The 'tube-transistor' enigma by MC carts?

By accident I got to know an guy from Swizerland who has
worked for years as technician (R&D,testing,manuf.etc) by
Benz. I made some joke about 'Zelle',the expresion he used
to refer to carts,by asking if the carts are made by
prisoners? ('zelle' is 'the box' in the prison) He appreciated my joke and explaned to me in 2 sentences
something I never thought about. There are 2 kinds of
'bobins': iron and the other kind. The 'classical example'
of 'iron' is the Ortofon SPU. The advantage: stronger signal and some kind of 'pleasing warm sound.the disadvantage:(more)distortion.
The 'ruby-cross' bobin has (much?) less distortion but can
sound 'thin' depending on the rest of 'the chain'.
This is obviously the so-called 'Holistic' approach ;
aka Rauls 'it depends...'. Me? Because I can't cope with
more then 2 variables at the same time I am for 'simplicity' approch. The best 'definition' of this
approch is from O.Wilde:'I have the simplest tastes. I am
alwys satisfid with the best'. So I am still seaching.
Raul will you please bring (more) light to this issue?

Nandric, I understand that the Transfiguration Orpheus uses a different MC mechanism than the two described above.
Atmashere. The 'bobin' is the 'thing' one must put the 'coils' on (copper wire,silver,gold,platinium).I am not an technical guy but I think that even your Orpheus,despite the Greek mytolology can't do without.

If you look at in the products section under mc cartridge,they have an explanation of bobbin,coil etc.Naturally they say their shape (mimics the cutter head,non magnetic) is of course the best.At any rate you don't need to be a technical guy to understand this well laid out informative explanation.I have not heard their cartridge,but am thankful for their informative presentation.
Nandric, my understanding is that the bobbin in the Orpheus is round, like the bobbin in a voice coil of a speaker. It is not cross-shaped like the Micro Benz use.
Atmasphere.My conjecture was 'iron bobbin' =the analogy
with 'tube-amps' because of the distortions with 'pleasing
sound'.Those are 'harmonic distortions' but I am not sure
of which 'order'. The other kind of bobbins are more
'neutral sounding' because of 'lesser distortions'. Aka
the analogy with 'transistors amps'.Look at the mesurements
of distortions by both kind of amps.If I am well informed the peculiarity of Orpheus is not the 'bobbin'
but the magnets: two 'circular magnets';one in front the
other behind the bobbin.So my quess is that you confused
'bobbin'- with 'magnet kind'. But the issue is 'tube-versus
transistor' enigma by MC carts.My quess is that the persons with preference for 'neutral sound' will not choose 'iron bobbin' MC carts. I am informed by my Zwitserland connection that Benz also manuf. 'iron-bobbin' carts:the MC-2.BTW I made the distinction 'iron'
versus 'other kind of bobbins' (i.e. not iron).So if your
Orpheus is 'round','right angled' or 'cross-shaped' is not
relevant; it is included by the 'other kind'.
I understand the fixation for the object of 'our desire'
but the issue is about something else.

Dear Nandric: I can't understand in a precise way what you mean by cartridge " iron bobins ".

Perhaps you are reffering to the cartridge armature where the coils goes on.

There are different type ( like you say ) bobins like cross-shaped, v-shaped, square-shaped, etc, etc.

Fron the point of view by some cartridge builders the non-magnetic/non-conductive cartridge armature build material is more linear, example: Ortofon in its top of the line MC cartridges use carbon-fiber material.

IMHO a cartridge quality performance depend on many design factors and the execution quality on the design, I think that there is no single/aisle cartridge design factor that could define the whole cartridge quality performance but the " wise " choice/synergy of all cartridge factors in the final design/build product.

+++++ " The advantage: stronger signal and some kind of 'pleasing warm sound.the disadvantage:(more)distortion. " +++++

if that is true that is a trade-off like almost always in any audio item design, which cartridge trade-offs design/build are the best?, well which quality cartridge performance do you like more.

Now, IMHO I think that other than a direct cartridge builder ( like Dynavector or Scan-Tech ) the right person in this analog forum to give us an in deep explanation on the subject is JCarr, I hope he can share its knowledge with all of us.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Raul.I hate the 'semantical chatter' but the Swiss
used 'platchen' to refer to the 'thing'.The matter is even
more complicated because Swiss-German is not 'the same' as
the German-German (see'Zelle'= cart versus 'Tonabnehmer'=
cart in German). The 'platchen' should be a kind of 'disc'
in English but I thought that 'bobbin' is an known technical term so I translated as such. As Casey stated
the issue is 'very simple';one need only to look at to see 'the light' and,I assume ,not make
a fool of hemself.Maybe I already deed by asking stupid
question. There is nobody I know of who knows more about
carts then you so for me it was 'natural' to ask Raul.
J.Carr is the right person but Mr.Carr must 'care' about
the so-called 'intellectual property rights' because he
is designer-developer for Scan-Tech.
But if he wish to be so kind then, of course ,gladly.
BTW there is something 'secretive' by the producers about
the,say,'amalgam'(alloy) that they use for the 'bobbin'.

Kind regards,
Nandric, I suspect the comparison of different cartridge construction to tube vs solid state is likely a red herring. Tube phono sections do not have to have higher distortion, and some transistor phono sections OTOH can have quite high distortion. There there is also the question of what distortion is important to the ear and what is not. Research has shown that all humans detect distortions in the same way- but that is a topic for another thread.

In phono cartridges, you are also faced with loading issues, and the ability of the tone arm to allow the cartridge to track. These variables play a huge role in the resulting sound you get- Raul is absolutely right as well about the design tradeoffs that a cartridge designer faces, along with the execution. It is not something that can be so cut and dried.
Dear Raul.We are waiting for J.Carr but I made some investigation in between.There is obviously the problem
of the language we use to describe 'sound' so no wonder
the musician invented they own notation (Pearson also
mention this problem and trys some Chinise metaphors).
Despite of this we are aiming,it seems to me,at 'the same'
goal. Your description was: 'more linearity' my was 'more
neutrality'. But I attributed this,say, 'quality' to the
'not-iron bobbins'. Not I but the Swiss guy (from Benz)
stated that Ortofons SPU is a'classic example' of 'iron-bobbin'construction. I knew that there are persons who
will kill,so to speak, for this cart but also that the
majority don't care about this cart.But I had no idea why.
So the information from the Swiss 'lightened' something in
my brain. 'Spying' is also 'a form' of investigation so I
deed some 'spy- work' at your cart-collection.Alas nobody
will pay me on 'cent' for my effort. One 'second alas' is
the fact that I deed not see SPU of any(Ortofon) kind there. So my quess is:someone with such an collection can
unlikely have forget or miss such one 'item'. So my second
quess is:there is something about the SPU that Raul don't
BTW there is one 'special' about the SPU on our forum.
About the SPU I will quote two statements:
a.'unusualy high output and a soft IRON circuit with high
b. SPU Synergy versus Jubilee. SPU 'more weight&solidity
but not the air of the Jubilee.
You mentioned Ortofon in the context of 'bobbin kinds'and
you named 'armature' and 'carbon-fiber' as ,I assume,the
material of which the 'bobbin' is made.
HI-FInews (from UK) has payd a visit to Ortofon as a kind
of introduction for the review of Windfeld (Dec.2007).
The information:80% are MM carts. The MC carts are produced
by special 'force' with the ability to 'wind' with accuracy
the wire on the 'bobbins'. The 'top' carts are an fraction
of the production and SPU is a small part of MC carts.
I don't know if you know that Windfeld has the same diamond
as your 7500: Replicant 100.
Windfeld is 'basicaly' Jubilee with some mod. As mentioned
the Replicant (more extension in both 'extremes')and some
small mod. to the 'bobbin' so that the coils (copper-gold
alloy) should be more precise wound. The result:0.2 dB
channel sep. and Fre.20-20000 +/_ 1dB.
So there is still progress in the 'art'.


Dear Nandric: Yes, fortunately there is progress.

SPU: many years ago I owned and change it for other cartridges that ( in that time ) like me more.
Last year I had two SPU experiences ( unfortunately not in my system ) and I can't find nothing that motivate to go for it. To be fair about maybe it is time to try a listen in my system, yes why not.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Atmaspere. Very strange that the answer to my conjecture should come 'throug' me. The Swiss guy (R)was
acquaintance but became a friend so I 'abused' this to
ask more questions. Before stating the aruments I can say
in advance that we all (Raul includes)are right but for
different reasons.
My conjecture about 'tube-transistor' regarding the 'harmonic distortions' is correct. But the distortions
from 'iron-bobbin' are much less then from tube-amps (caused by outputtransformers). You are right regarding
'your variables' and Raul regarding the 'complexity' aswell
the personal preferences ( an constant ,it seems to me,in
hes arguments).
Your mentioning about our 'hearing' is an enigma to me:
those are phisical events and of course we hear 'the same'. But we must 'interpret' what we are hearing and
then we may have different preferences (see Raul about SPU
from Ortofon). So,for example, Van den Hul is 'tuning' hes
carts to the customers preferences. I.e. one can order by
hem what one like.
The Swiss is,as I mentioned befor, for 'it depends ...
approach. I was wrong to suppose some kind of 'objective
facts' behind our preferences.

Dear Nandric, I sincerely hope and expect that the Jubilee et al has better than "0.2db" channel separation at any and all frequencies. Obviously, that was a typographical error on your part. But what were you trying to write?

Have you heard both the Windfield and the Jubilee? I am interested.
Dear Lewn, The Ortofon Windfeld has a channelbalance better
then '0.2 dB';the Jubilee better then '1dB'.
The 'typographical error' as you expressed it is even more
awful it is an 'category error'. I was quoting from HI-FI
news and was careless. What am I trying to write? To answer
this question I need a two 'channel separation'. One is
the 'story' about the 'bobbin-kinds' from the Swiss that
I translated from German. The other is the 'story' from
Johanssen,the designer of Windfeld,about the progres from
Jubilee to Windfeld.The bobbin modification from Jubile
made an pricise 'winding' of the coil for the Windfeld; as
the result (0.2dB) shows. So this 'channel' leeds to the
importance of the 'bobbin' and that was the subject matter.
So were we are now? There was an 'embarrassing question'
and then a difficult one. The third is fortunately the
easy one. Yes I am familiar with both. I own the Jubilee
and an friend the Windfeld. The Windfeld is a better cart
but is also nearly 3x more expensive (in Europe). I dont
belive that Windfeld is 'twice' as good. We in the Netherlans have then,I think,an better choice: Van den Hul
is 'next door' (Holland is a small contry) and one gets
'no worry' proposition: retiping,mods.,etc. Van den Hul is
very kind for hes customers.Compere this with sending your
$12.000 Koetsu to Japan,for example.