Shadowman82 wrote:I was thinking of an SL-1200 that has no mods . The only mod that was done to my SL-1200 is that the ground wire was removed/made internal and higher quality RCA cables installed . That's good to know though where the limit is on a non mod TT .
anmpr1 wrote:The KAB damper is worthwhile. Not snake oil. The big thing about phono carts is whether they ARE snake oil, after a certain price level. Back in the day (according to the Shure site) the V15MR and Utra 500 series were the same thing,electrically, in different bodies and packaging. One of the Stanton engineers wrote on line somewhere that the 881/981/CS100 series were essentially the same thing with different packaging. I don't know if that's true, but it wouldn't surprise me. Grado says their top line models are the same as their lower models, but with tighter FR specs. Or something to that effect.
Where's the magic coming from? Mark "I never met a preamp that was too expensive" Levinson sold exclusivity, but couldn't tell you why his preamps were supposed to sound better. Eventually he took to selling Chinese tube amps under the Red Rose name. I think that once you reach a certain price point, price is meaningless. After that you are paying for intangibles--and a lot of that is make believe. Yoshiaki Sugano realized that he could sell expensive jewelry to audiophiles by putting his cartridges in semi-precious stones. Smart guy.
The idea that you need a special, exclusive, and expensive tonearm/turntable for a special, exclusive, and expensive cartridge seems to me to jump the shark. At least after you get to a certain level of build quality. Finally, why spend $1000.00 on a cartridge when that money will buy 60+ records? Of the two, which expenditure will maximize your musical enjoyment more?
cafe latte wrote: Also Grado up the range are not the same at all as the ones lower in the range ...
Shadowman82 wrote:Well on my not modded SL-1200 I probably wouldn't buy anything more expensive than the 2M Black .
anmpr1 wrote:cafe latte wrote: Also Grado up the range are not the same at all as the ones lower in the range ...
I was speaking of the reasonably priced models. From their own literature: The Gold model is selected from the Silver production run and meets higher test specifications. The Red model is selected from the Blue production run and meets higher test specifications. So essentially they are selling you the same cartridge with tighter specs, and calling it something different.
With the Ortofon OM line, you have the same body with different styli, ranging from the Pro S ball, the to an OM 40 Geiger. Stylus assembly is the only difference in this line. My guess is that, with the 2M series, Ortofon is doing the same thing since, for instance, Black styli are interchangeable with the Bronze, etc.
I'd also guess that Audio Technica is using the same bodies for their comparable MM designs. In their case, to cite an example, the discontinued 440ML is now sold ad the VM 540 ML. The difference, according to the AT Website, is the cantilever damper, which has been compressed stiffer in order to allow for a greater tracking force. In fact AT now recommends the 540ML stylus as a direct replacement for the 440ML.
With higher priced cartridges, for instance the Koetsu line, you are paying for quality materials and better QA during production, small production run, exquisite Japanese craftsmanship, pride of ownership, and tender loving care from a dealer that makes 50% markup on your 10 thousand dollar purchase. Don't get me wrong. Of course they sound good. But it is a qualitative thing significantly influenced by the psychology of paying a lot for something, and enjoying the satisfaction that you are part of an exclusive club. I have no problem with that. But I'd argue that if you can really hear a big difference between a thousand dollar cart and a ten thousand dollar one, then what you are paying for is a subtle (or not so subtle) FR curve built in to the cartridge response, along with various distortion products. If someone is seriously interested in playing this high end game, they'd probably save money by buying a used Cello Audio Palette and making some adjustments. But for these folks, money is likely no object, anyway.
cafe latte wrote: ...but the gold has better wire in the coils. The gold is only 240 dollars so even the top of the entry stuff is not an expensive cart.
anmpr1 wrote:cafe latte wrote: ...but the gold has better wire in the coils. The gold is only 240 dollars so even the top of the entry stuff is not an expensive cart.
I was quoting Grado's own explanation, which indicated that Golds came from batches of Silvers.
I admit that the most engaging cartridge I've heard was a Koetsu from the 80s. Along with a Highphonic (not their modified Denon 103, but one of their aluminum bodied, from years past). FWIW, the Highphonic was so nice that I bought one from the importer. Against standard MC design, it was a higher compliance cartridge. After about two months the cantilever suspension gave out..., and this was on a Grace G-707 low mass arm. The importer sent me a second one, no questions asked. My impression was that this was a common problem with Highphonics. That one crapped out, too--same problem. But by then the importer was out of business. From then on I decided never to buy an expensive, esoteric cartridge.
I would try cheaper MC's without a damper, but honestly every cart I own sounds far better with the damper fitted even my m97xe so quite honestly I consider the damper a must have mod either that or the next level which is arm replacement. I have never felt the need though to change the arm
Shadowman82 wrote:I would try cheaper MC's without a damper, but honestly every cart I own sounds far better with the damper fitted even my m97xe so quite honestly I consider the damper a must have mod either that or the next level which is arm replacement. I have never felt the need though to change the arm
Honestly I'm not very handy or mechanically inclined . I'm not sure what exactly you have to do to install a damper but it might be beyond my skills .