Analog Upgrade Suggestions Welcome


I am thinking of making several upgrades to my current analog rig.

Current system: click here

First, I am thinking of upgrading my VPI HW19 MKIII to the MKIV. I would like those with first hand experience to tell me if the upgrade is worth the money, and what I can expect to hear in improvement. I am currently using the SDS and SAMA modifications.

Second, I am thinking of upgrading my cartridge. My Sumiko Talisman Alchemist IIb is almost 15 years old and is ready for retirement. Some A'goNers have recommended the Shelter 501. I didn't want to spend more than $1000 for a cartidge as the majority of my listening is still redbook CD. I am open to other suggestions. I want the best cartridge for the money. Also, I am leary of buying such a fragile item used. I have heard others on A'goN say they'd never buy a used cartridge. Please share any experiences out there; good or bad.

My current cartridge has an output of 2.0mV which I assume means high output. Will I need a step-up transformer for a low output cartridge? Is the Shelter 501 at 0.4 mV considered low output? My Classe Six preamp has a phono section. The preamp comes with resistors that the user can change out to match the volume control knob position to the level of line components. I assume I'd need to change the resistor I'm using with my current cartridge. Otherwise I'd have to turn the knob way up to get enough gain with a cartridge with an output that's 1/5 that of my current cartridge. Is that correct?

Thank you all for your help and suggestions.

Cheers!

Mark
mstram
I was just offered a Grado Reference brand new for $900 from a dealer I've dealt with in the past. How does it compare to the Shelter 501?
I note that the Grado Reference is a moving magnet cartidge. My Alchemist IIb is of the moving coil type. Has the technology evolved over the last 15 years to the point where moving magnets now have the resolution and finnesse of a fine moving coil?

Would the Grado Reference mate well with my 1990 vintage SME 309?
I note that the Grado Reference is a moving magnet cartidge. My Alchemist IIb is of the moving coil type. Has the technology evolved over the last 15 years to the point where moving magnets now have the resolution and finesse of a fine moving coil?

Would the Grado Reference mate well with my 1990 vintage SME 309?
Whoa, there Mstram. Slow down a little. Three posts (well, two anyway) on your own thread before anyone gets a chance? No fair. ;-)

Has the technology evolved over the last 15 years to the point where moving magnets now have the resolution and finesse of a fine moving coil?
In a word, no. Grado's have many fans of course, like any brand, but those who particularly value "resolution and finesse" do not seem to be among them. Grado's are widely praised for a very full-bodied and warm midrange. They are sometimes chided for a lack of HF extension and air, somewhat loose bass and two well known performance issues: a tendency to hum in the presence of unshielded AC motors and a tendency for the suspension to develop a "wobble" if mated to a less than perfectly matched tonearm. Search here or on VA for "Grado hum", "Grado wobble" or "Grado dance". You'll learn more than you ever cared to know. Maybe you'd have those problems. Maybe you wouldn't. I haven't had a Grado myself and couldn't predict.

When choosing a cartridge for an existing system it must suit your phono stage electrically, but it must also suit your tonearm mechanically. Both relationships are vital.

Let's start with the tonearm. Your SME 309 has an effective mass of 11g. This makes it suitable for a medium compliance cartridge. Something around 12-16cu would be best, depending on the weight of the cartridge. Your goal is to choose a cartridge that, when mounted on an SME 309, will yield a system resonance frequency somewhere between 8-12Hz, with 10Hz being "ideal".

A Grado Ref is a high compliance (20cu) cartridge that weighs only 6.5g. Its resonance frequency on a 309 would be dangerously near the recommended floor of 8Hz. This could make it sensitive to warps, footfalls and other floor-borne vibrations.

A Shelter 501MkII is a low compliance (9cu) cartridge that weighs 8g. Its resonance frequency on a 309 would be around 12.6Hz. This could lead to impaired bass response.

I'd look at other cartridges. Neither of these is a particularly good match for your tonearm.

For electrical matching you need to look up the gain (or choices of gain) and input impedance (or choices thereof) of your phono stage. Those two facts will determine the cartridge output levels and types it can handle. Find those two numbers and I'm sure useful and workable recommendations will be plentiful.
Thanks Doug!

Here are the requested specs for the preamp:

INPUT IMPEDENCE
Magnetic Phono= 47 kohms
Moving Coil Phono= Adjustable into 47 kohms

GAIN
Magnetic Phono= 35dB
Moving Coil Phono= 20-40 dB (Adjustable)
*Note: The MC gain is in addition to the standard MM gain of 35 dB.
**The preamp comes with resistors that can be changed out to make the gain adjustment

SENSITIVITY
Magnetic Phono= 3 mV
Moving Coil Phono= 0.3 mV
It looks like you have enough gain and loading flexibility to handle just about any imaginable cartridge. I'd be slightly concerned about inserting resistors to modify gain. They're in the signal path, so make sure they're good quality.

How is the ease of arm height adjustment on the SME 309? I ask because some cartridges that offer sublime resolution and finess are very sensitive to that. I might not recommend them if changing SRA on a 309 is a pain, or if you would find it so.

I would be leary of used cartridges except from someone you know and trust. I did it once. It could have been worse, but it could have been better too. Crap shoot.

BTW, I'm surprised no one jumped on you for this statement from your original post, so I will:
I didn't want to spend more than $1000 for a cartidge as the majority of my listening is still redbook CD.
There is something seriously wrong with your analog setup if the majority of your listening time is wasted, err, spent listening to RBCD. Get a grip man!

Your TT and arm seem respectable enough, so I point the finger at that 15yo cartridge. I don't know diddle about Sumiko's, but 15 years? Good grief. If you don't care about your ears what about your poor records? :-0

Replace that worn out thang with a good modern MC. Assuming the Classe phono stage is decent (no idea) that $11K RBCD rig can go back to what it's suited for, providing weight to help stabilize your TT stand! ;^)

One more Q: what kind(s) of music?
These are high quality matched-pair resistors supplied by Classe Audio with Wonder Solder.

Setting VTA is a hassle. I prefer to set it up so that things sound good for records of average thickness and forget about tweeking it. I would go nuts adjusting the VTA for every record. I just want to listen to the music.

My taste includes classical, jazz, folk, alternative, and rock. I'm not into country.

The Sumiko was dormant for about 5 years. It really saw infrequent use. The stylus is acceptable but nearly worn out (assessed by microsope).

I knew I'd get crap about the RBCD. I like to kick back and read or sometimes just zone out while listening to music, so CD is much more convenient. Maybe I'm too lazy sometimes and don't feel like going through the record cleaning rituals, flipping the disc, etc...

I use the LPs as more of a sonic treat for special occasions. I tend to appreciate it more.

The Classe Six is a classic piece of equipment from the early 90s. It has one of the best phono sections for the money for a ss preamp of its vintage.

Thanks again, Doug for taking an interest. I see you have a Shelter 901. BTW, I could go a little hgher than $1000 if absolutely necessary.

Mark
Doug,

I checked the manual for the SME 309. The effective mass is 9.5 gm not 11 gm. The arm is at the high end of "low-mass" or the low end of "medium-mass" Does that change things?
Hmmm, I'm trying to square this statement,
Setting VTA is a hassle. I prefer to set it up so that things sound good for records of average thickness and forget about tweeking it. I would go nuts adjusting the VTA for every record. I just want to listen to the music.
with this one,
I use the LPs as more of a sonic treat for special occasions. I tend to appreciate it more.

But if it's a special occasion wouldn't it be worth...
Never mind, I'll shut up. :-)

Based on your music mix I would love to recommend a ZYX R100 ($800). I think you'd be truly pleased at the uncolored, natural sounding instruments and voices, the realistic detail that's always there but never intrudes itself onto the music and the superlative tracking and tracing of even the toughest grooves.

Unfortunately, that wonderful groove tracing and all its sonic benefits is largely due to the ZYX's microridge stylus. If you don't set SRA precisely to match the record, the magic won't quite happen. This is true of any cartridge to some degree, but it's truer of microridge and line contact styli than it is of elliptical or conical styli.

OTOH, why not a ZYX? If you're in the "kick back and relax" mood nothing unpleasant will ever come from it. It may sound a bit relaxed and distant, but perhaps that would suit your mood. For those special occasions you can adjust it to perfection and wow yourself and your friends.

Yeah, buy a ZYX. It's an excellent match for your tonearm and it can play to suit either of your listening moods. Go for the low output version. It's more responsive, delicate and detailed and your Classe phono has plenty of gain.

P.S. Yes I have a Shelter 901 as my second cartridge, it's a distant second to be honest. The 901 is livelier for rock than a ZYX, but a ZYX quite outclasses it for jazz, folk, classical or any other music with acoustic instruments and voices. The 901 wouldn't be an ideal match for your arm, as we discussed, but if you want to hear it I'll be posting a home demo offer fairly soon. Keep your eyes on this forum.
You have a very nice system. My suggestion is to first make sure your turntable sits on a very rigid surface. Excuse me if you already have that covered but it's important. Also, it needs to be placed in a table friendly spot lacking frequency re-enforcement. That being said and considering your admitted laziness I would suggest the Sumiko Blackbird. I have a particular fondness for the Sumiko line of cartridges because they enjoy a stylus design that minimizes surface noise, aren't fussy about VTA from record to record, work well with most trailing edge arms and are a great bang for the buck. Of course, Doug is dead on with his recommendations but he is also looking to extract the last bit of magic out of the grooves. You haven't gotten bitten by that bug yet but you will if you pay attention to the details while you make this modest investment. Also, either invest in proper set up tools and ask one of the experts here to walk you step by step (on the phone) through the set up or pay a professional to do so. No cartridge, whatever the cost, will make magic happen if it's not installed correctly. Good luck.
Mark,
That does indeed change things. The Grado Ref and other high compliance carts become viable, a Shelter goes out the window altogether. A ZYX would work with the optional headshell weight, but that's only available on higher priced models AFAIK. Now where did I get 11g? Whatever, I'm sure SME's manual is better than my memory. Good thing you looked and sorry for almost steering you wrong. Guess I'm getting too old to do this stuff from memory.

There are fewer high compliance MC's than low-mid compliance ones. Grado, some VdH's, some Ortofons, some Sumikos. The Blackbird mentioned by Lugnut would certainly work well. If his description is appealing I'd certainly trust his ears.
I have spoken with several dealers with vast experience setting up analog rigs, and all have successfully used the Shelter 901 with an SME 309.
Mark,
One could "successfully" use nearly any cartridge on nearly any tonearm. They'd all play music. The idea is not that a Shelter wouldn't play or play well. It just wouldn't play its best. A more compatible catridge *would* play its best and give you maximum performance for your cartridge dollars.

YMMV of course, but if optimum performance is what you're after then optimum equipment matching is the way to achieve it.
Dear Mark: My advise is that don't do the TT upgrade, yet.
Change your cartridge: there are many exellent options, other than Shelter ( the people in this forum is a very closed mind in a very small audio world: they always recomended Shelther or ZYX, and even worst cartridges), the Van den Hul MC One Special is an exellent one (Right now you can buy it in the Audiogon clasifieds at a very low price ), Transfiguration Spirit MK3 ( in the clasiffieds, too. New ), Lyra Argo, benz micro Ruby ( clasiffieds, only 50 hours. This is a 3,000.00 retail price cartridge. ), Ortofon Kontrapunkt B , Ortofon Jubille ( clasiffieds. New ), Dynavector D172 MKII, Sumiko Celebration. All these cartridges will be fine with your tonearm/TT and with your Classe Six ( I own this one many years ago. Very good preamp. ).
I agree with you about VT: an average position.. Don't be foolish about it, not yet.
Now, about to buy second hand cartridges, my experience ( in Audiogon ) is 100% recomended: you only have to check the feedbak of the person, that he is the original owner and to know why he put on sale his cartridge.
Regards and always enjoy the music.
Raul.
VdH? Ortofon? Sumiko? Those seem like some pretty good choices Raul.

Perhaps that's why Lugnut and I mentioned them THREE DAYS AGO!

I'm not sure which close-minded people you were referring to, but thanks for keeping a watchful eye out just the same. Thank goodness they haven't shown up on this thread. ;-)
Doug: First than all I'm not living on and for this forum like you. Second issue: this thread, like any other one, it is not a contest.
Mark, I'm sorry for these comments.
Regards and always enjoy the music.
Raul.
Mark I am firm beleiver in the quicksilver transformer~$400.00. IMO anyone using a low output moving coil with tube preamp must have one. Not so sure about solid state.
Insufficient gain in the phono stage should showup as:
having to turn the volume control way higher than usual.
lack of slam
excessive background noise.
By the way $1000.00 should buy you the cartridge of your dreams. Stay away from used, the magnets degrade over time. Some companies offer trade-in value for used cartridges. if you can get one for under fifty dollars it may be worth your while.
I have to disagree with Doug about 12.6 Hz being too high a resonant frequency. IMO, it is just about perfect. See the following link for a more lenghty explanation. http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=vinyl&n=16350&highlight=compliance+range&r=&session=

I have used the Shelter 501 on a well-tempered classic. To my ears, it had a touch of honey added that might not be a good match for an already warm system. Also, it had a somewhat distant perspective. Still, it was always musical with excellent resolution and bass response in my system. Stereo imaging and depth were exceptional.

Mark, if the sonic attributes of the Shelter appeal to you, I say go for it. It is a great match for your arm.

try a denon dl103r for less than 300 landed from audio cubes and put the money you save on a more expensive cartridge toward the new table/arm
Mark: Msiebers is right. Doug speak what he read on the " book ". He don't have experience with a 12.6hz tonearm/cartridge combo resonant frecuency against the same cartridge with an other ( or the same ) tonearm with a 9.7hz ( example ) resonant frecuency: he is inexpert on this subject.
BTW, please don't buy the DL 103R cartridge: it is a garbage of cartridge.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul.
I have spoken w/ several reputable dealers and analog "gurus" all of whom felt the Shelter 901 would be a fine match w/ the SME arm. I purchased the Shelter and it will arrive this week. Thanks for all the input!

Mark
Raul: I have seen you warn against he 103R on several threads, and yet, I've seen many tens of posts from users saying they are a good performer and a great value. Can you detail for us your impressions of the 103R and why you warn against its use. Please, do not just say it is "bad" or it is "garbage". Instead, some reasons and impressions. Thanks
Raul,
I have seen you weigh in on several threads regarding analog playback systems. Your negative, comments, your "I am right and everyone else is wrong" attitude is wearisome, rude, and uncalled for. If you cannot say something constructive without insulting someone else's choices in equipment or technique, please refrain from posting at all.

It must be a terrible burden to be right all the time while everyone else is wrong.

Mstram,
Please forgive me from hijacking your thread, but Raul travels from thread to thread with insulting remarks for anyone who does not conform to his thinking with respect to analog playback.
I have used a 103R and a Dynavector DV20XH and the Denon is lovely. It compares very well to the prior Madrigal Carnegie which I traded away as it was at the end of its life and I decided not to invest in rebuilding it (maybe a mistake).

The 103 series is not only a great value it is a great sounding unit.
Mstram,
If I'd known you were ready to jump in the 901's direction I'd have offered to lend you mine at no cost but shipping. You could have made a decision based on your own ears. I'm sure you'll enjoy the cartridge, which is a pretty good one. Good luck in your analog adventures.

MSiebers,
FWIW, I have heard systems with cart/arm resonances above 12 Hz. IME the bass response of those systems was sub-optimal. There's a reason most people prefer a range of 8-12Hz, with 10Hz being optimal. It works a little better.

A Shelter performs well on your WT arm? That's great, but Mark doesn't have a WT arm. A Shelter also performs well on a modded OL Silver and even better on a mass-matched Schroeder Reference. What does any of this have to do with Mark's SME 309?

Slipknot1,
Strangely enough, Raul has made the same 10Hz recommendation that I did several times on other threads. Clearly he is disagreeing here just to be disagreeable. I interpret this as his cry for help.

Raul apparently believes that tearing someone else down builds him up. His world must be a starkly unfulfilling place. Imagine living life in a zero-sum game, with no way to increase your own worth but by reducing someone else's. What a pathetic and loveless existence. Such a person must either discover a new path or go mad.

PsychicAnimal's or Cello's prescriptions might help him. Finding God might help him. Raul has yet to discover the courage within himself to trust anything beyond himself. I hope someday he will.
Mark, good luck with your cartridge. We are all lucky to have so many good choices.

Doug, the original poster asked about the Shelter 501, and I was attempting to shared my experience of how it sounds. I believe the character of the sound will be essentially the same on his equipment. I tried to include the equipment I used at the time to give the context of my experience with the shelter. I apologize if this was confusing.

Doug, I feel you have misjudged my post. It was not a personal attack, but a request for you to share your experience. I asked for the basis of your opinion because you have presented your conclusion without detailing the experience that led to your conclusion. I have been following the discussions of resonant frequency on the vinyl engine and AA by headshell/hybris. He has stated several times that a higher resonant frequency is desirable, and that has matched my own limited experience. I feel that tracking improves with a higher resonant frequency.

What is the bass frequency that is affected ? If it is the low bass (20-40 Hz), that would explain why many would not hear the impact, since most systems Iincluding my own) do not reproduce this range.


Dear Doug: You read in the " book ": 8hz to 12 hz, and I agree with that. ***" Clearly he is disagreeing here just to be disagreeable.....": Come on, Msiebers is talking about 12.6hz that's why I'm in agree with him:
Doug don't tell me that you or anyone can hear the difference in sound reproduction between a tonearm/cartridge with a resonance frecuency of 12hz ( right on target )against the same combo with 12.6hz?. This is why I don't agree with you in this particular subject.*****"with no way to increase your own worth but by reducing someone else's. What a pathetic and loveless", fortunatelly I don't need to increase my worth, please speak for your self and don't be angry when I call you inexpert ( I'm inexpert in several audio subjects, like anyone ), maybe the problem is that you think that you are a whole expert and that any one can be free to disagree with you. Doug, do it you a favor: try to learn with " live experience ", if you do that then you can grow up with less mistakes, less time and less money.
Regards and always enjoy the music.
Raul.
I did the the III to IV and also own a 309. Even w/ occasional use, 15 yrs is quite a long time. Um, have the headshell lead connections been cleaned during that time? --grin--

Cart is a Clearaudio V. Wood, not tweaky weird about setup, reasonably tough and durable - within limits.

I've eliminated the word 'best' from my audio vocab, and for carts, buy to a price point, and maybe occasionally sneak a peek at a review. Nearly impossible, AFAIK, to borrow and audition a cart, let alone buy one w/ a MBG.

The III to IV jump is an OK improvement, but certainly is not cheap. No experience w/ the SDS. Actually, record cleaning effort and procedures are producing nearly the same improvements...
Raul has yet to discover the courage within himself to trust anything beyond himself. I hope someday he will.

Dougdeacon

Raoul,

You really need to address some *issues*. Estás patinando en seco...

***
Raul, please answer my fair question with respect to the 103R.
Dear 4yanx: I don't know why you are losting my time with this garbage. I don't know, too, which is your audio system
but if you are asking then you have that cartridge, I only say this: where are the extremes?
Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul.
What, Raul? You said the 103R was a garbage cartridge. I asked you nicely what your impressions are that would make you say that when many others have said they like its performance. I'm not sure I've ever read ANYONE else who said it was bad. Wondering why you think so. What possible difference could it make what MY ssytem consists of when asking you to discuss your impressions of the 103R. If all that's wasting your time, well, you won't find me feeling sorry for you. Once again you are being not only arbitrary, but rude, too.
Dear 4yanx: If you are only asking to me for take the chance to:*****" Once again you are being not only arbitrary,but rude, too. " , tell me that, please don't do it.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul.
Msiebers,
Sorry if I came on strong. Like you, I had no desire to offend. Providing the context for your Shelter 501 experience was valuable of course, as long as Mark doesn't necessarily expect the same on a different arm. IME the character of a cartridge can change substantially depending on the arm it's used on. That's all.

I have been following the discussions of resonant frequency on the vinyl engine and AA by headshell/hybris. He has stated several times that a higher resonant frequency is desirable, and that has matched my own limited experience.
I haven't seen that conversation. I'll look it up, thanks for the reference.

What is the bass frequency that is affected ? If it is the low bass (20-40 Hz), that would explain why many would not hear the impact, since most systems Iincluding my own) do not reproduce this range.
The frequencies affected are indeed in the lower bass, so your supposition seems correct. My speakers are only flat to 33Hz, though they do produce some useful energy below that in the usual rolling off way. Presumably the lower one's system goes the more this will matter.

The experiences that lead me to prefer a resonance frequency around 10-11Hz were based on altering the effective mass of my own arms, a TriPlanar and an OL Silver. On the TP this is especially easy to do, depending on the cartridge, because the arm comes with three different counterweights. (Some other arms like Moerch have a similar facility.) Unless one has a very heavy or very light cartridge, it's normally possible to balance it and apply VTF using either of two weights. Obviously this slightly alters the effective mass and resonance frequencies.

IME with two Shelter 901's and three different ZYX R1000 series carts, a resonance frequency around 10 provides slightly better bass. With the ZYX's it's fairly subtle. With the 901's it was more obvious.

I feel that tracking improves with a higher resonant frequency.
I couldn't detect any tracking ability changes. The ZYX's always tracked and traced superbly when properly set up. The Shelter's didn't do as well regardless of setup. Of course other combinations may well act differently. Yours obviously does.

If very LF energy inputs (warps, footfalls, etc.) are causing tracking problems then tuning the arm/cart resonance a bit higher to avoid them could be an effective compromise solution. (Oy! Everything in vinyl is a big compromise. What a goofy way to reproduce music!)
Oh, forget it, Raul. You impressions are probably just as bogus as your demeanor, anyway. You seem to end so many posts with "Regards and enjoy the music", yet you show little or no regard for the folks on this site and do even less to further their enjoyment of the music. Sad, really. I've come to beleive that PA and Cello are correct, you truly need to seek help.
Dear 4yanx: Is up to you.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul.
Dear friends: Here it is some info about the importance of matching the tonearm/cartridge, this info comes from a cartridge manufacturer:

" Hi Raul,,



The compliance from our cartridges is not relevant, if you have a good arm and turntable , you can track 300 µmm, with this cartridge so if you calculate and project this to compliance you get 70 but nobody believe that so, the important thing is the arm can work with cartridges from 10 Gr mass and more,

Second if you build in the cartridge set in full parallel to the record, first after ( with 180 our 200 Gr vinyl ) you listen to voice on a record and put the arm a little higher no lower settings and adjust you have the most air our room around the voice that play, that is the point
you leave it normal is this 1 or 2mm higher ( NO MORE ).
Regards.
Jan. ".
All days there are something to learn in audio, other than " the book ", the name of the game: " LIVE EXPERIENCE ", don't forget it.

Doug, as you know some one in this forum prove to you that your speakers are not only flat to 33Hz, but with serious difficult aproach only between 50-60Hz ( maybe less with your equalizers ), this is why you can't have a " live experience " on that subject and why I call you: inexpert, now: can you understand the whole thing?
Regards and always enjoy the music.
Raul.

Doug: I forgot: The BW specification for your 803 is: 42Hz
+,- 2db on axis, and you want that we believe that it is flat to 33Hz +,- 0db?.
Come on Doug, speak with the true through facts not " your illusions ".
Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul.
¡Qué baboso!
Dear Doug: Why ( like TWL ) when you are " capture " and can't find the " way out ", choose " dead silence ".
This is not a graceful ( not elegant ) escape, this is like the ostrich that hidding it head but everybody can see it full body.
Regards and always enjoy the music.
Raul.
Wasn't romy banned from here before? I frequent many forums besides just Audiogon and this is behavior from those who have been out-cast is nothing new. You see it all the time. It is obvious that he is back with another moniker.
Doug, "Audible Effects of Mechanical Resonance in Turntables" is the name of a paper published by Poul Ladegaard at the 1977 AES convention. It is available for download at www.vinylengine.com --> Forum --> Members download area Miscellaneous, then select "Audible effects of mechanical resonances in turntables".

According to the paper, too low a resonant frequency contributes to: excessive rumble, wow and flutter, tracking force variation, bass intermodulation distortion, and increased susceptibility to feedback. The conclusion of the paper is to recommend resonant frequency in the range of 15-18 Hz.



Msiebers,
I believe that article was more valid at the time it was presented than it is today, due to changes in the analog playback environment.

Only a few turntables that existed in 1977 could match today's better decks for lack of rumble, wow, flutter, etc. Those noise sources were common in many 1970's and older decks (including all of mine!) so isolation from them was critical.

Those noise sources barely exist on today's decent rigs. The problems have changed, for the better of course, so the solutions should change to match them.

Today the most significant vibration sources are footfalls and warps, which mostly fall well below 8Hz, and LF bass information recorded on the record, which can go as low as 16Hz or so on some records. A resonance frequency as high as 18Hz would have a high probability of interacting with music information.

Good job pointing up that article. Reflecting on it shows how much progress analog playback has made in recent decades.

P.S. regarding Raul's concern
The B&W spec for the N803's is -3db @ 35Hz and -6db @ 28Hz. My loose recollection that they go flat to 33 was an overstatement by approximately 4db. Sorry for the inaccuracy.

Obviously they do produce useful, audible information into the bottom half-octave, which is consistent with the audibility of LF bass interference. No doubt speakers which go lower would reveal even more, as you originally stated.
Dear Doug: The B&W specs are at Lab stage. The frecuency response of your loudspeakers in your room or another one it is always worst really worst. That's why I told you that your info about are only " illusions ": +,- 4db at 33Hz? in room?, do really know what are you talking about ?, I think you are an " inexpert " in this area, too.
I repeat again: some one told you that your speakers don't go lowest than 50Hz in a room. In that ocasion I remember your statement that you can hear 20Hz in your 803 speakers, this one was an inaccuracy, too?
Please try to learn about. Where do you left " the book ".
Regards and always enjoy the music.
Raul.
Raul,

Your continuing personal attacks on Doug are tiresome, and the longer they continue, the more offensive it all becomes. I wish you would move past this one-upmanship game you're playing; all this looks like is your pique over not being crowned the Audiogon analog guru. In the process of playing this interminable game, it seems to me that you are alienating everyone who regularly posts here. You could become a valued contributor, instead you are making yourself a person many wish to avoid. Surely this can't be your intended outcome? (rhetorical question)

And I'm trying to "enjoy the music", but your trite little closing (given the offensive content of your posts) is ruining it for me every time I see it now.
.
And I'm trying to "enjoy the music", but your trite little closing (given the offensive content of your posts) is ruining it for me every time I see it now.

Me two (or, is that umpteen?).
Raoul, why don't you contribute your knowledge in the Vinyl Asylum? It's *different* there...

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/vinyl/

I'm sure your style will be well taken...

Regards and enjoy the music.

***
Doug, I agree that analog equipment has improved, however, the issues created by too low a resonant frequency do not go away with modern equipment. The issues presented in the article deal entirely with the tonearm, cartridge, and record. As the article states, Wow and flutter, distortion, mistracking, and rumble can be caused entirely as the result of too low a resonant frequency.

I have read some other posts that mention a lower resonant frequency enhances bass response, but this could just be the result of bass imtermodulation, as mentioned in the article.

As far as your experience with changing counterweights, I believe that this type of activity will change resonant frequency less than a hertz, which I do not view as a comprehensive test.

So, I believe that you hear a difference with higher resonant frequency combinations, but perhaps it is the absence of bass intermodulation that you are hearing! I have an open mind on the subject. At any rate, thanks for sharing your experience. I admire the energy and enthusiasm you have for analog.
Doug needs a modded 1200 so that he can learn to PLAY records!
People, who don't have any equalizer in their system, are born deaf.

Raul,your room is equalizer.

Don't enjoy the music !!