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Old 24th July 2011, 01:02 AM   #11
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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They may have addressed this issue with the design of the newer "grinded wood" head shell used on my Classic GM E II - in any event given that it is brand new it will be a long time before I even take the bottom cover off..
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Old 25th July 2011, 01:11 PM   #12
dvh99 is offline dvh99  Netherlands
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i always wondered if the really high prices for elements are justified.
what is so much harder to make or how much more costs are involved in making a 2500 usd element instead of a 250 usd element.

Benz Micro

heard a micro benz once and yes it was very very good but at a price of 3000usd or so??

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Old 25th July 2011, 02:48 PM   #13
brianco is offline brianco  Ireland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
They may have addressed this issue with the design of the newer "grinded wood" head shell used on my Classic GM E II - in any event given that it is brand new it will be a long time before I even take the bottom cover off..

I was unclear in my post! Apologies. I was addressing the totally nude SPUs.

In the UK back then we never used the standard Ortofon cartridge housing, rather we used the cartridge which is within in a very rigid platform style head-shell utilising small spacer bars (to give clearance for the "hump" on the back of the SPU. We also tended to use high mass arms such as the FR 64/66S Used this way the ability to resolve complicated passages of orchestral music increases dramatically.

The better FR transformers were better than the Ortofon or Partridge models.
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Old 25th July 2011, 05:12 PM   #14
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Aha, that makes it a lot clearer.. In fact people still purchase the Classic N, NE and the Royal N cartridges sans head shell - I think Ortofon even provides an appropriate spacer/shim for mounting to a modern head shell. These can also be used of course to refresh an old SPU if desired..

The newer "grinded wood" head shell seems more rigid and less resonant than the original aluminum head shells. (I thought for a long time that they were plastic, didn't realize they were aluminum..)

I am currently using a pair of HA-100X with my SPU using the 50 ohm taps, definitely a very good combination, a much better match than the Partridge which seems ideal with the DL-103. Very good combination actually.. I'll be trying some FR transformers in the very near future. Overall as it stands the SPU is a huge step up from the ZU which previously I felt despite its obvious limitations was probably one of the best cartridges I had yet owned.
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Old 25th July 2011, 05:28 PM   #15
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvh99 View Post
i always wondered if the really high prices for elements are justified.
what is so much harder to make or how much more costs are involved in making a 2500 usd element instead of a 250 usd element.

Benz Micro

heard a micro benz once and yes it was very very good but at a price of 3000usd or so??
This I think is a very hard question to answer, but at roughly twice the list price of the ZU it replaced the SPU Classic GM E MKII I think is a relative bargain. It is a much better cartridge in all respects, tracks much better, does dynamics much better, has better bass, cleaner treble, more detail, much better imaging, much less distortion, and a more neutral tonal balance. (surprise!) Better in all sorts of unexpected ways - so much so that I find my two Denons virtually unlistenable now.. The combination of the ZU on an Orsonic head shell actually did not cost significantly less than the SPU I just purchased NIB from a fellow on eBay who purchased the wrong cartridge for his arm.
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Old 1st August 2011, 01:06 AM   #16
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Default Somewhat OT: SPU and SUTs

This is a real long shot, since not many around here seem to be running SPU Classics on their turntables, but I have evaluated a number of transformers a few of them exotic - and so far I keep coming back to one in particular.. This one is a loaner I could purchase if I am convinced it is the right thing to do, but I'm not sure there isn't better, possibly significantly better within the same price range.

Now I am thinking that either the Lundahl LL1941 or LL1943 would be a good match for the cartridge and my need for gain. Any one out there running this particular combination?

The transformer that so far works the best has an input impedance of ~50 ohms, a primary dcr of 10 ohms, and a secondary impedance of 50K, dcr needs to be measured, but is probably in the vicinity of 1K. ratio is ~ 1:32 and I really do need the gain which is about 30dB. In theory a much lower primary and secondary dcr might slightly relax the gain requirement, but only by a few dB..

Given the dcr of the cartridge a primary dcr of 10 ohms is too high I think to be optimal, but the one transformer I have on hand that has a lower primary dcr has insufficient gain, and in addition does not otherwise equal the performance of this particular SUT.

I'm looking for some input from others who might have some experience with the SPU - my suspicion is that one of the Lundahls is probably the best choice. Thoughts?
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Old 1st August 2011, 09:35 AM   #17
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Default spu

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
This is a real long shot, since not many around here seem to be running SPU Classics on their turntables, but I have evaluated a number of transformers a few of them exotic - and so far I keep coming back to one in particular.. This one is a loaner I could purchase if I am convinced it is the right thing to do, but I'm not sure there isn't better, possibly significantly better within the same price range.

Now I am thinking that either the Lundahl LL1941 or LL1943 would be a good match for the cartridge and my need for gain. Any one out there running this particular combination?

The transformer that so far works the best has an input impedance of ~50 ohms, a primary dcr of 10 ohms, and a secondary impedance of 50K, dcr needs to be measured, but is probably in the vicinity of 1K. ratio is ~ 1:32 and I really do need the gain which is about 30dB. In theory a much lower primary and secondary dcr might slightly relax the gain requirement, but only by a few dB..

Given the dcr of the cartridge a primary dcr of 10 ohms is too high I think to be optimal, but the one transformer I have on hand that has a lower primary dcr has insufficient gain, and in addition does not otherwise equal the performance of this particular SUT.

I'm looking for some input from others who might have some experience with the SPU - my suspicion is that one of the Lundahls is probably the best choice. Thoughts?
imo the miniature ortofon spu transformers are not easy to beat when used with spu.Same as those, is a type available on e-bay from time to time.They are inside a plastic enclosure,small pcb and flying leads for input and output.I think they are type 2/15K
The ortofon STM-72 is also a possibility

Last edited by Panicos K; 1st August 2011 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 1st August 2011, 11:05 AM   #18
brianco is offline brianco  Ireland
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Kevin,

I know that it is a daunting task but you could look at this thread:

Mpp

Or perhaps you could post there asking Joachim for his advice for the SPU Classic. SPUs are popular in Germany and he is sure to have a good solution. It would be a good idea to mention budget as he has designs on that thread at all price levels.

Our experiences were with the original SPUs and we found that the Ortofon transformers were not good except the one incorporated in the SPUG/t manner soldered directly to the cartridge pins. I have heard specially wound (non-catalogue) Tamura and also Kondo wound Audio Note transformers (for the Io cartridge - which I still have). These solutions are simply astronomical in price. But the Ortofon in line transformers are very poor performers - unless you want that veiled, over mellow sound which was the best of the early days of modern reproduction.
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Old 1st August 2011, 11:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianco View Post
Kevin,

I know that it is a daunting task but you could look at this thread:

Mpp

Or perhaps you could post there asking Joachim for his advice for the SPU Classic. SPUs are popular in Germany and he is sure to have a good solution. It would be a good idea to mention budget as he has designs on that thread at all price levels.

Our experiences were with the original SPUs and we found that the Ortofon transformers were not good except the one incorporated in the SPUG/t manner soldered directly to the cartridge pins. I have heard specially wound (non-catalogue) Tamura and also Kondo wound Audio Note transformers (for the Io cartridge - which I still have). These solutions are simply astronomical in price. But the Ortofon in line transformers are very poor performers - unless you want that veiled, over mellow sound which was the best of the early days of modern reproduction.
The 2/15k are the same as those that were used inside the spu's.
I think the same are those in the stm-72
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Old 1st August 2011, 12:41 PM   #20
brianco is offline brianco  Ireland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panicos K View Post
The 2/15k are the same as those that were used inside the spu's.
I think the same are those in the stm-72
But they were used in-line usually at least 1m from the cartridge, giving that length (of typically low quality cable) for an extremely low level signal to be interfered with by whatever is in the vicinity by way of magnetic flux, RFI, whatever, whereas the "T" version of the cartridge had but 1.5 cm approx for such problems to gain entrance to the signal-path. The trade off was of course extra mass.
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