Dynavector XV-1s What is the REAL story?

I have read the performance parameters required for best sound in this cartridge, by the great HP,which I found interesting and perplexing.I then read,what seems to be a complete about face of HP's findings,by Mr Fremer,in Stereophile.Mr. Fremer does make a valid argument(we're talking tracking force)for correct alignment in the coils,and claims the mfgr's suggested force is the way to go.Makes sense,to me, NOT to stray from what the original designer has recommended!Yet,what do I know?It also seemed that MR Fremer was intentionally making the point,that HP was a bit clueless regarding downforce.

Well,now we have the "new audio pioneer"(I do like the guy,alot)Arthur Salvatore,on his "really fun to follow" web pages,stating that after much experience,with the XV-1s,he has concluded that MR Pearson was RIGHT,in recommending a downforce considerably higher than even the mfgr states.Obviously Mr Fremer would be incorrect.Even though his argument follows the line of ultimate reliability,as well as performance.All in a product costing about 4500 bucks--????

So,my argument is this---"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON"???

We have a very expensive product that has gotten a considerable amount of press,where the supposedly top reviewers in the industry cannot seem to agree on a parameter that will DEFINITELY affect both sonic performance,as well as long term reliability!

They claim that "Newbees" are in short supply,and the industry is shrinking.Hmm,I wonder why!

Do we ALL cancel our subscriptions,to these "once hobbyist oriented" journels?Do we rely on forums like this to garnish the "TRUTH",where there STILL are those who "jump" at the opportunity to tout their Favorite possessions,and put in a good word for their favorite designer/manufacturers?

Or do we start to rely on our own sense of perceptions,which(believe me)really begin to "sharpen up",after you have spent your hard earned cash!!

Any thoughts are always welcome!!
For $4,500 I'd go with the manufactures recommendation!
I have owned the XV-1 for 6 years now well before the so-called reviewers started glamourising the cartridge. I have tried it at the so-called HP 2.6 - 2.8 gms and in my system with my normal ears it just sounded different. HP is full of crap stating that it does not track correctly unless you track it at 2.6gm's. I also load my XV-1 at 47k thru my Pass Xono.

The cartridge tracks just fine and sounds just fine at 2 or 2.2gms. I think dynavector knows a bit more about cartridges, especially its own than HP. Fremer is correct, follow the manufacturers specs.

BTW, I think Raul got confirmation from dyna that you can safely use the XV-1 at 2.4gms without any potential increase in wear and tear on the cartridge.

Why the assumption that there is a single correct VTF? It's been my recent experience that VTF does effect multiple aspects of sound quality. It's possible that given their respective systems and listening preferences that two perfectly competent people could arrive at different setup settings. I must admit that the difference is quite large in this particular case.
I track my XV-1 (no 's' FWIW) at 2.2g. I heard absolutely no improvement musically or sonically at higher VTF settings. If anything, I thought the cartridge's high frequency performance was slightly compromised at VTF settings that ran much beyond the manufacturer's recommended 2.2g upper limit.

More importantly, I found that the music's pacing began to suffer at higher VTF settings, which is a serious drawback in my book. Swapping the XV-1's excellent rhythmic drive for a doubtful improvement in sound effects is a lousy trade if you care about musical involvement.

Based on their writing and/or equipment choices, it seems that HP, HW, and Salvatore (and Fremer too, for that matter) are basically clueless, or at best indifferent, when it comes to reproducing music with its timing and drive intact.

I spoke with Mike Pranka (the US distributor for Dynavector) about this, and he said the manufacturer cautions that 2.5 grams VTF is the upper limit that the XV-1 should safely be able to handle. I think it's reasonable to assume that exceeding that limit would cause premature wear or damage, skew the SRA, and certainly throw the moving coil out of alignment with the magnetic gap's sweet spot.
Dear Sirspeedy: This is what I answer ( off-line ) to the same VTF question of one Audiogoner:

+++++ " I try my XV-1 with damping and with out it and at the end I choose with out it. My XV-1 is on my Micro Seiki RX 5000 and I use a self design phonopreamp ( phono/line in one unit that I love it ), I think that I don't need the damping. I can " see " that you have an excellent TT too: the Acutus ( I like it ).

Now, about the 2.6 gr. On the VTF my opinion is: the manufacturer range is between 1.8 to 2.2 gr. Why all cartridges manufacturers give us that VTF range? : it is because inside that VTF range the cartridge coils are centered and this is a critical point in the cartridge performance.
You choose a VTF out of that range, so the coils are centered-off and the cartridge sound reproduction change. If you like it or not is another issue:
the point here is that your XV-1 is running out of specs. You like more the " colorations " of an off-centered coils, that's ok.
In the long run that " heavy " VTF will do a degradation on the cartridge suspension that could affect in a severe way the future sound reproduction of your cartridge and can ruin your LPs. Take care about and ask directly to Dynavector, maybe they approved it. " +++++

That same day I ask directly to Dynavector in Japan and the Dynavector Technical Director give me this answer:
> +++++ " Dear Raul,
> Thank you for your using DV products.
> DV cartridges can secure sufficient performance when using recommended
> tracking force motioned on the manual. It is true that Higher tracking
> force can improve the tracking performance at the high amplitude track
> of the record but too higher tracking force might cause the problem
> with frequency response as upper side of the damper rubber is
> compressed by the coil bobbin and downside of the damper rubber is
> detach from the coil bobbin.
> We advise 2.5g would be reasonable maximum tracking force for the XV-1s.
> Tracking ability of the XV-1s is slightly changed by room temperature.
> It means that when you use the cartridge in cold room, you should
> increase tracking force a little than the XV-1s recommended tracking
> force of 2.0g, when you use cartridge in hot room you should decrease
> tracking force.
> Hopefully it could be helpful to you. " +++++

Before these question/answer I run my Xv-1 at 2.2 grs. with very good performance, after the Dynavector answer I try 2.5 grs and finish in 2.4 grs: great performance.

Now, Mr. Fremer is right on his statements about and I agree with him, at least on this subject.

The opinion of Mr. Pearson ( that I respect ) is totally out of take in count : he speaks of 2.6-2.7 grs, he is totally wrong and he can give that kind of opinion because he maybe don't pay 4.5K for that cartridge and he don't care about his LPs damage. Now, Mr. Pearson has a high frequency problem with its ears, he not only does not care about the VTF manufacturer recomendation, he don't care about load impedance either: he always run any cartridge at 47K, obviously he needs equalization.

From Mr. Salvatore ( that I admire for his constant support to his web site ) he is wrong too.

+++++ " Or do we start to rely on our own sense of perceptions " +++++

Here we can't do that: these kind of cartridges are really expensive and our beloved LPs deserves that we take care about.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Fremer is HP's former tt setup man, if I remember correctly!
For some reason on my last two carts I much preffered them at max. reccomended force when they were new and at much lower force when I had several (50-100) hours on them. Don't know if this means diddly, but yea, liking the same brand cart at two very different settings did happen, twice.
Also, I've read that some of the high end carts can have a tight sweet spot that varies with things like humidity. FWIW.
Dear Jeff: You are right. When a cartridge is new the suspension is to rigid and sometimes needs the max VTF but over the play hours the suspension is right on target and with less VTF sounds right.

Van denHul recomended this for my Colibri and really works.

Rigfht now I'm on that " game " with the XV-1 but I don't have yet any conclusion about on it.

Regards and enjoy the music.
BTW,Raul--I knew,in advance of posing my question,that your response would be quite interesting,and in this case,seemingly plausable,as well.

Also,I'm not really surprised with the discrepencies displayed by some industry people,as you know.Alot of what we are exposed to is simply the marketing engine,at work!Do we really need more stuff?As regularly as we are told,we do?Do you really believe that there are "levels of improvement",that appear as regularly as the next issue of TAS,or Stereophile,with the "components of the moment"?Go to a dealer,or show event,and try to listen beyond the hype.If you've been at this for a long time,ask yourself if what you are hearing is really better than what you have assembled,over the time you have spent,in this hobby.Especially if you are an active hobbyist.You may be surprised,with the answer.

My point is that it is of paramount importance to trust your own intuitive senses!Not what we are told should be best!!Also,sure it's fun to get as technical,as we see in these forums,but in all truthfulness it is merely an exercise in technospeak!!ANY "newbee" out there,trust your own judgements,you will seldom make a gross enough error,that will dampen your enjoyment of musi Best!
most people use higher vtf to counter mistracing. remember putting the penny on the tonearm. I don't remeber what arm he was using with dynavector xv-1. Also HP tends to match what he thinks is the absolute best cartridge with the absolute best arm. Sometimes they are an ideal match sometimes not. Maybe he needs to experiment with other arms.
Dear Sirspeedy: +++++ " Do you really believe that there are "levels of improvement",that appear as regularly as the next issue of TAS,or Stereophile,with the "components of the moment"? " +++++

Certainlly not, at least not so fast like they told. I think that the problem with those reviewers is that if some audio device sounds a little different from what they have on reference they always " think it sounds better " and there are almost always comercial compromises between the manufacturers and the reviewers/magazines that preclude a neutral reviews. Of course that not all reviewers have " compromises ", some of them are really neutral.

+++++ " My point is that it is of paramount importance to trust your own intuitive senses! " +++++

Ok, now I understand and agree with you.

Regards and enjoy the music.

When I read that article, I smiled. I smiled, because I thought, he was looking for a "new" King in Town. He also wrote, this is the first real 5 Star cartridge. That was wrong, some time ago he had the first "shoot out" with Lyra Titan, Clearaudio Insider, Miyabi 47 and XV-1 and he raved about the Miyabi in a long article as the first 5 Star cartr. ever.
Now he runs the XV-1s with a weight, no other will do because the other ones will use the manufacturer's recommendation. That's normal, they pay money for.
When he uses that cartridge far out of it's range, why does he not do that with the other ones?
I read TAS for nearly 12 years now, but since they had financial problems and got back, it is not the same anymore. Sometimes I have the impression, HP gets out of bed and thinks:"Well, in what mood I am today?
I need a new favourite". On the other side, he writes about the pain in the ass to adjust that Clearaudio Stuff, that impresses me, because most other avoid to write about unpopular "things".
Would I run Cartridge with much higher tracking force than the manufacturer's recommendation?
Only when I get that one for free.
I have read the opinions on the cart and heard it once too. It appears that the opinion on Mr. Salvatore's website comes from a few different people who use the cart with JMW arms. Perhaps this is of note when considering the differing opinions on the XV-1s.
Thomas,I LOVED your thread.To me,it is SO true!!I have often thought that HP relies too much on his set-up person,as you simply know, he is "not about to get on his hands and knees",like the average hobbyist.Thusly,how much can be learned,about new products,requiring sensitive adjustments,if you don't really do it ALL yourself.Also,as you brilliantly stated:if you did not pay for it,how much attention to detail will you likely put in?

I really read the journals for entertainment,though occassionaly there is a good "think Piece"!

I recently heard the BIG NOLA speakers,with ASR-Emitter/nordost set-up.Truthfully I got a headache after about 30 minutes.Just my own taste,but the stage/dynamic flow/instrument sizing was too damn big,and annoying.Really!Sure it did everything described in the original review,but it reminded me of being at a wedding,and sitting too close to the band!Yet if one is taking everything the audio press states,literally,we become addicted to the "It's new,and being discussed alot,and there are pictures of it" syndrome.Of course the more experience someone gets in the hobby,diminishes this,but ONLY after spending a TON of money. Just my own take.

I'm getting ready to buy a XV-1S, so this is a very helpful thread. Thank you to all contributors.

Its fun to push the envelope and try new things and try old things in new ways. Part of the fun of vinyl is 'getting it right', because when it is right it can be sublime. Gears come and go. At the end of the day ... its the music.
Dear Thomas: About Mr. pearson, there is more than only " :"Well, in what mood I am today? "

In that " contest " where he gave a 5 stars to Miyabi he gave 3.5 to the XV-1 and the Titan and only 2 to the Insider.
This was his final opinion about the XV-1: " For my part, I find little to complain about. It does the music justice. And it has few audible shortcomings. In fact, taken by itself, you would not know it had any " in other part of the review of the Dyna he posted: " But much to my surprise, the XV-1 is, throughout the middle frequencies, virtually indistinguisable from the Miyabi. Indeed, the resemblance in terms of character, dynamics, etc, was so closer that I would have guessed that both cartridges were from the same line. I am not sure if one could distinguish between the two on some very good stereo systems. "

Why only 3.5 stars to the Dyna?

THis is what he posted about the Titan: " I loved the experience of listening to this moving coil, but not for one second was I convinced that is was getting me closer to the real thing. " In other part: " At first this cartridge was set for 1.6 grs., and while the bottom half of its response was admirable, the top half simply was not cutting it. We adjust the pressure till reached the maximum 1.75. I wanted to go higher. So I called ..Perkins on Immedia........he allowed... to set the force to 1.8, but that shorten the life of cantilever.
After a bit of reflection, we decided to stay at the manufacturer recomended maximum.....but we decided to play by the rules. "

He don't like the Titan but he give the same 3.5 start than the Dyna and here he show respect to the manufacturer advise about the VTF ????????

Well, what do you think?, only the mood? or you can " see " some other issues.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul,though you do make a correct observation,what it really comes down to is the fact that these are all just "people".Opinionated,as it should be,but no better able to differentiate the "correctness" of something than anyother hobbyist,who has been at it for a long time.

Of course there is sometimes an agenda,and also the lack of desire to "roll up the sleeves",to get at the "meat" of an issue.I doubt if I'd do any better,if I had to analyze stuff,all day long.I never wanted to be anything other than a simple hobbyist.

Yet it still doesn't let the people, who "influence" so many buying decisions,off the hook!At least not too easily!I always have this image,of HP,in a robe,with a pipe,and having his set-up man calling "hey Harry,come on down and tell me what you think".Followed by HP coming down a flight of stairs,giving a quick(bored)listen,and either giving a thumbs up,or down.Or using a pencil,where he breaks it,for rejection of said component,or doesn't snap it,at all.If he likes what he has heard.I know I've gotten carried away,but after the amount of time HP has been at this,he cannot possibly be as enthused about all the "stuff"(the componentry,and general dreck he is exposed to)he has to endure,and write about.

Yet,I would take his place,for what he probably gets paid.

Also,bear in mind that some observations cannot be taken at face value.For example:HP stated that he had issues with "line conditions,and poor wiring" until fairly recently.He then went on to rave about an amp,like the ASR(which I've heard),and the battery line stage.He felt it was incredibly quiet,and was blown away by this,and other aspects of the sound.Well,my friend,who has had a multitude of line problems,living 22 stories up,went through ALL the usual "line correcting" solutions.Until we finally(after a couple of years)got all the necessary "support products" in place.To say that he(my friend) NOW has supremely quiet lines is an understatement.He paid his dues,but we all learned something about the conditions affecting music reproduction.It would be all too easy,to proclaim my friend's Rowland as a worldbeater,but it's just good symetry at play.HP probably experienced something similar,but you can bet he didn't worry about it too much,and it was SO dramatic(though I did enjoy his little piece)to proclaim there is a breakthrough,now,in the area of amplification.Well,if you didn't have, admitted, "noise issues" previously,as you claimed HP,would the amp still be considered a breakthrough?Based upon what I heard,NO!I'm not trying to be smug.It is a really fine amp,but I like a good number of amps,at least as much.Which leaves us all to make our own judgements,in the first place.

That is one reason why,when HP claims a certain product,from the not too distant past,is now bettered by a newer model,or type,I ALWAYS preface his comment with "how can he be so sure,since he didn't have all his "noise factors" set correctly,originally.How could he know,for sure,how the older unit would have behaved if it had been set-up as well as the current standard.

Lends creedence to my original argument,that we must rely,SOLEY,on our own intuitive judgements.Spend your own hard earned cash,and you "get smart" alot faster.Also,don't get too overwhelmed with all the technical "mumbo jumbo".

There is always an old saying -- if you trust the book 100% after you read it, than it is better not to read it at all in the first place. The story lies in the state of condition or combination of components during the time when the subject is under review. Look back when stars were awarded to Miyabi, Titan, and XV-1. It is obvious to note the difference in the components choosen and arranged even same cartridge were to put in review again in Mr.P's system at this moment. So the rating, I believe, is inter-related or relative to each other under that particular set of components combination and arrangement. It may not be surprised to see such comment from reviewers when you have very sensitive speakers to "magnify" any shortcoming of the subject or at least, to reveal its incompatibility with the rest of the components when it is put in that system for review. Actually, to me, all cartridges are to be considered five stars, provided if , you have put the right components together to bring up its synergistic effect. With that, I believe, the setting will fall within the recommendation given by the manufacturer.
Dear Vincentkkho: +++++ " you have put the right components together to bring up its synergistic effect. " +++++

I agree with you, the name of the game: synergy, this is a subject that I always support on this forum.

But MrP was wrong on that " contest " on many ways, one of that was: load impedance, he choose 47k ( like always ). This figure makes synergy with some cartridges and makes no synergy with others.

Anyway, it's fun to read TAS/Stereophile and like Sirspeedy told us: " to trust your own intuitive and experienced senses! "

Regards and ebjoy the music.
No. I was never HP's set up man.

Loved your review of the XV-1s. A friend told me it only takes 60 hours to break in. Mine was sounding congested well beyond the 60 hours. I was ready to sell it. Finally after about 200 hours it opened up. After reading your article I said to myself, if I only read your article earlier I would have had more piece of mind knowing that break in is much longer than I expected. Your description of the cartridge matches mine exactly, but only after it breaks in. Before that it is unlistenable.
Sorry Grooves. I guess I am getting old.
Grooves,it would have been "nice" if you had addressed the subject of the "criticality"(hope that's a word)of the dampening fluid,between the Graham 2.2,and the newer Phantom.As I'm sure you know,the 2.2 is a "Devil" to voice,as the fluid is rediculously critical,in ultimate timbre obtained.Makes or breaks the sound,and many will not go to the length needed.How 'bout the Phantom?Is it less so?This IS a critical parameter for those whose diet consists of more than re-issued rock!
Sorry,if it seems I'm trying to bait you!Really I'm not,and you surely must have a tough schedule.I could not do the overall fine,and consistent work you do.Regardless of the "human nature" criticism,you might take.Yet,and yet(sound familiar?)it is something that "would not be a bad thing to bring up in a future column,if you aren't comfortable doing so here.There are a hell of alot of Grahams out there,so it's pretty viable to cover.


Hello all,

I've been swamped as of late, and have been meaning to contribute to a few of the recent threads on the Dyna XV-1s. There is one thread I can't immediately find which references people running these babies at 2.5 grams.

This has not been my experience and has not been the experience of the US distributor. I am tracking the cartridge in the 1.87 gram range - with both an 18 gram Schröder Reference as well as with a Triplanar.

Rather than re-post my lengthy comments on the subject of minor variations in tracking force and their effect on high resolution cartridges, I refer you to the active thread on the Shelter 90x over here: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1144607453&read&3&4&

In the past, I have hinted at numerous setup issues beyond those of basic geometry. Tracking force is one of these areas of interest, and for reasons that most people don't speak about. The typical tracking force discussion centers on issues of reducing mis-tracking as well as of course the extreme case where you move the coil out of the center of the magnetic field. Of course, mention is made of changes in VTA/SRA when you adjust the tracking force. This is not of what I speak, however.

I'm referring to things far more subtle than this. When I read any analog review it is always with a jaundiced eye toward the sensitivity of the reviewer to these issues - unless I have personal experience of the reviewer. I don't want to sound too dismissive of the audio press. Many of our most respected audio-experts have not had the experience that for example Doug Deacon and I have had - sitting at the feet of Frank Schröder and watching him in action.

These reviewers cannot be blamed for their ignorance, but their opinions should be taken in this light however. Many people (and the last time I checked, reviewers are people) underestimate how far you can take an analog setup, and by not realizing it, a bit of randomness enters their observations.

There are some other good observations in this thread, but I don't have time to explore them at this late hour.

Thom @ Galibier
Dear Sirspeedy: Along your thread I decided to fully break my XV-1 suspension playing record after record.. As I already posted 2.4 was used for a time, now that the XV-1 is really on target the VTF that I'm using is 2.1 ( as a fact I'm still " playing with the VTF between 1.9 and 2.2 ), I tested between the 2.2 and 2.5 range and definitive the performance on these VTF range is really poor against the 2.1. Btw, my XV-1 is matched with a Lustre GST 801 tonearm.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I don't own a Dyna, but Raul provides a plausible explanation for some reviewers' preference for higher than recommended VTF's. Reviewers listen to new cartridges. New elastomers contain molecular bonds which prevent a smoothly linear compression. Once the elastomer "relaxes" a bit, from use, the cantilever can accelerate smoother, faster and reach fuller extensions. Design range VTFs now allow the cartridge to react more linearly to groove modulations - especially small, HF ones. This is why the last sonic change during cartridge break in is typically a reduction in HF "grain". The elastomer is finally allowing a smooth response for even the smallest movements.

Thom's observations are spot on, though I think he gives me too much credit. Anyone who lives with high performance cartridges learns how sensitive they are to small adjustments. With our best cartridge, the VTF window for acceptable performance is never more than .04g wide. The window for prime performance is about .01g wide. Larger adjustments bounce us right out of the zone.

As Thom said, these subtle changes have little to do with tracking/mistracking or keeping the cantilever centered in the magnetic fields. VTF has to be badly off before you have those problems. The ideal VTF is one that maintains constant stylus-groove contact while putting the LEAST external pressure on the suspension. The more pre-compressed the elastomer is, the less it can can compress when the cantilever tries to move.

In a sense the "ideal" VTF is a lot like the "ideal" antiskate setting: you want the minimum force necessary for the job. This allows the cantilever/elastomer the greatest freedom to respond quickly and fully to groove modulations. External pressures, whether downforce or sideforce, inhibit this freedom and muffle the sound. Lateral fluid damping of the arm has the same effect and for the same reason - at least on a TriPlanar with any cartridge we've used. That feature may have been a useful bandaid with the peaky MC's that were prevalent when Herb Papier first offered it, but it is not needed with modern MC cartridges.
Raul,I'm glad you have decided to give your superb cartridge/arm collection another "go round"!The business of tracking on the high side,to me,represents a potential mismatch somewhere.Not always,but I have found that there is more gained,by trying to voice a set-up by trying almost all combinations,and settling on the one that appeals best to me.That is until my "predatory" audio pals come over.Then it's time to bring in the "defensive squad"!
I always strive to set downforce closer to the lower setting,as this gives the most "air",and inner textures.Yet you can lose bass power if not careful.
One advantage I have with my Graham 2.2 is that the actual damping fluid can,also,come into "good service",when used to aid with tracking on the lighter side of the mfgrs recommendation.You must REALLY be careful here,but believe me,experimentation will prove very worthwhile.
I don't know if the XV-1 is a particularly good match with your 2.2(I assume you have this arm),but if the cartridge weight is not problematic you can use the fluid(in a good way,finally)to voice for a bit lower tracking force.
Also,I have now heard the newest Titan-i with a unipivot arm.Not the 2.2!I have,also heard it on an Air Tangent,both in the same system,that I am intimately familiar with.Though the newer unipivot is going through some voicing,I must admit that,taken as a whole,my suspicians about it was correct.At least to me.The air bearing design is clearly superior in bringing about a sense of "body" with better timbres.I doubt if any amount of voicing can match what that great arm was able to do.I can only imagine how fabulous the Kuzma Airline must be.Providing the "rap on the street" is correct.
Also,based on my rather limited experience,but enough to feel confident in this,the new Titan-i is the best sounding cartridge I have ever heard!It is superior to the ZYX Universe,that we discuss so much.From my recollection of the Univ,the Titan simply has more "body" and ambient feel.The Univ,though superb,was a bit better in high freq extention and quickness of transient attack,but the Titan-i is really close here,and clobbers the Univ in the area of overall believability.
Like your comparison of my Transfiguration Temper-v(which I have no intention of moving away from,btw)to the Colibri,the Titan-i is the more real,with the Univ letting you know it is more "there".
Hope you get to hear all these great,fun,toys!Who knows?Maybe next year I'll have an Orpheus!

Dear Sirspeedy: I don't own the 2.2, the nearest to this 2.2 is my Audiocraft AC 3300, anyway my XV-1 is running on my Lustre tonearm.

++++ " I always strive to set downforce closer to the lower setting,as this gives the most "air",and inner textures. " +++++

I do exactly contrary to, I start at the top and go down from here step by step till I achieve the best VTF.

Nice to heard that finally you find a cartridge sound that is better than the ZYX one, I knew this was only a matter of time. Good for the Titan i and good for the music.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul,regarding the Titan-I,you still have to take the overall set-up,and room into consideration.The Titan that I have access to,is in the INCREDIBLE,and "fully" voiced system of my "great" pal Sid!The Univ was in a set-up that was still going thropugh some changes,so to be fair,my comments are ONLY based upon that set of parameters.


Out of curiousity, what is Sid's system?
I don't know, is there a "best" cartridge?
Well, some of my impressions, specially for the Titan, one of it's official Importers called it "sharp, that's why we change them all to the Scala Line, they sound more pleasant", or the Transfiguration Line, I like them, one of my friends compared the latest one to his Zyx UNIverse and decided, not to buy the Transfiguration, for him, there was no reason to go for it. Raul is mad for UNIverse, personally I think, there is much worse out there ( I own one ). In my opinion it is much more efficient to share our opinions in the most honest way. Of course there is always one or the other out there, who benefits from the sale of a product and tries to push it with a few audiophile "friends", but that's the way it is.
And, lots of Vinyl masterings have so much "influences", it is also hard to way, what's RIGHT ...
Heavily modded Rs-1b's,driven with CJ Premier 8,pre/phono-CJ Art/CJ premier phono,Latest VPI TNT/with custom(not commercially available)metal and plastic platter,12.6 arm(though the former Air Tangent trumped it),Titan i cartridge,Krell mono bass amps for bass towers(from yesteryear),Vibraplane under table and sitting on massive stand,cheap but great sounding(only in Sid's system)cabling.GREAT ROOM,with almost no treatment other than rug and couch.Incredible LP collection consisting of EVERYTHING in first pressings.Set up man living on same block!Great Bklyn bakery within walking distance!'nough said?

Sirspeedy...hey!!! Just a thought! If I were Sid, I would do one of three things real quickly to improve my system!

1.) Check my VTA on the 12.5 arm

2.) Change my cartridge to the Dyna XV-1

3.) NOTHING...and sit back and enjoy my FABULOUS collection of music!
Rick,as Sid does NOT have access to a computer,I have to give the correct answer.Which is--(D)Reconnect the Air Tangent!!!Ed felt the same way!!See, he's not all that quiet!The system was definitely good,but you simply had to hear it with the Air Tangent!!

However Richard is coming down from Canada,next month,and promises to fine tune the 12.6 a bit better!I'm not holding my breath,having heard the A.T.Sorry,I had to tell the truth!

Best regards.Now get back on that cell phone,as you have money to make, to afford your Schroder/Phantom/Triplanar/KUZMA AIRLINE.Like the message in The DaVinci Code,I have left you my own.Heh,heh!

Happy Easter!
Sorry,forgot to mention something that I'm sure is obvious to all of us addicts.Thomas is right,and I knew this when posting about the Titan,but like a great evening out,with friends at a good restaurant,once you're having a grand old time,it's so easy to overrate the food,a bit!

I'm not saying I was off regarding my,and others,impressions of the Titan-i,but to compare it to my exposure with the superb Univ was a bit of a stretch.In lieu of the fact that I heard the Univ only once(still getting a good read,on it),and hearing the Titan-i on loads of occassions.The fact that I always hear the Titan with the best first pressing lp's could not have hurt either!It's damn good,though!

With the finest lp's,the Titan-i is NOT "sharp",or lean,or clinical etc.As I have more than one friend owning it,and all very serious hobbyist/listeners/collectors of vinyl(one owning it,with a Koetsu Coral,and a Lyra Olympos),this is the sentiments of those learned folks.They think it's great,and have heard lots of the great cartridges as well.-----Btw,How much fun is this hobby?----
Also,to hopefully have some degree of credibility,I almost never reference my own feelings about what I myself own.To me,it's always better to reference one's tastes through another familiar set-up,as this frees one to NOT be in a position of rationalizing what we own,and hear.Let's face it.We all love our stuff.Especially when we've spent the kind of money on it,that this hobby sometimes requires.No need to say "mine is the best I've heard".To me,it sound sort of obnoxious,and I know that I already am!Sorry!!Have to go now,time to get out on a tennis court.My game sucks lately.Of that I CAN be truthful!


Thanks for the system breakdown. Nothing can compare perfectly integrated bass & having heard RS 1Bs years ago, I can attest they are amazing. My all time favorite system was the same but running w. Carver Silver Seven amps & Levinson 20.5 on the bass. This was when I was a kid @ Lyric hifi. What a system. What a room. Don't remember the source. I didn't care back then. I had no money.

I am full steam ahead on the importance of a great Linear Tracking Arm. In theory & now from your words nothing can compare to it. Karl-Heinz loves the Kuzma and says it is the top. You mention the Air-Tangent. Now for some food for thought to those of use who have already spent too much. There is a Musicmaker Linear tracking tonearm coming out on the inexpensive side. I am itching to find out more, if not get it. I have room for a bunch of arms so why not. And why not add a few more cartridges, but I am stopping on the cartridge front for a while until I earn more meony.
Hey Dgad,I didn't mention that the Air Tangent was not used with the supplied pump.My pal bought a compressor from a retiring dentist,which completely blew away the standard one.The result was great bass,which has always been a knock on the A.T.

Also,I had always heard tons of stuff at Lyric,over the years.BTW-Lenny is now the new owner.He has mellowed into a really fine,experienced,person to deal with.I always liked him and felt he got a bad rap,by some.He's painfully honest,which is something I like.

I once owned the RS-1b's,but was forced to sell them,when I moved to another state.I swear I remember saying to myself(when the new owner was taking them out of my room)"why am I doing this"!!Two months later I met a guy at a stereo store who told me he had a friend who bought flawless RS-1's from some yutz,who kept them in flawless shape,and sold them because of moving to N.J.I never mentioned the yutz was me.
However with my friend Sid's mega modded pair,there was NO contest.I always get a kick out of the majority of the latest "industry/reviewer" raves,after hearing them,and comparing them to Sid's set-up.-:)Like I have stated in the past(and am beginning to really believe),my friend's room surely must be a gateway between two "black holes",where the laws of physics simply break down.His stuff sounds "that good".Everyone hearing it always leaves shaking their head in disbelief!