Hey rlw...

madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
edited April 2004 in 2 Channel Audio
rlw,
I think it is time for a cartridge change on my TT. I remember with the Type IV SME arm (a higher mass arm?) I need to watch which cartridge I use. It has to be a high output cartridge for the Modulus 3A preamp as well. I was thinking of the Clearaudio Virtuoso MK2 wood or the Benz L2. They say they are good for low to medium mass arms so that worries me. My budget would be for something in the range of $700 to $1200. Hopefully closer to $700 but I heard the Benz L2 which seemed to do what I want. (on a low mass arm though). Any help here would be appreciated.
Thanks!
madmax
Vinyl, the final frontier...

Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
Post edited by madmax on

Comments

  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited April 2004
    The L2/M2/H2, with a compliance rating of 15 [provided my web source was accurate] is medium compliance - and the SME-IV is a medium mass arm. I'd think they should mate up well. You should avoid high-complliance carts, ala the Shure V15 series, which were designed for low mass arms.

    You can use the following as a general guide:

    Resonant Frequency = 1000/[6.28*square root (M*C)].

    where M is the mass of the arm and cartridge and C is the compliance of the cartridge.

    Note: I didn't bother to calculate your tentative pair's frequency. The above eq is a rough guide, and remember that you're shoot to keep the resonant frequency between 9 and 14Hz - well below what is recorded on the vinyl, and well above resonant points like footfalls.

    Does that help?
    As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see
    How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    Sounds to me like the L2 is a go!!! I was hoping that to be the case. I am happy with the Goldring 1042 other than it lacks the lowest frequency range and there is a lot of micro detail missing. I think it was a good choice for the price but I'm ready for more. I've read that the SME arm wiring is fine, the modulus is it for now as a preamp because I really like it, my amps are fine for the purpose and my interconnects are reasonable... I just don't see what else to upgrade right now. Would there be any purpose at this time to move on to a MC preamp and cartridge?
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited April 2004
    I thought the L2 was a MC cart? I'm not claiming any insider knowledge of Benz carts, but all the series 2's are MC's. no? And the L2 is listed on the distributor's site as having an output of .3mV, so it's definitely on the low side. The M2 and H2 are listed at .8 and 2.5mV output, respectively - but aren't both still MC carts?

    Who says the L2 is for low mass arms? See this review


    As far as a head amp/transformer, well, that opens a whole can of worms. Your choices increase...but so does the complexity of your setup, and the chance for hum increases. That's not to say it can't be done, people do it all the time - in fact, in many modern phono stages with low-out MC compatibility, all they do is place small transformers in the signal path to give you more gain [something like 20dB].

    I'm personally biased towards Lyra carts, and would recommend the Lyra Argo - it's a .45mV output, so I don't know if that will work without more gain in your rig.

    As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see
    How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    I'm not exactly sure what the Benz cartridges are but the one I was looking at is listed as 2.5mv and advertised as compatible with the Modulus. Maybe it was the H2. I'll accept that.

    At the Needle Doctor it was advertised as working well with low or medium mass tone arms.

    I'll take a look at the Lyra Argo and additional amplification as well.

    I understand most of this is subjective so don't worry about recommendations. So far I have been very happy with your recommendations and if at some point one doesn't work out I can accept that.

    Thanks again,
    madmax


    Now, back to more research!!! :)
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited April 2004
    Oh, yeah, the Needle Doctor. Personally, I wouldn't trust their tech recommendations a whole lot. They're a great resource to buy from, but that's about it IME.

    The Benz will work fine with your arm. I wouldn't worry about that all.

    I still like Lyra, though.
    As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see
    How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    I think I would have to get another phono preamp to do that. I think the Modulus has 40db gain and I would need 56 to 60db to make the Lyra work.

    On another note, with the Goldring 1042 at 3.7mV output to the Modulus, I end up turning it up twice as far as I do for all my other sources. Does that sound normal?

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited April 2004
    That's definitely on the low side, it makes sense that you need to turn up the main volume more.

    I never asked, but what don't you like about your present sound?
    As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see
    How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    The lowest octave of bass is not there, the sound is not as full as I would like, there are many "live" sounding micro details missing, the soundstage is much smaller than the CD and I feel the surface noise is higher than it should be.

    Originally it was very close to my old CD player. When I upgraded the CD player everything was better and the lp sound is no longer equal to the CD. I know it can be better than my new CD player in pretty much every way as I heard on the CD sellers system. When he compared his TT to this CD player it totally blew it away. It filled the room whereas the CD merely played through the speakers. Some differences I noticed in his setup was that his turntable did not have springs like mine and he had the Benz H2 cartridge. I don't see any other reasons why his TT setup would be much better than mine. I'm not trying to compete as I may never hook up with him again, I'm just looking for a similar sound. It was so alive and real whereas mine is not.

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited April 2004
    What are you using for a stand for your table? That can make a huge difference in the performance of any table, but most definitely the Michell's are extremely sensitive to this - and the areas you mention are those affected.

    It's easy on a Michell to hear the difference between a glass shelf and a wood shelf. The resonances are carried into the suspension, and distinctly influence the sound.

    That might be part of your complaints?
    As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see
    How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    I have it on a glass shelf. I could try something else. I was thinking a sheet of 1" MDF on top of the shelf maybe? I'm totally open to ANY changes here even if it means a totally different stand or whatever. Maybe a wall mount or a sand filled box? What do you think would be optimum?
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited April 2004
    So much depends on so many things.

    In my room: 2 3'x4' sheets of MDF, glued & screwed to the joists, covered by Dynamat, with a 3'x4' sheet of granite on top. Followed by an Active Air VibraPlane, and then a Zoethecus rack.

    I've used the Zoethecus rack for about 4 years now, and when I had a room with a better floor, placed it directly on the concrete, and it was superb.

    The symptoms you're describing are commonly described by Michell owners placing their table on a glass shelf, fwiw.
    As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see
    How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    Originally posted by rlw
    The symptoms you're describing are commonly described by Michell owners placing their table on a glass shelf, fwiw.

    That is good news!

    I'm thinking I could sit the TT directly on a solid concrete floor and get a reference of what it should sound like? This way I could determine if a new cartridge is in order or if it is just placement of the table. Is it more complicated than that?

    Thanks!
    madmax

    Edit: Tonite I tried a piece of 1" MDF under the table. It made a reasonable difference in the bass response. More authority. Maybe 20% more. Strangely it helped the middle to upper highs as well. ??
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited April 2004
    Ahh, progress. I'm glad that you were able to quickly and easily tell the difference. You are correct, getting it off the glass will clean up the entire spectrum - and that should really help the soundstaging.

    Experimentation is definitely the name of the game, IMO. There's so many factors when it comes to vibrations in a room - more so than the factors involved in room acoustics. I wouldn't rule out a higher quality rack, either. Since you're running tubes, I wonder if you're existing rack is resonating at certain frequencies, passing that vibration through to your AI, and causing some vibrations in the tubes?

    Placing the table on the floor will definitely give you another perspective on what it can do, and costs you nothing but some calories.
    As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see
    How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    Originally posted by rlw

    The symptoms you're describing are commonly described by Michell owners placing their table on a glass shelf, fwiw.

    Great call! I'm going to put off that new cartridge for a while. I think there may be a lot more sound to unlock from my present one. I'll play with placement of the AI as well.

    It's funny, I was happy with the sound and didn't think it would get any better so I didn't even try. Now that I've tried a very simple change and succeded in getting some improvement I can see it is very worthwhile to experiment!

    A good lesson for all of us!!!

    Thanks!
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited April 2004
    Madmax, glad I pointed you in a promising direction. Keep us posted on the results!
    As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see
    How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited April 2004
    I have just one question to end this thread. By putting the MDF under the turntable am I limiting vibrations going to the table from the speakers or am I draining off the vibrations from the cartridge through the arm to the table to the MDF?

    I'm just wondering because even at real low volume levels I'm noticing the improvement.

    This has been a great experience for me.
    Thanks again,
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited April 2004
    Good question, and the answer is probably "both". The arm drains off a lot of energy into the chassis, and that has to go somewhere. The kicker is that remember, energy can't be destroyed; so if the vibrational energy drains into the underlying support, then the underlying support will store a certain amount for a certain period of time, and then release it at a certain frequency. Guess where that energy goes?

    If you want to try a real well-thought out shelf, check out
    this link .

    Ken, the creator of this shelf, has spent 15 years building prototypes to get it right.
    As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see
    How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free
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