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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: Soundsmith’s analog ideas.
Post Subject: Soundsmith’s analog ideas.Posted by Romy the Cat on: 2/22/2009

I have no specific personal interest in any new analog adventures as I am pretty comfortable with sound I am getting but for sake of expending the general horizons about what is available out there I would like to point out one might be interesting thing. I spoke today with a guy who turned my attention to Sound-Smith company:

and to their “different” analog approach:

I personally have no familiarity with it but if you are "aroused" then it is all your.

"The Strain Gauge cartridge is not at all like any other cartridge. All other cartridges, whether moving magnet, moving coil, or moving iron, are "generators" - that is, you put motion in, and you get energy out.....a tiny voltage that you amplify and send to your speakers. The key here in describing all other cartridges is in the word MOVING.  All other cartridges need to move a mass around - a magnet, and iron core with wires (moving "coil") or moving iron. They are all magnetic generating systems, which require a mass to be constantly moved to generate a voltage.

 When you move any mass, it has stored energy, just like your car when you get it going. When you need to turn, or slow down, the mass tries to keep you from doing so. Imagine a stylus in the groove of a record that must make lots of changes in direction to follow the groove walls. Imagine how the mass of the generating parts must restrain the stylus as it tries to move.

 Now, imagine driving a car where you and the car have NO MASS. If you can, then you can understand only one reason why the Strain Gauge is so exciting; it has almost no "stored energy" in the moving system - there IS no large amount of "mass" to move around - it does NOT have to move around a magnet, or wire coils, or iron. This means that the stylus stays in much better statistical contact with the groove walls of your records because there is no large mass trying to keep it from doing so. Imagine how different that sounds.

 Inertia (the law by which mass tends to stay at rest or continue in the direction in which it was moving) makes all styli "jitter" or jump about in the groove of the record, and not stay in intimate contact with the groove wall. If a stylus can't follow the groove wall, you cant hear what's on the record. Its that simple.

 So how does it work if it doesn't generate a voltage???

 The SG cartridge has two Strain Gauge elements, pieces of silicon crystal that when compressed or expanded by tiny amounts, change resistance. The cantilever suspension, a necessary part of any cartridge, is coupled to these elements. The energy that is usually always "lost" into the suspension of all cartridges is used to create the signal in our Strain Gauge cartridge. It is also a purely "resistive" system, with no coils of wire to alter the high frequency performance, or pick up hum, noise or radio stations! Our preamp supplies it a flow of electricity, which it varies, and that gets amplified.

 Because it has ultra-low moving mass, and because it uses no wire coils, it has a high frequency performance to beyond 50 Khz. Because it goes all the way down to DC, we can use that DC information to display tracking forces, forces on each groove wall, record eccentricity and "AC" component of the tracking force (record warp). Because it does NOT have to move around a large mass, and has little stored energy, it can track at one gram without "jittering" or chattering down the groove walls, and therefore stays in intimate contact with the record groove. And because we engineered it carefully, our Strain Gauge has user replaceable styli, a first for high end cartridges.

 That's a lot of "because's". And there's more.

 I will be glad to consult with those who are seriously interested in owning this system. All cartridges are individually hand-made by me, and I take great care in doing so.

 Below is some anecdotal and additional technical information on our Strain Gauge Cartridge and preamp systems......

Thanks for your interest - Peter Ledermann/President & Chief Engineer"

Rgs, Romy the Cat

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