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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.”

Origin Live Calypso Turntable and Encounter Tonearm

Origin Live Calypso Turtable“The Calypso is second from bottom in Origin Live’s stable of turntables, a belt-driven, non-suspended design with an outboard motor pod. In keeping with OL’s design philosophy (which can be read in detail here) the Calypso’s plinth and sub-chassis are a careful combination of several different materials, sized, shaped, positioned and joined together just so to minimize resonance….”

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…”

Clearaudio Emotion Turntable, Satisfy Tonearm, Aurum Classiscs Cartridge

Clearaudio Emotion Turntable with Satisfy Tonearm

“I suppose this, the least expensive Clearaudio phono reproduction package, could be said to epitomize the company’s approach. Everything is acrylic except for tonearm, cartridge, and platter bearing. If not completely clear, the turntable is definitely translucent, and mechanically very simple for a record reproducer…”

Rotel RP-955 Belt Drive Turntable

Rotel RP-955 Turntable

“…Rotel’s RP-955 is one such new design. Like most Rotel products the RP-955 is aimed squarely at the market’s bulging midsection, where it competes with similar tables from Dual, NAD, Pro-Ject, and, especially, the wildly popular Rega Planar 3 (which just happens to sell for exactly the same price in Canada). Like most of its immediate competition the Rotel is an unsuspended, belt-drive table which comes packaged with a dedicated arm and cartridge….”


  Outside the Speakers

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    Audiophile Grade Mics?
    CDs Sales Die, LP Sales Fly
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