Ikeda 9GSS cartridge compliance


Hi

One of the cartridges I may be interested in is the Ikeda 9GSS. The specs for the dynamic compliance is listed at 10 X 10-6cm/dyne. Does anyone know if that is rated at 10hz or 100hz? It makes a big difference. Some Japanese cartridge manufacturers usually rate them at 100hz but some also rate them at 10hz. I would like to know. 

Does anyone own this cartridge and if so what tonearm are you using it with? Thank you.

Scot
 
scothurwitz
Compliance measured at 100Hz:

10cu @ 100Hz is about 17cu @ 10Hz

I own a 9GSS and it works perfectly with my Ikeda IT 407 CR-1 tonearm.

The best sounding cartridge I own
Chakster

Thank you for your response.

I thought (and have been told & read) the difference between compliance measured at 10hz vs 100hz is doubled. If a cartridge measured at 10hz has a compliance of 5 cu then that same cartridge when measured at 100hz would have a compliance of 10 cu. Is that not correct in reverse. It kills me when a manufacturer doesn’t state this important spec.

Jperry

Thank you for your response 

I am also considering an Ikeda 9GSS cartridge. Do you use a step up transformer or do you go into a active phono preamp? It’s amazing how some people swear by step up transformers and wouldn’t be without one and other people don’t believe in them and prefer going directly into a phono pre. Also, what cartridge were you using before the 9GSS? 

Thank you you both for your opinions and help, it’s greatly appreciated. Take care.

Scot
@scothurwitz 

Scot, I have a number of cartridges I used before the 9GSS. Benz LPS, EMT JSD 75, etc. You can see most on my system page. Just click on jperry at the top of the post.

Ikeda sells a SUT so I would assume that is preferred over an active step up. I use the internal SUT in my Luxman CL-38Uc.

If you are in Phoenix, AZ let me know

Good Luck with your search.

Jim Perry
You have that reversed Scot. If a cartridge has a compliance of 5 um/mN at 100 Hz it will be around 9 um/mN at 10 Hz. Not quite doubled. A cartridge with a compliance of 17-18 um/mN at 10 Hz will work in just about any medium mass tonearm. You might have to add a little weight. 

A word on cartridge performance. It has been shown that shorter lighter arms outperform longer heavier ones. The big arms have a much higher polar moment of inertia which means it takes more force to get them moving. There are always irregularities in the surface of a record. You do not hear them because they are at a very low frequency. But just like flapping woofers they cause distortion at higher frequencies that you do hear. Lighter arms follow these irregularities better filtering out the irregularities even with more compliant cartridges. The heavy arms don't move so the cantilever winds up following the irregularities creating the distortion previously mentioned. 
It has been hypothesized (not proven) that this is the reason some straight line trackers sound better because they are short and light.
Jim

Thanks again for your quick response & the invite, I'm in the Chicago area. 

All step up transformers are passive devices. What they do is convert the current coming out of the cartridge to voltage which is what your line stage preamp and phono preamp inputs are looking for. Most importantly they match the internal impedance of your cartridge's coils to the input impedance of the input of your MM phono preamp. They also raise the gain so you can/must plug the output of the step up transformer into a MM phono preamp for the RIAA conversion  (a lot quieter that increasing the gain on an active phono preamp). There are a lot of people who feel that this adds a lot of drive and energy and life and clarity to the sound as opposed to just using a phono preamp (active). It's supposed to sound much better (if everything is properly matched). Remmember, not everyone agrees. 

The Ikeda step up transformer is supposed to be a great match for their low impedance and low output cartridges (retail is $4800.00) so it's not cheap (but what in this hobby is?) Look at this Youtube video of Peter Breuninger doing a video review of the 9GSS cartridge with the IST-201 step up transformer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LKEdM_j1aM

Best regards
Scot
@scothurwitz 

Scot,

Thanks for the note and link to the 9GSS video. The Luxman preamp I use has two pair of SUT so it can accommodate both high and low impedance cartridges. I run the Ikeda 9GSS into the SUT for low impedance, which provides the best match. I have not tried the Ikeda SUT, so it may well be better, but it would also require another set of expensive interconnect cables as well. At this point in my system nothing is inexpensive it seems.

I had an Aesthetix Rhea phono preamp at one time. It is an all tube unit with different gain and loading available. A great sounding unit, but too much hiss for me with low out put MC cartridges.

I also had an Audio Research Reference Phono 3, but wanted to get something with a built in phono preamp and SUT so I selected the Luxman which is a better match in my system.

My former tonearm was an Ortofon RS 309D. A very good tonearm, but not as good as the Ikeda, especially when matched up with an Ikeda cartridge.

The 9GSS sound great out of the box, but gets better as it breaks in. Mine now has a little over 50 hours on it, and is still improving

Best Regards,

Jim Perry
Mijostyn

Thanks for correcting my compliance question. 

I also prefer a 9” arm over a 12” arm. I’m of the opinion the the 9” arms tend to have a little more energy and life. The 12” arms tend to be a little lazier (in general). 

I’m looking at a Kuzma 4point 9” arm or the 4point 11” version. It’s a tough call, I believe the 9” would sound a little better but am I willing to give up the vta on the fly that the 11” offers? Not sure.

Thanks again guys. Take care.
Scot
Mijostyn

Thanks for correcting my compliance question. 

I also prefer a 9” arm over a 12” arm. I’m of the opinion the the 9” arms tend to have a little more energy and life. The 12” arms tend to be a little lazier (in general). 

I’m looking at a Kuzma 4point 9” arm or the 4point 11” version. It’s a tough call, I believe the 9” would sound a little better but am I willing to give up the vta on the fly that the 11” offers? Not sure.

Thanks again guys. Take care.
Scot
There is a 9 inch Ikeda tonearm for sale. Search on hifishark.com
High end prices have spiralled out of control as we all know, but $4800 for a SUT? These are passive devices with not much technology involved. The choice between copper or silver for the wiring is pretty much the only variable (in price as well as sound). There are plenty of great SUT’s on the used market at much more reasonable prices that are in no way inferior to this Ikeda. As long as you choose one with around 3 ohm as ideal input impedance and around 26-30 dB gain, it will match perfectly with your Ikeda 9. There are plenty of those around. Even the uber Audio Technica AT-1000T (silver wired, 8kg!) can be found for less than half that amount. These devices don’t deteriorate much with age (arguably, the silver wired will only improve), so no risks involved like with buying older cartridges. You can save yourself a lot of money. Or if curious buy several for the same money (or still less) and have fun comparing the results.

Compatibility with the tonearm is a much more complex affair and here the choice for the Ikeda (or older Fidelity Research FR-64/66 series) makes perfect sense. For me, the jury is still out on whether 9", 10" or 12" is preferable. I own two 10" and three 12" arms and I can’t really say there is a length determined sonic benefit either way.


Scot, you are on the right track, the 4 Point 9 is an amazing arm. Like Mike Fremer I set the SRA to 92 degrees and forget about it. VTA towers are not worth the expense. I would go with the 9. The 4 Point 9 is in my list of top 5 tonearms. 
What are you using for a table? 
So Mijo, you would ignore the resonant frequency issue and go with a low mass tonearm regardless of cartridge compliance? That’s basically what you inferred. What happened to the sports car vs truck suspension analogy?
I forgot to mention, there is nothing wrong with step up transformers. If you have a phono stage that you like the best thing to do is install naked but shielded transformers inside the phono stage. You can add a switch to switch them in or out of the circuit. Personally I do not like switches an other controls in the cartridges signal path. I only ever keep one cartridge installed, the one I like best. So, I will go in and move two wires. Might take me 10 minutes total. I have an ARC PH3 SE which I adore. But, it only has 54 dB of gain which is not enough for many cartridges. I installed two Sowter mono phono transformers and they sound great. Doing it this way results in a quieter situation and it avoids another interconnect and two connections in the signal path. Rt now I have a high output Soundsmith cartridge so the transformers are disconnected. I would very much like to try an ultra low impedance cartridge with a current mode phono stage but I just spent all my Hi Fi money for the year.
Maybe next year:-)
@lewm , you know me well enough to know I would never do that. You have to use more compliant cartridges. Running with a high resonance frequency begs for feedback and bass tracking problems. But, I will always go for the lighter arm as long as it is very stiff and has only 2 degrees of freedom. The Schroder CB, Reed 2G and Tri-Planar are examples of arms I would buy, all 9 inch versions. If you have to add a little mass to get things just right so be it. 
jperry

Thanks for the heads up on the Ikeda 9” arm, much appreciated.

I’m a big fan of buying brand new, I’m also a big believer in having a factory warranty. When you buy an item on the internet and it’s used, you just never know what you’re going to get. That’s just what I’m comfortable with. 

Take care
Scot
mijostyn

I agree with you, I’m leaning towards the 9” 4point arm. From a microscopic point of view, less moving parts to vibrate = less resonance. A lot of people feel it’s their best sounding arm. 

To check SRA, is the only way to do this with a usb microscope and the correct software on a computer? Which 4point would you get, the one that is wired with the Cardas Clear, Kondo silver, Crystal cable silver coated copper or Crystal pure silver wire? As though it wasn’t confusing enough! Good luck hearing any of them. 

The table is still up for grabs. The ones I’m looking at are the AMG V12 (can’t afford the Forte), the VPI direct drive HW-40, the REAL 101.3, the better Feikert tables and the Acoustic Signature NEO either Hurricane or Typhoon models. The concern with the Acoustic Signature and the Feikert tables both mount their multiple motors within the plinth, seems like a lot to vibrate, that scares me. Too many great choices out there nowadays. Not an easy decision. 

Take care
Scot