and so on.
In what now seems like another lifetime, I was sitting in an audiobuddies listening room auditioning his newly acquired Monster Cable Alpha 2 moving coil cartridge. Mounted in a Linn Ittok arm, the cartridge’s rather puny for the day 0.3 mV output clearly tested the limits of his conrad-johnson Premier 3’s phono section. Despite this deficiency, there was no doubt in either of our minds that the Monster Cable Alpha 2 was the real deal. The Monster Cable Alpha 2, unlike many cartridges of its generation, demonstrated that we were only tapping into but a fraction of the musical information in those record grooves. Well recorded guitar LPs had a better sense of speed, articulation, resolution and reproduction of harmonic overtones. Even more impressive was the Alpha 2’s ability to recreate the original recording’s soundstage and orchestral layering. In fact, the Monster Cable Alpha 2 was so good that it became the gold standard by which other cartridge’s soundstaging was judged. (I’m really curious how the Alpha 2 cartridge would perform nowadays given proper break-in time, being mounted in today’s far better designed arms e.g.. better resonance control, bearings, machining, wires, etc. as well as modern day phono sections capable of amplifying a low output MC cartridge without noise or dynamic constriction.)
Now the story doesn’t end there. As it turns out, the ZYX Omega G moving coil cartridge is designed by none other than Hisayoshi Nakatsuka, the same person responsible for the design of the aforementioned Monster Cable Alpha 2. Long story short, Nakatsuka ‘s latest thoughts on cartridge design, the ZYX Omega G moving coil cartridge, turned out to be just as spectacular sounding in my present day system as did his Monster Cable Alpha 2 in my audiobuddies rig 25 years ago.
and many more stories like this....
FYI, the cartridge compared to his memory of the Alpha 2, is a $6500US cartridge.