I had the Dynavector 20Xl for me it gave me a first row center seat which for me was to much in your face. I switched from the Ortophon Kontrapunt B which gave a more back in the orchestra say around 6 or 8 rows and that was much to my liking. Sumiko's Celebration cartridge which I have now is very similar to the Ortophon in its seating characteristics, at least to me. Hope that helps. All of these are considerably less expensive than your 4k budget but may reflect what you get going up the line.
A90 - The best cartridge I have ever experienced, NEUTRAL to a tee, very very dynamic. XV1S - very musical have a nice flow to it - almost breathes music. Between the two the Ortofon A90 would be - is - my desert Island Cart.
On the other end of the scale the Audio Technica AT33EV get's the most of the above 2 super carts vertues right for a fraction of the cost.
Dynavector xv1T can do what you ask for.
Dan-ed's question should be addressed first.With all due respect how can anyone recommend a cartridge without knowing if the phono stage can accommodate it.
I assume someone spending up to 4k on a cartridge would have or will have a phono stage that is suitable for that cartridge. Same thing goes for the tonearm. I would put my vote in for a Dynavector based on my experience with many dyna's of different cost. They have all been consistently detailed, smooth, extended, lively and track well. There does seem to be a consistency of sound between the dynas, just more so as the price gets higher.
I have not heard a high end Ortofon, but the 2M Black is an outstanding MM. I am also impressed with the Benz Glider II. I am using SME arms with GCPH and Simaudio LP5.3 phono preamps
My phono stage is the Shindo Giscours, which made me re-think my whole analog front end. (And also begin trying to buy back all the LP's I foolishly sold off, believing that CD's were the Second Coming.) Arm is the TriPlanar, and amp is the VAC Ren 70/70 with 8 300B's. Speakers, the Wilson Sophia 3's. So cartridge selection is very important to me. Thanks for your input.
Shindo Giscours is the phono stage. TriPlanar arm and VAC Ren 70/70 amp. The Shindo made me re-think my analog front end, and so cartridge matching is important to me, especially bass control. Suggestions ?
Well taken - the Shindo Giscours phono stage measures .2mV input. Arm is TriPlanar which handles my current cartridge mass of 11 grams pretty well. I want to avoid any external SUT with all its required accessories. The amp is a VAC with 8 300B's, so bass control is essential. Anything come to mind ? I'd appreciate it.
The above suggestions for the Ortofon A90 and Dynavector XV1s are both seemingly very good ones, but the A90 is now out of production and hard to find (I'm running an A90), and I don't know what kind of synergy the Dynavector has with the Triplanar.
As for other state-of-the art cartridges, the Soundsmith Strain Gauge cartridge is certainly vivid, and it is thunderously dynamic with tight, lightening-quick bass - in fact, unbelievably so - you may want to read Michael Fremer's Stereophile review in last month's Stereophile (it contains interesting comparisons to the A90). The manufacturer, Soundsmith, is 12 miles from me and I've heard it a fair amount. I find it more lush in the midrange than Fremer does, and it would probably balance nicely with your Shindo. The list on the cartridge is $5,500 - I don't know if it can be purchased at a discount.
I have had the VAC Renaissance 70/70 (and 140/140) for eleven years and find your comments about its bass performance to be a bit puzzling. I've always run it with zero feedback, and I've tried it with eight different speakers, some which were absolutely not bass speed champions, and the amp was never bad with any of them - it's not quite as quick as the solid-state amps I have run (my current primary amp is a darTZeel), but it's actually pretty close. What speaker cables and output tubes are you using, and which speaker taps do you use?
Dynavector dealer disclaimer upfront.
Glai blew through the budget so this discussion is moot. :-)
But I'm not sure if I would recommend dyna to Dr_John, based on Shindo and the type of music he listens to. I find the suggestions in the OPs original post interesting. Folks are recommending a cart that is vivid and dynamic to match with the Shindo. I have no experience with Shindo and I certainly don't know what Dr John's sonic preferences are, but this sounds like tone control advice to me. Kind of like what people say when discussing cabling. "Well, components X and Y are very bright so you need to use a warm sounding cable to tame the brightness."
AND! What the hell is Dr John doing listening to opera and chamber music?!? Sorry, I'm more familiar with another Dr John. ;-)
Oh, there's no problem with the XV-1s on the Triplanar, the combination works very well. Very well indeed. I've used it for close to 4 years and know folks who have used it even longer.
The A90 was a very good cartridge for money, but as Raquel points out, they don't make them anymore. It does have a clean, clear sound, but I am partial to the XV-1s as I have found it's character more to my liking on a wider selection of music. However, the A90s I have heard have not committed any sins to my ears. Interesting stylus shape as well. Reminds me of Jurassic Park.
Soundsmith's Strain Gauge seems to get opinions all over the map. I have never heard it so I'll just strongly suggest anyone interested to have a good, hard listen first. Also, it requires the use of the specially made preamp. So the $5500 is for the entry level strain gauge cart/preamp system. Peter is one of the nicest people and his retipping service is excellent so have no second thoughts about what kind of person you would deal with.
So, after all of my babbling I'm not going to recommend anything specific for the good Dr. I have friends who listen to very similar music, opera, chamber music, etc. It is wonderful music but not where my interest and experiences are. Based on what I have learned about what traits these folk value I would have suggested a ZYX Universe back before ZYX changed their world. I have no experience with the newer ZYX at all.
Dr_John I have a Shindo Vosne Romanee and use this with my Ortofon A90 and it is a great match. I am using the internal Shindo step-up. As mentioned above it is a very neutral cartridge. I am getting deep and tight bass with my 2A3 amps.
Spkr cables are Transparent Reference out of the 4-ohm tap to the Wilson Sophia 3's. These new speakers do handle bass much better than the prior Watt Puppy 5's which had a murderous mid-bass hump. Thanks for your lead on the SoundSmith.
Dr John, Great system.You might want to contact Jonathan Halpern at Tone Imports.He's the US distributor for Shindo. Jonathan is a vinyl lover and very helpful.
I would call Kevin Hayes at VAC and ask him which tap the 70/70 tends to sound best with - I can never remember, but I think it may be the 8 Ohm tap. I use the 8 Ohm tap because my speakers average between 6 to 10 Ohms. I've used the 4 Ohm taps for other speakers and always had success, but I would ask the question and in any event give 8 Ohms a try - my recollection is that the Sophia is relatively easy to drive (especially for a Wilson), and the output transformers on the amp are very high quality (that amp will drive 2 Ohm loads).
As for the Transparent Reference, they are certainly a fine cable, but I know that Kevin does not like speaker cables with network boxes with his amps. If you have anything else laying around, you may want to give them a shot. I've used Kimber Select all-silver and all-copper, the surprise being that the all-copper, which is comparatively much cheaper, was nearly as good as the all-silver. For the last five years, I've run Jena Symphony, which is the best match I've found.
Regarding Soundsmith, my suggestion is to call Peter Ledermann (he is "Soundsmith") and just talk to him. As noted above, he's one of the lovely guys in audio and he's not a salesman - he'll tell you what he thinks will work best, regardless of cost. He's a great person to talk to anyway, as he is also one of the few extremely knowledgeable people in audio (he's a former research scientist with IBM). Telephone is 914 739 2885 - wait for the options and then dial "9" to talk to Peter. Tell him Drake told you to call.
Oh thank you so much. I will try the 8-ohm tap and then maybe some cable loaners from The Cable Company - and definitely will call Peter. I've heard conflicting input about the Dyna XV-1 - that it's too heavy for the TriPlanar and gets ragged on the top as a result. If only I could find an A90 languishing on a shelf somewhere.
Heard feedback that the XV1 is too heavy for the TriPlanar and gets ragged up top. 11 grams is about its max.
I'd want something vivid, dynamic and with tight bass. Any suggestions ?
Lyra Delos is a remarkable cartridge. Would be my choice in that price range.
XV1 is too heavy for the TriPlanar and gets ragged up top
LOL! Some one either depends too much on resonant frequency numbers, doesn't know how to set this combination up with proper selection of the supplied counterweights, or there is another issue in their system.
Best of luck in your search.
P.S. I have no commercial interest in Wheaton.
I own a Triplanar arm and Dynavector XV1-s. In my system, I slightly prefer the A90 with the Triplanar. To my ear, there is a slight tendency to high frequency stridency with the Triplanar/XV1-s combination. (I have not heard this stridency with the Durand Talea.) However, being familiar with the Shindo preamps, I'm not certain that this would be an issue in your system.
Both cartridges really need meticulous set up to sound their best. Both sound great with a good set up, but a 'spot on' setup will yield spectacular results. So which ever cartridge you purchase, I would strongly encourage investing in a quality set up tool like the MintLP protractor.
Not in my sytem, Mark. I certainly can understand some preferring the A90, or any other cart, to the XV-1s. Sorry, it isn't the combination of the TP and XV-1s causing stridency issues.
As I qualified, this was MY experience in MY system. I haven't reset up the XV1-s on with the Triplanar since adding a new phono stage. Might be fun when the matching line stage arrives ;-)
Likewise, I am confident in what you are hearing. Our experiences point to the importance of trying to audition before purchasing!
Mark, I apologize. You certainly did. My frustration got the better of me.
The cartridge weight/arm mass mismatch of the Dyna XV1 and Tri was pointed out to me twice: once by a dealer and again by an electrical engineer. I want to get the synergy right the first time. Cartridge weight, they both say, should not exceed the arm's compliance else there will be audible artifacts.
I'll see your dealer and EE, and raise you a master's degree. :-)
Seriously, though. I get around 10Hz by the calculation. 11g effective weight, compliance of 10, mass of 12.6g. However, I find it more interesting to actually listen to the combination when it gets to this level of performance with tonearms and cartridges.
Remember, I didn't recommend the xv-1s to you and I still don't. It seems to me you would be happier with Lyra, for instance, for the type of music you like.
No offense taken.
I forgot to add that I hope to hear the A90 in my system again after the new line stage arrives and reserve the right to completely change any opinion previously expressed on this thread ;-)
That's right! The new LCR. Another Talea owner nearby is supposed to be getting the demo unit sometime in the future. He also owns the A90, so he and I will be looking forward to what you learn.
I think you're right to "just listen" to tonearm / cartridge combos. Given the low rumble of most modern tables, the 8 Hz. - 12 Hz. resonant frequency issue is basically irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. What IS crucial are the other resonances that can occur and that are entirely unpredictable - for these, just trying it is the only way to know.
Scissors cut paper, Dan_ed, - sorry bout that. But your opinion nails it because it's based on the kind of music I listen to!! So let's give it on up for Dan anyway.
Lyra Titan i then it is - on the TriPlanar/Brinckmann Bardo. Whew ! what a relief now that that's over. Thank you.
And now for some more Rossini - on those Philips recordings, the sound stage is huge and there's so much going on in the music. Can't wait for the new cartridge and table. But not during the Mercury retrograde; wouldn't be prudent.