Cartridge Upgrades....

Re: Cartridge Upgrades....

Postby MMMC » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:26 am

Tirebiter wrote:Based off of MMMC's recommendation, I thought what the heck, lets see what a 30 yr old higher end cartridge can do. So I purchased the Alpha 2 and installed it today. Initial impressions: Compared to the 2M Black, not nearly as bright or edgy, bass is restored and midrange opens up nicely. Not quite as detailed but not a huge drop off either. Both have a very wide soundstage where the A2 seems a bit more focused.

Compared to the DL103, much more detailed on both upper and bass ends...and in terms of musicality, seems to be it's equal w/o the hint murkiness....and much better soundstage.

I should keep me happy, at least for a little while...as we are never really satisfied are we? ;)


Tirebiter,

The fun is just beginning for you. Based on the sellers estimate of hours about 70, the next 25+ hours should bring more to the party from what you hear currently. Tizzy, bright, top end is not a trait typical of a Zyx, but it is there "honestly", without drawing attention to itself. Balance across the spectrum, with each instrument true to it's voice will reveal itself, and in the big reality, the mid range is where most of the music lives, AND where the magic happens. When you get time to perform a more detailed setup, do not hesitant to set VTF in the upper half of the recommended range,(also per Harry for unipivot setup), and I do not employ anti-skating other than one twist of the lemo connector. Your Mileage and preferences may vary, but I am also willing to wager that it will be one of the best, if not the best "low" dollar amounts you ever dropped for a LOMC cartridge.

Let the music play!!!

MMMC
PS. I'll let you reveal what your cost was. :mrgreen:
One of the last HRX production/ 3DR 12" arm/ ZYX Universe II LOMC with Copper wire/ RCM Sensor 2 phono preamp/ Silver Audio Appasionata IC/ Audio Sensibiity Statement Silver Phono V2 IC
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Re: Cartridge Upgrades....

Postby Tirebiter » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:14 pm

I a prior post I commented on the impressive performance of a 30 year old Monster Cable A2 and almost immediately found what was purported to be an ever better Monster, a 20 year old Sigma Genesis 2000 for only a bit more at $450. And indeed it was better, great soundstage and a more natural sound. Violins sounded like violins, bassoons like bassoons, bass drums were tight and had more definition. It was only the cymbals that seemed to be edgy.

Sadly, that nirvana lasted all of one evening as the next morning while tweaking the setup, one of my Great Pyrenees snuck up from behind and nudged my elbow sending the tonearm and cartridge skittering across the platter resulting in the loss of the stylus. I found that the cost to replace the stylus on the boron cantilever was going to be more than I paid for the cartridge. Needless to say I was upset.

Even after the brief audition of the SG2000, I knew that I would be exploring the latest wares from Nakatsuka san and decided to move well up the ZYX food chain ...after an informative call with Mehran at Sorasound, I sprung for a ZYX Universe II X SB. Yes it was a lot of money, however I reasoned that given the fact that the SG2000 was roughly equivalent to the ZYX R1000 series, that if I go through a series of upgrades, I would eventually have to put up more cash than if done in one shot. My only reservation was the fact that he only had cartridges with the SB option which adds 4grams of weight for a total of about 8.5 grams. Puts the resonance frequency with my JMW 10 on the edge but thus far does not seem to have any negative effects.

In short, I am very happy that I stepped up to the Universe...While listening to it I begin to understand why some cartridges are termed "fatiguing"....and perhaps the U II isn't because it does sound so natural the listener isn't struggling against what he hears and what he thinks he should hear. In other words the detail is there without slapping you up side of the head with it.

Anyway, it is a pleasure to listen to and am having fun but it has revealed my next weak link project...the phono preamp. It never ends....
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TNT Jr, Graham Phantom III, ZYX Universe II LOMC, Tempo Electric Silver Phono Cable, Amazon B-lab Phonoamplifyer, Tom Evans - The Vibe, Lamm ML 2.1 Monoblocks, Avantgarde Duo Grosso....and a Thorens TD 160 Mk I in standby....
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Re: Cartridge Upgrades....

Postby JohnCh » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:49 pm

Glad you found something you like, although sorry to hear about the accident. I have two Great Pyrenees, so I'm all too familiar with them being "helpful" :D

-John
VPI Classic Signature, VAS Nova Signature, CIAudio PEQ1 MKII w/AC15 MKII power supply, Oppo BDP-105, ModWright SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition, CIAudio E200S, Magnepan 1.7i w/Mye stands, REL Strata III
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Re: Cartridge Upgrades....

Postby Tirebiter » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:50 pm

JohnCh wrote:I have two Great Pyrenees, so I'm all too familiar with them being "helpful" :D

-John


Being helpful and the "Pyr Paw"....what is not to love about the breed? There is a list but so long as one has room for them to roam, something to guard and distant neighbors who won't be annoyed by their barking, all is good. Best breed I have ever rescued.
TNT Jr, Graham Phantom III, ZYX Universe II LOMC, Tempo Electric Silver Phono Cable, Amazon B-lab Phonoamplifyer, Tom Evans - The Vibe, Lamm ML 2.1 Monoblocks, Avantgarde Duo Grosso....and a Thorens TD 160 Mk I in standby....
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Re: Cartridge Upgrades....

Postby MMMC » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:31 am

Tirebiter wrote:..........................
........................................................................................................................................................................

In short, I am very happy that I stepped up to the Universe...While listening to it I begin to understand why some cartridges are termed "fatiguing"....and perhaps the U II isn't because it does sound so natural the listener isn't struggling against what he hears and what he thinks he should hear. In other words the detail is there without slapping you up side of the head with it.

Anyway, it is a pleasure to listen to and am having fun but it has revealed my next weak link project...the phono preamp. It never ends....



Tirebiter,
+1 for me. Very well said about the Universe II.

MMMC
One of the last HRX production/ 3DR 12" arm/ ZYX Universe II LOMC with Copper wire/ RCM Sensor 2 phono preamp/ Silver Audio Appasionata IC/ Audio Sensibiity Statement Silver Phono V2 IC
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