Author Topic: New Cartridge on the way  (Read 927 times)

Offline Nick B

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3198
Re: New Cartridge on the way
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2021, 10:08:28 PM »
The new cart arrived this afternoon. I mounted it , gave it an initial alignment and then preceded with an inaugural spin of what else, The Carmen Suite (Alexander Gibson/Royal Opera House Orchestra Covent Garden.)

The first thing I noticed was as compared to the Micro  Benz (I played the same record using it right before I swapped the carts) was that the Carmen picked up significantly less surface noise, resulting in a quieter, blacker background. It also a much more defined and realistic sense of space. Instruments really took ownership of the space they were in . Instead of a instrument being on the right side it was in very specific spot on the right side. Is lead to a very clear sense of not only where the instruments were, but also where they weren't.

Next up The Harry James King James Version for Sheffield. The Carmen track this on without ever breaking a sweat. Since it handled Harry James with such ease I figure I would give it a real tracking test, The Telarc 1812 LP with the big cannon blasts.  I have owned cartridges with significantly higher price tags than the Carmen that couldn't come close to tracking this record. In fact the Sumiko Blackbird, which lists for 25% more than the Carmen, actually jumped off the record every time it hit a cannon blast and laded several groves way from the blast. The Carmen sailed through this record without even a hiccup. Very impressive. Now I have to say that it was late and my wife was already in bed so I played this with the volume just loud enough to let me listen for mistracking. I will try it again tomorrow to see if the air compressing in the room from the cannon blast at a more typical value will have any effect on how the Carmen tracks this record.

At this point I am very happy with what I have heard so far.

More updates as things develop.

Congrats, Tom. The Carmen seems to be quite a bargain when taking into account the low noise and tracking capabilities. I’ll be curious to know how the walls will withstand the Telarc 1812 being played during daylight hours 💥

I played the 1812 again this afternoon with the volume turned up as loud as I dared to. The walls shook, the cannon blasts hit you in the chest and the Carmen still tracked the record just like it was something with a "normal" dynamic rage. This record gave the cart (and my subs) quite a workout and it never broke a sweat. I was very impressed.

👍 👏 😊
Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
Supratek Chardonnay preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Audio Envy & Wywires cables
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
PI Audio UberBUSS

Offline steve

  • Audiologist
  • *
  • Posts: 939
    • Reference components
Re: New Cartridge on the way
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2021, 10:40:19 PM »
The new cart arrived this afternoon. I mounted it , gave it an initial alignment and then preceded with an inaugural spin of what else, The Carmen Suite (Alexander Gibson/Royal Opera House Orchestra Covent Garden.)

The first thing I noticed was as compared to the Micro  Benz (I played the same record using it right before I swapped the carts) was that the Carmen picked up significantly less surface noise, resulting in a quieter, blacker background. It also a much more defined and realistic sense of space. Instruments really took ownership of the space they were in . Instead of a instrument being on the right side it was in very specific spot on the right side. Is lead to a very clear sense of not only where the instruments were, but also where they weren't.

Next up The Harry James King James Version for Sheffield. The Carmen track this on without ever breaking a sweat. Since it handled Harry James with such ease I figure I would give it a real tracking test, The Telarc 1812 LP with the big cannon blasts.  I have owned cartridges with significantly higher price tags than the Carmen that couldn't come close to tracking this record. In fact the Sumiko Blackbird, which lists for 25% more than the Carmen, actually jumped off the record every time it hit a cannon blast and laded several groves way from the blast. The Carmen sailed through this record without even a hiccup. Very impressive. Now I have to say that it was late and my wife was already in bed so I played this with the volume just loud enough to let me listen for mistracking. I will try it again tomorrow to see if the air compressing in the room from the cannon blast at a more typical value will have any effect on how the Carmen tracks this record.

At this point I am very happy with what I have heard so far.

More updates as things develop.

I was going to say T, that if your cartridge is anywhere close to the Accutex 320STR moving iron, I think you are going to absolutely love it. I have been sold on moving iron ever since I got mine.

cheers

steve
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz

Offline tmazz

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11299
  • Just basking in the glow of my tubes.....
Re: New Cartridge on the way
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2021, 08:19:59 PM »
In the past I tried two different wood body Grados. I really liked the way they sounded, but they were not shielded and picked up too much hum from my TT motor, so I could not use them.

I spoke with the folks at Soundsmith and they assured me that their carts have been install on many VPI tables and they never came across with them picking up motor noise.

And as far as the hum goes the Carmen is dead quite with absolutely no hum at all.  :D
Remember, it's all about the music........

• Nola Boxers
• Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
• McIntosh MC 275
• ARC SP-9
• VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
• Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
• DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables

Offline steve

  • Audiologist
  • *
  • Posts: 939
    • Reference components
Re: New Cartridge on the way
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2021, 06:16:08 AM »
The latest report on the cartridge T?

cheers

steve
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz

Offline tmazz

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11299
  • Just basking in the glow of my tubes.....
Re: New Cartridge on the way
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2021, 08:15:12 AM »
I still need to put some more hours on it before I do the final alignment tweaking, but so far I am very impressed.

Tracks very well and it is the quietest cartridge I have owned.
Remember, it's all about the music........

• Nola Boxers
• Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
• McIntosh MC 275
• ARC SP-9
• VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
• Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
• DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables

Offline tmazz

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11299
  • Just basking in the glow of my tubes.....
Re: New Cartridge on the way
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2021, 08:48:26 PM »
One thing I do notice about the Carmen is that it makes the loudest noise when hitting the bump stop at teh end of the dead wax of any cartridge that I have ever heard. I'm not sure why.

Not that it is a problem, it just seems a bit strange to me.

Steve does your MI cart behave like this as well?
Remember, it's all about the music........

• Nola Boxers
• Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
• McIntosh MC 275
• ARC SP-9
• VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
• Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
• DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables

Offline steve

  • Audiologist
  • *
  • Posts: 939
    • Reference components
Re: New Cartridge on the way
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2021, 08:40:38 PM »
One thing I do notice about the Carmen is that it makes the loudest noise when hitting the bump stop at teh end of the dead wax of any cartridge that I have ever heard. I'm not sure why.

Not that it is a problem, it just seems a bit strange to me.

Steve does your MI cart behave like this as well?

I would not say it does T, but I usually try to lift the needle before the end. I don't have a huge library, I can try some LPs tomorrow and modify my post.

There were a couple of different versions of my 320STR cartridge T, which could affect the "pop".
Below is my "brick" version specs, same color body. I wonder what it would cost new today? It sounds wonderful.

Specifications

Stylus: Perfect Vital STR™ polished natural gemstone, shibata type configuration

Frequency response: 20 Hz to 45 kHz

Channel separation: minimum 33db

Output voltage: 3.2 mV

Channel balance: within 1dB

Impedance: 2.7 k ohms

DC resistance: 580 ohms

Load resistance: 47K ohms

Compliance: 42 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 Hz

Tracking force range: 1.5 to 2.3g

Overall dimensions: 29 mm. x 18 mm. x 16mm

Net weight: 5.45g

Mounting: standard 1/2" (12.7mm)

I have heard through a friend that others have claimed that this cartridge needs a 100k ohm load, not 47k. 100K load is a wow.

Cheers

steve
« Last Edit: August 18, 2021, 06:37:08 AM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz

Offline steve

  • Audiologist
  • *
  • Posts: 939
    • Reference components
Re: New Cartridge on the way
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2021, 06:25:40 AM »
Hi T,

No popping, but sometimes there is a click. Does it occur on every LP you play?

cheers

steve
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz

Offline tmazz

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11299
  • Just basking in the glow of my tubes.....
Re: New Cartridge on the way
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2021, 12:27:01 PM »
Across the board. It is not really any different that the bumpstop sound I got out of previous cartridges, just significantly louder. When I get a chance I am going to call Soundsmith and see if they can tell me why.

It's not that I consider it a bad thing per se,  just something I am curious about.
Remember, it's all about the music........

• Nola Boxers
• Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
• McIntosh MC 275
• ARC SP-9
• VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
• Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
• DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables