Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

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Fulci
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Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by Fulci » 10 Oct 2019 01:39

Hello everyone! My Acutex M312 is getting old and i’ve been thinking of getting a new cart. Thinking of getting the new AT but can’t figure what the dynamic compliance is and how it gets on with my tonearm.

Would it be compatible or should I get the VM540? Are there any other carts with a microline tip around the same price that are recommendable?

Thank you all!

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by patient_ot » 10 Oct 2019 02:53

What is the effective mass of the Sony tonearm?

Fulci
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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by Fulci » 10 Oct 2019 09:50

10.5g but I guess is without headshell wich is maybe 7g.

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by patient_ot » 10 Oct 2019 15:42

Fulci wrote:
10 Oct 2019 09:50
10.5g but I guess is without headshell wich is maybe 7g.
We need to look at the effective mass of the arm with the headshell. Do you plan to use the stock headshell or an aftermarket one? If the aftermarket is heavier, it will also increase your EM.

The arm should work well with the VM95ML. Make sure your cabling and input capacitance on the phono preamp is low for the most neutral sound. The compliance of the VM500/700 series is too high for your arm.

Here is some of what I wrote before about the VM95 series vs. the VM500/700 series that you may find helpful:


1) if you have a light tonearm, say, less than 10g, get a VM500/700 series cartridge

2) if you had a medium mass tonearm, say 12-20g or thereabouts, get a VM95 series cartridge.

If you are in between in terms of tonearm effective mass, you'll have to decide what makes the most sense for you. Too heavy of a tonearm with the higher compliance 500/700 series and your RF will go quite low (below 8hz), which may or may not be what you want depending on your system.

The RF can be verified with software and a test record, or software and a record of actual music.

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by johnnywalker » 10 Oct 2019 16:47

FWIW, I have and use both carts on my SL-1200M3D, but I use the standard Technics headshell (resulting in an effective mass of 12) for the VM540ML, and an LPGear Zupreme headshell (a rebadged Jelco HS-25, weighing about 12 grams and resulting in an effective mass of around 17) for the VM95ML. Both work great. I have read that the effective mass of the Sony PS-X6 tonearm is 15 grams with the original headshell, but could be reduced to as low as 11 by use of an ultra-light magnesium headshell. If you are planning to use the stock Sony headshell (10.5 grams), I would choose the VM95.

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by patient_ot » 10 Oct 2019 18:30

johnnywalker wrote:
10 Oct 2019 16:47
FWIW, I have and use both carts on my SL-1200M3D, but I use the standard Technics headshell (resulting in an effective mass of 12) for the VM540ML, and an LPGear Zupreme headshell (a rebadged Jelco HS-25, weighing about 12 grams and resulting in an effective mass of around 17) for the VM95ML. Both work great. I have read that the effective mass of the Sony PS-X6 tonearm is 15 grams with the original headshell, but could be reduced to as low as 11 by use of an ultra-light magnesium headshell. If you are planning to use the stock Sony headshell (10.5 grams), I would choose the VM95.
I could be wrong, but I don't think those super-light headshells are that common anymore. Most of the current production aftermarket stuff is going to weigh at least 9-10g unless you are talking really cheap stamped aluminum stuff which might be around 7g. I have a wood Yamamoto, an AT magnesium, and a Zupreme 10g model and they are all around 9-10g. I'm not sure how much some of the Orsonic models weigh, but they're not exactly cheap and will cost more than any of those I listed.

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by Fulci » 10 Oct 2019 21:24

Hello! Thank you all for your replies. I don’t have the original headshell and I got one of those really cheap stamped aluminum headshell to get the mass as low as possible for the Acutex cart. I could get a better headshell, I had one of those Jelco/Sumico when I had the SAE 1000LT.

I could also get the one from audio Technica that comes in bundle.

So you’re suggesting I should get the VM95 with confidence. Are there any alternatives or better carts for the money? €170 is still a bit expensive for me right now.

Capacitance is 100pf for the Rega Fono MM and around 70pf for the cable I think, so should be safe.

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by johnnywalker » 10 Oct 2019 21:40

IMHO, there is no better cartridge, dollar-for-performance, than the AT-VM95ML. A nude microline stylus on a well-respected generator from a manufacturer with an excellent reputation for reliability and quality, for $170? Great deal! You can certainly spend less, but you won't get the same excellent performance.

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by Fulci » 10 Oct 2019 22:13


patient_ot
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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by patient_ot » 11 Oct 2019 01:53

johnnywalker wrote:
10 Oct 2019 21:40
IMHO, there is no better cartridge, dollar-for-performance, than the AT-VM95ML. A nude microline stylus on a well-respected generator from a manufacturer with an excellent reputation for reliability and quality, for $170? Great deal! You can certainly spend less, but you won't get the same excellent performance.
You can also spend more, and can get worse performance. Done that before...

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by Fulci » 12 Oct 2019 10:17

Thank you!

But why is this so inexpensive compared to other brands? Is everything else overpriced? You can get MM with elliptical tips for well over two or three times its price.

Is this equivalent to the 2M Bronze for example?

Now I see how much of a bargain my Acutex was for €60. Prices have raised quite a lot in the last 10 years.

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by johnnywalker » 12 Oct 2019 13:01

For many years the AT-95e was the acknowledged starting point for reasonably good performance (some upscale manufacturers even shipped their turntables with it mounted), and AT marketed it at around $45 MSRP. The AT-VM95 is essentially the same cartridge with new clothes and a variety of stylus types. You can go as low as the AT-VM95C, with a .06 mil conical stylus (and surprisingly good performance) for $34! AT now makes the conical, a bonded elliptical (analogous to the AT-95e), nude elliptical, Microline, and Shibata styluses at different prices up the line, and they are all interchangeable on the same body. I have tried three different stylus types on the VM95, and to my ears and on my system, the ML is the sweet spot.

I have not heard the Ortofon 2M Bronze, so I cannot compare the two carts.

Of course, it's possible that you do not care for the AT "house sound"; our hobby is very subjective.

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by patient_ot » 12 Oct 2019 14:37

Fulci wrote:
12 Oct 2019 10:17
Thank you!

But why is this so inexpensive compared to other brands? Is everything else overpriced? You can get MM with elliptical tips for well over two or three times its price.

Is this equivalent to the 2M Bronze for example?

Now I see how much of a bargain my Acutex was for €60. Prices have raised quite a lot in the last 10 years.
Economies of scale, plain and simple. AT is a huge company and has a close relationship with Namiki. Namiki manufactures ALL the MR/ML stylus tips so AT is able to get a good price on them and pass that savings on to the consumer. There is nothing inferior about a good AT cart, period.

RE: the 2M Bronze, apples and oranges. The 2M Bronze uses a technically inferior, older style of line contact stylus with a fatter side radius. In this case, "line contact" is just a generic term that doesn't correspond to any specific patented shape. They could be using an Ogura, one of the FG profiles, or maybe something like a VDH profile. Ortofon does buy a lot of styli from FG-AG.

But anyway, the 2M Bronze is higher compliance than the VM95ML and would be for a lighter tonearm. The generator design is also technically a moving iron design rather than MM, despite what Ortofon markets it as. Further, the output (as measured) is over twice what the output of the VM95ML. Depending on what phono preamp you are using, that could drive the unit to distortion on hot peaks, and result in an edgy, grainy sound. That's probably not going to happen with the modest output of the AT. Indeed it has never happened with me and I have a number of very hotly cut records.

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Re: Sony PS-X6 and VM95ML compability

Post by patient_ot » 12 Oct 2019 14:40

johnnywalker wrote:
12 Oct 2019 13:01

Of course, it's possible that you do not care for the AT "house sound"; our hobby is very subjective.
A lot of what people whine about when they start talking about the AT "house sound" is simply loading the cart wrong (e.g. "AT carts are too bright" - nonsense). At least in the terms of the AT-VM95ML, if the cart is loaded correctly, the sound is very neutral - neither tipped up or rolled off. Myself and a few others measured the FR. The results should be very similar with the rest of the VM95 series. Certainly they were when I measured the "C" model.

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