for AJ van den Hul

That is a wellcome advice, have looked there, not sure where to start thou, MC-10, Frog, Condor, Collibri?

Quote
DS Audio DS-002

Will check this, is it a working concept or as bad and unfinished as the Stax Electrostatic/condenser cartridge idea?

Ingvar

A senile Swedish loudspeakermanufacturer, ponytail and all, why is he here?

Responsible for H.A.D Halland Audio Design and The vacuumed cat Company.

Offline fdlsys

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Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2021, 04:57:13 PM »
Goldring Eroica at about 400 GBP, a giant killer. Medium++ compliance, light body, easy fit for yesteryear tonearms.

Old/2nd hand Dynavector Karat 21 regularly pops up on eBay. Best cartridge I ever had. 2.1mm cantilever length.
DV Karat 17 allegedly even better, but might be difficult to find a suitable arm for. 1.7mm cantilever length.
Both have EXTREMELY light bodies.
Either of these even when bought with stylus replacement in mind are end of the road cartridges for many of us, IMHO.

Another best-ever, Ortofon Jubilee. Well suited for VdH re-stylus.
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline Agaton Sax

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2021, 05:03:00 PM »
1. The DS Audio carts have been discussed here before. It is a variant on the old Toshiba variable light idea but with light sources and sensors improving these must surely rank as contendors. I am pretty sure someone on this very forum was going to distribute them here. Johnny? I think the name was.

2. 3 Carts that have piqued my interest. All variations on the Neumann idea:

a. The Tsar . Made in Siberia and selling at a very high price. I am not sure how much of that price is going to middle men
From Stereeophile



b. The DaVa field coil from Lithuania. DST, field coil magnets and cactus cantilever

https://twogoodears.blogspot.com/2019/10/dava-field-coil-cartridge-from-lithuania.html

From "TwoGoodEars"



c. The Analog Technik from Berlin. A close copy of the legendary Neumann. Apparently this suffers from a very low channel separation. Much as Andre Hanekom found with his prototype.

https://twogoodears.blogspot.com/2021/06/analogtechnik-dmt25-is-m-new-s.html



And finally. The one that was  finished but not to  his satisfaction. Who knows where it ended up? Our friend, Skollie,Andre, Mafioso's final masterpiece. Never completed . An enigma forever.


Offline Ingvar Ahlberg

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2021, 06:22:40 PM »
Quote
Old/2nd hand Dynavector Karat 21

Have one of those, the cat removed the stylus, if she ate it, sold it or just left it under my pillow I will never know, never liked the cartridge either so no problem.



Yes, I know it is dusty and messy, has been lying on its back in the guest room for several years.

So, the advices from a friend close to my heart, No Johan, will not go the Tzar route, the consistency of russian products is what it is, You could get gold, or You could get dog turd, no thanks.

Dava, no, cactus cantilever? Cactus are for making Tequila, not cartridges.

Then the last piece, that will remain where it is supposed to be, in a dream, somewhere over the rainbow, dreams should be allowed to remain dreams, will never listen to Skollies cartridge, and that is as it should be, I know of it, good enough, I saw the start of a myth shaped by two friends, I had the fantastic luck to share a part of the origin of this myth with one of those friends and I think that the Neuman related cartridges, for me, can stop there.

Will put some Dunhill tobaco in the pipe now Johan, a small Ardbeg Wee Beastie and ponder over the mystery of friendship travelling so easily over the world using this new tecnology (at least new in my life perspective)

Very grateful for input and sugestions thou, will use those as a start for more explorations, perhaps purchases.

Ingvar

A senile Swedish loudspeakermanufacturer, ponytail and all, why is he here?

Responsible for H.A.D Halland Audio Design and The vacuumed cat Company.

Offline Ingvar Ahlberg

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2021, 09:34:20 PM »
I was so hoping, especially from You Johan, that someone would point me in the Decca/Garrott direction, Ken Kessler told You all about this a long time ago, and as the friend who bought my Moerch UP4 also took the Decca on loan seems to be very reluctant to return that it seems the logical way to go.

There also is something very special about the way the Decca cartridges work, sometimes at work, just before ISO revisions for instance, the occasional individual (he who pays my invoices among others) can suggest that I clean up my desk, then and there I realise what "variable reluctance" is.

Obviously I will have to walk this stony path on my own, first step buy a Decca London/Jubilee is just a mather of checking ads and buy, the Garrott versions harder to come by, perhaps they still do the rebuilds?

Then there is this, need to check this out: https://garrottbrothers.com/optim-fgs-ruby

Ingvar
A senile Swedish loudspeakermanufacturer, ponytail and all, why is he here?

Responsible for H.A.D Halland Audio Design and The vacuumed cat Company.

Offline Schalk

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2021, 10:18:22 PM »
That is what I love about the v d Hul carts, no over damping at all. Crystal clear, perhaps Johan can agree / shoot down my thoughts? After all my hearing is shot, 70+

Offline Ingvar Ahlberg

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2021, 10:56:54 PM »
Yes Schalk, very interested in testing the VDH path to, but where to start?

Is it Crimson, Condor or Grasshopper  directly or are some of the entry models good enough to give me a picture of what the top versions are?

My sceptical stance in this subject is very much based i the late 70:s/early 80:s when the first VDH cables arrived on the Swedish market, some decent, perhaps good, some total junk, not solderable cable material, only usable for industrial spot welding termination so in my mind VDH is not a quality stamp, itīs more the image of a con-man.

Ingvar
A senile Swedish loudspeakermanufacturer, ponytail and all, why is he here?

Responsible for H.A.D Halland Audio Design and The vacuumed cat Company.

Offline Agaton Sax

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2021, 11:42:19 PM »
A few random thoughts. As always my personal opinion and tastes:

Deccas: A road I never travelled. Back in the 80s, they had a reputation for permanently damaging records. Probably nonsense but the niggling doubt always stuck

Dynavector. I hate, hate, hate this brand. Back in the day, I owned 5, from the entry-level 10x2 to the then TOTL DV 17 Diamond. They all failed in exactly the same way. One channel would die. One day perfect, next day dead. I use to love the Diamond for its purity of tone. It failed and I replaced it with a Shure Ultra 500. Then I learned what tonal purity and low distortion really sounded like. The Ultra 500 did lack the dynamic bloom of the best MCs but that sense of unflappable invincibility lingers.

Koetsu. The comeback kid. I have owned Koetsu Onyx for 28 years. Every time I decide it is too vague, too muddled sounding. Then after a hiatus, I come back to it with a little adjustment here, a little tweak there and get charmed all over again. Right now I have it with thunderous bass,lightning-fast transients and that magic Koetsu mids. I have no experience with the Rosewoods but a stone body can be made to sound any way you want.

van den Hul. The first v d Hul I heard was a Grasshopper IV (eh Mike?) Mon Ami Mike bought a new one many moons ago. He drove us nuts. For weeks he just looked at the bloody thing without mounting it. Then one day he did and wow, wow, wow. At the time it was without a doubt the best cartridge I ever heard, Fast but rich and full tonal balance. Never again have I heard such a full sounding v d Hul. My current Crimson Red is the best cartridge I own. It is however a Diva. The slightest speck of dirt and it will sound like a Fisher-Price toy record player. VTA needs to be set for every single record. Here it only comes into its own with the fantastic Lithuanian built Reed 3P tonearm, THe widest soundstage, I ever heard. In this aspect, it even trounces the Fidelity Research FR 7. Bass with Schalk's newest Whisper is just unbelievable in its depth, power and speed. Detail retrieval is unrivalled while not falling into the trap of forwardness and anorexic tonality. I am sure the Colibri is even better but for me the Crimson ticks all the right boxes. I suspect the Colibri will be too analytical for my tastes




Offline Ajay-L

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2021, 10:59:24 AM »


Came across this a while back - http://www.jasmineaudio.net/ctxl/index_50.aspx?itemid=152

Not that I ever heard it, this and the stuff you guys are talking about is way above my pay grade, but I thought it might pique your interest.

Here's a review - https://positive-feedback.com/Issue75/jasmine_tiger.htm
« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 11:03:20 AM by Ajay-L »

Offline Ingvar Ahlberg

Re: cartridge thoughts
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2021, 03:54:59 PM »
The jasmine cartridges are interesting Ajay, two problems, there seems to be no European distributors, there actually seems to be no distributors anywhere, a bit strange, only Ebay sellers, nothing I would trust, especially if we are talking about something from PRC.

I donīt like PRC and mostly try to avoid products of that origin, not to the extent of a total block thou, a fine product with European, or at least some kind of international distributor and a view into the producing company so that You would feel reasonably sure that they are producing something own, not just putting an OEM cartridge into a another costume.

But who knows, perhaps there are distributors, strange thou that non can be found.

Ingvar
A senile Swedish loudspeakermanufacturer, ponytail and all, why is he here?

Responsible for H.A.D Halland Audio Design and The vacuumed cat Company.