Hear my Cartridges....🎶


Many Forums have a 'Show your Turntables' Thread or 'Show your Cartridges' Thread but that's just 'eye-candy'.... These days, it's possible to see and HEAR your turntables/arms and cartridges via YouTube videos.
Peter Breuninger does it on his AV Showrooms Site and Michael Fremer does it with high-res digital files made from his analogue front ends.
Now Fremer claims that the 'sound' on his high-res digital files captures the complex, ephemeral nuances and differences that he hears directly from the analogue equipment in his room.
That may well be....when he plays it through the rest of his high-end setup 😎
But when I play his files through my humble iMac speakers or even worse.....my iPad speakers.....they sound no more convincing than the YouTube videos produced by Breuninger.
Of course YouTube videos struggle to capture 'soundstage' (side to side and front to back) and obviously can't reproduce the effects of the lowest octaves out of subwoofers.....but.....they can sometimes give a reasonably accurate IMPRESSION of the overall sound of a system.

With that in mind.....see if any of you can distinguish the differences between some of my vintage (and modern) cartridges.
VICTOR X1
This cartridge is the pinnacle of the Victor MM designs and has a Shibata stylus on a beryllium cantilever. Almost impossible to find these days with its original Victor stylus assembly but if you are lucky enough to do so.....be prepared to pay over US$1000.....🤪
VICTOR 4MD-X1
This cartridge is down the ladder from the X1 but still has a Shibata stylus (don't know if the cantilever is beryllium?)
This cartridge was designed for 4-Channel reproduction and so has a wide frequency response 10Hz-60KHz.
Easier to find than the X1 but a lot cheaper (I got this one for US$130).
AUDIO TECHNICA AT ML180 OCC
Top of the line MM cartridge from Audio Technica with Microline Stylus on Gold-Plated Boron Tube cantilever.
Expensive if you can find one....think US$1000.

I will be interested if people can hear any differences in these three vintage MM cartridges....
Then I might post some vintage MMs against vintage and MODERN LOMC cartridges.....🤗
F047e6d3 4ab4 4f0d 81a3 1d06afd11319halcro
It's encouraging to hear these differing points of view...and I thank you all.....🤗
The comments of Michelle and @noromance are particularly gratifying because, before recording this 'Shootout', I had been happily listening to the Victor Z1/SAS and considered it one of the better MMs in my collection.
After the rather negative comments from @frogman and @dover for my Victor X1/II however......I began to doubt my judgement and feared that the Z1/SAS might project some of the same 'house' sound as its more glorified 'brother' 🥴

What a worthwhile 'shootout' this has turned out to be.....👍
Thanks again. 
Can you actually hear the differences between cantilever materials....? 
That's a question some have asked me.
My answer.......I'm not sure 🤔

The reason I'm regularly asked this question is because I've often written that I prefer Beryllium to all other materials.
This is no accident.....
Over the last 42 years....but particularly the past 15....I have discovered that the majority of the  80+ cartridges (I have owned and heard in my system) that I LOVE.....seem to share Beryllium as their only common feature.
On the other hand.....the cartridges that disappoint me the most, seem to share Boron as their only common feature. 
Aluminium cantilevers sound fine as do Sapphire and Ruby. 
Recently I discovered that the diamond cantilever on my Sony XL-88D sounds stunning, but there is a 'Control Group' of only one for any meaningful conclusions on this material 💍 

This seems to indicate that I can certainly hear the differences in cantilever materials......
But that's not true 🤥
There's no way I can hear the differences in side-by-side A-B Tests and I've written on THAT 
So it seems like most things in High-End Audio.....only long-term listening can be relied on, to separate the 'wheat from the chaff' 👂

But as this Thread had regularly demonstrated....I don't have the 'Golden Ears' of other Posters and so I thought:-
Why not see if ANYONE can hear what must be, exceedingly minute and subtle differences.
Especially with the quality limitations of YouTube audio....?

I have an original SAS/Boron Stylus for my 35 year-old Garrott P77 MM Cartridge as well as the NeoSAS/Sapphire and NeoSAS/Ruby

BORON CANTILEVER

SAPPHIRE CANTILEVER

RUBY CANTILEVER

And for those (like Frogman) who can't get by without their daily dose of Prokofiev......

BORON CANTILEVER

SAPPHIRE CANTILEVER

RUBY CANTILEVER
@halcro 
So on the usual macair/airbuds

Sapphire appears initially more resolving on both pieces of music.
Ruby cantilever is awful - splashy top end and lacks definition from the midrange down. Weavers on the Ruby is unlistenable. Orchestral less so.

Now in terms of Boron vs Sapphire, what I hear is more resolution with the Sapphire cantilever, particularly in the lower treble and up. It appears to be more articulate and resolving of air.

However - the Boron has a more developed upper base and midrange - I know the Weavers album well - to my ears the voices are better resolved on the Boron, you can hear more chest, body and weight of the individual singers. The sapphire loses gravitas and resolution on vocals here in the lower range.

On the Weavers the Boron aligns more with what I hear in my system, particularly in the vocal area.

I am not familiar with the cartridges, but is the Boron SAS stylus profile a different profile from the other NeoSAS on the other 2.

From my own experience I have had the Talisman B ( Boron ) and Talisman S ( Sapphire ). The Talisman S has more resolution overall with no downsides - midrange has both weight and resolution.

PS Did you forget to feed your dog again.






Wow @dover .......
Simply Wow 🤯
Your ears should be left to Auckland University upon your demise 👂👂

Strangely enough, after recording the Sapphire Cantilever....I preferred it to the Ruby (which I had previously had attached) and so have left it installed.
I am seriously impressed...🤩

Yes...the SAS stylus is the same profile on all three.

PS Did you forget to feed your dog again.
Hahaha.....Princi had just been fed so he left his 'station' in the Dining Room (waiting for dinner) to join me.

Thanks for your impressions.
I'm staggered that the YouTube audio quality allows you to hear these qualities.
With some trepidation, because I so respect Dover and Halcro, I ask is it not the case that so-called "ruby" and "sapphire" cantilevers are one and the same material?  That doesn't necessarily mean that a given sample of one must sound the same as a given sample of the other, because length and shape of the cantilever and stylus shape and method of bonding could dramatically affect the outcome of any comparison.