What is the “World’s Best Cartridge”?


I believe that a cartridge and a speaker, by far, contribute the most to SQ.

The two transducers in a system.

I bit the bulllet and bought a Lyra Atlas SL for $13K for my Woodsong Garrard 301 with Triplanar SE arm. I use a full function Atma-Sphere MP-1 preamp. My $60K front end. It is certainly, by far, the best I have owned. I read so many comments exclaiming that Lyra as among the best. I had to wait 6 months to get it. But the improvement over my excellent $3K Mayijima Shilabi was spectacular-putting it mildly.

I recently heard a demo of much more pricy system using a $25K cartridge. Seemed to be the most expensive cartridge made. Don’t recall the name.

For sure, the amount of detail was something I never heard. To hear a timpani sound like the real thing was incredible. And so much more! 
This got me thinking of what could be possible with a different kind of cartridge than a moving coil. That is, a moving iron.

I have heard so much about the late Decca London Reference. A MI and a very different take from a MC. Could it be better? The World’s Best? No longer made.

However Grado has been making MI cartridges for decades. Even though they hold the patent for the MC. Recently, Grado came out with their assault on “The World’s Best”. At least their best effort. At $12K the Epoch 3. I bought one and have been using it now for about two weeks replacing my Lyra. There is no question that the Atlas SL is a fabulous cartridge. But the Epoch is even better. Overall, it’s SQ is the closest to real I have heard. To begin, putting the stylus down on the run in grove there is dead silence. As well as the groves between cuts. This silence is indicative of the purity of the music content. Everything I have read about it is true. IME, the comment of one reviewer, “The World’s Best”, may be true.
 

 

mglik

A friend has been an exhibitor at a Public attended HiFi show on the weekend past.

They presented a HiFi System based on their own very unique Preferences.

This system was using the Vinyl LP as the Source and was presented in a setting where 40 Hotel Rooms were fully booked to have a Non-Commercial event, where Enthusiast and Professional Systems set up for demonstrations to a ’migrant between rooms audience’ of approx’ 500 Public Attendees, of which most will be keen for the use of a HiFi System.

Sytems values are ranging between a Few Thousand ££’s into the £100 000+

The system I am referring to is a Technics SP10 MkII with owner modifications carried out the electronic function. The TT is mounted in a Panzerholz Plinth with a built from scratch own design Tonearm>Cartridge -Bespoke Rebuild of a Ortofon Kontrapunkt B.

This was interfacing downstream with a Bespoke DIY Built Balanced Head Amp>Bespoke DIY Built Balanced Phonostage> Bespoke Built DIY Balanced Pre-Amp>Bespoke Built Power Amp>Bespoke Built Speakers.

From the after-show murmuring, and that I have seen this system put in an image recorded on a Web Site that is a recognised review site, I can only assume the Journalist was sharing similar impression as to what the murmurings are sharing, this was a very good presentation and able to hold attendees in the room for extended periods.

It seems from a description given directly to me, that one well-heeled room attendee, who had made it known, that they have invested substantial monies in a Vinyl based system, was struggling to comprehend the quality on offer from the Kontrapunkt B, when used in the system being demonstrated, it was genuinely a mind boggle to them.

Is the experience able to be reciprocated if the K’b was extracted and put into the well-heeled owner’s system, who knows?

No measurements taken at this event, just numerous individuals freely roaming and assessing, with their senses guiding them, as a result of the external stimulus being encountered.

Naysayers with advance knowledge of this system, will have been quite likely to have written it off, as an exhibit not worth making time for.

From the after-show murmurings, I would suggest, both Naysayers and the Inquisitive were treated to something quite special, and very much able to produce an indelible memory.

I feel very confident it is stimulus, that is the fundamental energy produces that drives a continued interest in having a readily available access to a HiFi system. At a event like the one referred to, the exhibitors and attendees are actively seeking out a stimulant to the senses en-masse.

Measurements are one aspect and without them, there will not be HiFi as such, but in general, measurements are left to the design side, and are not sought by the mass of product users.

Is the Kontrapunkt B, the ’World's Best Cartridge’ ?

Was the Kontrapunkt B, in its modified guise, the Best Cartridge heard in an individual’s World on the day of the event, for a proportion of the attendee’s, it is a possibility this was the case, if stimulus produced was the basis for the judgement.

 

Dear friends: and btw. I wonder 2 things and maybe  some of you ( mijos. lewm or some one else. ) could help:

 

first is how the LFD manufacturer been totally sure that in their cables that comes with 6 signal sources where in each wire source the shape/geometry is different as is the builded material choosed and in the time domain those 6 signals arrives accurately at the absolute same time with out a micro/nano sg. time delay? I wonder about.

 

My other wondering that maybe only Mike/the owner can now are the reasons or reason to he decided that the LFD cable is not good enough to been at the output of his PC where he choosed for a different cable. Obviously I have not any explantion or hypotesis about.

 

Just curiosity because all ththat scenarion gaves him the answer for the best cartridges. Thank's

 

R.

@rauliruegas

i’m not qualified to judge the tech of LFD cables (Dr. Richard Bews) other than what my ears tell me. for those curious about what Raul is referring to here is a thread with information about them.

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/lfd-cables-phono-and-i-c-from-the-uk-cables-as-components.31243/

in that thread are references to Be Yamamura and Dr. Hawksford who Richard Bews studied with. are those guys right? or way off base? who knows? unanswerable.

all i can say is i hear the most coherent, top to bottom balanced, and micro-dynamically alive, musical presentation of any cables i have heard. very sonorous yet agile sounding. are they perfect? don’t know.

Raul; i assume when you use the term ’PC’ you are referring to a personal computer...digital? right. not sure my Wadax server/dac might be confused with a personal computer?😀 why did i not use the LFD cables there? simple; my view is that while my digital uses normal line level, cartridges are dealing with much more delicate signals, .2 to .5 mv, and the cables are much more important and so i invested more there. not that my interconnects for my digital are cheap, just not quite as exotic. plus LFD cables are hard to acquire as they are all hand made by Dr. Bews and might be back-ordered a year or more.

the few that have heard or owned LFD cables are quite broadly impressed with them.

btw; i will respond to your thoughtful earlier post when i get a chance.

On to the next wildly debated Topic.

What is the 'World's Best Synergy' ?

How can one ancillary be instrumental in elevating another ancillary, to be seen to be better than the sum of the parts.

Again, no measurements available, the evaluations derive from the varied views on how the Stimulus of the experience shaped one's perceptions and influenced an attraction or repulsion toward the parts in use. 

Again, each to their own, in relation to what is their preferences.  

Dear @mikelavigne  : Thank's for your patience and appreciated, almost we all here ( at least me. ) are learning about.

 

Btw, PC means Phono Corrector that's where at its output ( very specific place. ) you have a non LFD cable and from there my " wondering " with.

The knowledge  technical  audiophiles here as @terry9 @atmasphere @mijostyn @lewm @larryi  @mulveling  and some others can have good ideas what's happening down there with those cables and with the Phono Corrector and SUTs.

 

Maybe not, I don't know.

Now, somewhere Dr. Bews should has very precise/accurated answers along his measurements as foundation of those.

What makes me that I had and have some " suspicion " was the Mick answer when that wbf audiophile asked for measures and he respond: " the proof is in the listening ". 

 

R.

 

R.