| Search | Login/Register
   Home » Analog Playback» Buying a last cartridge. (81 posts, 5 pages)
  Print Thread | 1st Post |  
Page 1 of 5 (81 items) Select Pages:  1 2 3 4 5 »
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  What is the difference between the cartridges?..  Some more links about Dynavector cartridges...  Analog Playback Forum     6  40267  09-12-2004
  »  New  Tell me about more about Ortofone SPU Sound...  Earthy matters...  Analog Playback Forum     54  293082  12-01-2004
  »  New  The Shelter 90X: mystery or mastery..  Denon pcm what was different about it?...  Analog Playback Forum     54  249125  04-02-2005
  »  New  My Analog Playback: the fat lady has sung..  My analog setup update....  Analog Playback Forum     9  66526  04-04-2006
  »  New  The last phonocorrector: “End of Life" Phonostage..  Its not that it sounds "better"...  Analog Playback Forum     283  934163  11-13-2007
  »  New  My today’s views on LP culture and my audio habits...  Russian duo-pianists Vitya Vronsky and Victor Babin pla...  Analog Playback Forum     24  84142  08-18-2008
  »  New  Sometimes surface noise is not just surface noise..  Had the prob......  Analog Playback Forum     2  23405  10-02-2008
  »  New  EAR 834P mods..  Copper air caps...  Analog Playback Forum     38  331304  11-04-2008
  »  New  The Softer Side of a Hard-Tracing Cartridge..  [how] to get it right from the start......  Analog Playback Forum     12  59589  05-24-2009
  »  New  Allnic Verito MC Phono Cartridge..  One more example...  Analog Playback Forum     3  25759  10-19-2009
  »  New  The mono cartridges paradox...  More info on Pierre Clement...  Analog Playback Forum     11  47564  11-29-2010
  »  New  Micro Seiki, tonearm,cartridge..  Studies...  Analog Playback Forum     2  23075  12-09-2010
  »  New  How to run MM-type cartridge into MC phonostage?..  Quite interesting....  Analog Playback Forum     6  27438  11-13-2011
09-05-2008 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 8161
Reply to: 8161
Buying a last cartridge.

This kind of freakish subject and the title of this thread is most likely is very misleading. Commonly the term “last something” is used as “best of the best” after which there is nothing else to explore. This definition grotesquely stink with heavy marketing smell and in a way semi-foolish, still it is heavily used.  I would like to feel my definition of “last something” imply not the top of the line but rather my ABSENCE OF DESIRER to peruse anything beyond of that “something”. So, in context of this thread, or in context of my entire site, the use of “last of something” has no other meaning then indicates my long-term comfort with this “something”. How this “something” relates to artificial hierarchy of the best out there I do not particularly know, nether too much care.

So, after straggling with the dilemma with my beloved Shelter 901:

(Look at the Second Page of the following thread: http://www.romythecat.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=860 )

I concluded that my Shelter, even though it’s needle still in a good shape, is die somehow. So I need to buy another reference cartridge. When I thought about it the word “need” got my in trouble. I have no “need”. My second beloved MC Stereo cartridge is Ortofon SPU Classic in old SME arm. I adore what it does but I also would like at my reference arm to have more stupendous bass, preferably a different “complex” profile of needles and much more “high-tech” performance all around. The Shelter 901 did it wonderfully but now it is looks like dead…. My condolences…

My initial sentiment was to buy another Shelter 901, in fact it is my sentiment now, but then looking for a large amount of different cartridges that were released recently, particularly from Shelter, I was wonder if it worth to look around for a while before to buy the thing. Money is not the subject that makes me to be worry with my selection of a new cartridge. What makes me “anxious” is the fact that it will be the last cartridge. Let me to explain.

My attitude toward analog changed.

http://www.romythecat.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=8077

I do not use LPs to explore musical culture and to learn about music and about audio. I do not buy a lot of records, I do not spin a lot of records and if I do spin then they are much targeted and I very much know what I would like to get from it. So, I played much less records let say a dozen or two dozen records per month. I also have 4 arms, that makes the Reference Arm to play 25$ or less of all records I play. I also play on Reference Arm only records in perfect condition.   With this load a new cartridge might last for 30 years. Well, I am 40 now, do the math…

So, I would like to buy a good “high-tech” contemporary cartridge and combining of with my current Ortofon SPU Classic and Ortofon SPU MONO to close my book of interests about the whole world of cartridges. Frankly speaking if I do not have this became-empty Reference Arm with all of it “reference setting” (my best tonearm, my best low voltage Dominus cable, best location on my TT and so on) then I would just live with my Ortofons –they do just fine, but I also have witnessed what the contemporary Shelters can do – quote amassing his I can tell you.

So, I kind of looking around what is out there became available, since I found my piece with Shelter 901 slightly less than 10 years ago and stopped looking. The Shelter come up with 90x, 5000, 7000, 9000, Harmony cartridges.  Dynavector released a number of new 8-coiled models - I have the very first one and it was very nice. There is a newcomer out there ZYX cartridges – I know nothing about them besides that each single person why I believe is clawless about analog have bough and use ZYX cartridges. Koetsus suck, I do not like them. Clearaudio too high-fiish and too annoying to my taste. The Benz Micro, Transfiguration and Sumiko are not really the needles of level that I am looking for. I never understood Lyras – they always play out of phase to what I expect them to play. Ortofons introduced 3-4 new top of the line cartridges that I do not know.  There is an army of small brands that do good MC cartridges; particularly there is a lot of Asian cartridges. I have no idea about them also.  I might go on and on….

You see the problem with cartridges.  I do not think that there is a framework how we the users can buy cartridges. If I have an interest in a cartridge then I cannot juts borrow and to try it. Dealers do not lend cartridge and I perfectly understand them.   All that I left to me is to read/hear somebody else comments about cartridges but I have a problem: I do not give a shit what others say or think about audio.  Even doing to other listening rooms and listing the setups with the cartridges of my interest is not work out to me as I do not like the Sound in those listening rooms…

I spoke with a new dealer recently who specialized on cartridges. He proposed me to demo for me a few exotic cartridges with a condition that he would do demo himself and setup cartridges himself on my TT. The price he asked was 50% more then I would pay normally elsewhere he also insisted that I will buy a cartridge from him after the demo. I asked him why the prices include the amount enough to fly Tokyo, by this needle in Akihabara and return back. He suggested that I should not worry about it because in his price included his education how to properly setup cartridge and to get best his cartridge with my playback. I proposed his to go fuck himself, so he went…

Anyhow, it is not that I am running around trying to buy my next and hopefully last cartridge, but I do keep my options open and my attention alerted.  I do have some incantation to stay with Shelters – juts love the Shelter 901, but I have no loyalty to anything. It is very possible that Shelter 901 that was 10year back is not the same as it is now. You never know unit you know….

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-05-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
starboy
Posts 23
Joined on 09-10-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 8162
Reply to: 8161
LAST CART
Romy

I for the last couple of years have been a happy Shelter 901 owner until now. The reason for the change is written here.

http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=14487

My low mileage 901 is about to go as it was bettered by a looong margin by my liking.

If I had not heard this cart' I would have remained a 901 owner I'm sure.

Good luck in your search and I'm glad mine is over.

Rgds
09-05-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 8163
Reply to: 8162
The assortment of cartridges.

Starboy, you are lucky. You got with what you feel comfortable, BTW, does it do bass? I wonder how you approached the cartridge? Did you hear somewhere the cartridge or heard from about it from someone? The reason I asked is because I really do not know how people drawn to cartridges.

In my case I have problem to talk with audio professionals who sell cartridges. My attitude, you know…. I always feel that when they talk to me they talk to 5 years old why would be satisfied with any BS they are willing to say. I called today to Shelter distributor and told that I use 901 for 10 year and adore it a lot but lately it developed a compression. I asked since they do not case 901 anymore then how the new 4 Shelters models compare to my 901. He said that they are better (who could believe). I asked how better. He said that the new cartridges are better because they have more heavy bodies. Is he out if his mind or he feels that anyone is as idiot as he is? I do not know.  Those people annoy me.

What interesting was that I asked that I have seen many companies produce “flow up” product after their successful models that are in fact much worse in performance.  I know that 901 was very fine, so how the 5000, 7000 and 9000 models in compare to 901. He refused to comment on it and suggested to re-tip my 901 ($900). You know, I do not like the guy and he treated me that I am a fool - why should I pay to him $900?

What also interest me is what the faction of the cartridge dealers? They sell 901 for $1600, Japan sell it for $900. I have no problem with mark up but I presume that for this money the shell sell service. When I go to my Thai restaurant then I ask them to bring me a compilation of all their spices – I like them all and I do love to eat them all. So, when I am willing to buy a cartridge then would the assortment of cartridge available for me to try constitute the “service”? Sine those gays are not qualified or able to talk about Sound (did I mention a responsibly for said) then what other options do I have? If I am willing to buy cartridges “blind” then why do I have to pay any commission to the dealers and distributors that offer no add-value services but just move heavy little boxes with 11g cartridges?

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 4
Post ID: 8164
Reply to: 8163
Last cartridge?
Romy,

If you are looking for a cartridge, I would suggest:

The London Decca Reference, great tracker, and
The London Decca Jubilee, closer to life, but not as good a tracker.

For me, in my system, you remember I use the EdgarHorn Titans, etc., nothing comes closer and I while I have not stopped looking at cartridges, I have found none that compare, when the cartridge is properly set up.

You remember I have listened to or had in my system at one time or another all the Van den Hul, Koetsu, Benz, etc etc.

When I heard this cartridge, I heard the Sound, finally.

Adrian
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 8165
Reply to: 8164
The liberal, romantic and intolerantly-straight cartridges.

Where those EdgarHorn Titans with the Edgar’s woofers?  I ask because I am very concerned about the LF response. The Shelter 901 has phenomenal bass in my view, even now. In fact all my system/room in a way “calibrated” from the bass that Shelter 901 does. Live sound from FM do similar bass but not identical. The LP bass from Shelter is more in a way artificial and more on audio-side of realty. But I kind of like it and I know how to USE it. One of the most wonderful characteristics of Shelter’s 901 lower bass is that it is very slowly bubble up to the lover mid. I hate analog that is disable to play lower notes slow…

I did not have London cartridges. A few days back I sold one of my Sansuis to a local guy and when he picked it up he proposed to me to lend me Decca cartridge to try. I was kind of scared as he saw me for a first time and proposed to lend me his cartridge… I do not lend my cartridges even to my closed friends… Well, perhaps I need to take upon his offer and to try it…

My leading idea is get another Shelter 901 or Ortofon SPU Anniversary 85 or perhaps to try the top of the line Dynavector. The key here is not only getting a good needle but to get “different” sound then my Ortofon SPU Classic does. The Ortofon SPU Classic is remarkable cartridge, probably the very best buy for $700. It is however it is slightly (and very gloriously) on Romantic side and I need another more anal-retentive and more hard-working cartridge. The SPU is a liberal aristocrat, but I need more pragmatic conservative engineer. Shelter did the job very well and I knew very well what cartridge to use with what kind music. I would never play with Shelter the recordings of Borodin Quartet from 60s. From another side I would never play with SPU the Bernstein’s of Solti’s recording of Mahler …. I would play however the Karajan’s Mahler Sixth with SPU….

Where do you feel the Decca would fit in this semi-delusional hierarchy of mine?

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 6
Post ID: 8167
Reply to: 8165
Decca london cartridge
Romy, I think you are asking if I have the Edgar subwoofers also.  Yes, I do, like giant woodgrain refrigerator in the living room.  So I do get some bass response.

The Decca cartridges sound different from every other cartridge I have heard. Before this, I had crafted my stereo around trying to get closer to the sounds right and occasionally there would be a moment on a particular record where I would hear the Sound.  This record would become a reference for me and meanwhile I focused on getting the balance of emotional liquidity with my Koetsu or my 2A3's and the technical accuracy with my gold and silver wiring mixtures.

However, when I heard the Decca Jubilee, I heard the Sound.  And it was just there very plainly.  In the same way when you go and listen to a concert, you are not adjusting your seat or your ears -- because the music is just there, likewise I kind of stopped worrying about the stereo with the Decca.  In many ways, the Decca may be seen as deficient: it is not tonally perfect, it is not a super great tracker, etc.  But, for whatever reason, the Sound is there, and the minor technical deficiencies do not matter.

Yet, I think the Decca Reference will best suit you.  (Tell Warren I sent you and he will give you a good deal.)  The Reference is a different cartridge.  I listened to this in my system for a few weeks but I ultimately did not keep it.  If I won the lottery I would have both the Jubilee and the Reference however. The Reference loses a small bit of the Sound, which I was unwilling to accept.  The trade off is that it then gives you perfect tracking, inner detail, accuracy, emotion, and everything else that the typical audiophile characteristics will describe as glorious.  It is clearly more the engineer than the artist.  But among engineer type cartridges, I will make this analogy.  If van den Hul or Clearaudio are like reading very complex elegant engineering explanations of suspension bridge structure, then the Decca Reference is like walking on the Golden Gate Bridge on a warm Spring day.

Regards,
Adrian
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 8169
Reply to: 8167
The Decca London Reference?

 drdna wrote:
Romy, I think you are asking if I have the Edgar subwoofers also.  Yes, I do, like giant woodgrain refrigerator in the living room.  So I do get some bass response.

Yes, I was asking about the Edgar refrigerator subwoofers. Without them it would be difficult to take serious anybody commenting about the bass coming from LP. I really hate when people with puffy Thorens Turntables and full-range Louther speakers keep assuring me that they are getting a “right” buss from their cartridges.

 drdna wrote:
The Decca cartridges sound different from every other cartridge I have heard. Before this, I had crafted my stereo around trying to get closer to the sounds right and occasionally there would be a moment on a particular record where I would hear the Sound.  This record would become a reference for me and meanwhile I focused on getting the balance of emotional liquidity with my Koetsu or my 2A3's and the technical accuracy with my gold and silver wiring mixtures.

However, when I heard the Decca Jubilee, I heard the Sound.  And it was just there very plainly.  In the same way when you go and listen to a concert, you are not adjusting your seat or your ears -- because the music is just there, likewise I kind of stopped worrying about the stereo with the Decca.  In many ways, the Decca may be seen as deficient: it is not tonally perfect, it is not a super great tracker, etc.  But, for whatever reason, the Sound is there, and the minor technical deficiencies do not matter.

Interesting comment. It turned out that the local guy who I thought have Decca has in fact not Decca but EMT cartridge. So I have no change to hear Decca locally. Still, from your comments I sumized that Decca might be an interesting all around needle not necessary a right chose to compliment my SPU cartridge. I am looking for more an anti-SPU-type of sound. From what you say the Decca might have a LOT of similarity with SPU…

 drdna wrote:
Yet, I think the Decca Reference will best suit you.  (Tell Warren I sent you and he will give you a good deal.)  The Reference is a different cartridge.  I listened to this in my system for a few weeks but I ultimately did not keep it.  If I won the lottery I would have both the Jubilee and the Reference however. The Reference loses a small bit of the Sound, which I was unwilling to accept.  The trade off is that it then gives you perfect tracking, inner detail, accuracy, emotion, and everything else that the typical audiophile characteristics will describe as glorious.  It is clearly more the engineer than the artist.  But among engineer type cartridges, I will make this analogy.  If van den Hul or Clearaudio are like reading very complex elegant engineering explanations of suspension bridge structure, then the Decca Reference is like walking on the Golden Gate Bridge on a warm Spring day.

Very interesting! This is in a way exactly what I am looking for. Who made them? I mean as I understand it is not the same Decca London that was 40 years back (reportedly very good cartridges at that time) and noondays it is a small none-connected company that juts use Decca name. Adrian, do you have any stats how the new Decca cartridges age? I mean, sine I am not will be playing them for a long time I wonder if I will be able to get out of this damping more then 5-10 years. Also, who is Warren that you told above?

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,063
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 8
Post ID: 8171
Reply to: 8169
Transducers: The First and Last Word (aaarrrggg...)
I remember the old Decca cartridges as quite maddening, a real love/hate connundrum.  Unrivaled, totally addictive  "immediacy", and dynamics that made anything else sound muffled and plain wrong, but also about as user-unfriendly and unreliable as could be.  Do they still have the adjustable suspension screw to compensate for climate and/or aging?

When I got my Ortofon MC3000II, I was "warned" that it was "too neutral" and "too tape-like", which at the time I took as strong recommendations.  Of couse, it's never so simple.  There are always trade-offs, and nowhere more so than cartridges, IMO.  So I am also weighing whether to take a last chance to repeat a known 95%-er that is being discontinued or take a chance on a new sound that is, in-and-of-itself, "more involving".

Another cartridge of interest might be the Air Tight PC-1, which I have been told has something like the London "alive-ness" in a more useable package, along with a somewhat better tonal/timbral rendering.

It's just so damned hard to figure out cartridges in another system, and especially so in the "high end" systems that they put the expensive cartridges in in salons.  Generally, I think I'd actually rather try them in their "mid-fi" systems.  Not to mention the fact that, out of the many cartridges I have listened to in salons, only a couple were ever set up correctly to begin with.

Because cartridges and speakers ARE, more than other components, going to sound very much like "something" (as opposd to "nothing"), they are the hardest components to choose, IMO.  And since "loaner cartridge" is pretty much an oxy-moron, cartridge selection winds up being a very special agony.  Given the general perceptions/prorities/direction of the high end that spawns these expensive cartridges, and the difficulty in setting up meaningful comparisons, it seems like a good task to take one's time with, for sure.

Of course the best situation, by far, is the multi-arm/cartridge set-up, where the well-heeled audiophile can rack up and enjoy cartridges like fine Burgundies.

Best,
Paul S
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 9
Post ID: 8172
Reply to: 8169
Where to get the Decca cartridge
Romy,

I believe the cartridges are manufactured form Decca by JS Wright in London.

The suspension is less of an issue since the Decca cartridges use a novel transducer.  There is no cantilever.  The stylus connects directly to a metal foil which flexes to create the current.  I have been running mine for many years with no issues at all. It seems pretty bullet-proof.

I got mine from Warren Gregoire. He was then, and perhaps still is, the sole importer.  He is a really nice fellow, and he let me borrow the cartridges, with a deposit of course, for an extended trial in my system. I returned the cartridge after trying it free of charge and with no hard feelings.  I was just too hooked on the Jubilee, but again if I had two tonearms on my set-up, I would have both.  Look him up at http://www.warrengregoire.com and tell him I sent you. I have been over to his place a few times to listen to his set-up with the Vacuum State preamp and amplifiers.  His system is, frankly, severely tuned for inner detail at the expense of the Sound, but he knows what he likes and has a good ear.

Regards,
Adrian
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 8173
Reply to: 8172
How to buy/sell cartridges nowadays…

 drdna wrote:
Romy,

I believe the cartridges are manufactured form Decca by JS Wright in London.

The suspension is less of an issue since the Decca cartridges use a novel transducer.  There is no cantilever.  The stylus connects directly to a metal foil which flexes to create the current.  I have been running mine for many years with no issues at all. It seems pretty bullet-proof.

I got mine from Warren Gregoire. He was then, and perhaps still is, the sole importer.  He is a really nice fellow, and he let me borrow the cartridges, with a deposit of course, for an extended trial in my system. I returned the cartridge after trying it free of charge and with no hard feelings.  I was just too hooked on the Jubilee, but again if I had two tonearms on my set-up, I would have both.  Look him up at http://www.warrengregoire.com and tell him I sent you. I have been over to his place a few times to listen to his set-up with the Vacuum State preamp and amplifiers.  His system is, frankly, severely tuned for inner detail at the expense of the Sound, but he knows what he likes and has a good ear.

 Adrian,

Thanks. The idea of a cartridge had no damping and therefore not exposed to aging is appealing to me, though I do not know what a novel transducer is and if it excludes any needs of damping. I did give to Warren Gregoire a call and I was trying to explain to him what I am looking for. He said the he would not sell to me his Decca cartridge because in my case it would be a waste of money. He was attentive and cooperative until I mention that I will be using SME 3012 arm but as soon I mentioned 3012 he informed me that it is a “piece of junk” and that “I will not be able to get what is possible to get out of Decca unit I go for $4K-$5K tonearm”. I was a little concerned by the fact that he mention arm by price and by the fact that did not say something like “unit you go for different type of bearing arms” and I asked what in his view is dissatisfactory in 3012 to play with Decca cartridges. He sound like he lost inters at this point and informed me that he has no time for further conversations. Well, I think it where the Decca cartridges went…

I am sure he know what arms is necessary for his cartridge and that he has his feeling what would generate for him essay sale but honestly I did not heard from him anything persuading that he might be on right tracks. You see, it is a two way street and getting and relying upon an advice from a dealer about his product I anticipate a dealer (if I do not know him) to establish a certain credibly. I try in a way to interview a dealer to make sure that we have at least common viewpoints and agree about something; otherwise it is just shaking air with words. Warren said that Decca is better then Shelter 901 (he somehow know that I use 901) but when you make this comment you must identify the specific weakness of Shelter 901. That how a sealer establish with me a standing and credibility with you advise. I very well know all flaws of Shelter 901 and if you right then I would be very carefully listen what you propose. The same is with 3012. The 3012 might have specific problem with cartridges of specific design. It was not said by this dealer. So, why do I have to have a feeling that he is taking about something that I would agree? After all, dealers do not sell cartridges. For 40%-60% of mark up that they get they sell this expertise to advise one or another cartridge. I do appreciate that Warren felt that I will not be a right user of his Decca cartridge (it saved time for both of us) but he also did not demonstrate to me another that would persuade me to get his counsel and to change arm or anything like this to accommodate his Deccas. Thanks, Adrian, for pitching the Decca but it does not look like it would go anywhere.

Ironically this morning I had a long conversation with another dealer with whom we did compare notes about cartridge. His comments about Shelter, Koetsy, SPU, Clearaudio and other cartridges that I know were exactly what I would like to hear. We were not agreeing about everything but he did hit some very key points that give to me very high confidence about his recommendations. He did recommend to me one cartridge, well justifying his recommendation and very interesting predicting the sound I might be getting from it comparing to my other arms.

Later on this week I will be meeting a guy who has good experience with Shelter 90x, 5000, 7000 and 9000 and after then I this I will be able to make more educated guess where I will be moving.

Rgs, Romy

PS: http://www.warrengregoire.com/hifi-stereo-phonocartridges.htm#LONDON%20DECCA



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 11
Post ID: 8175
Reply to: 8173
No Decca for kitty
Romy,

Sorry for your disappointing experience.  I did e-mail Warren to say a friend had his Shelter cartridge die and to give him a good deal. 

It may be true that the Decca is not optimal for your tone arm; I am not sure why this would be the case.  Warren is very specific about what he believes is a correct audio set-up, but his goals are very different from yours or mine.

I am sure you will find a satisfactory replacement for the Shelter.  If you ever want to hear the Decca cartridge, let me know, as I have the Jubilee set up in my system.

Good luck!
Adrian
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 8176
Reply to: 8175
The Sarcasm is intended…

 drdna wrote:
…Sorry for your disappointing experience.

Why was it a disappointing experience? I was not. It might be disappointing for him – he did close the sale, but it was not disappointing for me.

I read his comments about his cartridges on his site:

http://www.warrengregoire.com/hifi-stereo-phonocartridges.htm

It sounds interesting and not substantiated, not to mention that some comments are not consistent in my view. I for instance I feel disgusted what I read that:“The London Company seems to be having a difficult time keeping up with the worldwide demand for this hand crafted wonder.” It is at the same time that the cartridge is being sold around the world with huge discounts and without any pressure for “worldwide demand”. Perhaps Warren Gregoire  need to learn how to sell to somebody who less care about a chip hype and more care about substance?

Anyhow, it might be a good cartridge, I do not know. The conversation with Warren brought me to nowhere. As you said Warren sales with in-home trail (despite of the “worldwide shortage”:-) and this shell be very much appreciated. I would like anyone sell this way. Perhaps if I had an arm that Warren would endorse I would try his Decca cartridge. But since I do not I will wait until Warren would smart up and learn about the sound I am getting from 3012. Otherwise I would buy Warren’s Ikonoklast speaker with Lowther DX-4 driver and will be discovering how to “proporly” appreciate the Decca cartridge ….

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 13
Post ID: 8178
Reply to: 8176
Ikonoklasts
 Romy the Cat wrote:
Otherwise I would buy Warren’s Ikonoklast speaker with Lowther DX-4 driver and will be discovering how to “proporly” appreciate the Decca cartridge


Ouch!

Did you have to mention the Ikonoklast speakers?  Of course it is his own design and this is how he started selling audio products.  They sound exactly as you would expect.  Kind of like watching at the Met a performance of Aida with no sound and very harsh bright lights so you can see the actors makeup and costumes perfectly.  I admit this setup has a superb amount of inner detail, but every last drop of everything else is drained out of the music. 

Nevertheless, he does sell good products.  To keep it in perspective, Warren's idosyncracies aside, I have tried many cartridges in my system, and you know that we generally agree on the way things sound.  Maybe you will get a chance to hear the Reference someday; I am sure you will not be disgusted by it.

Oh well...
Adrian
09-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JJ Triode
Posts 75
Joined on 09-12-2007

Post #: 14
Post ID: 8180
Reply to: 8161
Fix your 901?
Romy,
If you do not want to throw your Shelter 901 in the dustbin, I suggest sending it to Peter Ledermann at Sound Smith. He does retipping (usually with ruby cantilevers and line-contact diamonds) but can also repair suspensions. There would be an option to go for a different compliance if he does the latter. At least he may be able to diagnose what went wrong with it.
JJ
09-07-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
starboy
Posts 23
Joined on 09-10-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 8187
Reply to: 8163
Reference cartridge
Romy

Your first question was "Does it do bass"... Yes, and it does it full frequency with great tonality. I am a ribbon panel owner as you may remember and also have modified Tannoys as monitors so I know easily when I am lacking in the bass department.

Take Isao Suzuki's Three Blind Mice album Blow Up, the track with the same name is bass led and the 901 cannot compete with the Mantis in my system. I mention this record as I know you may have it.

Your take on various cart' manufacturers are similar to my own, I like yourself have a SPU with a Weinz Garrott tip as well as a lush early Onyx. My other cart is a EMT XSD-15 with VDH tip which is not too different than the 901 just a little more direct and not as harmonious. Why am holding on to them now....? I will address that soon...

As regards Decca's, I have owned two in the past. A Decca Gold modified by Nottingham Analogue and a Decca Blue with so I'm informed sought after parmeko coils and original Garrott Brother tip. The former was supposedly the benchmark by Decca cartridge fans. I enjoyed them but they were not for me... To direct and lacking subtleness for my liking, maybe modern Decca's are better now. What is strange is that the current owner plays it on an early SME arm with stacked Quads which need lighting up so the Decca has its purpose for him. I played the Decca Blue in an EMT arm and a Series One SME!!?

In the thread I wrote there is another Mantis owner Bauzace50 (a noted gentleman to myself in terms of transducers) who had a Jubilee as his reference and that with no second thought hit the Bay.

The leanings towards the Mantis were borne from what I heard at the show originally, taking in what Mr Hanekom's customer said over the years along with their system types and private conversations with the man himself. Plus I know he lives by the cantilever/sword as if a cartridge fails to please the negative effect I'm sure won't help. Also, the term cartridge and South Africa were a bit of a frown at first but I put that aside due to what I heard.

I personally had no intention of moving up the Shelter food chain as it did all I wanted especially at its price point other than now being bettered in terms of tone of instruments, (I play Tenor Sax which is all about your own inner tonality so I'm probably more obsessed than most in this regard) and better conveyed frequency extension with no Clearaudio hi-fi attack. How this cartridge manufacturer became a reference for some reviewers still baffles me.

Hope this is of some help as I try not to get too technical about audio as I'd rather practice scales LOL. 

Good luck and judgement...
09-07-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 16
Post ID: 8188
Reply to: 8187
How about the SPU 901?

Thanks, starboy.

It is educational. Your Mantis might be an interesting cartridge and it is too bad that there is no way getting any frame of its performance besides buying it. Among the people I know, in whose listening rooms I was and why were and my room, who have a certain common denominator in semantics about audio, no one had Mantis cartridges. Perhaps I might give him a phone call to see how it goes, do they speak English in there?

I also very reluctant to move up to Shelter line. I would rebuild my 901 instead; I might talk to that Peter Ledermann that JJ mentioned.  However, I would give to the Shelter guy a chance, who know, will see how that goes as well. Shelters are on a cool side of tone, almost at no-tone side. It is a minus form point of view of absolute Reference cartridge but it is in a way a benefit in my case, where Shelter is used as a cartridge that compliment the tonal-frenzy and in a way colored SPU.

Taking about cartridge and comparing notes I come across to a very interesting option that I am very much considering. The Ortofon Jubilee was presented to me as anti-SPU type of sound still with SPU’s tonal capacity. THAT is very interesting. If I would be able to get the SPU’s color scale and combined it with Shelter’s neutrality, frequency extremes, dynamic capacity and certain viciousness then I might commit adultery to Shelter. There is one thing that very much annoys me in Shelter, even if I love it’s sound. The “complex” profile of the 901 tip makes the needle to pick a LOT of dirt from record. I needed to be clean after each side. In contrary the conical and elliptical profile can play for a long time with no dirt attached to them. I do not know it is it because the profile but something in 901 makes it a magnet to dirt…

Rgs, the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-07-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
starboy
Posts 23
Joined on 09-10-2004

Post #: 17
Post ID: 8190
Reply to: 8188
Hybrid
Romy

By hearing the rest of the Shelter line you will eliminate that curiousity and may find the answer also. Methinks the Shelter line will increase in time and become as confusing as the ZYX state of affairs.

Mr Hanekom may also have some answers to your 901 problems and he speaks perfect english. I will introduce this thread to him regardless.

It's a funny thing that you should mention tip cleaning as I have found in the 3-4 weeks I have had the Mantis I've done none as compared the 901's ritual... The Mantis uses a Gyger FG11.

www.blueangelaudio.com

Rgds

09-07-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 18
Post ID: 8191
Reply to: 8187
Mantis vs Jubilee
 starboy wrote:
In the thread I wrote there is another Mantis owner Bauzace50 (a noted gentleman to myself in terms of transducers) who had a Jubilee as his reference and that with no second thought hit the Bay.


Did you mean the Ortofon Jubilee or the Decca London Jubilee?

By the way the other Decca cartridges are in no way comparable to the Jubilee and Reference.  It would be an error to disregard these two based on one's experience with the other Decca cartridges. 

In fact for most people's taste, the Reference should not be compared to the Jubilee; it is in all regards in a totally different stratosphere for most audiophile concerns, with the singular exception of a slight loss of connection to the Sound.

The Mantis sounds like an interesting cartridge, of which I have heard BUT have never heard in my system.  It might be a candidate for the second arm on my turntable versus the Reference depending on what it specifically does with the music correctly and incorrectly.  In what areas does it subtract and add to the music?  How does it affect one's intellectual, emotional, and spiritual connection to the music and the musicians, etc...?

Perhaps if Romy buys one, I will be able to listen to it. Wink

Regards,
Adrian
09-07-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,063
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 19
Post ID: 8192
Reply to: 8188
Versus
I have compaired the Ortofon Jubilee to the MC3000II.  The former is more "unctuous", "viscous", "smooth", or "suave", and easier on recordings, per se.  The latter, although very tape-like in balance, attack and transparency, is less forgiving and, as I have reported, more sensitive to VTA, especially with poor electricity.  Neither of these cartridges "helps" with macro-dynamics, and neither is "dramatic" in its own right.  I would say the Jubilee would be a safer bet for most people, and I imagine it would be easier to integrate into a system.  Neither picks up a lot of dust, and both seem to do a nice job of "setting aside" surface noise.  When all else is OK with the system, the 3000II can do nice "slow" bass.  I did not get to check the Jubilee for this ability.

I have also heard the Ortofon MC5000 and MC7500.  These cartridges are more "high-end" to my ears, and they do more to "enhance" dynamics and detail, with some upward stretching of tone and more obvious "extension".

I have not heard the new MC Windfeld, but I am guessing it is more of a flat-measuring "Super Jubilee" than a successor to the older sintered-ceramic 2000/3000 "studio" cartridges.  The Windfeld does share the "Replicant" cutter-type stylus with the "studio" cartridges, although it is a good deal more compliant and it easily out-tracks the oldsters.

Best regards,
Paul S
09-07-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
starboy
Posts 23
Joined on 09-10-2004

Post #: 20
Post ID: 8193
Reply to: 8191
Versus..............?
The Jubilee I was referring to was an Ortofon. I stated with no second thought it hit the bay. Really I should not presume that as maybe it was a first or hundreth thought.

A review of the Mantis from the former Jubilee owner is below.

http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=8852&highlight=mantis

I cannot comment on later Decca's as my adventures in Deccaland stopped with the Blue though I almost went the Ikedaland route.

Cartridges are a personal thing and what are strengths to moi may not be to others.

At this stage in my listening I care not to want any colouring of a recording regardless of how they are produced. I do not find myself 'switching' carts like I use to. The rest of my cart's if I have any sense should be sold to fund a spare Mantis.

Hence the term I quote from Mr Billington "Gain on a wire" is appropriate with what I require.

Rgds

p.s. Why do I get paranoid when people quote me...? LOL.
Page 1 of 5 (81 items) Select Pages:  1 2 3 4 5 »
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  What is the difference between the cartridges?..  Some more links about Dynavector cartridges...  Analog Playback Forum     6  40267  09-12-2004
  »  New  Tell me about more about Ortofone SPU Sound...  Earthy matters...  Analog Playback Forum     54  293082  12-01-2004
  »  New  The Shelter 90X: mystery or mastery..  Denon pcm what was different about it?...  Analog Playback Forum     54  249125  04-02-2005
  »  New  My Analog Playback: the fat lady has sung..  My analog setup update....  Analog Playback Forum     9  66526  04-04-2006
  »  New  The last phonocorrector: “End of Life" Phonostage..  Its not that it sounds "better"...  Analog Playback Forum     283  934163  11-13-2007
  »  New  My today’s views on LP culture and my audio habits...  Russian duo-pianists Vitya Vronsky and Victor Babin pla...  Analog Playback Forum     24  84142  08-18-2008
  »  New  Sometimes surface noise is not just surface noise..  Had the prob......  Analog Playback Forum     2  23405  10-02-2008
  »  New  EAR 834P mods..  Copper air caps...  Analog Playback Forum     38  331304  11-04-2008
  »  New  The Softer Side of a Hard-Tracing Cartridge..  [how] to get it right from the start......  Analog Playback Forum     12  59589  05-24-2009
  »  New  Allnic Verito MC Phono Cartridge..  One more example...  Analog Playback Forum     3  25759  10-19-2009
  »  New  The mono cartridges paradox...  More info on Pierre Clement...  Analog Playback Forum     11  47564  11-29-2010
  »  New  Micro Seiki, tonearm,cartridge..  Studies...  Analog Playback Forum     2  23075  12-09-2010
  »  New  How to run MM-type cartridge into MC phonostage?..  Quite interesting....  Analog Playback Forum     6  27438  11-13-2011
Home Page  |  Last 24Hours  | Search  |  SiteMap  | Questions or Problems | Copyright Note
The content of all messages within the Forums Copyright © by authors of the posts