I can't speak to the AN, but I've been running in a fresh ART 7(my second) on a 4Point after a long run with a $3K Accuphase AC-5 on the Kuzma. The match with the ART 7 is superior in every way.
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Ahh, the ART-7 is very low output. I found this...
"According to an insider at Audio Technica (Japan) the ART7 is more for classical music because it has better micro layering of soundstage. ART9 on the other hand is a much more of an all rounder because it has a very powerful presentation which suits Jazz, Rock and Pop along with classical. ART7 doesnt have the macrodynamic force that the ART9 has. Moreover ART7 is an extremely low output cart making it a difficult cart for phonostage matching. The ART9 is much more friendly in its output voltage and matches with any decent phonostage."
It’s all about the gain structure of your phono stage. The 1.2mV ART7 is fine at +76db on my Pass XP-25, but could get by with a bit less gain. The ART7 uses non-permeable coil formers, which reduces its output but provides theoretically improved SQ. In other respects the two cartridges are similar, and either should perform well on the 4PT. The ART7 is fairly high compliance. It sounds better on the 4PT with slightly lower inertial mass after removing the middle of its three main counterweights. I suspect that AT’s addition of the ART9 model was primarily about ease of use.
I ended up buying a new ART-9 off eBay. For those who have bought new ones, is there supposed to be two things rolling around in the box? I don't want to open mine until I hear from the seller, Thakker. The tamper proof seals are still in place but it just don't seem like things should be rattling around inside.
Probably you are hearing the mounting hardware (tiny nuts and bolts) rattling around in their container, but I wouldn't say for sure.
The notion, promoted apparently by AT, that the ART7 is "more for classical music" (compared to the ART9) is a bunch of hooey. I own an ART7, and I play jazz and R&B nearly 100%, to my great pleasure with the ART7.
I opened the box and unfortunately the cartridge was no longer attached to the headshell mount and was rolling around inside the plastic case. The cantilever cover was still in place and the cantilever is straight, but doesn’t it seem like not a great idea to keep a cartridge that was rattling around for 4000 miles? The sharp edges of the cartridge body put hundreds of tiny nicks all over the inside of the case.
Can’t speak to the ART-9. I’m running the AN IQ3 on my Nottingham Interspace Jr. with stock arm. At approximately $1200 U.S., I’m not sure if I would consider the IQ3 an "inexpensive" cartridge but then that’s a matter of opinion.
Also, the IQ3 is manufactured by Goldring for Audio Note and I believe current production for the IQ3 has taken a backseat to Goldring’s products which makes the IQ3 difficult to obtain unless your audio dealer happens to have one in stock.
According to Peter Qvortrup, you’d have to move up to a MC (reference is probably to an AN cart), to achieve better sound.
I'm going to return the cartridge. No sense in risking there being unseen damage or wear to it. Surely banging around inside a fairly big hard plastic case is not great for something so delicate that is built under microscope. Disappointing to hear someone else had the same issue and amazing that AT doesn't tighten the nut a little more or put some Loctite on it!
ART9 good move. I would like to give a thumbs up to Mr Thakker, I bought a ART9 and within a month hit the cantilever with my five thumbs and bent it to the left he said send it to him and he would see what he could do. Four to six weeks later I had a new cartridge for the cost of shipping. That is one of the best experiences I have had in this hobby!