AT cartridges


Having replaced my long-serving AT 0c9 in the past four months, with three successive and newer AT cartridges I wish to report.
The 0c9 was for two decades polite and competent, if sonically uninspiring.  
The first successor, an 0c9ML/11, boldly increased sonic clarity, an unveiling relative to the 0c9, but at the expense of a hardness, more precisely a lack of timber and harmonics evident throughout the frequency range but most noticeable in the somewhat exaggerated treble.
The second successor, a 33SA, brought a kind of epiphany....'this is what the vinyl resurgence is all  about'.  The frequency range was extended, the highs were now wonderfully sweet even if still exaggerated, and resonance at all frequencies was dramatically increased.  The majisterial sound of a grand piano throughout its seven octaves, the velvet strains of a fine violin....listening was immensely pleasurable.
The 33SA's virtues kindled an unquenchable curiosity.  If adding $350.00 to the cost of the 0c9ML/11 had such effect, what might surpassing the cost of the 33SA by a similar increment achieve?
The third successor, an ART9, brought further improvement, not as dramatic as the previous purchase had, but justifying the cost paid.
The improvement was to my ear two-fold.
The resonance and sweet treble of the 33SA were maintained, but clarity...clarity manifest as more detailed and explicitly rendered timber and harmonics...was improved throughout the audible frequency range.  Performance was now uniform throughout that frequency range, what might be described as sonic neutrality.  One might imagine a canvas with heightened contrast, and now without areas less attended to by the artist.
So in respect of these four AT cartridges I acknowledge the discussant who stated 'with cartridges its all in the price list...the cost tells the relative quality'.
Regarding those costs, I believe the lowest currently available are from Juno Records in London, UK.  Recent Juno Records sale price for the 0c9ML/11 was $355.00, for the 33SA was $625.00, for the ART9 was $906.00....add about $5.00 for shipping....there is no tax.
Additional comments...I know several exist...regarding the quality and value of the AT cartridges relative to those of other MC cartridge manufactures are always welcome.
 

seventies
Hi Seventies,
I enjoyed your post about the AT cartridges. I would appreciate it very much if you would contact me. I would like to discuss one of the cartridges with you for more information.
thank you.
violin
The lowest prices are in Japan, not in UK, that’s for sure.

I haven’t tried many ATs MC models, the one i owned was magical, limited to 1000 units ever made on millenium 16 years ago as the Audio-technica Refference Transducer aka A.R.T. (only for Japanese market), talking about rare AT-ART2000 MC.

I’m on my MM route now and one of the top quality MM ever made is Audio-Technica AT-ML180 LC-OFC from the 80s which i’m currently use (it was made also only for Japanese market), i have AT-ML150 / OCC and AT-ML170 LC-OFC. Don’t mix it up with current AT MM carts btw.
Chakster,
Your response puzzles me insofar as the AT MC prices (I have not owned a MM cartridge for over 30 years, though this is not to denigrate MM cartriudges) listed on e-bay are substantially higher than those obtainable from Germany and higher still than those obtainable from Juno Records, London, UK.
@seventies when it comes to new models such as ART-7 or ART-9 the japanese sources are the best if you can buy direct or even with auction agent from japan (not on ebay). Discountinued models such as rare vintage AT carts are not available from juno at any price, but they are worth to try (those 80s MM carts from Audio-Technica are incredible).  

chakster,

Would you cite one or two Japanese dealers one might purchase from at lower cost than from UK or German dealers...

for iinstance, one is g.h.r, which is an outfit selling all kinds of miscellany.

Thanks

I use a AT33ML/OCC.  Better than a OC9 to my ears.  Cleaner midrange and more frequency extension.
The ART-9 is like an OC-9-MKIII on steroids. And now, there is the new ART-1000 recently reviewed by Fremer.  Sells for $5000.