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In the Forum: Audio For Dummies ™
In the Thread: Say “no” to the light tonearms.
Post Subject: I do not believe in compliance: anti-cartridges rant.Posted by Romy the Cat on: 5/3/2010

 AlexBerger wrote:

I use Ortofon Rondo Bronze with Nottingham Spacearm and Spacedeck.
I hate Spacearm because bad tracking. Also, I can't add mass to Spacearm.
I going to try a heavy tonearm.
Fidelity Research FR-64FX with Ortofon Rondo Bronze (compliance is 15mm/uN) will be together around 31 gram. It's OK?
Have you try high mass tonearm, instead off adding mass to head-shell?
Why do you prefer SME 3012, 3009 to Fidelity Research?

In equation: Fs= 159/((M + CW) * C), is compliance measured in mm/uN?


I do not believe in compliance measurement numbers. Compliance measurement is not unified and different companies measure compliance differently and therefore their numbers are bogus. Not to mention that there is an army of basement-made cartridges (owner operated companies) who do not even know how to measure compliance and they write any number they wish. There is another: “not to mention” reason. Those small “basement” companies not able to make two identical cartages with the same specification, they are purely technologically not equipped to do it. All their cartridges are in way are accidents.  You might read and hears that they are very pompoms about their ability to make cartridges with custom predictable sound. All those Sounds African masters and  Japanese masters and Switzerland Masters … in really it all pure BS, those people generally know a little about Sound and present to theirs accidental successes to the gullible audio Morons as intentional accomplishments. Go to those people and order from them 10 identical cartridges sand you will get 10 very differently sounding cartridges. It is not that they do not want but they just physically not able to handle it.

Well, if you feel that large companies can handle it then it might not be necessary true. The large companies like Ortofon for instance, where cartridges are made by machines shall be able to maintain some standards. But do not forget that maintaining of standards is important ONLY if there is mechanism of control, punishment and gratification for holding of the standards. In cartridges manufacturing, distribution and sale there is absolutely nothing that assure any quality. So, if tomorrow Ortofon will do cartridges with aluminum wires, cactus cantilever, toothpick needle and characteristics all over board then it will be absolutely no consequences for Ortofon. So, the large manufacturers do the same crap as anyone else, using the cheapest supplies and cheapest technologies available.

Another factor is interpretation of results. If you, me, or somebody else got that expensive and valuable cartridge then we can see the result ONLY from the perspective of this given accidental cartridge. This is not enough to make a conclusion about the entire model. Try to ask your dealer to get 10 cartridges and to pick the best – he will send you to hell as he never seen 10 cartridges together. The people who are in position to make generalization about the “model sound” are the distributors for instance but unfortunately they are idiots. Did you ever try to milk distributors to open their mouth about Sound? Whoever I have seen were fucking idiots but they are the defense line to protect customers against manufacturer’s quality randomness. 

Anyhow, considering all above I absolutely discard ANY cartridges measurement provided by manufacturers, including compliance. If you have a cartridge that you like then see how the cantilever bends and make your own judgment about compliance. The mass of the arm shall be determine base upon Sound and record reading, not base upon some abstract acrobatics with irrelevant numbers. Aleksey Tolstoy use to say: "If you see a "buffalo" sign on an elephant's cage, do not believe your eyes." So, I do not do it…

The Cat

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