SAT Comparison

MF has kindly provided unidentified needledrops of 2 new versions of the SAT arm (incl one priced at $48K).
These can be found in the latest entries on his Analog Planet web page.

Listening to the first few seconds of each track on iPad speakers I found the “winner” (for me at least...) to be “1” followed by “3” then “2” with “4” the least preferred.

Just for fun, I invited my wife, who has no audio experience or interest whatsoever, who knew nothing about the files or the hardware or anyone else’s preferences, named her order of preference as 1-3-2-4, again listening to only the first few seconds of each file. Unlike myself she didn’t need 1-3/2-3 double checks she just identified them straight off. Impressive!

I wouldn’t be so rash as to assume that “1” was the most expensive “SAT” or that “2” was the original model.
(For the sake of the expensive model I would hope so! ;)
See what you think...

It’ll be interesting to know what the wildcard “4” turns out to be...

Just for fun, I invited my wife, who has no audio experience or interest whatsoever, who ... identified them straight off. Impressive!
Women's hearing is famously superior. It goes way back the evolutionary timeline. Women, especially with children, were extremely vulnerable to predators if the male was away hunting. Hearing is the most acute survival sense, especially in discriminating sounds. The snapping of a twig can tell her if it's a small harmless animal or a big dangerous one. Eyesight is hampered if there are trees, rocks, tall grass, and it's useless at night; smell depends on wind direction. Dogs became our companions in large part because their hearing was even more acute.
Which is why my wife can always hear the phone conversation,when I am planning to go out for a drink with friends. However, she often cannot hear me when I ask what’s for dinner.
Conversely, when my wife is questioning me, I can never hear a word she says! ;D :D
Let's keep bumping this thread until Fremer reveals what tonearm was on what recording and how that contrasts with listener preferences.  I personally am far too jaded and lazy to listen for myself, but I am interested in how the $48,000-SAT will fare compared to others.  The price has got to be someone's definition of chutzpah.
I listened to the four tracks  on my mid-range system (Cambridge audio 851n, Plinius intergrated, and Sonus Faber Amati Tradition) and any differences I may have heard were very subtle at best.  I think it might be better if I tried to invest $48000 of my money in new audio input modules(ears),  new interconnect(nerves from ear to brain), and/or a new brain audio processing unit.  This way maybe I could hear the differences others are hearing.
 What you said is partly why I won’t bother to try. I am skeptical of trying to judge an analog sound via a digital process. 
Although I am in no way interested in purchasing said tonearms due to cost, it was fun to listen to these tracks and there are differences that I could hear with my computer audio headphone setup. I think the digitization affects the sound but does not obscure the comparisons in most cases.  I like that Fremer posts these files as it is an interesting/fun way to hear what differences show up between components and how that relates to the way other people put those differences into words.  It certainly informs the way Fremer describes what he is hearing.  
I’d been eagerly waiting for someone with the internet hooked up to a half-decent system to comment but that wasn’t quite the answer I expected LOL!

Like Lew says, we’re keen to know the answers from MF.
I think that he has shut down access to the links so they are no longer viable (but I could be wrong?)

Watch this space....
It isn’t often that we can have a bit of fun in this hobby without having to do all the legwork first ;)
I always admire MF’s inexhaustible enthusiasm for the medium and his willingness to “put it out there” even if it doesn’t always come back the way he intended. :)
 A very interesting experience and actually one that mirrors my own experience with analog. My tests were simply on an iPad via Campfire Andromeda’s but the differences were quite apparent

What made the winner to me stand out was the ease and naturalness of the sound and it’s ability to make different parts of the frequency range meld and play in harmony without anything sticking out. In the other tracks one part of the frequency band is prominent and while at first listen this is attractive, especially when it’s the bass, on subsequent listens you perceive the coloration.

So at first listen I thought track 1 was laid back and preferred 2 or 3 when I went back and listened again I heard details in the bass and pipes that were obscured in the others. 

Track 4 has an obvious hum which would suggest a different set up ... surely an analog guru should know better then to post a track with hum!

By the way this is a great LP and track I know intimately, the original Tara pressing is the optimal way to listen to it. In the flesh it has grunt and impact that will really impress
If I was going to blow 48 grand on hi-fi, I’d build a room with a 3’ thick cement floor, interior dimensions of 10’ H x 16’ W x 26’ L, with bass traps built into the walls. FAR more improvement to the sound of a system than that from ANY arm, I’ll bet.
Dear bdp, Surely the person who can afford a $48,000 tonearm has already built the acoustically perfect listening room that you aspire to. It’s not a question of one or the other.
@lewm so you would have thunk but I'm astounded by how often one NYC dealer posts pictures of its "latest customer installations" of six figure systems into bare Manhattan lofts with lots of wood floors and glass windows -- not sure these customers are getting the sound they paid for!

But more seriously $48K will not go far in building a room unless you are a big time DIYer 😉
I'm reminded of the room romance novel cover male model Fabio put his very expensive system ($2m says Fabio; Infinity IRS, Krell, etc.) into. Hilarious---all marble and glass!
I posted my thoughts a few days ago but somehow it was weeded out. I’ll summarize it here.

1 through 3 have very small difference. I prefer 1 but frankly I could change the loading of the cartridge and that could change.

I would have preferred a track that we are all familiar with so we could compare our systems with this state of the art system.

With th over a $100,000 invested in that front end that is a lot of cash for micro differences and makes me feel real good about what I have obtained for far, far less.

This proves that we have entered an new era where, "the very good is now the enemy of the best"!
 Perhaps I would rephrase my post above by stating instead that a person who can afford a $48,000 tonearm is not likely to care about his or her listening room. Because the tonearm is just for show. Just like Fabio’s  $2 million system.  And just like those guys who installed expensive systems in their lofts in fancy parts of New York City. 
Dear Raymonda,
Micro-differences that can be clearly heard from a few seconds exposure on an iPad at low volume?

My wife made similar observations to the detailed ones entered by Folkfreak earlier. Then she started showboating by referring to such features as the attack and decay of the instrument strings. :O

At that point my expression resembled the punchline of a Charlie Brown cartoon. LOL!!
She missed the hum that Folkfreak mentioned though....
(Maybe below the units response :D)

Shame on her....  :D :D

A small update : earlier I found that the links were not working but the reality is that they were not working at the first attempt. Persistence pays and they do indeed still work (perhaps at the 2nd or 3rd attempt) if anyone still wishes to try.