Your "eureka" analog moment

In the beginning I had a succession of crappy cartridges. Back in the day (1970's) you could buy a turntable and they would "throw in a cartridge " for next to nothing. 

Had ADC, Empires, Stantons, etc. Nothing above $30. Decided to invest big bucks - $65- for a Shure V15 Type 3. Oh my- my records never were so good after that! That was my moment, and then when a friend loaned me Discovered Again (Lab 5 on Sheffield) I was amazed.

Too bad I no longer have the V15 type 3. Over 20 years ago, missing a stylus, I sold it to someone for I think about $30. 
Adding a tube phono preamp . After I did that I went with all tube gear. I don't think I could ever go back to SS gear!
Definitely hearing my first Decca cartridge (a Blue) in 1972, being used in a full ARC system (Magneplanar Tympani I's bi-amped with D-75 and D-51 amps, and an SP-3 pre) by Bill Johnson. Mounted in a prototype ARC pickup arm that never made it into production. The arm was made of wood, looking like the Grado of the 50's/60's.

Only ONE  "eureka moment? - I've had several...

  • When I first installed a one piece Cardas tonearm harness in my RB250 tonearm.
  • When I installed the Michell Techno-weight
  • When I installed my Acrylic Platter and aluminum sub platter
  • When I installed an Audiomods Series 3 Tonearm - a biggy!
  • When I purchase my Simaudio moon LP5.3 RS phono stage
  • But the clear WINNER - when I installed my Soundsmith modified Denon DL103 Cartridge, and then setting it up using the MINT Best Tractor

Each time I was amazed at the improvements these changes brought to my vinyl listening pleasure.

I've been very fortunate :-)

like others, i have had a few eureka moments
--My first dual table (721)--with a shure v15 type 3
--My first audiophile table--Michell gyro--VDH frog--Sweet sound and a beginning of understanding a soundstage
--Maplenoll tables--Booming bass and such a quiet background. you dont understand how much rumble is in a table till you hear a quiet one
--ZYX UNIverse cartridge-- On my maplenoll araidne signature and my first hi end Phono upgrade--zyx artisan--I started listening to all my albums again hearing them in a different light
--Pass labs xa30.8 and xp10 separates-- i had been an integrated SS with top of the line Marantz but wow, 

Just when you think it cant get better, watch out

Just when you think it cant get better, watch out
  You can say that again!
Sumiko blue point
When a buddy lent me his Rega P2 and some uncleaned lps and the sound completely bested my 5k digital setup.
I remember thinking "aw crap. now I have to build a whole analog system" :)
1000 lps, rcm, tubed phono preamp, vibraplane, Basis 2800, Dynavector XV1s, etc, etc later... So much happier.
Hm, tough question...maybe the moment when I listened the first time with a FR-66s to a Koetsu Coralstone with Diamond Cantilever...
 I've had several. As far as equipment is concerned, the latest ones were when I switched a rega (300) tonearm out for an older Victor tonearm (about 2 years ago). Had it again switching that tonearm out (last month) for a Pole Star. As far as albums are concerned, the eureka moments happen all the time. 
I am having a Pole Star too. Like it so far. It seems like the Pole Star is not very popular here. I am having little problem with the arm. I will apreciate if you could measure the distance from the pivot to the tip of the arm where you mount the headshell on.
i am sorry for the off topic gents.

Approx. 7.5"
Thank you Boxer12.
Zavato,  When in the Navy on Okinawa in 1970, I put together my 1st component system, as did many of my associates. These associates were buying turntables with the supplied cartridge.  I purchased a Dual 1219 and mounted the Sure V15 type 2 which was the best cartridge I could obtain at the time. Several of  my associates, after hearing my system would comment on how good my system sounded, often asking about the speakers. Found myself explaining that both transducers, the cartridge and speaker, were important to sound quality and most important to the characteristic of the sound.
My eureka moment was my 1st experience listening to a high end system (1969): AR XA TT, Dynaco Pas 3 Pre and ST70 amp, AR 3a speakers.

Post removed 

First eureka moment was the Decca MK5 cartridge. Wow. Cured what totally ailed me about the Shure type II Improved.  Improved?

Next was this 2 months ago. Installed the Lyra Etna. I had no idea. Absolutely breath-taking.

Barry, have you heard the current top London (Decca), the Reference?
When I heard a Garrard 301 with Gray Research 208 tonearm! I am yet to hear a combination that plays music with such rhythm and passion.


I have not heard the London Reference but I'm sure it is terrific based on what I've read. I owned two MK Vs and a Gold throughout the 70s-early 80s.  The quality control on the Gold was "bad beyond belief" and even though I seem to like audio pain and suffering, it drove me nearly mad and soured me forever on the Decca's.

The Etna is still breaking in, but even now listening to it can be an almost religious experience. It's very likely the end of my analog journey.

Decca's were their own worst enemies! You are not alone in giving up on them, almost all of us moving to LOMC's in the mid-70's. The guy who was making them for Decca bought the rights to the cartridge when they decided to get out of the game, and went to work on redesigning it. The Super Gold Mk.7 (with a line contact stylus, opposed to the Van den Hul profile of the SG Mk.6 stylus) is the first Decca/London with the cartridge's weaknesses eliminated (or at least reduced) sufficiently to make living with it not a love/hate relationship. The improved mounting option, the Deccapod, helps a lot, and there are now four wire tags, not the old 3-wire design. The London Reference is very different than the old Decca's, even having a machined body housing!

My old pal and dealer Brooks Berdan loved the Lyra cartridges, and his son Brian now sells them at his shop (Audio Elements) in Pasadena. I'll have to take a listen to the Etna. 


you and many others put together good systems through the PX. Dual 1219 and Shure V15 type 2 was a helluva combination back in the day

i recall thumbing through a PX catalog in the 70's