Two weeks ago when I realized that something was wrong with my Shelter I asked a guy that I know “How people buy cartridges nowadays?” He said “They talk a lot with other people”. “I will not do it”, was my reply. Well, not two weeks after I have to admit that I was wrong and I did talk a lot with various people – what else can I do if no one let cartridges for test drive?
There was a number of interesting cases made to me and I was positively-gullible listening everyone. I admit that I was exacting to hear from others only what I want to heard about the sound of cartridges. A few contenders make my short list, most of them off the list but different rezones. I also do not have own experiences with the cartridges that looks like I intend to proceed.
The Shelters were always leading my interest. I do like my 901 and I do not mind to have another one. My Shelters specialist who I thought might educate me about the new Shelters turned out never deal with Shelter after Shelter 90X, there are 4 new models. I found a very pleasant guy – John from Sound Images in Westport, MA (508) 636-3400, who did explained to me the differences in design and sound between all currant Shelter models. It was educational and very useful even thought I did detect that he was not “heavy vinyl junky”. It was good talk and I think I need now to buy something from those guys to compliment them. However, John was not able to collaborate on the specifics of my interests with Shelter. The specifics are following: will the more expensive Shelters address what I consider the Shelter’s minor weaknesses. Here is what I fell is “wrong” with Shelter 901.
1) High electrostatic or whatever other reason make the cartridge very prone to collect dust.
2) Exceedingly hard-reading with slightly overly prominent leading-edges of the phases. This demands VERY high quality of electricity to handle the transient speed of the leading-edges.
3) Very minor dynamic disorientation during orchestral crescendo. It is not auditable at 90dB sensitively and SS PP (I have good 90dB sensitive speakers) but it is auditable at 110dB and SET. Formerly I did not observe it but with new version of Macondo/Melquiades do experience it. I do not know if it is because the 6-chennal Milq is more dynamic or because my Shelter got worn.
4) Slight deficiency in amplitude of color.
5) Minor depersonalization of the upper mid range. It might be hoe to the fact that I tend to run my Shelter relatively hard loaded.
6) Very high sensitively to the quality of surface.
All those things I consider as Shelter 901 shortcomings but there are normal shortcomings and I would perfectly live with them. I was searching a person who know estimate my “Shelter bitching list” against the newest shelters. I sow nobody and I decided to call (second time) to Shelter distributor - Art from Axiss Audio. As far as I concern this guy acted like a fucks idiot and I do not like him. He spoke with me like I am 8 years old – passing a LOT of pure BS information and demonstrating ignorance in very rudimental questions. In fact the conversation with him encouraged me to abandon Shelter as I am afraid that having this Moron as distributor Shelter might make the Moron-accommodated cartridges – I have seen it with many companies. So, the chose is to stay with old new stock Shelter 901/90x or to go for something new.
StarBoy made an interesting case with his proposal of that Sound African cartridge. The case is substantiated as he uses SPU along with 901 and then he went for Mantis. StarBoy might be right and the Mantis is good cartridge but I was looking more feeling about the Mantis performances and I did not get from them neither with other Mantis users nor with Mantis manufacturer. The level at wish I expected the stand was made was not there. The Mantis guy and this internet Co. need to keep working…
Where the case was made very strongly and a very serious level was the case about the Otophone Jubilee. At this point I did not read any reviews and have seen only technical specification. Two people who pitched to me this cartridge very intelligently and very knowledgeably and informed descried to me the Jubilee specifics, the specifics in the areas that I would like to hear about. It sounds to me very interesting and at this moment the most convincing. 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