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- TriPlanar VII: great synergy, dynamic, lively and energetic right up to the point of edgy (but not beyond unless there's a problem in the system), read my Airy 3 review for more detailed impressions
- any Schroeder: very slightly mellower, less detail and microdynamic punch but better instrumental and vocal timbre, better soundspace information, gloriously musical, the Ref will match or slightly beat the TriPlanar, lower models won't quite match it unless the characteristics described are especially important to you
- not a Graham 2.2: it couldn't handle the Airy 3's great dynamic energy, over the edge of edgy no matter what we tried, Cello's ears are still bleeding a year later
It might be pertinent to ask what turntable this setup will be used on. Most arm/table combinations are probably fine, but some are definitely not.
Ive used the Graham with this cartridge for a while and have never experienced the ear bleeding that Doug has. That said, I found that adding a 2.3 gram head shell weight further improved the performance of this cartridge in the Graham. Adding this weight reduced the nervousness that the Airy had from time to time and added a fair amount of solidity and focus to the sound. And of coarse adding the weight required further futzing with the damping fluid. I never said that the Graham is not a pain. In that regard, the Graham is in a class of its own. Own a Graham and youll earn an advanced degree in futzology!