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EMPIRE EDR9 or 600LAC ?

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EMPIRE EDR9 or 600LAC ?

Postby Audiophilewannabe » 21 Jan 2006 12:21

Hi , having seen these on "Ebay" i searched them on google , and found my way back here (should have known really) anyway this place seems to be the only one with any info on these 2 , having read all of the old posts , i was wondering

(1) Which one of the two was the better one ?
(2) Any updates on these after long term usage ?
(3) Would either of these be an improvement on a NAGAOKA MP11 / SHURE M97xE (both of which i have)

Thanks, any info,advice,wisdom as always would be most welcome :)

Oh yeah , system is Linn lp12 & grace 707, old but sweet !!!!
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Postby bauzace50 » 21 Jan 2006 13:58

Hello Audiophile,
Two of the cartridges you mention have been carefully auditioned here! The EDR.9 is certainlyl more refined than the M97xE! The EDR.9 tracks better, has a very neutral tonal balance, including extended treble, great sound-staging, and excellent tracking ability. It was the top of the line when it was marketed, and it gathered enthusiastic reviews from the press. My EDR.9 works perfectly well, so this talks well about its longevity.
My M97xE (already sold to somebody who appreciates it better than I do) has somewhat reticent treble, and only moderate tracking ability. But one good thing is that it tames poorly pressed irritating LPs, by smoothing their edgy sound.
The Empire 600 LAC is newer than the EDR.9, and it is not top of the line. I have not heard it, so, no opinion except that it looks interesting! Same goes for the Nagaoka, which I've not heard.
Hope these shared comments are helpful. Best regards.
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Postby Audiophilewannabe » 21 Jan 2006 14:14

bauzace50 wrote:Hello Audiophile,
Two of the cartridges you mention have been carefully auditioned here! The EDR.9 is certainlyl more refined than the M97xE! The EDR.9 tracks better, has a very neutral tonal balance, including extended treble, great sound-staging, and excellent tracking ability. It was the top of the line when it was marketed, and it gathered enthusiastic reviews from the press. My EDR.9 works perfectly well, so this talks well about its longevity.
My M97xE (already sold to somebody who appreciates it better than I do) has somewhat reticent treble, and only moderate tracking ability. But one good thing is that it tames poorly pressed irritating LPs, by smoothing their edgy sound.
The Empire 600 LAC is newer than the EDR.9, and it is not top of the line. I have not heard it, so, no opinion except that it looks interesting! Same goes for the Nagaoka, which I've not heard.
Hope these shared comments are helpful. Best regards.


Hey thanks , i hoping to hear from you, as most of the info found here was from yourself , i think im going to get one to try (EDR.9) as its not alot of money , yes im not that keen on the shure , and its back in its box by being replaced by the "Nagaoka mp-11" which is a cart thats not that highly thought of , but i prefer it to the shure by a long way , so thanks again for your knowledge :)
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Postby Dave_2002 » 21 Jan 2006 23:23

Audiophilewannabe wrote:Nagaoka mp-11" which is a cart thats not that highly thought of , but i prefer it to the shure by a long way , so thanks again for your knowledge :)


I have an Mp-11 and love it but I've just bought an EDR9 so we'll see. The Mp-11 was budget but very well regarded in its day and I think it still sounds good. It sold by the bucket too and was reincarnated several times; first with a Boron cantilever and then by Tom Stilton as the TS-11 which was supposed to be a cracking cartidge.

One thing I overlooked when I bought the EDR9 is that it;s high compliance and with my 10g medium mass arm and 5g cartridge it will be at the edge of the "safe" frequency spectrum. Should be ok though -it's still on the right side of the safe mark. Just worth keeping in mind :wink:
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Postby Audiophilewannabe » 21 Jan 2006 23:54

Dave_2002 wrote:
One thing I overlooked when I bought the EDR9 is that it;s high compliance and with my 10g medium mass arm and 5g cartridge it will be at the edge of the "safe" frequency spectrum. Should be ok though -it's still on the right side of the safe mark. Just worth keeping in mind :wink:


Ok youve lost me there :oops:
any chance someone could explain this to me ?
The grace 707 is classed as a low mass arm , i know that , so would this be a problem ?
Thanks & "Dave_2002" let us know how it compares :wink:
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Postby Dave_2002 » 22 Jan 2006 14:10

Sorry I missed you had a Grace 707 - it will be perfectly suited :wink: I'd buy one if I was you before they're gone.
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Low frequency resonance

Postby bauzace50 » 22 Jan 2006 17:39

Audiophile,
the doubts that you have concerning comments by Dave are related to "Low Frequency Resonance". This has been extensively discussed here, and you can look up threads about it.
It is good to have knowledge of this, in order to address specific situations case-by-case...and to make better cartridge/tonearm matchings. "Tonearm damping" is a related theme, as well as the Shure cartridge damper.
Best regards.
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Re: Low frequency resonance

Postby Audiophilewannabe » 22 Jan 2006 20:31

bauzace50 wrote:Audiophile,
the doubts that you have concerning comments by Dave are related to "Low Frequency Resonance". This has been extensively discussed here, and you can look up threads about it.
It is good to have knowledge of this, in order to address specific situations case-by-case...and to make better cartridge/tonearm matchings. "Tonearm damping" is a related theme, as well as the Shure cartridge damper.
Best regards.

Thanks , will do :)
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Postby Audiophilewannabe » 23 Jan 2006 12:27

Im still wondering about the "EMPIRE 600LAC" would appreciate some feedback on this from someone whose got/had one , it sounds good on paper

2 Samarium Cobalt and 1 Indox V Magnets
Boron vapor internally damped aluminum
$245 USD


Cant find this info for the EDR.9 ?
Also to complicate matters the "Denon DL110" is in the same price range !!
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Postby bauzace50 » 23 Jan 2006 14:33

Hello Audiophile,
Although here is further information on the EDR.9, this can relate easily with the 600 LAC.
LAC is used in the EDR.9 (I have copies of two published test reports and one magazine advertisement mentioning LAC on the EDR.9) This means Large Area Contact stylus, in fact a nude diamond with a Shibata shape. The benefits of Shibata shape are ability to trace and track very high frequencies above 20 KHz.
The EDR.9 is also a variable reluctance cartridge (another variation of the Grado cartridges and the ADC XLM...also called "induced magnet" and "moving iron") where the magnet is inside the cartridge body. This induces magnetism onto a miniature iron sleeve placed where the "moving magnet" would have been...ie: on the cantilever, on the opposite end of the diamond. The benefit of this is lower cantilever mass with better ability to track high frequencies. This is confirmed in the test report published by Audio Magazine, which found the treble resonance point at 38 KHz (higher than the figure I cited from poor memory earlier).
This relates easily with the 600 LAC. The three magnets cited in the literature most certainly refer to three magnets inside the cartridge body, meaning the 600 LAC is also a "variable reluctance design".
The 600 LAC must then have a Large Area Contact stylus, which translates into better treble tracing and tracking.
One characteristic of the EDR.9, which is better than my other cartridges, is the higher treble extension with no mistracking, and no exaggeration. Meaning it might SEEM to have less treble, because it does not exaggerate that part of the spectrum, but IN FACT tracks the higher frequencies more effectively, and with wider separation than lesser designs (also documented in two technical test reports I have).
The 600 LAC is a newer model, which seems to use the very same principles of the EDR.9. If you wish, I can send you photocopies of the two test reports and the magazine advertisement, for your detailed analysis. But this would be by post, since I have no computer scanner.
Sorry, but I have no factual information for the 600 LAC, nor have I heard the Denon you mention. Let me know if you want the copies mentioned. Gathering information prior to a decision is important, and only you can choose when to stop gathering information in order to take your decision. You may be familiar with the many times we take decisions without having the full information available...very often, and that's the point called a "leap of faith".
By the way, to clear up two terms: "Tracing" refers to the ability to read the geometric shape of the groove, because of an appropriate SHAPE of the stylus. "Tracking" refers to the ability to move to the full extent required by the groove, instead of mistracking.
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Postby Audiophilewannabe » 23 Jan 2006 22:23

"bauzace50" many thanks yet again :)
and thanks for the kind offer , but youve given me enough info, to weigh things up , your a font of knowlegde , and very helpful , like so many here.
Cheers
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Postby Dave_2002 » 23 Jan 2006 22:52

I can't wait to get mine...shame I'm away from home for a while now and won't be able to give it a proper test. I hope it arrives intact though :? Surely if it made it intact to Carlos in Guayama I stand a good chance being only across the Channel.

Fantastic info as ever Carlos!!
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Postby Audiophilewannabe » 24 Jan 2006 14:26

Dave_2002 wrote:I can't wait to get mine...shame I'm away from home for a while now and won't be able to give it a proper test. I hope it arrives intact though :? Surely if it made it intact to Carlos in Guayama I stand a good chance being only across the Channel.

Fantastic info as ever Carlos!!

Just ordered mine now :)
Umm yes , but we are talking about the British postal service arnt we :wink:
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Other considerations

Postby bauzace50 » 26 Jan 2006 02:00

Hello Audiophile and Dave,
some details can be pertinent to explain, just in case. One important consideration in cartridge design is achieving a cantilever/diamond/motor design of lowest possible EFFECTIVE mass.
One excellent way of confirming if this was achieved, is to measure a frequency response curve, to read the frequency where the treble resonance occurs. Although the treble resonance is also determined by the stylus shape, one very important component is the cantilever EFFECTIVE mass.
"Effective Mass" refers NOT to weighing how many milligrams the diamond/cantilever/motor weighs! "Effective Mass" is really, the mass that is APPARENT at the stylus tip, which depends on the weight of these three components, plus the critical place where the magnet (or coil) are placed...as if balancing a seesaw.
The closer the magnet is to the fulcrum, the lower will be the APPARENT mass at the diamond end. The farther from the fulcrum the magnet (or coil) are placed from the fulcrum, the HIGHER will be tha APPARENT mass at the diamond end.
You can experiment with grabbing a rod about 3/4 of the way, and moving with your hand the long end of the rod. As you grab the rod closer to the middle, the heavier it will feel to move the rod. But as you grab the rod farther to the other end, the lighter it will feel to move the long part of the rod...if you see the analogy of bringing the magnet closer to the fulcrum (which is the spot where you actually grab the rod...or, more precisely, where the system TENDS to like the fulcrum to be...as studied by Ortofon while designing the Super OM series).
All this is to alert you to the fact that the EDR.9 has a cantilever that LOOKS heavy! But looks are not the determining factor in the effective mass of this cartridge...nor, for that matter looking at the cantilever of the Shure V15 V...which is still documented to this day as the cantilever with the lowest effective mass of all cartridges.
What determines the effectiveness of the designer's consideration of mass is the performance...where low effective mass will show a very high frequency resonance...helped, no doubt by an appropriate shape of the stylus.
Such is the case with the EDR.9, where the design management of the cantilever/diamond/motor are such that the treble resonance is at 38 KHz, and, and, and, this is also confirmed by a separation curve which maintains separation all the way up there...which is also the case with the EDR.9 (a cartridge that has reached its high frequency resonance will show a marked diminution of separation at the resonant frequency, and on up after that, where separation can actually disappear, as if playing a mono cartridge).
In other words, the visible part of the EDR.9 cantilever looks comparatively large, but the motor is extra-light, being a small iron sleeve, instead of a "heavy" magnet. Furthermore, the iron sleeve is place at the fulcrum, thus virtually eliminating its contribution to total EFFECTIVE mass.
This consideration of mass is also managed by installing a very small diamond, which really is the smallest part of all the moving system.
Further considerations of mass: a solid cantilever rod of whatever material (aluminum, ruby, diamond, sapphire, berrylium) will have higher mass, than one TUBE of the same material and dimensions!
That's why the Shure V15V cantilever is so light...it really is a very thin FOIL of berrylium rolled into the shape of a tube. No other cantilever has been documented as lighter than this one.
So, don't let anyone tell you that the cantilever of the EDR.9 LOOKS large and heavy. It's not how it looks, but how it works, as part of a complete engineering design. The proof is in the pudding's taste, not on its looks. Just enjoy how it sails easily through clean LPs with treble tracks...cymbals, sibillants, high violins, high-hats, making sure you have a clean stylus...OK? Have fun.
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Postby Klaus R. » 27 Jan 2006 12:40

Carlos,

effective stylus mass is indeed the critical parameter for HF tracking and for stylus-groove resonance, so I have difficulties to understand that virtually no attempts are made to get that mass down. The $200 Shure is no longer built, but you still get replacement styli, these styli have the lowest effective mass of today's styli, regardles of price.

The effective stylus mass of the EDR.9 is 0.3 mg, which is excellent for a cartridge from 1979, especially when one considers that modern carts like vdh Colibri have a mass of 0.24 mg!

I don't know if Shure's Beryllium cantilever was the lightest ever, Technics used chemical vapor deposition techniques to manufacture their Boron tube, so I could imagine that it was even lighter than the Shure.


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