New Audio Technica VM95 Series - Next Generation of the AT95

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

Post by BMRR » 12 Feb 2019 14:15

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
12 Feb 2019 09:27
I will ask you, because I see that you know AT carts very well. What would you choose AT95EX or rather more expensive Sumiko Oyster with still conical stylus. Because I am thinking between those two. And both are good for 1980`s mid-range DD with medium-mass tonearm.
I have listened to both of them; the sound of the Oyster is quite different — very warm, with a narrower soundstage. The AT95EX has a wider soundstage, more detail, and more clarity.

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

Post by andrad » 12 Feb 2019 17:50

BMRR wrote:
12 Feb 2019 14:10
I also recall reading or hearing something about the EX having a "better" or "improved" suspension, although no specifics were provided.

If the EX really does have a better suspension, I would assume that this improvement was also included in the new VM95 series. Note that the VM95E has the same frequency response as the AT95EX: 20 Hz to 22,000 Hz.

The EX stylus is $45, and the VM95E cartridge is $49; rather than putting an EX stylus on an AT95E cartridge, it would make more sense to buy the new VM95E cartridge for only $4 more than the EX stylus.
Yes BMRR I guess it would and in my younger years that would have been the route I would have taken. But I have only had the AT95E just over a year and with ageing eyesight and hands that are not as steady as they were I found it a really fiddly job to set it up. Having got to a point where I feel I have it as near as possible to a perfect setting, I am reluctant to attempt it all again with a new cart .So, I feel, just a change of stylus is the better route for me. Plus I am wondering if my hearing will allow me to be able to appreciate any difference now . I now have a bit of tinnitus as I have got older.

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

Post by johnnywalker » 12 Feb 2019 19:02

But I have only had the AT95E just over a year and with ageing eyesight and hands that are not as steady as they were I found it a really fiddly job to set it up. Having got to a point where I feel I have it as near as possible to a perfect setting, I am reluctant to attempt it all again with a new cart
Keep in mind that the new AT-VM95 does not require nuts, so it is much easier to mount on a headshell. I have mounted both the AT-95E and the AT-VM95SH (and recently switched to an AT-VMN95ML stylus), and the new cart is much easier to deal with. Of course, you still have to get the overhang and alignment right.

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

Post by felixbo » 12 Feb 2019 19:26

Hi,
another suggestion: The complete styli series from the newest AT-VM95 will fit on the older AT95 bodys. So you also can simply take one of the new styli and clip it on your AT95. An elliptical VMN95E will cost 30-35.-$. It depends on what you want to pay for a new stylus. If you like a real upgrade I recommend a VMN95ML microlinear stylus. It costs about 130.-$ but it will be a big step foreward in terms of tracking. For about 20.-$ more you can get the whole AT-VM95ML system. So if you know someone to mount it on your tt somewhat later, why not the complete system. The coils and some other things are different to the older AT95. Just think about that...

Cheers Felix

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

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 12 Feb 2019 20:20

BMRR wrote:
12 Feb 2019 14:15


I have listened to both of them; the sound of the Oyster is quite different — very warm, with a narrower soundstage. The AT95EX has a wider soundstage, more detail, and more clarity.
Thank you for this information. I am thinking more in favor of AT95EX. But these new versions are made in china I suspect? Did you hear also AT85EP? This one is P-mount but Audio-technika sells adapter that it can be mounted on standard headshell.

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

Post by MCM_Fan » 12 Feb 2019 21:34

Jdog1958 wrote:
31 Aug 2018 06:50
I also like the look of the headshell - hope they offer that separate!

at-vm95e_intro.jpg
Looks like the AT HS6 headshell is finally available in the US. I've seen it on eBay and at B&H Photo, Adorama and a few other places. Every place I've seen it, so far, it's $29.00 with free shipping. It's probably only a matter of time before it shows up on Amazon and, hopefully, my local Fry's.

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

Post by andybeau » 13 Feb 2019 09:16

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
12 Feb 2019 20:20
Thank you for this information. I am thinking more in favor of AT95EX. But these new versions are made in china I suspect? Did you hear also AT85EP? This one is P-mount but Audio-technika sells adapter that it can be mounted on standard headshell.
The ML at least is made in Japan according to the box, don't know about the others.

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

Post by smee4 » 13 Feb 2019 09:21

BMRR wrote:
12 Feb 2019 14:15
Vinylfreak86 wrote:
12 Feb 2019 09:27
I will ask you, because I see that you know AT carts very well. What would you choose AT95EX or rather more expensive Sumiko Oyster with still conical stylus. Because I am thinking between those two. And both are good for 1980`s mid-range DD with medium-mass tonearm.
I have listened to both of them; the sound of the Oyster is quite different — very warm, with a narrower soundstage. The AT95EX has a wider soundstage, more detail, and more clarity.

I would always choose detail and clarity over anything else. This means a conical is not going to cut it. The AT95 with upgraded line contact stylus (like the LPgear Vividline) has most everything I want. If that is a bit too much to pay, the AT95EX might be an excellent next best.

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

Post by anh165 » 13 Feb 2019 12:22

I have used a VM95ML on my STD 305S deck and it's not far off from an AT440Mlb in my opinion.

A little bit more 'balanced' presentation to the sound, and it may be compatible with a wider range of phono stages because of this.

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

Post by 33na3rd » 13 Feb 2019 22:03

johnnywalker wrote:
12 Feb 2019 19:02

Keep in mind that the new AT-VM95 does not require nuts, so it is much easier to mount on a headshell. I have mounted both the AT-95E and the AT-VM95SH (and recently switched to an AT-VMN95ML stylus), and the new cart is much easier to deal with. Of course, you still have to get the overhang and alignment right.
johnnywalker, how would you compare your new AT-VMN95ML stylus to your previous Shibata?

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

Post by johnnywalker » 15 Feb 2019 13:41

I find the 95ML to be an excellent balance between the detail and clarity of the 440MLb and the bottom-end strength and warmth of the 95SH. The 95ML does not have quite the amount of presence, of the sense of being in the room with the music, as the 440MLb, but the difference is very subtle and easy to live with. To my ear, the main difference between the 95ML and the 95SH is the soundstage; the 95ML is very open and wide, while the 95SH is not so open and wide and can sometimes sound like there is a low overhead ceiling on vocals. For instance, when comparing several different cartridges on Kasey Musgraves' Golden Hour, my wife said that, compared to the 440MLb, MP-200, and DL-103R, the 95SH made her sound like she was singing from a tunnel. To my ear it wasn't that bad, but I understood what she meant, because I could hear the difference, too. As well, I believe there is a bit more upper end sparkle with the 95ML. So for me, for the time being, it's going to be the 95ML on my TT.

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

Post by BMRR » 15 Feb 2019 14:13

Great review, Johnny. It sounds like AT has a real winner with the VM95ML.

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

Post by 33na3rd » 15 Feb 2019 15:29

johnnywalker wrote:
15 Feb 2019 13:41
I find the 95ML to be an excellent balance between the detail and clarity of the 440MLb and the bottom-end strength and warmth of the 95SH. The 95ML does not have quite the amount of presence, of the sense of being in the room with the music, as the 440MLb, but the difference is very subtle and easy to live with. To my ear, the main difference between the 95ML and the 95SH is the soundstage; the 95ML is very open and wide, while the 95SH is not so open and wide and can sometimes sound like there is a low overhead ceiling on vocals. For instance, when comparing several different cartridges on Kasey Musgraves' Golden Hour, my wife said that, compared to the 440MLb, MP-200, and DL-103R, the 95SH made her sound like she was singing from a tunnel. To my ear it wasn't that bad, but I understood what she meant, because I could hear the difference, too. As well, I believe there is a bit more upper end sparkle with the 95ML. So for me, for the time being, it's going to be the 95ML on my TT.
Thank you so much for your impressions! I think you've sold me on the 95ML.

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Post by johnnywalker » 15 Feb 2019 20:06

In my opinion, it's one of the best buys on the audio market. (Keep in mind that my opinion is subject to change over time, of course, and it's worth exactly what you pay for it.) You get a cartridge that presents excellent sound and tracking, that is estimated to last 1000 hours (manufacturer's statement), for about $170. Compare that to an MP-200, a cartridge I consider comparable in SQ, which is estimated to last 200-300 hours (manufacturer's statement), for about $400. The replacement styli go for about $150 for the 95, and $300 for the MP-200. And of course you can buy many carts that don't quite match up to the 95ML's SQ (to my ear. anyway), for much more money. But as BMRR points out, sound quality is very subjective; different listeners have different preferences, just as folks like different flavors of ice cream. YMMV. But I like this flavor of ice cream - very much.

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

Post by BMRR » 16 Feb 2019 16:13

For me, part of what makes the MicroLine/MicroRidge diamond so compelling is its ability to read past groove damage and reach undamaged areas of the groove, while also being gentle enough to not cause any additional groove damage.

This may not be relevant to folks who mostly buy brand new records, but it's huge for those of us who buy preowned records and who've experienced the heartbreak of buying an LP that is NM or NM- from a visual perspective but has invisible groove wear, especially at the inner grooves. That groove wear, combined with IGD, can sound horrendous with a spherical or elliptical stylus, or even a Shibata in some cases, but MicroLine styli make those discs listenable. That's a big deal, especially if the record is rare and finding a better copy would be prohibitively expensive (in some cases more expensive than the cost of the cartridge/stylus).

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