• 01-19-2004, 09:07 AM
    dean_martin
    Is this cartridge overkill?
    I have a Pro-Ject 1.2 turntable. I replaced the stock cart, a Sumiko Oyster, with a NOS Parasound cart with significant improvement in balance. The Oyster favored hi frequencies and sounded thin to me. But the Parasound was only $35.00 and was intended to hold me over until I had the money to get something better. Now that I'm ready to upgrade, I'm considering the Grado Reference Platinum. My table was $285. The Platinum is $270. Is this too much cart for the Pro-Ject?

    I was originally thinking of spending about half the cost of the table. My other choices are the Grado Prestige Gold or the Ortofon Super OM 20, both of which I've found for around $130. Your thoughts or other recommendations will be appreciated.
  • 01-19-2004, 11:21 AM
    rb122
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dean_martin
    I have a Pro-Ject 1.2 turntable. I replaced the stock cart, a Sumiko Oyster, with a NOS Parasound cart with significant improvement in balance. The Oyster favored hi frequencies and sounded thin to me. But the Parasound was only $35.00 and was intended to hold me over until I had the money to get something better. Now that I'm ready to upgrade, I'm considering the Grado Reference Platinum. My table was $285. The Platinum is $270. Is this too much cart for the Pro-Ject?

    I was originally thinking of spending about half the cost of the table. My other choices are the Grado Prestige Gold or the Ortofon Super OM 20, both of which I've found for around $130. Your thoughts or other recommendations will be appreciated.

    My experience is that the Pro-Ject arms are good enough to work with more expensive cartridges. I don't think this would be overkill despite the prices. If you were going to get into the stratosphere of cartridges, I'd suggest you upgrade your turntable but I think you're going to be pleased with the improvement. The Grado should sound better balanced and give you some nice bass as well! Enjoy!
  • 01-19-2004, 01:28 PM
    Woochifer
    I've always felt that the cartridge is every bit as important as the turntable itself. I had a 14-year old Ortofon OM body that I'd been swapping out with the 20 stylus every couple of years. Given the age of the cartridge body, I decided try something different and went with the Sumiko Black Pearl, and I've regretted it since then. By comparison, the Sumiko just sounds bland. It has a very fat sounding midrange, but that might be because its high end extension is not all that great. I'm now waiting for the stylus to wear out, so I can either go back to another OM20 or the Grado Prestige Gold.

    The OM20 is a very good midlevel cartridge that I thought was too often overlooked until The Absolute Sound made it one of their best buys last year. It tends to extend the highs a bit, and the midrange might be a bit thin, but its overall linearity and coherency is excellent. And I tend to prefer my sound somewhat punchier, and you definitely get that with the OM20. I also like that the cartridge has a fairly high output, and works great with a variety of tonearms because of its lightweight and removable counterweight. But, like you I've also been looking at higher priced options for my next cartridge.
  • 01-19-2004, 05:24 PM
    happy ears
    Years ago I had a Dual turntable that I bought on a clearance sale. Although it came with a basic cartridge and it was not what you would call an exotic turnatable. However when I upgraded to a cartridge that cost as much as the table I was impressed with the improvements. In fact it sounded better than many turntables that cost more if a cheap cartridge was used.

    It all starts with the needle and cartridge when it comes to vinyl, although the turntable and arm are also of importance, they each have a job to do. This is one area CD lovers have an advantage and do not have to spend money on.

    Presently I am saving my money so that I can get a nice turntable. At least I kept all my records in good shape and boxed them up for storage. Might have been one of my smarter moves, we all get lucky now and then. So go for it and enjoy the music.
  • 01-20-2004, 12:01 AM
    maxg
    I would agree with the others here - go for it. Bottom line - if you want to upgrade the table in the future you will be able to take that cart with you. Hell - my cart costs 4 times what my table cost originally.

    As it happens a friend of mine is going to get himself the Project 1.2 as well. To start him off properly he'll take it without a cartridge and I will lend him my spare - a Clearaudio virtuoso 2 which is at least double the cost of the table. It also has the advantage of being a high output MM cartridge and works a dream with my spare project phono box.
  • 01-20-2004, 08:16 AM
    jbangelfish
    yup, go for it
    I have always spent more for a cartridge than for the tt and never regretted it. The cartridge is in many ways the most important piece in the puzzle. You should be able to hear an improvement and as someone else stated, if you decided to upgrade your tt later, the cartridge would be good enough to do so. If my cartridge was still being made, it would cost at least 5 or 6 times what I paid for my tt. This might be extreme but even if I bought everything new, I'd probably spend as much or more for my cartridge as I did for my turntable and tonearm. It seems the only way to get the most out of your turntable. This little formula would probably change if you got into the 10k and above tt's.
    Bill
  • 01-21-2004, 07:36 AM
    skeptic
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dean_martin
    I have a Pro-Ject 1.2 turntable. I replaced the stock cart, a Sumiko Oyster, with a NOS Parasound cart with significant improvement in balance. The Oyster favored hi frequencies and sounded thin to me. But the Parasound was only $35.00 and was intended to hold me over until I had the money to get something better. Now that I'm ready to upgrade, I'm considering the Grado Reference Platinum. My table was $285. The Platinum is $270. Is this too much cart for the Pro-Ject?

    I was originally thinking of spending about half the cost of the table. My other choices are the Grado Prestige Gold or the Ortofon Super OM 20, both of which I've found for around $130. Your thoughts or other recommendations will be appreciated.

    There are several major considerations when buying a phonograph cartridge. The turntable, tonearm, and cartridge work together as an integrated system. It is critical to match the cartridge with the characteristics of the tonearm. An expensive cartridge demands a tonearm with well damped resonance well below audibiity, excellent bearings (jeweled are better than ball bearings), both static and dynamic balance, and good geometry. The ability to adjust vertical tracking angle is useful also. It is useless to try to install the best cartridges in lesser tonearms because you can't get the benefit of the added performance capability you paid for. As for the turntable, not only should it be able to turn at exactly the right speed with no audible wow, flutter or rumble especially if you have a wide range sound system, but it should have a well shielded motor so that hum doesn't become a factor. Some cartridges, especially low output cartridges are susceptable to audible hum from poorly shielded turntable motors. Usually, the manufacturer of the cartridge or the turntable can recommend suitable cartridges for a particular turntable model.

    As for sound, the main difference between the "sonic signiture" of most cartridges is the high frequency resonant peak present with many cartridges. Some audiophiles like this, others don't. It's not onlly a matter of taste but of the other equipment you own. However, in addition to a well damped high frequency resonance and extended flat response, I personally value trackability, that is the ability of the cartridge to track heavily modulated records without distortion and at low tracking force. In this regard, I have always been pleased with Shure. I know many audiophiles do not like this line of cartridges because it doesn't have a "zippy" high end. But IMO, this can be easily compensated for if necessary through equalization.
  • 01-21-2004, 12:13 PM
    RGA
    I use a basic little Shure M97Xe with my NAD 533(a Rega 2 mod made by Rega). I can attest to the cartridge making a difference because the NAD came with a Goldring cart which was bloody awful. Light on finance then led me to the Shure because it supposedly is easier on the vinyl for one and tracks better...which I figured would help compensate for the fact that the NAD is no high end table and the Rega 250 arm is no high end arm.

    The results are pleasing - still not quite where I would like but I need a proper stand. Right now the table is on the top shelf of one of those old 70s stereo racks - which is a bit jiggly. But I don't want to spend HUGE money on isolation platforms.

    Shure makes a highly regarded Cart V15xMR which Stereophile raved about...and was one of the cheapest available - well cheap for expensive carts. http://www.shure.com/catphono_hifi.html

    Most I have talked to about cartridges have said that Shure is a bit of a "SAFE" cartridge in that it tracks well, wears out your disc less, and rarely has issues of noise. At least compared to the goldring the M97Xe lives up to that.
  • 01-21-2004, 03:47 PM
    dean_martin
    Thanks for all the responses...
    my original plan was to go with the Ortofon OM20 because 1) I had an old Dual that came with a cart made by Ortofon that I liked and 2) the Pro-Ject tables come with Ortofon carts in Europe. I've also heard good things about Grado carts (except for the hum issue w/Rega tables) and considered the Grado Gold because I can get it for about the same price as the OM20. When my Christmas bonus was a little more than expected, I thought the Grado Reference Platinum for a little over $100 more would be interesting. It's $270 from audioadvisor with their 30-day guaranty. I can't justify going over $270 at this time - too many albums left on my wish list.

    Pro-Ject and Sumiko are distributed in the US by the same company so I haven't asked them to recommend a cart thinking they would probably recommend a Sumiko cart.

    The first cart I purchased was a Shure M92e for a Technics table (it's on an old Marantz table now), but I haven't really looked at their line lately.

    Anyhow, I think I have a handle on my choices. Part of the fun for me is narrowing the field before I lay down the cash. Unfortunatley, living in a rural area makes it hard to audition fine audio gear. Thanks again.
  • 01-21-2004, 07:06 PM
    DMK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dean_martin
    my original plan was to go with the Ortofon OM20 because 1) I had an old Dual that came with a cart made by Ortofon that I liked and 2) the Pro-Ject tables come with Ortofon carts in Europe. I've also heard good things about Grado carts (except for the hum issue w/Rega tables) and considered the Grado Gold because I can get it for about the same price as the OM20. When my Christmas bonus was a little more than expected, I thought the Grado Reference Platinum for a little over $100 more would be interesting. It's $270 from audioadvisor with their 30-day guaranty. I can't justify going over $270 at this time - too many albums left on my wish list.

    Pro-Ject and Sumiko are distributed in the US by the same company so I haven't asked them to recommend a cart thinking they would probably recommend a Sumiko cart.

    The first cart I purchased was a Shure M92e for a Technics table (it's on an old Marantz table now), but I haven't really looked at their line lately.

    Anyhow, I think I have a handle on my choices. Part of the fun for me is narrowing the field before I lay down the cash. Unfortunatley, living in a rural area makes it hard to audition fine audio gear. Thanks again.

    Auditioning cartridges at a dealer is nearly impossible. First of all, the chances that they have the turntable you'll be using is often remote. Second, even if they do, you're still in unfamiliar territory with probably unfamiliar ancillary gear. Third, if you want to compare two different cartridges, bring your lunch while they swap! And going back and forth will be out of the question for all but the most accomodating and/or bored salesman.

    Add to this the fact that playing around with different cartridges is confusing at first because nothing except speakers has as many possible sonic differences. MC's don't sound like MM's, most MM's sound different from one another as do most MC's. I don't find too many of the high frequency peaks that Skeptic mentioned. Rather, I find the "fast" cartridges are fast because of an unveiling of the midrange. Anyway, as you travel up the price structure within a certain brand, you'll start out with fairly large diffs until you hit a certain price point, around $1000. Then they get extremely subtle. I'm not saying the diffs aren't worth it to many people but they really aren't to me anymore. But the cartridges at the low price points are the most annoying - not because many of them don't sound good but because they have such magnified sonic signatures. RGA mentions the Goldring Elektra that came with his NAD. It was a lousy choice for NAD to use unless their point was to push an upgrade! The Goldring Elan that comes with the Music Hall MMF-2 is likewise a piece of crap. But the jump to the Goldring G1012 that comes with Music Hall's MMF-5 is very nice. RGA also mentions the Shure which isn't much more expensive than the Elektra but is at least 3 times better sounding. My point is you'll go bonkers as I have trying to piece this all together at once. I play around with different cartridges because it's been a guilty pleasure of mine for years. There's no set of rules among cartridges using measurements or even within the same brand. You just have to hear them over time and even then your memory is likely to fail.

    P.S The Grado woodbody cartridge will make your Pro-Ject sing like a bird! An acquaintance of mine replaced his Shure (which was no slouch, but I can't recall the model - it wasn't their top of the line, though) on that same table and he's one happy camper with no further thought of upgrading. He's not only happy, he's wise! :)
  • 01-21-2004, 08:54 PM
    RGA
    DMK

    My weakest point in this hobby is turntables because I grew up on tape and cd. So I'm a late comer.

    If there is an upgrade to make with the NAD set-up which way should I go? It's certainly good enough so I may just wait and make a bigger move one day to the Audio Note TT1 which was rather amazing actually. Well I should not say amazing since the owner there has over 35,000LPs so you'd figure he'd like something nice to play them on.
  • 01-21-2004, 09:59 PM
    happy ears
    35,000 LP's is just a few more than me, well actually over 34,000 more than me. Maybe he should send some to me so that they get more often. Just tell him that they will go bad if they are not used, the notes will float right off the vinyl, or something like that.

    Could not tell you about upgrades for your NAD but if it is a modded Rega 2 I would look at what is available for the Rega. Skeptic pretty well says what a turntable and it's parts must do. You could try a better cartridge such as the Shure you have mentioned, as this is where it all starts. But then you could save up for the big jump.

    With all it's flaws I still like the sound of vinyl. As well I am saving my money up for a new turntable. Just wish new records did not cost so much but there are some great deals on used records.

    Spin that vinyl and enjoy
  • 01-22-2004, 05:29 AM
    Jimmy C
    As Skep said...
    ...the table, cart, arm and phono pre work as a unit... I'm certainly not intimately familiar with many different set-ups, but my a friend of mine went with a Gold on a 2.1.

    This combination is miles ahead of the stock cart (which I found quite lifeless). Everything across the board is better, including a big reduction in surface noise. In my mind, there is no question that the $160 was well spent.

    Now - is it woth moving up to the Platinum? How much difference would there be? Not sure, but I have the Platinum on a Perspective... again, there are improvements in weight and scale along with the LPs appearing quieter yet. I can't say if it's the table, the cart, etc. Nevertheless, it sounds good.

    Another poster said the arm would be good enough to appreciate the cart differences, subtle or not. I agree.


    The wood body Grados have a great midband, always mellow and rich. Go for it!
  • 01-22-2004, 09:28 AM
    rb122
    Pardon my butting in
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    DMK

    My weakest point in this hobby is turntables because I grew up on tape and cd. So I'm a late comer.

    If there is an upgrade to make with the NAD set-up which way should I go? It's certainly good enough so I may just wait and make a bigger move one day to the Audio Note TT1 which was rather amazing actually. Well I should not say amazing since the owner there has over 35,000LPs so you'd figure he'd like something nice to play them on.

    I actually like the NAD table but I agree the stock cartridge was pretty bad. You've done yourself a service by replacing it with the Shure. I suppose you could upgrade cartridges further but I think your setup is good enough until you decide to go with the Audio Note. I was lucky enough to hear one of those with a Lyra Lydian something or other cartridge and it was, as you say, "amazing". I don't know what DMK might say but I think you've already come up with the best advice anyone could give you.
  • 01-22-2004, 12:00 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    DMK

    My weakest point in this hobby is turntables because I grew up on tape and cd. So I'm a late comer.

    If there is an upgrade to make with the NAD set-up which way should I go? It's certainly good enough so I may just wait and make a bigger move one day to the Audio Note TT1 which was rather amazing actually. Well I should not say amazing since the owner there has over 35,000LPs so you'd figure he'd like something nice to play them on.

    Knowing your preferences, I would suggest trying out a moving coil cartridge. That would probably give you the most dramatic difference from what the Shure delivers. Ortofon makes several high output MCs that don't require an outboard preamp. The disadvantage to MC is that the stylus cannot be swapped out when it wears out like you can with a MM cart. You typically have to have the cartridge retipped or traded out. Also, a lot of the higher end models require an outboard step up preamp.

    If you don't want to spend a lot of money, you should just verify the setup on your turntable. Things like the overhang, the VTA, anti-skate and stylus force, and tonearm counterbalancing all have an immediate effect on what you hear.
  • 01-22-2004, 05:31 PM
    DMK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    DMK

    My weakest point in this hobby is turntables because I grew up on tape and cd. So I'm a late comer.

    If there is an upgrade to make with the NAD set-up which way should I go? It's certainly good enough so I may just wait and make a bigger move one day to the Audio Note TT1 which was rather amazing actually. Well I should not say amazing since the owner there has over 35,000LPs so you'd figure he'd like something nice to play them on.

    35,000 LP's??? Whoa! Obviously, the call of convenience (Redbook CD) hasn't hit him. Well, his ears are all the better for it.

    I recall the NAD as being a pretty decent turntable. I suppose you could upgrade the cartridge but if the Audio Note isn't too far off - say, less than a year or so away - you might just save your funds for that. I've never heard that 'table but it got a killer review in one of the Brit audio mags a couple of years ago. Good build quality - I have seen one even if I didn't get to hear it. Your Shure is a fine cartridge in its price range as well. If you could find a great deal on a Benz Glider, they do well with Rega arms and Rega-sourced arms such as what is on your NAD. But best price I've seen on those is $550. That may be something to consider after you pick up the AN. The NAD isn't the best turntable around but who owns "the best"? Not me! Well, I do consider the speakers I own to be the best I've ever heard but you own an integrated amp made by the company that makes the finest SS integrated I've ever heard - the A21A. I'm not familiar with yours but if it sounds like the A21A, you own the best!

    To sum up, unless you found a deal on a higher end MC cartridge, I wouldn't take the plunge until you're ready for the AN. Quite honestly, the AN is purported to be a finer 'table than the one I currently own - the VPI HW-19 jr. I use the Rega RB300 arm but I'm considering upgrading to a Morch DP-6.
  • 01-22-2004, 07:36 PM
    RGA
    The Audio Note designer owner, Peter Qvortrup, at 35,000LPs+ has one of the largest if not the largest collection in the world.

    The TT1 is based off of a SystemDeck II and the Arms for the units are modified co-ventures with Rega based off of the Rega 300 and 600 arms but have been re-wired with An's Silver wiring among other things.

    The Dealer here has the TT1 which he claims ot be a lot better than the more expensive Linn Tables and he also carries Linn's line so that is interesting. The TT1 comes with the AN Cartridge.

    Basically Audio Note makes the entire audio Chain though they basically take proven designs they like best and make them better. My speakers are based off of the very original Snell speakers, The turntables as I said are based off of the System Deck and Rega arms, their amps are their own and the probably make the most expensive and widely considered BEST integrated amp and DAC available at 90kUS and 50KUS respectively.

    The A48b sounds more tube like than the A21a is a high bias Class A class A/B design and is ~70Watts. The A48 was selling for 20+ years but was less competitive as all the new tube amp companies came out making the A48B a little redundant...plus the A21a is a better unit overall at the same retail level. Sugden probably felt that people would go for the A21a on sound despite average looks to get class A. The A48B looks exactly the same as they use the same chassis but because it isn't pure class A people would likely shift to a more functional unit.

    I bough the A48B because it had a phono board and was a mere $400.00Cdn used circa 1997 and retailed at around $1899.00. I compared it to the 3k MF integated and anctually preferred it with the Paradigm Stuudio 100. Very pleased with the amp and have considered going with the Sugden Headmaster as preamp because I'd like to upgrade my tube headphone amp one day.

    I think I will hold off for the Audio Note because A) it sounded awesome and Audio Note front ends are designed using their speakers. Few companies make excelent stuff front to back and geared to be used as a complete system, LINN and Quad are two others that come to mind. Hell AN makes their own soldering material and glues.

    Interesting side note. One of the AN designers works at Sugden and Peter Qvortrup knew Jim Sugden and was a dealer for Sugden's original products which he sold with Snell Type E, K and J speakers.

    I find it kind of amusing that I came to both Sugden and Audio Note products by simnply listening and after buying all that find out these tidbits later.

    People who claim to hate Solid state I often sggest to give a listen to Sugden. Incidentally both AN and Sugden use the same Transport/Dac to this day which is TDA1541Crown DAC which was in the 80s and both companies prefer the units.

    I dunno I found it interesting that I gravitated to these companies which have gravitated to eachother. And the NAD is really a Rega and they too co-venture with Audio Note. Weird and wild stuff.
  • 01-23-2004, 02:55 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    The Audio Note designer owner, Peter Qvortrup, at 35,000LPs+ has one of the largest if not the largest collection in the world.

    Barry Hansen (aka Dr. Demento) has a collection of over 200,000 records, plus countless tapes, CDs, and other oddities. Not sure if he's in the Guiness book, but it's definitely the largest collection I've ever heard of. It doesn't hurt that he hosts a radio show and gets a lot of his stuff for free.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Basically Audio Note makes the entire audio Chain though they basically take proven designs they like best and make them better. My speakers are based off of the very original Snell speakers, The turntables as I said are based off of the System Deck and Rega arms, their amps are their own and the probably make the most expensive and widely considered BEST integrated amp and DAC available at 90kUS and 50KUS respectively.

    I know you're rather smitten by AN because you love their speakers, but the expertise behind making turntables, amplifiers, DACs, speakers, and cartridges are pretty different. I'm a bit skeptical that one company can be the "BEST" at all of the above. I mean, haven't you stated in the past that the best speakers are made by companies that specialize in making speakers, and not those companies that also make receivers and CD players?

    There are plenty of great turntables and cartridges out there, some wildly different approaches, and some not so well defined price points. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses. If that AN was indeed collaborated with Rega, then it should have some merit and consideration. For all it's worth, I've always felt that the Linn Sondeks were a bit overrated. They're great decks, but they also charge a lot for what you get. They use a suspended platform isolation similar to the one that AR invented in the 1950s and several other companies copied since then (including the Dual CS5000 that I use).
  • 01-23-2004, 02:58 PM
    DMK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    The Audio Note designer owner, Peter Qvortrup, at 35,000LPs+ has one of the largest if not the largest collection in the world.

    The TT1 is based off of a SystemDeck II and the Arms for the units are modified co-ventures with Rega based off of the Rega 300 and 600 arms but have been re-wired with An's Silver wiring among other things.

    The Dealer here has the TT1 which he claims ot be a lot better than the more expensive Linn Tables and he also carries Linn's line so that is interesting. The TT1 comes with the AN Cartridge.

    Basically Audio Note makes the entire audio Chain though they basically take proven designs they like best and make them better. My speakers are based off of the very original Snell speakers, The turntables as I said are based off of the System Deck and Rega arms, their amps are their own and the probably make the most expensive and widely considered BEST integrated amp and DAC available at 90kUS and 50KUS respectively.

    The A48b sounds more tube like than the A21a is a high bias Class A class A/B design and is ~70Watts. The A48 was selling for 20+ years but was less competitive as all the new tube amp companies came out making the A48B a little redundant...plus the A21a is a better unit overall at the same retail level. Sugden probably felt that people would go for the A21a on sound despite average looks to get class A. The A48B looks exactly the same as they use the same chassis but because it isn't pure class A people would likely shift to a more functional unit.

    I bough the A48B because it had a phono board and was a mere $400.00Cdn used circa 1997 and retailed at around $1899.00. I compared it to the 3k MF integated and anctually preferred it with the Paradigm Stuudio 100. Very pleased with the amp and have considered going with the Sugden Headmaster as preamp because I'd like to upgrade my tube headphone amp one day.

    I think I will hold off for the Audio Note because A) it sounded awesome and Audio Note front ends are designed using their speakers. Few companies make excelent stuff front to back and geared to be used as a complete system, LINN and Quad are two others that come to mind. Hell AN makes their own soldering material and glues.

    Interesting side note. One of the AN designers works at Sugden and Peter Qvortrup knew Jim Sugden and was a dealer for Sugden's original products which he sold with Snell Type E, K and J speakers.

    I find it kind of amusing that I came to both Sugden and Audio Note products by simnply listening and after buying all that find out these tidbits later.

    People who claim to hate Solid state I often sggest to give a listen to Sugden. Incidentally both AN and Sugden use the same Transport/Dac to this day which is TDA1541Crown DAC which was in the 80s and both companies prefer the units.

    I dunno I found it interesting that I gravitated to these companies which have gravitated to eachother. And the NAD is really a Rega and they too co-venture with Audio Note. Weird and wild stuff.

    I liked the Sugden Headmaster amp. I heard it after I bought the one I own, which is actually an integrated amp that now sees only headphone duty. It's the finest head amp I've ever heard and was a damn decent integrated as well - the fully tubed Mesa Tigris, made by the makers of Mesa/Boogie guitar amps.

    Didn't Audio Note make (or perhaps they still do) a DAC that uses no oversampling? I've heard that the thing sounded incredibly analog-like which would seem to make sense based on design philosophy. As I recall, it wasn't absurdly priced. Am I thinking of the right company?
  • 01-23-2004, 06:49 PM
    RGA
    1 Attachment(s)
    DMK

    Yes their entry level DAC/Transport combo was reviewed in the latest issue of UHF and it is a Zero times oversampling cd player. The theory behind it is that if you don't make errors in the first place there is no need to have error correction circuitry...the worse the player the more of that junk it needs....well that's the theory and the hard line aspect to the philosophy how well it works will be judged on the sound...which becauseit will no doubt sound different from current cd players may not be too liked...unless you don't like cd player sound now or have little experience with redbook cd listening then you might like it a lot. UHF said it bettered their reference.

    AN has levels of DAC. The DAC 5 in stereophile received the highest rating of any product ever and spawned the zero oversampling approach. Well actually the Zero oversampling was done way back on the original cd players but both Sony and Phillips were clueless on how to get them to sound even acceptable let alone good.

    Woochifer

    Peter may be one of the high end recroding collection leaders or personal collection leaders...of course 35k is a helluva lot either way.

    Companies like Sony and yamaha and Denon have not shown me they can make a good speaker...and receiver makers are not interested in quality sound reproduction they are interested in selling a box with the highest profit margin possible...there is a difference between artisans in business and media moguls in business - the proof is in the products(with exceptions when they try and launch new technology).

    Mr. Qvortrup owns several of the premier designs of speakers going from Quads to pretty much you name it and uses it as a platform to improve upon.

    AN builds the entire audio chain and WANTS people to hear the entire complete system as a complete system...if you like it or hate it then at least they can say they got flamed with their own gear. If you listen to their amp with some piece of junk speaker people often blame the amp. Makes sense.
  • 01-23-2004, 07:02 PM
    RGA
    Actually Woochifer

    Audio Note is probably least known for their speakers...because their system look relatively sleak and the speakers due to 70's retro looks stick out a bit. But they do use their own speakers as the reference and measuring tool to build their amps/sources etc.

    Stereophile and Hi-fi Choice both used the AN E to test amplifiers for their publications and is owned by some of their reviewers as well as enjoy the music's chief reviewer. So it's not like their speakers are dog ****. And perhaps their speakers are their weakest link...which means the rest of the stuff they sell...well....
  • 01-23-2004, 07:51 PM
    RGA
    Sorry about 3 posts in a row.

    DMK

    Thanks for the update on the Headmaster. I have heard nothing but glowing reports on it...but then I always hear that about Sugden. One plus is the remote control and modular size. I may end up travelling when I become a teacher so it would be nice to take a small amp with me.

    Anyway, the TT1 is the lowest end turntable of the series and What Hi-Fi (albeit not my most favorite audio Magazine) seems to like it http://www.audionote.co.uk/reviews/w...003_an_tt1.pdf
  • 01-24-2004, 05:56 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Companies like Sony and yamaha and Denon have not shown me they can make a good speaker...and receiver makers are not interested in quality sound reproduction they are interested in selling a box with the highest profit margin possible...there is a difference between artisans in business and media moguls in business - the proof is in the products(with exceptions when they try and launch new technology).

    Sony, Yamaha, and Denon don't make great speakers, but they're not marketed as great speakers. Only Sony makes anything that costs more than $1,000 a pair (and that particular reference speaker is supposed to be quite good). The rest of those speaker lines exist more to have something available to package with all-in-one systems, and those are sold on price more than anything.

    And your assertion that they are not interested in sound quality is pretty laughable. I guess then that the sound quality that I get with my receiver-based system is more an accident than something that an engineer deliberately designed into the product.

    Oh please, artisans and media moguls?! Where did you conjure up that example? Or are you mixing up your facts with conspiratorial fiction? NAME ME ONE MEDIA MOGUL WHO'S IN THE SPEAKER BUSINESS! COME ON! EVERYBODY is in the business to make the highest profit margin possible! So-called "artisans" that don't watch the profit margins are either DIY hobbyists or guys that have done time in bankruptcy court. The proof is indeed in the products, but when you start exaggerating to this extent, it just comes across more as blind ranting than anything that has any element of truth to it.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    AN builds the entire audio chain and WANTS people to hear the entire complete system as a complete system...if you like it or hate it then at least they can say they got flamed with their own gear. If you listen to their amp with some piece of junk speaker people often blame the amp. Makes sense.

    Again, that does not mean that everything they make is the BEST for that particular category. Hearing a complete system as a complete system, isn't that the same thing as a HTIB system? Granted, it sounds like AN makes a lot of quality gear, but your constant assertions that this product and that product that they make represent the BEST in vastly different categories just invites skepticism and comes across as letting THEIR marketing dictate what your impressions are.
  • 01-24-2004, 07:15 PM
    RGA
    First of all you know my stance on receivers. I seriously doubt if you talk to AUDIOPHILES that any of them would take a two channel output from a Denon, Sony or Yammie seriously as high end 2 channel sound or high end sound period. Which doesn't mean they're junk it means they are selling to people with different goals than two channel audio enthusiasts or very deep pocketed multi-channel enthusiasts who would be builting those big Bryston/Krell monoblock set-ups.

    You made the point about the speakers not I and I just said that these guys are not producing marquee gear across the board. None of them produces a high end amplifier though Marantz in Britain did bring out their STATEMENT amplifier which not surprisingly is a 25 watt class A amplifer with a switch to bring it into class A/B for more power if speakers demand. That is a nice intelligent feature to cover several speaker demands. This amplifier interests me if they ever sell it in North America.

    Artisans can go into business with a different approach than pure businessmen...some make this stuff because they have a passion for it. I would like to sell audio that I like but I don't want to have to depend on making a living off it because then my store would have shift to meet external demands on not my own. The interest that we both share is obvious since we discuss this stuff on audio forums...it's a hobby. Sony is a conglomorate (wrong word mogul too much Baseball Mogul playing lately). Companies like Rolls Royce(before the takeover) and Audio Note are building cost no object items. The statement products from Dynaudio and B&W etc are similar too of course.

    Think of it this way. Audio Note makes the entre chain...I'm not saying anyone has to agree with them...but everytihng is designed to work with each other. Another forum and someone didn't believe The AN K could have the sensitivity being a sealed infinite baffle design that can still produce bass with very little distorion at high volume levels with little power required...it can and is so someone has gotten around this issue.

    HTIB well this of course is a nice comparison of the conglemorate's approach to system matching...do many of them test their amplifiers with real world speakers or do they just build off a computer...do they listen to their amplifiers. $12.00 total worth of material, shipping packaging (which is probably $9.00 worthof the $12) for $199.00.

    Because AN designs complete systems they have more control over what you hear - you want to hear Audio note then HEAR Audio Note. If their 'opinion' and it's just their opinion that SS amplifiers compromise the signal then they would PREFER you not listen to their cd player and speakers on your "initial" listen because they feel SS ruins the sound...or ruins it compared to their amplifier.

    And as much as it pains me to say it, my speakers sound a helluva lot better on their system than it does with my Sugden - whcih I already liked better than costlier amps.

    Audio Note is not the best, perhaps, at each and every componant they make, but what they have successfully done IMO is take the strengths and weakness and play off of those WITHIN the system so the end result is really quite exceptional.

    UHF recently reviewed the AN DAC/Transport and really liked it but said it was hard at times in passages...for all we know though if you place that transport/Dac with an AN SET amp that hardness may be brought down and with more sensitive speaker than UHF uses that dynamics may be brought up.

    Quad and Linn both did this and it makes sense...if people are going to say your stuff is Overrated or just plain bad at least make sure it wasn't the Rega Brio Amp or Nad Turntable or Bose speakers that wrecked your possible customer's view of your products. That's one reason why I was listening to my speakers with SET amp for about an hour and the dealer told me it was not only a tube amp but a SET amp???? But how, it has loads of deep bass prestine highs LOUD levels - nothing like I was expecting TUBES to sound like except non fatigue. You take that amp and run a set of 4ohm 85db Totems and that might be horrible.

    Best is subjective...Right now I'm sure you have a best system you've ever heard and in 5 years that might shift to something else. Right now the best SYSTEM I have heard was the AN system at soundhounds. Individual componants may not be of course. And it was far from Audio Note's best system probably only clocking in at $40-50kUS. Their best adds another zero.
  • 01-24-2004, 07:33 PM
    zappafreak
    Cart. ?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jbangelfish
    I have always spent more for a cartridge than for the tt and never regretted it. The cartridge is in many ways the most important piece in the puzzle. You should be able to hear an improvement and as someone else stated, if you decided to upgrade your tt later, the cartridge would be good enough to do so. If my cartridge was still being made, it would cost at least 5 or 6 times what I paid for my tt. This might be extreme but even if I bought everything new, I'd probably spend as much or more for my cartridge as I did for my turntable and tonearm. It seems the only way to get the most out of your turntable. This little formula would probably change if you got into the 10k and above tt's.
    Bill

    WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SHELTER 901?
    WHAT DO YOU USE?
    THANKS,

    ZF