Shelter Harmony cart... a touch bright ?

Perhaps I am over reacting. Only had the cart for 3 days (new). Love it so far except for the fact that the treble frequencies seem a little over extended compared to the bass and midrange. Perhaps it will settle in after break in ? Thoughts ? TIA
96d39272 2e69 4397 bfd3 cbaddbdfebf3rockitman
Post removed 
I have a 5000. It is anything but bright compared to most of the MC's that I have. After some experimentation I arrived at 100 Ohms for the impedance. At 50 it did not have enough top end extension and was a little sluggish. At 100 it just pops with rhythm and the highs are very natural. I realize that the Harmony is a different animal, but there is a strong family resemblance between all of the new line of Shelters according to others that I have talked to. BTW, these cartridges have wonderful bass - tight, controlled, and extended.

Then, of course, one person's "bright" may not be so for another.
Thanks...I have a clearaudio balance + phono pre. It does not have selectable impedence, rather (they say) it automatically adjusts to the load it's given. At any rate, I think it (the cart) needs more break in. I have only had it 4 days. The bass is wonderful as is the with & depth of soundstage.

I don't think that break-in is your problem. Suspecting as much, I read the user manual (online) for the Clearaudio Balance. It clearly states that the factory setting for the the phono-pre is 47000 ohms and that if you want to change it you will have to select your own resistor values. With the factory setting, you are very likely to get a bright presentation, especially given that the recommend impedance is MUCH lower, ~100 ohms. Here is the text from the user manual:

"Factory-made, the input impedance/capacity is set to 47 kOhms/100 pF for MM-Cartridges, but you can set the input impedance for any cartridge, by using the 5-pin binder-connector or the socket R101 on the circuit board of both channels. If you use the binder connector for your tonearm, then take socket R101 to set the input impedance. For the
input capacitance is socket C101 on the circuit board, if you need an other capacitance, you have to change the condenser at both channels." (admittedly, rather garbled English, don't you think?)

There is a circuit diagram in the user manual that indicates where r101 is so that you can solder in the appropriate resistor. (Don't worry about the capacitance...)

Kudos to you ears for telling you that something was not up to snuff. I often wonder how many people make pronouncements about a cartridge's characteristic sound without knowing that for MC's, proper loading is very important.

BTW, I am using a prototype of a phono-pre that a guy that I know is building. I generally have used tube phono-preamps with step-up transformers. His solid state circuit has replaced my tube gear and I have not even thought once about going back to the tube gear (still use my tube integrated amps though). His circuit has three different gain settings and probably about 100 different impedance settings that can be selected via dip-switches. Using this preamp, it was a breeze to dial in the loading. The last preamp that I could do this with was a Pass Aleph Ono. For my tube preamps I had to calculate the impedance in relation to the step-up tranny impedance and solder in the appropriate resistors. So, besides the phenomenal sonic performance of this prototype, I sure like the convenience. If you have any interest in this phono-pre, feel free to email me.

Best regards, and good luck
Thank you Ttbolad for your response. I have to admit that I was a bit concerned about the load disparity between my cart and the phono pre you mentioned, which is clearaudio's top of the line phono stage...The Balance Reference. My phono-pre is the next step down, the Balance +. From the manual:

The Balance+ represents the revised version of the legendary Balance phono-preamplifier. Highest
quality components in the power supply provide a clear audible, improved sonic experience.
Another special feature of this preamplifier is the automatic adjustment to any kind of connected MCcartridge
load, which means, that the maximum capability is always achieved without additional

Select cartridge type operation mode:
Use the switches on the bottom of the Balance+ housing as follows:
MM-operation: Both buttons „load/gain“ non pressed
(load impedance = 47 kOhm)
MC-operation: Both buttons „load/gain“ pressed
(load impedance = 510 Ohm)

So it seems to say that it adjust's for the load. The switch I have selected is the one for MC, 510ohm. I guess that is the worst case scenario if in fact the unit doesn't automatically adjust for loading. If that is the case, is 500ohm's for the phono pre a terrible mismatch for the cart at 100 ohms ? In the meantime I will inquire with clear audio's distributor (Musical Surroundings). More audiophile nervosa to contend with...LOL

After listening again last night to recording I am very familiar with, I am experiencing a more balanced fequency presentation by the cart.
Hi Rockitman,

The statement - "Another special feature of this preamplifier is the automatic adjustment to any kind of connected MC cartridge load, which means, that the maximum capability is always achieved without additional switches" -

is pretty vague. By "maximum capability" they may very well mean that they adjust the MC gain for maximum output so that you don't have to have selector switches for gain. That would have nothing to do with loading impedance though. It seems very likely that the MC load impedance is a fixed 510 ohms.

IF that is the case, then having played with the Shelter 5000 I can make the following guess as to how a 510 ohm load might sound -it would be a little bright and edgy for my taste. You should realize this is not a horrible mismatch. But is is probably not optimal. Over time you might get comfortable with it.

The thing is, with expensive cartridges (and the Harmony is by no means cheap) if you cannot maximize the cartridge performance, you will be hard-pressed to see the value in cartridge that you purchased. All I can say is that the Shelter 5000 is a no slouch, so the Harmony must be bordering on heavenly - provided that you get it set up well.

With any luck, the Clearaudio dealer will verify that the preamp has a whiz-bang adaptive circuit (something I haven't ever seen or heard) and all you are hearing is in fact cartridge break in. But, you should probably double check what the dealer says. Most dealers have rather sketchy understanding of electronics, so you may get a superficial answer.
The cart has settled in, been adjusted and re-adjusted to the Nth degree and is now wonderfully balanced and musical. Silly me to think the cart was a touch bright. It just needed some break in....and extremely fine alignment. I'm a Happy camper now. Thanks for all the insight from the posters here.