My Transfiguration Temper W seems to combine the qualities you mention for the MK III and the XX-2.
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Dear Balazs: I preffer de Ikeda cartridges ( sans cantilever design ) to the Decca ones.
Now, for the only one, this is what I post about on other thread:
+++++ " The Allaerts MC2 Finish is several steps a head not only over the MC1B but a head any other cartridges that I know/heard in my own system ( all the ones you named here ) or in a friend/dealer system.
When this cartridge is right set up your audio system disappears and you have nothing but the MUSIC it self. When you put the stylus on the record and you hear the very first musical notes you know everything is settled and like Neville said: you don't need to change nothing and you don't want to change nothing, you only want to enjoy what you are hearing.
It is a great natural balance cartridge from top to bootom: do you want the best low bass?: you have it, do you want to have the best midrange?: you have it, do you want the best soundstage?: you have it, do you want the best natural musical agressive high frequencies?: you have it. All what you want: you have it. When you are hearing to the MC2 Finish you forgot about it, you forgot about your electronics or anything else: you will be deep inmerse on the full/whole music: MUSIC and nothing but the MUSIC!!!!!!!
Is there any down side with the MC2 Finish?, yes: it is a very low output cartridge and needs a lot of clean gain and an accurate RIAA eq, nothing less. You have to mate it only with the best or almost the best audio devices ( no SUTs here or bad tube designs ): if not " she " will tell you that your system ( some links ) is not up to the musical reproduction task. Here there are no " greys ": only black or white. This is a cartridge for the music experienced people and for the experienced audiophile that loves the music and take care about it and take care about the quality sound reproduction. Yes, this cartridge is in another " league ": I loved it!!!!!!!!! Who don't?
From the objective point of view this cartridge had some incredible specs:
- tracking capacity: 400 umm
- frequency range: from 3 to 100 Khz
- channel separation: 70 db at 20 Khz!!!!
- Total THD%: 0.1%!!!!!!
These cartridges were build 100% by hand by Jan Allaerts it self ( his company is " one man company " ) and it comes with a life warranty and he told me that the stylus is for at least 10,000 hours.
Allaerts is the first cartridge company, that I know, that gives exactly the load impedance that needs their cartridges ( he don't left these parameters to our ears ) and the exactly VTF too: no VTF/load impedance ranges here, this is a serious and profesional people : Jan.
If you want one MC2 Finish you can buy it and have to wait betwenn 4 to 6 months to have at home.
Highly recomended!!!!!!! " +++++
Of course there are several other very good top cartridge options: Clearaudio Titanium, Dynavector XV-1, Van denHul Colibri, Transfiguration W/V, Ikeda Rex ( works very good with the MECHANIC ), lYRA tITAN i, Miyabi 47, Sumiko Celebration, Shelter 90X, Ortofon 7500, Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Benz micro LP, etc, etc, etc
Obviously that you have to have the right tonearm to match the cartridge and most important: the right Phonopreamp not only for the gain/noise issue but more important for the RIAA eq deviation where you have to lok for accuracy.
Regards and enjoy the music.
The only one of these carts with which I'm personally familiar is the Decca Super
Gold Mk VII. Best cart I've ever heard in my system (re-plinthed Lenco L75 TT,
JMW 10.5 arm, custom tubed phonostage based on Moscode SuperIt, CJ Prem.
17LS2 linestage, custom 845 SET monoblocks, Gallo Ref 3 spkrs). The Decca
Super Gold exhibits none of the quirks (mistracking, noises) associated with
Decca carts, but a higher-mass damped unipivot arm like the JMW makes a
really synergistic combination with the Super Gold (low mass unipivots have
problems with it). Outstanding dynamics, very involving and musical. Good
Hello Sirspeedy, I listened to some allaerts, too I have made the same conclusion like some members of your group.
Good, but why the Hype?
One of my Audiophile friends is using the latest Transfiguration ( above the Temper W and V ) as a loan from this Dealer, it is called Orpheus. I asked him about buying it? He said, it makes no sense, he already uses the Zyx UNIverse and that is better. Maybe it is Synergy between components, but he has quite a few Arms to compare.
Dear Sirspeedy: I like the Transfiguration, it has ( top to bottom ) a very well balanced and natural sound reproduction but when you are hearing it " you know you are hearing your Transfiguration " and when you are using the Allaerts MC2: " you forgot about it, you forgot about your electronics or anything else: you will be deep inmerse on the full/whole music: MUSIC and nothing but the MUSIC... "
+++++ " ,in my local audio group,about the Allaerts.What I got back was that they were a bit over rated! " +++++
Sirspeedy, over rated?: first there is almost no professional reviews on the MC2 Finish, second its website is very simple and certainly with no over rated info, third where they read/heard those over rated opinions, fourth why they make that statement and fifth with what TT/tonearm and Phonostage any of them heard it.
I think that we need facts about for that that statement that with out facts is only a rumor does not convetrs on a fact per se: do you know what I mean ?
Regards and enjoy the music.
Thomas,thanks for the info.Also,I did not even know that there was a new,top model,Transfiguration.I'm not married to any product line,and would consider almost any alternative,once I feel I've gotten the most out of what I currently own.I don't like to jump at new stuff,just for the sake of newness,though I used to be that way.My own personal satisfaction comes from "staying on top of my current set-up",and updating/modifying any component I use.I like the idea of having a system that more or less is unique,and singular to me.Thanks though,as your insight is always a welcome additive to me.
Raul,calm down.I'm not trying to spread any rumors,or excite you.We are just "rapping the hobby"!As in "talking about what we all like to discuss"!It's basically harmless stuff.
As to my comment,referring to my friend's input about the Allaerts(remember,I am very interested in this line,and they look superb to me.Also,I really don't care about things I'm told,because I only make judgements from firsthand exposure,like the ZYX Univ,that you aren't too nutz about-:)).
I mentioned to a dear friend about my interest in the Allaerts line.He suddenly got a bit animated and stated that as far as he knew,he and his other audio group were familiar with them,but felt they were "overrated"!
Before you get carried away with the "where did they read this",and how "could they draw their conclusions",let me tell you that the people in my friend's other "little audio group",of which I am NOT in their inner circle,only being friendly with a few of them,are VERY SERIOUS DUDES.They are in constant contact with oneanother,and many of them have known eachother for years.They are privy to firsthand knowledge,from relationships with many advanced hobbyists,manufacturers and reviewers,of which some of them are(all of the above).So,basically all I'm saying,is that when my own friend gave me his own input,I don't have to give him "the third degree".This isn't the Davinci Code,and there are no secret agendas,just other well versed hobbyists,knowing ALOT more than a good majority of us.
I assume there are plenty of advanced hobbyists who keep to themselves,and don't post on the internet,though you and I like to!
That being said,I could care less,and you should too,what some other people think about ANY particular product.No matter who they may be.I STILL think the ALLAERTS stuff looks fantastic,just from my own intuitive suspicions,and from what little info I've been able to get.So,even though my friend gave me this input,it means nothing to me.I feel the same way about something like the Shroeder Ref arm.I have never heard it,but have a sneaky suspicion it is wonderful.Do you think I'm going to get excited if my friend tells me it is of no interest to his other group.Maybe if I was insecure about my own way of approaching the hobby,and I'm still a pretty happy guy.
Dear Jon: The Ortofon 7500 is a top contender, it don't have the immediate/alive sound reproduction of the Decca or Ikeda cartridges but is very well balanced top to bottom, good in the low bass and very transparent in the highs. It is a very low output cartridge and needs a lot of clean gain.
THe T-2000 can do the job but I don't recomended it, this is my experiences and what I think about any step-up transformer:
+++++ " The SUT is an old patch for bad SS phonopreamps designs and for the inherent limitations on tube phonopreamps for handle low output MC cartridges. It is a " chip solution to a complex problem ".
Any SUT has many inherent disadvantages like: distortions generated at the core ( it does not matters if is: air core ), heavy phase discharge ( landslide ), high apt to take hum, the wide zone ( band ) can't go down to DC, severe roll-off at high and low frecuencies, the reactive impedance on the SUT is incompatible with the cartridge impedance: this cause that we never could have flat frecuency response when we are using SUT, this mismatch between the impedances promote that the signal that pass through any SUT will be equalized ( yes, exactly like the problems between tube amplifier and loudspeakers because of those impedances ).
Any time with any of you we can make the tests and prove all those disadvantages and others like the additional cables that you have to use, additional connectors, the SUT is an additional ( filter ) link in the analog audio chain.
I want to let clear that there is no single advantage, in any way, using SUT's, any of them: it does not matters their design or price.
The SUT always be a : wrong PATCH. " +++++ The signal that pass through a SUT suffer a severe degradation.
My advice is that you go for a high-gain phonolinepreamp.
Regards and enjoy the music.
I completely agree with Raul about avoiding SUTs.
And although my own phono preamp is ss, I see there are now some highly recommended tube phono preamps that offer high gain -- like the Aesthetix Io (80dB). So if you think you want tubes, even with a low output MC, you aren't condemed to using a SUT.
I currently use an Allaerts MC1B (on a Schroeder model 2/Platine Verdier) and I have heard the MC2 Finish on another Platine with Schroeder Reference. I also own a Decca Gold Garrott Brothers original (now very old indeed).
The Allaerts MC1B is far, far better than my old Decca. The MC2 is even better still but more money. I haven't heard the transfiguration so I can't comment. I like the Allaerts a lot. They are very musical and have very little in the way of an audio signature. It doesn't seem to lack in dynamics compared to the Decca either. It tracks superbly and is at home with all kinds of music (my prefernces are very eclectic).
My tuppence worth.
The only really negative comment I've heard from others about the Jan Allaerts cartridge line is that there is a wide variation in the quality of construction (the fit and finish I presume).
I suppose if Jan isn't feeling well on the week he makes your cartridge, it may not look perfect -- however I bet it will sound perfect ;--)