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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Audio-Technica F7, any users?

    I was wondering if anyone has tried this cartridge? The price is good and I may have to have one. The Benz is about 4 years old and I am itching to try something new. Since auditioning a cartridge in an audio store is gone along with my youth I thought this one might be good at the price.

    http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merc...tegory_Code=A3
    Last edited by JohnMichael; 11-14-2010 at 01:45 PM.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    I was wondering if anyone has tried this cartridge? The price is good and I may have to have one. The Benz is about 4 years old and I am itching to try something new. Since auditioning a cartridge in an audio store is gone along with my youth I thought this one might be good at the price.

    http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merc...tegory_Code=A3


    Drunk and ordered it. The Benz Micro Gold is still working well so it may be a while before I install it.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speakers
    Mobile Fidelity OML1's/Bell'O 224 stands
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I found it for less at J&R Music World. I will post my impressions when I install it.

    http://www.jr.com/audio-technica/pe/AT_ATF7/
    Last edited by JohnMichael; 11-15-2010 at 04:11 AM.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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  4. #4
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Is this little guy in transit?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    UPS tried to deliver it today. My man in Brown took it to a trusted site where I can pick it up. I should be able to grab it Saturday morn and then when I am off Sunday afternoon I may install. Have I shared how much I like working 7 days a week. Long hours and low pay but the old and infirmed love me. The joys of being a caregiver.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speakers
    Mobile Fidelity OML1's/Bell'O 224 stands
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Well the AT F7 is installed and breaking in as I type. First some things about it's construction. Several of the moving coil cartridges I am familiar with have their coils mounted directly to the end of the cantilever. The F7 has a small hard resin plate fitted to the end of the cantilever and that plate holds the coils seperate from the cantilever. The moving magnet AT cartridges have the magnets in a v while the moving coil has their coils in an inverted v. Both the F7 and less expensive F3 use the same cantilever and nude elliptical diamond. The F7 has a harder less resonant body and a stainless steel suspension wire. The F3 uses a mold integrated suspension wire. Do not know if I could hear a difference if I had both cartridges.

    Initial impression going from the Benz MC Gold to the AT is the F7 is more detailed. Can you have a lot of detail and less music? Sure with the AT F7 the bass is deeper and better defined along with highs that are very open and airy. Brushes on cymbals are very detailed along with a sense the highs could go on forever. All this information from the groove but the music is lost. Keep in mind the cartridge only has a few hours of play from last night and this morning. Oh I should add it is a very good tracker and no woofer pumping so it must be a good match for the RB250.

    I will add more impressions the longer I listen but for now I am missing the Benz. The Benz was about 4 years old but spent some time in it's box while waiting for a compatible preamp. I plan on keeping it and may in the future return to it.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I tried the Cambridge Audio 640P last night with the F7. The 640P did not have enough gain. Turning the volume up on the Krell did not help. Anyone interested in this cartridge check the sensitivity of your phono stage.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speakers
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  8. #8
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review and the insight on this cartridge. I almost consider the F3 awhile back, but couldn't find a good deal on it. Interesting that it is more detailed than the Benz. Has the midrange improved?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enochrome
    Thanks for the review and the insight on this cartridge. I almost consider the F3 awhile back, but couldn't find a good deal on it. Interesting that it is more detailed than the Benz. Has the midrange improved?

    I think it is too early to say much about the midrange. Depth and imaging at the back of the soundstage is better focused. The bass drum and the tympani in "Rite of Spring" are more easily differentiated both by sound and placement in the soundfield.

    I am hoping the cartridge develops a little more musical color as it breaks-in. Once again it is a great tracker.

    As far as the Benz the Gold and Silver are both made in Japan and you need to step up to the Ace to have a Swiss made cartridge.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speakers
    Mobile Fidelity OML1's/Bell'O 224 stands
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I am enjoying the F7 more than I thought. It seems to be settling in nicely. Still great high end extension and solid bass. I am sure that the AT F7 with it's nude diamond and more narrow profile for an elliptical is helping with the extra detail. Oh and the silver body with the stainless Michell Technoweight and the aluminum weight all look good together. Important I know.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speakers
    Mobile Fidelity OML1's/Bell'O 224 stands
    Cables
    AQ Rocket 44's, Diamondback XLR's & IC's

  11. #11
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    this is a good sign, affordable MC carts!
    ...regards...tr

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    The F7 is sounding very good these days. I am not sure if it is due to the cartridge breaking in or the removal of the record weight I had been using. Midrange is much more open and the depth of soundstage is deeper. Deeper and filled with layers of musicians. Very nice for the money and beating the Benz MC Gold in tracking.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speakers
    Mobile Fidelity OML1's/Bell'O 224 stands
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  13. #13
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    by record weight do you mean over the spindle of the TT? if so, i seriously doubt that it affected the sound as you describe it. break in seems more likely. anyway, its good to know that a $300 list price MCe cart is sounding great.

    perhaps this can lure more people to try MCs.

    thanks for the update.
    ...regards...tr

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifitommy
    by record weight do you mean over the spindle of the TT? if so, i seriously doubt that it affected the sound as you describe it. break in seems more likely. anyway, its good to know that a $300 list price MCe cart is sounding great.

    perhaps this can lure more people to try MCs.

    thanks for the update.

    Since the weight was increasing the noise level of the ttable I think that increased noise was a culprit in the greyish midrange. Yes I also believe it is breaking in nicely and that is helping. Sounds like a winner for $379 list or $279 at JR's. I maybe unfair comparing the 4 year old Benz MC Gold with the AT F7 but I am happier with the F7 then I would be a Gold exchange cartridge which I was considering.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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  15. #15
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    I am enjoying the F7 more than I thought. It seems to be settling in nicely. Still great high end extension and solid bass. I am sure that the AT F7 with it's nude diamond and more narrow profile for an elliptical is helping with the extra detail. Oh and the silver body with the stainless Michell Technoweight and the aluminum weight all look good together. Important I know.
    Great picture and congrats on your new toy.
    How do you like it now? I've always assumed that this cartridge was never popular do to a popularity of AT OC9. Curious mind wants to know.

    Hiro

  16. #16
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Great picture and congrats on your new toy.
    How do you like it now? I've always assumed that this cartridge was never popular do to a popularity of AT OC9. Curious mind wants to know.

    Hiro

    Hiro, the F7 is sounding very nice indeed. The reason I chose this cartridge was the elliptical stylus instead of a microline stylus. Since I have never purchased any of the devices to set VTA with the Rega I rely on the spacers. Since adjustments would be in 2mm increments I was concerned I would not be able to set the VTA correctly for a microline stylus. I can tell by the extended highs and very solid bass that the 2mm spacer has hit the mark with the F7.

    I hate to compare a new cartridge with the four-year-old Benz but I think the F7 is a better tracking cartridge with a deeper, wider and more detailed soundstage.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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    Mobile Fidelity OML1's/Bell'O 224 stands
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    AQ Rocket 44's, Diamondback XLR's & IC's

  17. #17
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    Hiro, the F7 is sounding very nice indeed. The reason I chose this cartridge was the elliptical stylus instead of a microline stylus. Since I have never purchased any of the devices to set VTA with the Rega I rely on the spacers. Since adjustments would be in 2mm increments I was concerned I would not be able to set the VTA correctly for a microline stylus. I can tell by the extended highs and very solid bass that the 2mm spacer has hit the mark with the F7.

    I hate to compare a new cartridge with the four-year-old Benz but I think the F7 is a better tracking cartridge with a deeper, wider and more detailed soundstage.
    That's awesome, John.
    How does it match with your Rotel and Graham Slee?

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    That's awesome, John.
    How does it match with your Rotel and Graham Slee?


    The Graham Slee is best with the low output of the F7. The Rotel not bad but not much dynamics. The CA 640P just could not do it. Yes the Graham Slee with it's sensitivity to cartridges from .2 mv to 1.0 mv works best with the F7's output of .35 mv.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speakers
    Mobile Fidelity OML1's/Bell'O 224 stands
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  19. #19
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Today has been a day of vinyl and some changes. The AT F7 with it's extended highs began to wear a little thin today. I began to wonder if it was the VTA and maybe I did not need the 2mm spacer. Before going through all that I decided to try the Rega glass platter with the Ringmat record mat. I had been using the Achroplat platter sans mat. The Achroplat worked great with the Benz but it seems the F7 sounds it's best with the Ringmat and glass platter. I am not sure if the change in materials created the better sound or if it is a change in VTA. The Achroplat is 12mm and the glass platter is about 9mm with 3mm for the ringmat.

    I am glad I keep everything since you never know when one combination is going to work better than another.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speakers
    Mobile Fidelity OML1's/Bell'O 224 stands
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  20. #20
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I am still very much enjoying the AT F7. What a nice cartridge for the price. Very good top to bottom sonics, low surface noise and very good trackability.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Moon 110LP/PSU
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speakers
    Mobile Fidelity OML1's/Bell'O 224 stands
    Cables
    AQ Rocket 44's, Diamondback XLR's & IC's

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