Music listening is split 50/50 vinyl and through the net via a DAC, Pandora etc. Taste is primarily lite jazz, old country and a mix of 50-60s.
I used only one record for this test, Julio Iglesia. I selected it because I am familiar with it, its easy listening, and has a nice blend of male/female vocalists and instrumentals.
System 1- Mono Pilot tube console 1040D, AA-903B integrated amp, Gerrard RC88/4 changer. Not sure of the cartridge but the new stylus is what a GE cartridge calls out.
System 2- Paco tube integrated amp, Technics Sl-1900 with a Shure V15 VN35MR, Jensen Tri-ettes
System 3- JVC SS R-S7 ( I bought this new in 1981 and its very under-rated- I can't seem to part with it while a Fisher 400, Sansui Au20000, Proton D540 and others have come and gone-its a great 2nd do everything receiver handling the 4 OHM speakers) Elac 50H II turntable with a used Pickering D1507DJ cartridge I had laying around for years, and GR Research Av/2 speakers.
System 4 is in another location so the record wasn't played there. Its ADCOM separates from memory, a 545 Integrated amp, Denon 51F turntable with a Grado cartridge, custom speakers, and 3 Spica TC-50.
Results- I always enjoyed listening to the record on the Pilot. Nice warm laid back sound.
I listened to it next on the JVC with my used Pickering cartridge. I was amazed how good it sounded. The clarity and detail was amazing.
I was saving the best for last as the Shure V15 TypeIII VN35MR cartridge has always been my favorite. The results was not what I expected. Its still very nice but kind of laid back, not as musical and the highs and lows not as tight or projecting.
Why did system 2 win ? The GR speakers are better but the only thing I can come up with is the ELAC with that Pickering cartridge that was originally on the Technics I replaced with the Shure V15 type III years ago. I had other turntables connected to system 2 over the years and they never came close to sounding as good.