VM540ML vs. VM740ML

the thin end of the wedge
MKCBrown93
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VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by MKCBrown93 » 17 Jan 2018 20:38

Hello all,
I am looking to upgrade my cartridge to either the Audio-Technica VM540ML or the VM740ML. What I am wondering is, from those of you who have experience with this caliber of cartridge, what will the tonal difference be between a composite vs. an aluminum alloy housing?
Thank you!

fresherr
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by fresherr » 18 Jan 2018 05:43

Per the AT chart, the specs are identical between the 2 cartridges, other than the housing. I believe the most important factor is how the weight difference of the 2 cartridges would work with your tonearm. Check out this tool: https://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_r ... luator.php It was very helpful to me.

themisto462
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by themisto462 » 18 Jan 2018 10:25

Here is a comparative test of both cartridges:

https://translate.google.de/translate?s ... t=&act=url

Maybe helpful.

MKCBrown93
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by MKCBrown93 » 18 Jan 2018 14:16

Thank you, themisto462! I can't tell you how many different search term variations I have used to find a comparison of these 2 cartridges! This article was very useful. As for the Cartridge Resonance Evaluator, thank you for bringing this to my attention, fresherr. Alas, I have an Akai Pro. BT500, and I cannot find the effective mass of my tonearm anywhere; in fact, I found a recent post on Vinylengine wherein someone else was asking our community whether anyone knew the information, because s/he too was unable to find it. S/he said even Akai could not tell her/him the effective tonearm mass...
If I ever figure that out, however, I will definitely evaluate it with the resonance tool.
Thank you both!

MKCBrown93
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by MKCBrown93 » 18 Jan 2018 21:59

I called Audio-Technica. I was confused why Akai would ship out a turntable with a low-mass tonearm, using a medium compliance cartridge (AT95E). The tech-support person with whom I spoke, not knowing the specific effective mass of the BT500's tonearm, suggested its mass may be on the higher end of what is considered "low mass"; e.g., 9 or 10 grams. He said the AT95E is on the higher end of the medium compliance spectrum, and as a result, assuming the mass of the BT500's tonearm is closer to the upper limit of "low mass", the pairing may work. So, I called Akai Professional and asked them what is the specific effective mass of the BT500's tonearm. Their response was unhelpful; they simply said the tonearm was "8 grams or less", and that they have no further information available.
I should mention that I have not noticed any "undesirable resonances", as Ortofon puts it on their Resonance Frequency explanation page.
So, If anyone else out there is wondering about a cartridge upgrade from the AT95E to the VM540ML or the VM740ML, what I figured out with the Audio-Technica technician, was that if your turntable has a low-mass tonearm that is working well with the AT95E, which is 6.0g or 6.2g, your best bet would be to go with the VM540ML, as this cartridge is 6.4g, whereas the 740 is 8.0g.

chartz
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by chartz » 09 Feb 2018 21:05

Hi,
I use a VM740ML on a Thorens TP16 mk2 and I must say it is a delight.
Trackability is first class even on such a lightweight tonearm.
It passes the Verdi choir torture test (Abbado) and the end of side Songbird with flying colours. Not easy tests, that even a V15VMR could not cope with.

rocky01
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by rocky01 » 10 Feb 2018 14:54

chartz wrote:Hi,
I use a VM740ML on a Thorens TP16 mk2 and I must say it is a delight.
Trackability is first class even on such a lightweight tonearm.
It passes the Verdi choir torture test (Abbado) and the end of side Songbird with flying colours. Not easy tests, that even a V15VMR could not cope with.
Good information. Glad you like it.

hekkubus
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by hekkubus » 12 Jul 2018 19:53

chartz wrote:Hi,
I use a VM740ML on a Thorens TP16 mk2 and I must say it is a delight.
Trackability is first class even on such a lightweight tonearm.
It passes the Verdi choir torture test (Abbado) and the end of side Songbird with flying colours. Not easy tests, that even a V15VMR could not cope with.
I recently got the VM740ml, and have been using it on my technics SL-Q2. I tried it on a technics SL-1700, but it skipped before the song started and wouldn’t play anywhere on the record without skipping. I don’t know enough about the mass of the tonearm, but they both should be close. On my technics SL-Q2 the sound is great, but I have to turn up the volume on my receiver about 10 dB more than when using my Audio Technica AT120e. Has your experience with the cart been similar between it and other carts as far as sound output is concerned? Also, a tech guy servicing the SL-1700 said that the cart isn’t good for the TT bc the arm sits too level with the platter. Does this make sense? I’ve never heard of a cart not being right for a TT before. Since you have one, I thought I’d ask and see what you think/know about the cart. Thanks!

Sleepwalker65
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by Sleepwalker65 » 12 Jul 2018 23:36

I also have a Technics SL-Q2 but use the VM540ML on it, and I’m ecstatic. I also have a SL-1700mk2 that I’m restoring, and it will receive a VM540ML also. I have to say that the AT95E also sounded great on the SL-Q2, and is performing spectacularly on my SL-B202, for playing records with an “unknown history”. One such album is Rick Wakeman’s “Journey to Thr Center of the Earth”, from a thrift shop, which looked dodgy, but played well. That was a great find, and a real blast to listen to again.

rocky01
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by rocky01 » 13 Jul 2018 19:22

Thanks for that comparison themisto462

freecrowder
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by freecrowder » 29 Aug 2018 02:16

i want to put a 540ml in a JMW9 memorial tonearm. Does anyone know if that will mate up well?

csericks
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by csericks » 02 Sep 2018 04:46

Have you asked VPI ?

watchnerd
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by watchnerd » 03 Sep 2018 00:27

hekkubus wrote:
chartz wrote:Hi,
I use a VM740ML on a Thorens TP16 mk2 and I must say it is a delight.
Trackability is first class even on such a lightweight tonearm.
It passes the Verdi choir torture test (Abbado) and the end of side Songbird with flying colours. Not easy tests, that even a V15VMR could not cope with.
I recently got the VM740ml, and have been using it on my technics SL-Q2. I tried it on a technics SL-1700, but it skipped before the song started and wouldn’t play anywhere on the record without skipping. I don’t know enough about the mass of the tonearm, but they both should be close. On my technics SL-Q2 the sound is great, but I have to turn up the volume on my receiver about 10 dB more than when using my Audio Technica AT120e. Has your experience with the cart been similar between it and other carts as far as sound output is concerned? Also, a tech guy servicing the SL-1700 said that the cart isn’t good for the TT bc the arm sits too level with the platter. Does this make sense? I’ve never heard of a cart not being right for a TT before. Since you have one, I thought I’d ask and see what you think/know about the cart. Thanks!
A cart can be a poor match for a TT/arm because of a mismatch between the compliance of the cart and the effective mass of a tonearm.

But the "the arm sits too level" explanation makes little sense.

watchnerd
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by watchnerd » 05 Sep 2018 03:25

themisto462 wrote:Here is a comparative test of both cartridges:

https://translate.google.de/translate?s ... t=&act=url

Maybe helpful.
Man, German hi fi magazines are so good.....

American magazines typically measure amps, speakers, and DACs, but I can't remember the last time Stereophile or Absolute Sound actually *measured* a cartridge.

bbr620
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Re: VM540ML vs. VM740ML

Post by bbr620 » 30 Nov 2018 21:33

Can anyone confirm if the VM740ML cartridge body is the same as the old AT150MLx body or if I can at least fit the VM740ML stylus to the old AT150MLx body, thanks

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