Dear Pani: In its time the EDR.9 was Empires's top of the
line, I think retailed around 250.00
I tested several months ago and I can't remember for sure
how I loaded on capacitance that's an important factor to
attain the best on any cartridge. About load impedance I
think was 47K.
What I can remember is that needs more playback hours to
settle down than other " similar " cartridges, I
think over 50 hours but then and due to its vintage
condition all depend on each cartridge sample and you will
know when is " there " because that " closed-
in " characteristic that you are experienced just
This is something that I found out in an old thread about
Cardani - The "NOS" EDR.9 I received was claimed to be
unused and sat on the shelf for 20+ years. As it turns out
its arrival came a few days before Raul's visit to our area.
It was a pleasure to meet him in person and to hear his
Essential 3150 in a number of systems in town. The details
of these terrific 4-5 days with Raul and his preamp will be
posted in a separate thread.
During one of many of our analog listening sessions, we
heard several recordings using a Miyabi/47 Labs MC (100 Ohm
load), JMW 12.5, and VPI Extended Aries 1 through at least
three phonostages. A nice feature of the JMW arm is that it
makes it easy to compare cartridges if you have multiple arm
wands. I surprised the group by showing them the EDR.9
already mounted (with VTF and azimuth already set) on
another JMW arm wand. This cartridge had not seen a groove.
Out came the arm with the Miyabi, in went the wand with the
EDR.9 and the Essential 3150 phonostage was set to MM. For
starters, the VTA was quickly adjusted to a "neutral"
position. This was done using a VDH spirit level aligned on
top of the headshell, parallel to the tangential line along
which the cartridge tracks the groove. [I have found that
using this inexpensive tool leads to more repeatable VTA and
azimuth settings than the standard eyeball methods.] So now
we were ready to hear this oldie. Except for the MM setting
and the SPL level, all other parameters were equal -- TT,
arm, wire, IC, etc.
We listened again to the last LP heard through the Miyabi --
Eagles' Hotel California on the When Hell Freezes Over live
album. The first task was to try and match the volume level
to that of the Miyabi/MC setup. I can't remember if we did
or not [likely not]. Instead what I remembered most was how
the four of us were all taken by the quality of the music
that came through. OK so the Eagles album is not acoustic
and is far from a minimally mic'd recording. So we put on
Rutter's Pie Jesus of Reference Recordings and we continued
No, the EDR.9 did not outperform the Miyabi. In all of the
parameters mentioned below the Miyabi was more refined and
was at a higher level of performance quality overall. But
the differences between them were not night and day and the
EDR.9 VERY impressively held its own. It immediately called
attention to itself with its terrific tonal balance with
convincingly natural timbral presentation of instruments and
voices. It had acceptable dynamics & articulation while also
having relatively smooth presentation (see below for more
details). It was resolving and had good image focus with
convincing layering, depth and overall scale of soundstage.
We continued to smile...
The HF playback of the EDR.9 was the only area that stood
out as not getting near enough to the Miyabi's performance.
It just did not have the smoothness and tended to be on the
brittle & hashy side (not in a dramatic way, only enough to
be noticable). This was particularly evident in cymbals and
sibilances. To these observations Raul replies, "BUT
REMEMBER, THIS CARTRIDGE HAS NEVER BEEN PLAYED BEFORE." He
went on to recommend at least 50-100 hours of break in
before it "settles".
So you can see how why we never got to exactly matching the
volume levels. We were so taken by the music the EDR.9
delivered. So what if we were missing the last 5% or so
(hypothetical only with no quantitative basis) of what the
top cartridges can do. It simply does not matter with the
EDR.9. So what if you break the cantilever. The stylus
replacement cost is around $55-60 USD + shipping. ;-)
Wanna continue to enjoy your LPs and increase the life of
your MC's and bring them out only for special listening
sessions or for critical listening? You can with the EDR.9.
Thanks Raul for introducing me to this cartridge.
[Note: As an FYI, I consider the Miyabi/47 Labs MC to be
among the top MCs I have heard. It is different in
construction and in sonics from prior Miyabi MC versions,
including those made with other manufacturers' label.
Other favorite MCs of mine are:
1) the Colibri - no two I have seen/heard are alike and you
really have to know your system and your listening
priorities well to appropriately place an order for one, and
2) and XV-1S.
All three of the above I own and I have compared and prefer
them over the Condor, Universe, Rosewood Signature Platinum,
Shelter 9000, or Jubilee. These five cartridges I prefer
over the likes of Shelter 901, Koetsu Rosewood signature,
and Celebration. I have not heard the Transfigutation Temper
or Orpheus, Titan, Allaerts, Shelter 90X, or other Zyx
I have not yet compared the EDR.9 to my other cartridges. It
would also be great to compare other quality MM to it, so
stay tuned.] .
The Travbrow advise is overall a good one. Btw, I think that
you are lucky to own it.
Regards and enjoy the music,