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Soundsmith Aida Ebony Phono Cartridge: Looking For Your Last Best Cartridge? This Could Be It, At A Decent Price!

Soundsmith Aida Ebony Moving Iron Phono Cartridge“This seemed to me what Shure, with all their in-house engineering skill and experience could never quite achieve. That elusive combination of low mass, high compliance, and supertracking (a phrase they coined, I think), was accompanied by the seeming necessity of removable stylus assemblies, and cleaning brushes, which, I discovered, not only compromised the intimate groove interface, but also were quite audibly microphonic in truly revealing phono systems, adding a chatter of their own to the record-reproducing conversation.”

Dual CS-455-1M Automatic Turntable - A True “Turnkey Turntable”

Dual CS-455-1M Automatic Turntable
“Now, Dual has been making turntables longer than just about anybody else in the world, (since 1928), so they must have got it right by now. If you opt for a special additional phono stylus, it will even play 78 rpm discs. The other speeds are 33 1/3 and 45 rpm. The unit has an internal suspension that isolates it quite well, and no problems with feedback were encountered during the testing process. It comes in 5 versions, our review sample in piano black, the most luxurious of the range…”

Clearaudio Concept Turntable, Classic Cartridge and Verify Tonearm

Clearaudio Concept Turntable“The Clearaudio Concept is a solid chassis design, with spiked feet, an attractive brushed aluminum band surrounding the black chassis. The tonearm is called the Verify, and is a unipivot with a magnetic bearing for very low friction, while the Classic cartridge is a quite high-output moving magnet type with a very naked, seemingly non-replaceable stylus…”

OxBox, January 2010: Pro-Ject, Furutech, Ortofon and music by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and more

Tallis Singers - The Flemish Masters (small)In my original review of this turntable cartridge combination I said the results were pleasing but, but I thought that going for the more costly Ortofon Kontrapunkt B cartridge would offer better value for money. In the event, I was dead wrong. I tried to like the 2Xperience-Rondo Blue. It was so nice to spin some vinyl and hear some old favourites again. But, the longer I listened the closer I came to realizing that the sound just wasn’t as good as it should be…”

OxBox, April 2009 - Xperience with Rondo Blue

Pro-Ject Xperience (Small)“Part of the reason for the lapse is there hasn’t been much to write about until now except the music; and let me say I have heard some wonderful music as the year has progressed. My inspiration to share now can be spelled out in one word: v-i-n-y-l. I have a new turntable and cartridge. I had been listening, on a very occasional basis, to LPs on my Kenwood direct drive with a Fidelity Research FR64 arm and an Ortofon Kontrapunkt b cartridge. The sound I was getting from it was far from perfect, and I felt it should be replaced…”

Dynavector DV-20X H Moving Coil Phono Cartridge [AIG Archives]

Dynavector DV-20X H Moving Coil Cartridge

“I installed the DV-20X H in a SAEC headshell, and with its real weight and tracking weight being very close to that of both the Ortofon MC-3000II and the Kontrapunkt b, I could easily swap it in and out of the arm for comparisons, though its much higher output than the former necessitated substantial level reduction to match. The cartridge comes in a clear plastic box, with a set of colour-coded leads, a nice broad white-bristle stylus brush, and screws and bolts…”

Ortofon Kontrapunkt b Moving Coil Cartridge

Ortofon Kontrapunkt b

“The first series of cartridges named after a Bach theme, that of the Contrapunctus XIX where the composer’s name appears in the upper voice at one point, the Kontrapunkt a and b kartridges (If Linn can do it, so can I!) are based on the previous Jubilee series of more expensive models, and before that the MC-3000 to MC-7500 top models…”

Grado Sonata Phono Cartridge

Grado Sonata Phono Cartridge -- Click for Review

“There don’t seem to be too many players in the phono cartridge game any more: Audio-Technica, Ortofon (no longer distributed in Canada), Linn, Shure, sort of with a recycled V-15 V, and who else? Well, Grado has gone public by announcing not one, but three ranges of new models, truly anachronistically ambitious for such a small company…”


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