What are the speakers? Are you sure it is not them? I never thought the Grado was as you describe in the bass. I find all else you describe is right on!
18 responses Add your response
the Grado does fine in the bass... look elsewhere. It's deficits are lack of the high frequency "air" of moving coils and more emphasis of surface noise. Assuming you don't have the same lack of bass definition with digital sources, you could be describing a possible symptom of bass feedback interference with a TT. So try some distance between your TT and the speakers.
Davide256: It's strange that you say that, cause to my ears, it seems to do well with surface noise. The TT is on a wall mount shelf far enough away from the speakers, so I don't think that's an issue. Maybe I can experiment with the VTA a bit, raise the back end of the tone arm a bit. I'm hesitant to do that because I know that will mess up the cartridge alignment a bit, which is spot on right now.
Stringreen: Wow that's quite an upgrade. I bet it sounds fantastic. I was thinking of moving up to the Ace someday.
I'm currently using the same cartridge in my setup and the bass is fine (to me) I have the cartridge tipped slightly back so the arm is slightly below parallel with the platter. It it visibly tipped so I can see it that way from looking at it from the side. Anything above that always sounded worse to me. Its worth messing around with, sometimes you can end up with more than you hoped for.
I have both the Sonata 1 Statement and the Sonata 1 reference and prefer the lower output model. Of course, you need a lot of gain to use it, but it's in a different league than it's high output brother.
It is however very, very sensitive with regard to it's setup and alignment. Different VTA's make a world of difference. Sizzle or Boom. Unfortunately, not all LP's are of the same thickness, so whatever cartridge you get, you'll have to set it up with an album representative of your collection. I used a 180g disc for my setup and alignment procedure.
Davide256: I have not played with the loading at all, and have just had it at 47k. It's something to try though.
Heyraz: I still don't quite know why, but when I bought my Sonata1, I went with the high output instead of the low output, even though I have the PS Audio GCPH which is capable of providing the necessary gain. I think it was because I read about the infamous "Grado Hum", and was worried that the low output version would require extra gain that would amplify this possible hum. I suppose that was a mistake on my part.
Knownothing: I think you might be right about the TT. And to explore this, I actually ordered a Dynavector 20x2L (low output), which is being delivered today. I chose to take this step first to find out which is at fault. If I'm still experiencing dissatisfaction with the bass, then I'll know it's time to start saving up for that VPI Classic.
OK. Thinking further about this, there may also be some incompatibility between the Sonata and your tone arm that was not noticeable with the smaller speakers, but with the Golden Ear's deep bass is showing up now and affecting lower bass performance. Will be interested to hear how the 20x2L works in place of the Sonata.
Fourwnds: I actually upgraded both my cartridge and turntable. For the cartridge, I went with a Dynavector 20X2L. My turntable was upgraded to a VPI Classic 1. Bass has improved substantially. It was first improved with just upgrading to the 20X2L with my old turntable, but the VPI Classic 1 took it to a new level. However, I also mounted my Grado Sonata1 onto the VPI for a few days, and the bass did sound better than on my old Clearaudio Emotion, but still was comparatively weak against the Dyna.