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Advice on upgrading from Cadenza Black on Prime

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:11 pm
by Drew769
I have a very early Prime (#22) with an Ortofon Cadenza Black mounted up. The detail retrieval is amazing, and way better than my last cartridge, a Benz Ace SL. At times, though, it is perhaps a bit too analytical, leading to some harshness in the upper registers, and perhaps a lack of sweetness in the vocals (especially female). I think I want to move to something with a little more sweetness in the midrange. I was thinking of perhaps "downgrading" to the Cadenza Bronze, as that seems to have received reviews that show it to be a good deal warmer than its bigger brother. I'm also thinking about the Kiseki Purple Heart, though. Yes, it's roughly double the cost of the Bronze, but its an incremental step over what I have now. I'm looking for good detail, midrange warmth, and a silent running through the grooves (not asking too much, right? LOL). Anyhow, any opinions appreciated!

Re: Advice on upgrading from Cadenza Black on Prime

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:03 pm
by Mat
You are right about the Bronze... the Black has its virtues but I like the warmth of the Bronze. You can't go wrong with the "downgrade" or the full on change over to the Purple Heart. I personally would recommend in this case moving to the Purple heart so you won't be going nuts weighing the the difference nuance differences between the Black and the Bronze. Either way you will be in good shape :)

Re: Advice on upgrading from Cadenza Black on Prime

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:02 am
by Gshepardbuster
I also have a Cadenza Black on my Classic Signature. I recently swapped mats for a Funk Firm Achromat and it did warm it up a smidge. If you are on the fence it might be just enough....

Re: Advice on upgrading from Cadenza Black on Prime

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:37 pm
by Drew769
Thanks for the input guys!

Hey Mat, do you guys ever set up customer TT’s at VPI headquarters?

Re: Advice on upgrading from Cadenza Black on Prime

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:56 pm
by Drew769
I tried the Funk Firm Archimat 3mm - big difference! Thanks for the suggestion! As an added plus, static electricity is now gone! I haven’t had to use my Zerostat in a week.

I also went back and rechecked my loading. I changed from 100 ohms to 50 ohms, and that also calmed down the sound a bit. Sounds pretty good!

That said, I found a used 3D arm in the classifieds and am having a VAS Nova Signature installed at a second listening option. It’s a fun hobby!!

Re: Advice on upgrading from Cadenza Black on Prime

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:03 am
by billo
I have the Cadenza Bronze and the Dynavector XX2 MKII. They both can sound sweet. The Bronze has warm mids, pure highs and excels at studio recordings. The DV is detailed, extended, organically "smokey" and excels at live recordings. It's not a Black - I haven't heard one - but detail vs warmth gives these results in my system. I had the same harshness and edge (plus glare) you describe with my Vandersteen 3A Sigs. When I replaced the speakers with AZ Crescendo 2's it was intolerable. What cured the problem was 80% a different amp (Pass XA25 instead of Ayre V-5xe) and 20% all copper IC's. YMMV

Re: Advice on upgrading from Cadenza Black on Prime

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:24 pm
by mmai
@Drew769 and Gshepardbuster, if you use the VPI Stainless Steel Outer Periphery Ring Clamp, do you experience any problem with the Achromat? Would the added thickness cause any instability of the ring clamp?

Sorry, not meant to deviate from the subject :oops:

Re: Advice on upgrading from Cadenza Black on Prime

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:30 pm
by jonathanb
What thickness achromat do you mean, 3mm or 5mm? A 5mm is too thick to use with the VPI outer ring.

Re: Advice on upgrading from Cadenza Black on Prime

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:59 pm
by Dorian
jonathanb wrote:What thickness achromat do you mean, 3mm or 5mm? A 5mm is too thick to use with the VPI outer ring.

Actually, I just acquired the VPI Outer Ring and it works great with my 5mm Boston Audio Mat2. I saw one other poster had said the same thing too fairly recently (can't remember which thread).

Re: Advice on upgrading from Cadenza Black on Prime

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:20 pm
by mmai
jonathanb wrote:What thickness achromat do you mean, 3mm or 5mm? A 5mm is too thick to use with the VPI outer ring.


Either, but my inclination is 3mm.