New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

the thin end of the wedge
htk99
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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by htk99 » 17 Apr 2019 18:40

The "made in" label on the cartridge is interchangeable, so I imagine the cartridge is very likely made in China and the Japan label is justified with the stylus assembly coming from a Japanese factory. Usually this kind of things have some kind of requirement for how big a percentage of the work needs to be done inside the country, no idea what the deal is in Japan.

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by chiz » 17 Apr 2019 18:54

BMRR wrote:
17 Apr 2019 18:04
The info is correct. AT moved production of their entry-level carts to a brand new facility in China about a year ago. It's an AT-owned-and-operated facility, not an outside contractor. They've been making AT3600, AT95E, AT95EX, VM95C, VM95E, AT91, AT91R, and CN5625AL at this facility. All their other carts are still being made at their Japan facility.

At this point I've handled about half a dozen Chinese-built AT3600s and each one has been perfect. Ditto for my VM95C.
The AT91 carts I bought 5 years ago are marked "Made In China" too.

patient_ot
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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by patient_ot » 17 Apr 2019 19:06

Sunwire wrote:
17 Apr 2019 17:34
georgesgiralt wrote:
17 Apr 2019 10:43
I tested the coil and both the resistance and inductance are near 20 % value from left to right....
What were the actual values of left and right resistance and inductance?
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it sounds like you're saying there's a 20 percent difference between the channels. That's very large, I think.
Yes some clarification on that would be good. Do we know if the multimeter being used is accurate also?

FWIW the ATVM95C is spec'd at 18dB stereo separation and 2.5dB channel balance. Perhaps those specs allow for some electrical differences between channels.

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by Sunwire » 17 Apr 2019 19:43

I don't have a problem with products being made in China. It just seems weird that they would make what is, to my understanding, identical cartridge bodies in two different countries.
Perhaps it's as previously theorized: the better stylus assemblies are made in Japan, the lesser stylus assemblies are made in China. The bodies are all made in China and the sticker changes depending on the origin of the stylus assembly.

The majority of the value of the cartridge is in the stylus assembly, so if there are rules about labeling based on percentage of value, it would make sense to change the sticker if the stylus is made in Japan versus China.

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by georgesgiralt » 17 Apr 2019 20:20

Sorry folks I'm very very far away my notes and can't tell the actual values for inductance or resistance of the cart.
I've not used the cart yet but I bet I won't hear any difference from the discrepancy between left and right channel.
Bear in mind that this difference is linear and hearing is logarithmic.... So this did not trouble me that much. And I bet that the machine making the coils is set as precisely as they can.... Add to this that I can't exactly tell the precision of my measurements.
If you really want the exact figures, you've to wait 'til the beginning of June when I get back home.
Have a nice day.

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by cafe latte » 17 Apr 2019 22:44

Sunwire wrote:
17 Apr 2019 19:43
I don't have a problem with products being made in China. It just seems weird that they would make what is, to my understanding, identical cartridge bodies in two different countries.
Perhaps it's as previously theorized: the better stylus assemblies are made in Japan, the lesser stylus assemblies are made in China. The bodies are all made in China and the sticker changes depending on the origin of the stylus assembly.

The majority of the value of the cartridge is in the stylus assembly, so if there are rules about labeling based on percentage of value, it would make sense to change the sticker if the stylus is made in Japan versus China.
I have both ie a conical body ATvm95c and the ML ATvm95ml, they both measure the same.
Chris

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by cafe latte » 17 Apr 2019 22:48

patient_ot wrote:
17 Apr 2019 19:06
Sunwire wrote:
17 Apr 2019 17:34
georgesgiralt wrote:
17 Apr 2019 10:43
I tested the coil and both the resistance and inductance are near 20 % value from left to right....
What were the actual values of left and right resistance and inductance?
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it sounds like you're saying there's a 20 percent difference between the channels. That's very large, I think.
Yes some clarification on that would be good. Do we know if the multimeter being used is accurate also?

FWIW the ATVM95C is spec'd at 18dB stereo separation and 2.5dB channel balance. Perhaps those specs allow for some electrical differences between channels.
Mine are identical between channels, or virtually anyway, maybe half an ohm or something.
Chris

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by smee4 » 17 Apr 2019 23:18

BMRR wrote:
17 Apr 2019 18:04


At this point I've handled about half a dozen Chinese-built AT3600s and each one has been perfect. Ditto for my VM95C.
Seems to me that when a big company switches production to China, they take their knowledge and experience, and insist on the same quality control that they use in factories elsewhere. As a result, their products retain the same good quality.

The only problem is if you accidentally buy a knock-off fake copy, or a reject.

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by georgesgiralt » 18 Apr 2019 03:20

Patient_ot says :
FWIW the ATVM95C is spec'd at 18dB stereo separation and 2.5dB channel balance. Perhaps those specs allow for some electrical differences between channels.

3dB is double the value. So 20% in resistance or inductance difference si far from 100 % .... Well within the tolerance. IMHO.

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by Sunwire » 19 Apr 2019 00:06

Yes, but both the separation and channel balance specs are quite poor. Two reasons I haven't been excited about the cartridges. I don't see the point of advanced styli on such a poorly performing body. Used bodies for the better performing AT cartridges are plentiful and not expensive if you shop around and are patient.

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by smee4 » 19 Apr 2019 00:53

Sunwire wrote:
19 Apr 2019 00:06
Yes, but both the separation and channel balance specs are quite poor. Two reasons I haven't been excited about the cartridges. I don't see the point of advanced styli on such a poorly performing body. Used bodies for the better performing AT cartridges are plentiful and not expensive if you shop around and are patient.
Specs are much better with a better stylus. The VM95ML is

Frequency Response 20-25,000 Hz
Channel Separation 23 (dB at 1 kHz)
Vertical Tracking Angle 23°
Vertical Tracking Force 1.8-2.2 g (2.0 g standard)
Stylus Construction Nude square shank
Recommended Load Impedance 47,000 ohms
Coil Impedance 3.3 k ohms (1 kHz)
DC Resistance 485 ohms
Coil Inductance 550 mH (1 kHz)
Recommended load capacitance 100 to 200 pF
Output 3.5 mV (1 kHz, 5 cm/sec.)
Channel Balance 1.5 dB (1 kHz)
Stylus Shape 2.2 x 0.12 mil Microlinear
Cantilever Aluminum pipe
Mount Half-inch
Weight 6.1 g (0.22 oz)
Dimensions 17.2 mm (0.68") H × 18.9 mm (0.74") W × 28.3 mm (1.20") D
Replacement Stylus AT-VMN95ML
Accessories Included Two 11 mm installation screws, two 8 mm installation screws, two washers, nonmagnetic screwdriver

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by patient_ot » 19 Apr 2019 01:12

Sunwire wrote:
19 Apr 2019 00:06
Yes, but both the separation and channel balance specs are quite poor. Two reasons I haven't been excited about the cartridges. I don't see the point of advanced styli on such a poorly performing body. Used bodies for the better performing AT cartridges are plentiful and not expensive if you shop around and are patient.
In practice these cartridges sound fine. I've used the higher performing AT/Signet bodies, and while they are good, the styli for them are too high compliance for heavier arms. That is the main reason I'm running an ATVM95ML on my main deck rather than the 540ML. If you have a lighter arm, use the 500 series rather than the 95 series.

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by georgesgiralt » 19 Apr 2019 03:11

The lower spec ATVM95C seems to be the worse the China factory make and the better bodies are either made in Japan or selected from the China factory....
As I said, I bet you won't hear a difference... Your ear is logarithmic.

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by BMRR » 19 Apr 2019 14:01

Sunwire wrote:
19 Apr 2019 00:06
Yes, but both the separation and channel balance specs are quite poor. Two reasons I haven't been excited about the cartridges. I don't see the point of advanced styli on such a poorly performing body.
I think they're being very conservative with their specs. I've been listening to my VM95C for a few weeks now, and I can tell you that it has excellent channel separation and channel balance. It has a wider stereo image than my Shure V15 III, which is spec'd at 25 dB if I recall correctly.

AT has a history of being very modest with their specs and I think that's still the case. I would guesstimate that the VM95C has at least 25 dB of channel separation and that it increases to 30 dB when you go to the ML stylus. This guesstimation is based not just on my ears but also on the fact that the AT3600L is spec'd at 20 dB separation but an independent reviewer measured it and found it was actually 26 dB.

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Re: New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

Post by felixbo » 19 Apr 2019 14:39

Hi,
can´t speak for AT-VM95C because I don´t have one. But I measured my AT-VM95ML having >30dB/1kHz channel separation and a channel balance of -0.3dB/1KHz. So AT is on the conservative side with their specs.
In my opinion specs are mostly for promotion purpose. Even when the cheaper carts will also pass the test, the more expensive products in a line automatically will get the better/best specs. That´s marketing. Just my 0.02$.

Cheers Felix

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