Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Re: Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Postby Robes » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:37 pm

Wouldn’t you know, I was going to put the Zephyr MIMC Star down but thought it’s just a bit too steep in price and is great for the TT but probably not going to live up to it’s ability on the remainder of my system. But, definitely worth checking the used market, although I really would need to stay below $1K.

The other things I noted on reading about it, SoundSmith recommends using it with the MCP2 variable loading preamp (sounds nice) but I’m not even about to check the price on that! Another questionable is the recommended loading at >/= 470 Ohms, that leaves me little room for tuning it in only option is the MC 1K Ohms, or dropping the gain by 10dB using the little Red button on back panel, giving me two options. The other thought is I’d have more choices to dial a cart in if it were a HOMC, which it is not. The sapphire cantilever? I’ve only read from 1 source (don’t ask, no idea) that Aluminum is the best material for cantilevers- I’m sure there are no absolutes & that being one, yet I’ve never heard another material claim to be the best- again probably depends on multiple conditions & none of which I could detect a difference. Finally, being a LOMC I’m told it will require me to increase volume to match my normal listening level to which that as well as the gain necessary to raise a LOMC to line level will undoubtably raise background noise.
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Re: Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Postby thegage » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:27 pm

suntea wrote:So the Nova is a good kisser? Or is it the candles at dinner that make it more romantic??


Funny man.
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Re: Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Postby audiom3 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:09 pm

Dorian wrote:I primarily listen to Rock and Metal. Having said that, a good cart should play all music 'accurately', i.e. as pressed into the grooves, without adding any coloration.

I used to own the 2M Black and now own the SoundSmith Zephyr MIMC Star. The MIMC Star is dramatically better. Elusive Disc has them at a great price and will also take a trade-in if you happen to have an old cart lying around. That's my recommendation.

Exactly what Dorian said. I too listen to Rock and Metal the most and I have a cartridge which is *supposedly* best for Jazz. It's hogwash because Metal has never sounded better to me than through the Benz Woody.
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Re: Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Postby Robes » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:15 pm

audiom3 wrote:Exactly what Dorian said. I too listen to Rock and Metal the most and I have a cartridge which is *supposedly* best for Jazz. It's hogwash because Metal has never sounded better to me than through the Benz Woody.



I have to check out that Benz line I'm seeing that they have a following- :ugeek:

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Re: Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Postby rateourmover » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:14 pm

I'm finding this thread as interesting as many General Audio ones and will continue to dip into it. Thanks to all the contributors.

I have a question for the Moderators. Why hasn't this thread been moved to General Audio where it surely best sits ?
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Re: Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Postby WntrMute » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:59 pm

When I listened to more Blues and Blues Oriented Rock than I do currently, I was very impressed with my Sumiko Blackbird HOMC. I actually have two, one of which I recently had retipped by Andy Kim. Very punchy without harshness. Mates easily with any phono stage. Played nicely with both my SME-V as well as my Terminator T-3 tonearms. Easy to align as it is a nude cart. It has an elliptical stylus which is not terribly sensitive to VTA/SRA. Fremer enthused over this cartridge in Stereophile.
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http://www.sumikoaudio.net/ContentsFiles/Blackbird_Stereophile_104.pdf
Lots of cartridge for the money at $1,250 of so. I am currently running an Ortofon Jubilee on one table and a Glider or the BB on another. Geez Ive got too many carts, TTs and preamps sitting around.
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Re: Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Postby Robes » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:50 pm

WntrMute wrote:When I listened to more Blues and Blues Oriented Rock than I do currently, I was very impressed with my Sumiko Blackbird HOMC. I actually have two, one of which I recently had retipped by Andy Kim. Very punchy without harshness. Mates easily with any phono stage. Played nicely with both my SME-V as well as my Terminator T-3 tonearms. Easy to align as it is a nude cart. It has an elliptical stylus which is not terribly sensitive to VTA/SRA. Fremer enthused over this cartridge in Stereophile.


Good review article, I'm not familiar with his remark "a strong class B cartridge"? Well, I did allot of googling and reading on it and now not sure what I was reading since I realized so much of what I read was very old and I bet the cart has been updated considering what you have said about it.

Seems to be just what I'm looking for and a great fit to my system (although not so if some of the older reviews/forum opinions were talking about the same cart). Lots of peeps complained about horrible tracking problems, but of course who knows what TT/arms etc they had- but there is allot that mention it.

My concern is will it work on my new Prime with a dual pivot 3D JMW 10" arm. Doesn't seem to have any factory support either- but really? Anyhow, I can say the same with other suggestions/recommendations here, the cart may sound good but I don't think a single reply is from anyone referring to the cart in question as having been used on a 3D arm. In that case it could have issues for me, I don't know, so I started another post asking for only peeps with Primes & the 3D arm to describe the carts they're using which eliminates allot of unforeseen possible incompatible issues right off the bat.

I need to find newer reviews of the BB ( at least no older then what you gave me) and stay away from old forum opinions I think. But I know the BB was listed on the Prime VPI recommended carts too so that's a good point. Thanks much for making me re-address this cart, I originally wrote it off to expense, but I need to see what develops-
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Re: Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Postby husafreak » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:58 am

The BB's little sibling is s nice cartridge too, Blue Point EVO III, they have been in production a long time so used may be a great way to try one.
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Re: Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Postby Robes » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:41 pm

Hi All-

To date I haven't received my new "Walnut" Prime but that's OK, remodeling so no set-up till sometime this winter but I'll be ready to go thanks to everyone here and the following forums: Tapeheads.net, SteveHoffman, Audiogon, Analog Planet, Audio Asylum, Vinyl Engine, What's Best Forum, Head-Fi.org, Hifi Engine and VPI Forum.

I started looking for a cart for the Prime in mid July, a TT way back in May. I had 2-3 (except for the VPI Forum, prob 4-5) posts on 5 of the forums but did extensive surfing and research on the remainder, I also just Googled allot. Before posting here on VPI I had a list of 8 brands with multiple carts within most brands as a "short list". In the end my intention was to finish on the VPI forum with a cart decision after hearing from all other forums. I feel I bought by an unbiased means the best or better match for my system, the VPI Prime, + dual pivot, peripheral ring, counter-intuitive and finally the cartridge.

I spent the last 2+ months daily and probably an average of 5 hours each day (I'm not working) researching my preamp which took an enormous amount of time but that was necessary to understand what I needed to know for cartridge compatibility, I learned so much. Anyhow, you probably get the idea. I also got allot of cart suggestions to which I reviewed all and I re-addressed one which early on thought good but wrote off due to expense.

So, WntrMute, on this thread re-aquainted me to the Sumiko Blackbird HOMC, he gave his review and a pro review link that I followed and which lead to many more personal reviews. The cart was the best match in all the ways I learned, matching cart to preamp and system. Most important, once I knew it was a ring leader and heard the personal subjective strong points of the BB , it was addressing exactly my weak points in the system, so it had to be, despite paying more then my original intention. I just couldn't say no to what I spent so many months, days & hours to find- no matter the price (so-to-speak). I will say, if not the BB I simply would have agreed with Harry and gone for the Ortofon 2M Bronze as the next best (but this was the price range I gave Harry).

I will contact Seth at Sound Stage Direct to see what he can do for me, he gave me the best deal on my Prime so no reason not to see what he can do again. But, it's not a done deal yet- any last minuet comments? better let me have them now-
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Re: Subjective Opinions on Cart Match for Rock/Blues

Postby MMMC » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:21 am

Robes wrote:Hi All-

..............................
So, WntrMute, on this thread re-aquainted me to the Sumiko Blackbird HOMC, he gave his review and a pro review link that I followed and which lead to many more personal reviews. The cart was the best match in all the ways I learned, matching cart to preamp and system. Most important, once I knew it was a ring leader and heard the personal subjective strong points of the BB , it was addressing exactly my weak points in the system, so it had to be, despite paying more then my original intention. I just couldn't say no to what I spent so many months, days & hours to find- no matter the price (so-to-speak). I will say, if not the BB I simply would have agreed with Harry and gone for the Ortofon 2M Bronze as the next best (but this was the price range I gave Harry).

I will contact Seth at Sound Stage Direct to see what he can do for me, he gave me the best deal on my Prime so no reason not to see what he can do again. But, it's not a done deal yet- any last minuet comments? better let me have them now-
Robes :mrgreen:


Robes,
I apologize for tossing in an opinion at this point, but having heard both the high output, and low output versions of the Sumiko BB, I think the LOMC version is better than the HOMC version. WntrMute has tons of experience with turntables and vinyl, and my opinion is not submitted to create any controversy, or diminish his opinion. I also understand the budgetary limits that we all must respect when we assemble the components of our system.
The low output version of the Sumiko costs more, and likely results in the need for a step up transformer, but I believe the end result of a much richer audio experience is worth the extra dollars.
Considering budget is important, I can suggest researching and considering a Denon DL103R, LOMC. Well within your budget price wise, allowing for the cost of a step up transformer. The Denon DL103 LOMC lineup has been punching performance wise, much above it's price level for decades, and is the longest running production LOMC in the industry. The Denon DL103 is not modern high tech is appearance or construction, but Denon is the company that introduced the LOMC cartridge to the world, so they know what they are doing. You can find them on the Needle Doctor site. I still have a Denon DL103D LOMC that I keep tucked away, (one I sold). Sometimes one must take a step back to move forward. I think it is worthy of a look, and I know it will work well in a JMW arm.

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