Canuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio ForumCanuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio Forum
It is currently Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:35 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:11 am
Posts: 135
Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
Did several searches and didn't find one on this ( I thought I had read one but......)

I'm thinking of a new cart for one of my tables. It has more or less come down to 2 choices at about the $1 K mark - the Hana SL and the AT ART-9.

The ART-9 as tons of good press on other forums but I can't seem to get a handle on the tonal balance of this guy. I have an AT OC9 MLII and I HATE it. It sounds like cheap digital to me - thin and more than a bit clinical. If the ART-9 has that same house sound then it is out of the running immediately.

The Hana seems interesting but there has been a good bit of price creep on that. When I first saw them they were about $650 to $750 Cdn. Now they are just under a thousand.

I currently have a Denon DL103R in a Ewe wood body mounted on an Audio Quest PT9 arm on a slate Lenco using the old baby Allnic H1200 phono pre. On the other table ( probably the one for the cart swap) is a Dynavector DV20xl with the Soundsmith ruby cantilever rebuild / retip. The table is another Lenco with high mass wood plinth, Sumiko MDC 800 arm through an Eastern Electric MiniMax Phono stage.

If anyone can give me any impressions they have on either of these especially the ART9 tonal balance it would be appreciated.

I have considered going for a better phono pre but both of these were pretty well regarded in the audiophile press at their respective price points @ about $1500 n their time

Regards
KB


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:39 am
Posts: 17
Location: Moncton, NB, CA
There is a mention of this cartridge on the high-endaudio site of Arthur Salvatore
http://www.high-endaudio.com/RC-Cartridges.html#ClA

And there is also a review of it on the https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/ ... nd-running
Personally I would go for a ZYX R-100 FS FUJI Cartridge, It has been my favorite and only cartridge for many years now (You will NOT be sorry)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:28 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 13866
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
If the Art9 is to be on the Sumiko, then I'd go with the Hana if that's your 2nd choice. I have had the OC9/II on an RB250 modded in part with a headhsell damper that stiffens the shell and ups the mass to roughly 20 gms. I agree with the CD sentimentality, but on my setup it is anything but thin. Clean and clear, yes, though maybe clinical is a valid impression if the wood-bodied 103r is your reference.

I haven't heard the Art9, though I see no reason why it wouldn't be a more refined version of the OC9/II. This cartridge needs an arm that is medium high mass with a solid, well damped shell, IME.

_________________
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:46 pm
Posts: 385
Location: Markham, ON, CA
I apologize that I cannot comment on the ART9. I do, however, have the Hana SL on an origin live RB-250 on a modded Thorens TD-150 Mk2. Compared to the Dynavector 10X5 on a 250-armed P6, I can say that the Hana is a little more "full-bodied" and smooth; the Dynavector is very revealing, great sound stage, but is a tiny bit weedy when compared to the Hana. For jazz, even rock, the Hana is just a better, richer sound. Sound stage is excellent and the cart is very revealing.

Frankly, you are not going to go wrong with either cart. For me, no regrets with the Hana...and mine only has about 40 hours...I can only wait for it to fully break in (100 hours) when it REALLY starts to sing! :)


Last edited by brownslane on Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:05 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:18 pm
Posts: 882
Location: St. John's, NL, CA
This is extremely interesting to me. I recently just got an OC9ML/II and is my first venture in LOMC. From what I've read, is picky with loading? If using 100hm or greater, I've heard it sounds thin and dull. But, 20 - 100 ohm is its sweet spot? I have not yet managed to find a step up to try it out. But, am hopeful it will sound better than my Dyna 10x on my Rega RB250


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:11 am
Posts: 135
Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
OK
Thanks for the replies.

Yes the wood bodied Denon is my (marginally) preferred cartridge at the moment. I think it is the slightly fuller sound with the little bit richer mid-range over the more neutral / matter of fact Dyna presentation. In my set up, the soundstage and detail are very similar between the two cartridges so it is down to overall tonal balance.

By all accounts the AT is a near world class performer but if I don't like the overall presentation, who cares? The Hana sounds like it should be an upgraded 103R, so a good choice but probably not in the same league as the AT in detail retrieval . The money difference is so little that I'm really torn on this one.

Thanks again for the input

KB


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:06 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 13866
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
KB, I'm not sure why you believe the Hana would not have the detail retrieval of the AT? I don't believe the difference between a Shibata and AT's "special line contact" should be so great, especially given the radii are not so very different? The Shibata may in fact be the better choice here, as the bearing radius is nearly double that of AT's line contact.

_________________
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:22 pm 
Offline
Dealer/Sponsor

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:33 am
Posts: 1174
Location: Kingston, ON, CA
the reason alnico magnets are such a big deal is they don't "float" at the zero crossing point. Meaning, when the signal reverses itself, they are like a tightly coupled mechanical systems with zero play.

ceramic, neo, etc, all have issue with their zero crossing, which means they all distort and shift the signal at the changeover from one direction to the next.

which with a complex audio signal, happens some 20-30-40-50-100 thousand times a second.

This is also why alnico magnet or active field type speaker drivers sound the best.

everything else has a rattle when it changes directions, like a standard shift car transmission with blown motor and transmission mounts, as you come on and off the gas pedal....

everything other than alnico and active field has a combination of signal maligning mud and screech that they try to balance out.

the hana uses alnico, the art and the at-oc9 both use neo, iirc. The hana has lower output but it does not float at the given direction load change.

More honest, more correct signal, less masking distortion.

When you compare the two, think of these things and listen again, and it will all become clear.

these differences are very very small but we're not paying thousands for the 99% we've got.... we're paying thousands for the correction of the 1% that is being distorted, lost or missed.

For most people the biggest problem can be not recognizing the given correctness when they hear it. For example, this magnet issue or concern.

So few people listen to alnico and so many listen to neo and ceramic that the bulk of the buyers and so on think that the mud-screech of those systems are what is correct and fail to hear the correctness of the alnico, or whatever given technology is at hand. It can also be difficult to realize this better characteristic of alnico if the rest of the system is suffering and masks this critical aspect.

People build what seems like a neutral system around a distortion they had no idea was one of the major underwriters of all they listen to and via. Right through the entire chain... from the microphone on down to the speakers in your house.

Which means the fight to balance out screechy hyper etching against slow masking mud...and have natural live warm balance and rich harmonic detail, well, you're hobbled from the get go. And that's your whole fight I speak about - everything you reach for.

Whoops.

Like..right down at the bottom of the carrier of the reality one seeks - a fundamental error.

Whoops.

Happens all the time.

There are more of them, these core issues.

I'll come off the fast ball a bit and say that alnico is not perfect, it has issues. That's why it eventually went away. Price being one issue. And it's not truly 'float free' at the crossing point, it is simply the best of the bunch.

In the world of cables, or wire period, the liquid metal is like the alnico. It does that all critical last part of a percentage point correctly. Or, more correctly than any solid material ever can or will ever do. Scientifically, this point is inescapable, like that of the alnico. Some think it's a miracle, some think it sounds dark. Or that I'm an asshat egomaniac for the sin of speaking plainly and openly.

_________________
(Ken Hotte, of) Teo Audio


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 13866
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Teo Audio wrote:
the reason alnico magnets are such a big deal is they don't "float" at the zero crossing point. Meaning, when the signal reverses itself, they are like a tightly coupled mechanical systems with zero play.

I recall reading the experience of an engineer employed at JBL during the time of their transition from alnico to ceramic magnets who found no appreciable differences sonically between the two. If there were differences, it wasn't enough to stop them from moving forward with ceramics.

Cartridges are different, so maybe the subtleties are easier to detect with them, but a cartridge is an assembly of compromises, not the least of which is the resin body Excel puts these generators in. Keeps the price down, but is the more expensive magnet worth the trade off?

Only the individual listening can decide that. Even then, it might be a tough choice.

_________________
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:11 am
Posts: 135
Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
Thanks for the information guys

I've had a shift in priorities and won't be buying a new cartridge. A motorcycle popped up for sale this afternoon at a price I couldn't refuse, so here comes bike #3

Why do I need three? I don't have the first clue.

The thread can be closed or left open for others who may have similar questions

Thanks for all the advice guys
Kevin


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 13866
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
k_brown wrote:
Why do I need three? I don't have the first clue.

Three bikes you say? Meh... I have 10 times that many cartridges lol

_________________
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:07 am 
Offline
Dealer/Sponsor

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:33 am
Posts: 1174
Location: Kingston, ON, CA
ripblade wrote:
Teo Audio wrote:
the reason alnico magnets are such a big deal is they don't "float" at the zero crossing point. Meaning, when the signal reverses itself, they are like a tightly coupled mechanical systems with zero play.

I recall reading the experience of an engineer employed at JBL during the time of their transition from alnico to ceramic magnets who found no appreciable differences sonically between the two. If there were differences, it wasn't enough to stop them from moving forward with ceramics.

Cartridges are different, so maybe the subtleties are easier to detect with them, but a cartridge is an assembly of compromises, not the least of which is the resin body Excel puts these generators in. Keeps the price down, but is the more expensive magnet worth the trade off?

Only the individual listening can decide that. Even then, it might be a tough choice.


We end up with some people with a flag or whatnot on a stick ...and them marching with it... and maybe no one marching with them, or an entire crowd marching with them. It's either the shoe or the gourd. ('Life of Brian' reference). (I can't post the link as someone got upset the last time - and the post was erased)

Yes, there are so many variables that it is difficult if not impossible for the consumer to do the single cause analysis required to figure this out. Every single component or part of the chain is resplendent with issues -most stacked upon one another even within the single given part, never mind the interactions with one another.

The list of possible interactions that the ear deals with in just a wholly isolated cartridge in analysis but tested in situ, might easily be over twenty. Which is why a cartridge designer is not a young man, it's a learned intelligent mid life or older adult, who's put in the time, all whilst using that given fine mind.

The given public is so all over the place in their analysis and capacities that for the most part they entirely miss the best gear and buy and use mediocrity, as this is what they understand and where they are at. Few really move fast or sure footed in these given journeys.

You'll never get rich making the worlds finest anything. You'll only get rich by producing the best for the projections of the masses who really don't know what best is. Ie, the Stones get rich as people like them, the artists that the Rolling stones respect the most and come from musically, the true monster talent parents of who the stones really are...never really made a cent.

Money is rarely tied to these understandings, and such financial mentality can be a side effect of an inability to get there (big discussion on human psychology and genetics, selection, economy, etc) and thus mediocrity can and many times rules... in the so called high end or any given area of endeavor, including audio. The best is not available to the person who substitutes money for intelligence and capacity. The two are only nominally related. The corollary is that the best will almost never be listened (discovered, etc) to by those with the funds to afford it as they go for what they know, and go for what the controllers and enablers of the given market project to them.

Thus the human embarrassments of Lady Gaga, for example. Or Beats headphones.

_________________
(Ken Hotte, of) Teo Audio


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:23 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 13866
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Teo Audio wrote:
We end up with some people with a flag or whatnot on a stick ...and them marching with it... and maybe no one marching with them, or an entire crowd marching with them. It's either the shoe or the gourd.

Or to paraphrase Steppenwolf lyrics, 'sometimes they follow just because it's free'.

In a world cluttered with sameness everywhere, one needs to distinguish himself from the rest. So you have alnico adherents, or run of the mill ceramic but with Onyx body adherents. Whatever it takes to distinguish yourself, someone will follow just because it's free.

_________________
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:18 pm
Posts: 882
Location: St. John's, NL, CA
Teo are you to say that Alnico magnets are some of the better sounding types of magnets? I have heard of all sorts of neodynium (spelling?) and so on.

This is interesting because in the world of carts, I find the hype is all about diamond shape, cantilever construction and the way the diamond tip is attached to the stylus, and I find I read about the types of copper used in the coils and such. But, very little literature on the magnet type, other than moving magnet vs moving coil conversation.

I got a step up for my OC9... It's a Denon AU300-LC? I know virtually nothing of step ups except for this one had 1:10 gain and 40ohm load. I'm pretty sure the manual said to use 20ohm or higher for passive step up or 100ohm for active MC phono stage. I figure it's in the ballpark. If I could have gotten a moderately priced step up with a tiny bit more gain, I think I'd have been happy, like 1:13 - 1:15... But, I wanted to test out the cart.

Lots of detail in the micro line stylus tip.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:51 am 
Offline
Dealer/Sponsor

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:33 am
Posts: 1174
Location: Kingston, ON, CA
therealco wrote:
Teo are you to say that Alnico magnets are some of the better sounding types of magnets? I have heard of all sorts of neodynium (spelling?) and so on.

This is interesting because in the world of carts, I find the hype is all about diamond shape, cantilever construction and the way the diamond tip is attached to the stylus, and I find I read about the types of copper used in the coils and such. But, very little literature on the magnet type, other than moving magnet vs moving coil conversation.

I got a step up for my OC9... It's a Denon AU300-LC? I know virtually nothing of step ups except for this one had 1:10 gain and 40ohm load. I'm pretty sure the manual said to use 20ohm or higher for passive step up or 100ohm for active MC phono stage. I figure it's in the ballpark. If I could have gotten a moderately priced step up with a tiny bit more gain, I think I'd have been happy, like 1:13 - 1:15... But, I wanted to test out the cart.

Lots of detail in the micro line stylus tip.



I've got an oc9 ii I got in trade for some work, mint shape, etc. I grabbed the same transformer here on canuck, but I mostly bought it for my Denon 103D cart. I've tried the Denon step up on the At 0c9, and it's not a very good match, and I did not expect it to be.

I have a perfect match, but I've got to spot weld it back together again. I took it apart, as I figured the audio world was as curious as I was about what is in it. I published the images for all to get a look. A MA cotter step up, considered one of the greats. Yes, I tore open a minty MK-2 MA Cotter step up, worth about +$1700 US these days.

whoops. Just checked. About $4k cdn these days. Ouch. Time to put it back together. point is, it is the perfect match for all those super low output carts out there. the 2-20 ohm carts. It was pretty mind boggling when used with things like a MC30 Super. Or the AT 33ML, or the ..etc.

Anyway, alnico is lowest in this zero float but not highest in magnetic strength.

If one is going to launch a dynamic and always changing signal off of a stable mechanical ground point, that ground point has to be ultra stable and not prone to any non linearity or potential interfering resonances, and so on.

Here's a bit on it from DiyAudio.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/full-ran ... ymium.html

A couple of threads deep in it, comes this from Johnathan Carr:
Quote:
Alnico and neodymium are not directly comparable, because they function differently, and give the designer the freedom to use different types of magnetic circuits. I should also add a caveat that the total performance will depend very much on the design of the magnetic circuit, and this may very well be a bigger variable than the magnet material used.

Alnico needs separate pole-pieces to function correctly, while the rare-earth magnets like neodymium can function with or without.

Using a similar grade of iron, an alnico will usually measure as having lower distortion than a ferrite, and particularly the midrange will sound cleaner.

There is another magnetic material called platiron which behaves like a super-alnico, and sounds like it, too. The price of this stuff is hugely expensive, however, and so far, only two phono cartridge manufacturers - Koetsu and Lyra (me) - have used it in audio so far. I reckon that this would make an amazing speaker magnet, but I don't have the finances required to sponser such a project.

On to rare-earth magnets. If such are used with polepieces, the distortion figures and listening results usually will both be better than a ferrite. OTOH, samarium-cobalt, presidymium and neodymium all sound different from alnico, and they also sound different from each other. Depending on personal preferences, some listeners may like the alnicos, while others may choose one or another of the rare-earths.

What I particular like about the rare-earths is their ability to be used in a magnetic circuit without any polepieces whatsoever. For a given design, improving the grade of the polepiece material nearly always provides better measured and subjective results, but in my experience, designs that eliminate them completely provide the lowest overall distortion.

But there are other prices to be paid. First, the efficiency goes way down. Next, neodymium is far more sensitive to temperature than alnico. Above 70 degrees C, for all practical purposes it is non-functional as a magnet material.

For applications where these issues are not a problem (MC phono cartridges), no-polepiece neodymium circuits work better than anything else that I have tried. But realistically, it will require more time before such designs can be used in speaker units.

Pricing-wise, the weaker grades of neodymium are becoming far cheaper than they used to be, but the most powerful stuff (BHmax 50 and 52) is very expensive.


Since the material that Johnathan mentions is too expensive for speakers, the alternative in performance and in price.. would probably be active field coils.

_________________
(Ken Hotte, of) Teo Audio


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group