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The AT95E..

the thin end of the wedge

The AT95E..

Postby Wil » 08 Jan 2010 19:15

So...i got tired of the sound of my Denon 103R. And i decided to 'upgrade' to the audio technica AT95E.

15 mins later, VTF, tone arm height blah blah blah set...and it was in the headshell and connected to the tonearm of my Technics 1210MK5G (The Denon 103R in its BIB headshell looked abit forlorn in the corner of my turntable rack i must admit).

Removed the Denon AU300 stepup transformer and connected it straight into my tubed Jolida JD-9 phono pre amp (2 x NOS westinghouse 5751s!)

Lit up the Almarro 318B and dropped the needle on Nick Drake's 'A Treasury'. I was rather pleased with what i heard. It was almost the antithesis of the Denon 103R. Whilst the Denon had a lit-up, revealing quality about it, it lent a tremendous sense of propulsive-ness towards the music that demanded your attention while one listened, the AT95E was relaxed, coherent, warm and musical (General, over-used terminology, i must admit, but that's the exact way it sounds to me!)

The Denon 103R is great value for money, don't get me wrong, but it's no where as fun as the AT95. Vocals are lovely on the little Audio-technia ( I don't get that the upper range sibiliance/distortion i get on the 103R, and trust me, i did everything i could to remove it.)

And i haven't even went about adjusting the AT95 to it's optimal settings!

Oh boy. what fun.
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Postby flavio81 » 08 Jan 2010 20:37

Nice, nice. I heard the AT95E and thought it was pretty good for the money, but interesting to see it compared favorably to the famous 103R.
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Postby Snead » 08 Jan 2010 20:39

"...relaxed...warm..." aren't terms often heard when talking about A-Ts. :)

Glad you like it though.
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Postby Snead » 09 Jan 2010 01:21

The 1982 AT catalog lists the at95s inductance at 400mh.

There are others like Ortofon and Grado that are a lot lower.
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Postby LPspinner » 09 Jan 2010 03:41

Hi Guys:

The Little AT95E defies all logic, under the microscope the tip look pretty average, the specs while good are not outstanding and the design is quite mature but on every deck where I have used one it always gets my feet tapping.

While it lacks the last level of detail and a walk-in 3D sound stage it does manage to do all the right things with the music in a balanced and cohesive manner. Its not a Koetsu but it doesn’t cost any where near as much either…. Enjoy it for what it is. It also seems incredibly robust and able to withstand small accidents and rough treatment that would normally kill the more exotic and delicate cartridges.

5657
My little one sits mounted in my spare Technics SL1210 head shell and is usually called upon for playing older (and dirtier) LP’s and casual listening.

Happy listening.

PS: has anyone tried the LPGear Shibata tips that are made to use in the AT95E. I’m always skeptical about third party replacement stylus but these ones look promising.

LPSpinner.
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Postby Wil » 09 Jan 2010 08:06

Lpspinner, i think u have got it right...it does defy logic! Granted it isn't as detailed nor lacks the last bit of clarity the exotics carry, it's easy to set-up, maintain and cheap as chips.

And it does have that musical coherence that is lacking in many.
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Postby Guest » 09 Jan 2010 12:02

Hi, let me know if you plan to part with the denon! regards, dom.
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Postby lini » 09 Jan 2010 13:21

Snead wrote:(...) There are others like Ortofon and Grado that are a lot lower.


Inductivity for most Ortofons isn't very low, and usually they are MIs anyway (MCs aside, of course) - inductivity on the Grados I'm aware of is indeed very low, but these also are MIs. And a lot of other designs with comparatively low inductance (e.g. from ADC or AKG) are MIs as well.

Anyway, true MMs with inductances below 400 mH indeed seem to be not too frequent. Out of the top of my head at the moment I could only name pretty few: the ATs with the Quadro-optimised bodies (e.g. AT12S) and the Philips ELM series.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
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Postby Whitneyville » 11 Jan 2010 04:06

From loooong experience with an Audio-Technica with a Shibata stylus, be prepared for record cleaning! That tip seems to dig every bit of micro-dust out of a groove, but, they're easy on records (lots of contact area) and can track extreamly well. Back in the days of discreet 4 channel records (I still have some and play them) they were the only shape that would track the CD4 format.
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Postby KentT » 11 Jan 2010 04:15

One of my favorite cheap and cheerful cartridges and fun to hear. Not the last word but still excellent for most music. And very well suited as your utility pickup for many turntables out there which may not be suited for the best. Allow 30 hours break-in time for best sonics.
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Postby Wil » 15 Jan 2010 17:34

* a little update.

I actually sold my 103R and AU300 to a friend *(Sorry, Dom!)

The Little Green wonder that the AT95 is is good enough for me..I just prefer the relatively more lucid sound of the AT as compared to the lit up sound of MCs.

I'm now looking at Nagaokas....hmmm.
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Postby hesson12 » 26 Mar 2010 22:49

I just stumbled upon this older thread and was reminded of an experience a few years ago. I'd been using a Sumiko Blue Point Special II for quite a while. I was never really thrilled with it, but was too lazy to make a change.

Then I came across an old Linn Basik cartridge (close kin to the AT95, according to most folks) that had come as a freebie with, I think, a Basik turntable.

So I slapped it on in place of my Sumiko, and experienced a huge sense of relief. Instead of the cold, hard-edged sound of the Sumiko, the Basik rendered things with a more approachable presentation. Tone colors, especially, seemed more true and natural. While I wouldn't call it warm, it did have a sense of ease and musical truth that was missing with the Sumiko. It was a bit of an eye-opener.

Maybe it's time to try the li'l AT95!

-Bob
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AT 95

Postby colhogan » 27 Mar 2010 00:33

I like the sound of the At 95 on my Rega P-1'table.
A substantial improvement over the Ortofon OM5E Ctg that came with the P-1 as "stock".
I'm also using a glass-platter on my P-1. this has also made an improvement. (IMHO).
As far as Phono Stages, I have a few to choose from:
Rega Phono MM.
Arcam Alpha 9 Integrated amplifer.
Acurus P-10.
I also picked up a Grant Fidelity Tube Buffer to throw into the mix..
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Postby hesson12 » 27 Mar 2010 00:34

I understand what you're saying, , but sometimes, psychology aside, the grass really IS greener. That was the case with my experience.

-Bob
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Postby Whitneyville » 27 Mar 2010 07:44

I've had my AT-14Sa since the late 70's. The one I got with my Technics SL-2 turntable had been "demoed" in the store, but the sales guy put a new stylus on it for me. Well, after those many years, I'm on my third stylus, and after my week-long total "tune-up" of the table, arm and cart, I still like it. Now back in those days, Pickerings were God's gift to LP's, but I never cared for them myself. The Shures and Grados were popular and AT was "the new kid on the block". AT's were pushed for Quad4 and CD4 four channel recordings, and they worked where nobody else's did (well). AT has made very good cartidges, microphones, and some outstanding headphones and I've always felt they were excellent values. It's easier to build a great sounding $5000 cartridge than a good sounding $100 cartridge. I have far too many used LP's I'd NEVER put a $$$$ cartridge onto, but AT has carts I'll use on my "junque" LP's, and maybe you do too.
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