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Audio Technica TM8 Reviews

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Audio Technica TM8

10/10 by VinylTune

First of all, I have a YouTube video that I made which demonstrates the sound reproduction of this Audio Technica TM8 cartridge. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgKC8o5G8hs

Also, I have to make note that the stylus I am using with the TM8 is not the original stylus. The original stylus, according to the specifications given in the database section, stated that it should have a bonded Line Contact stylus. However, I am using the grey-colored Audio Technica stylus with the empty-oval symbol above the word Japan. According to another forum, this empty-oval symbol indicates at least a nude (0.3x0.7)mil elliptical tip. Furthermore, the stylus is used and the amount of hours played on it is unknown. The TM8 cartridge was also acquired used.

My Thoughts:
This is one excellent sounding moving magnet cartridge that I have ever heard for under $150 range (as of 12/26/2019). The first thing that blew me away is the sound separation. The specs shows a 31dB channel separation which I can believe is true. You will definitely notice that in my video as I am comparing this TM8 cartridge to other cartridges such as the AT450 (which is another great sounding p-mount cartridge), the AT100E, and the TC4000 TECHNICRAFT. This TM8 is able to separate the channels almost into their own two worlds, while still being able to bring the sounds to the center when needed.

The clarity of the output is another thing I need to tell you all about. It sounds very, very clear. I can distinguish details in the song I used in the video much better than my almost-new AT100E which probably has less than 3 hours of total play time on it. This TM8 sounds really good. I can say that it will definitely hang with the more mainstream at440mla, at440mlb, probably the at140lc cartridges with ease. I think with the original Line Contact stylus, or even an aftermarket shibata replacement, it might even blow them out of the water! It will make my Shure ME97HE Encore cry.

On top of that, the cartridge really flexes its extended frequency response. On the song Brick House by the Commodores, I can really hear the low end kick of the bass every time the drummer presses that pedal, and the hi-hats and crash symbols sounds clear but not so overwhelming as my AT100E sounds. This TM8 has an overall neutral frequency curve with a tad bit more dB in the mid range fq. It makes the vocals sound really clear, the snares sounds really good.

I rate this 1/2 star above the AT450 cartridge. I used the same exact stylus on both cartridges. Although the AT450 scored a 14 on a dynamic range software I use, and the TM8 scored a 13, I felt like the TM8 shined a bit more than the AT450 did and the channel separation was a bit more defined also. They both outdid the AT100E and TC4000 TECHNICRAFT by a long shot only scoring 12's.

The TM8 is definitely a keeper in my vault of cartridges. I don't think I will give this up anytime soon, unless I somehow can come across an AT150mlx with the shibata stylus far as MM cartridges are concerned for the same price the


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