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Old 27th June 2012, 02:47 AM   #41
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Kevin, I've got an Ortofon Synergy G SPU on a VPI HW-19 Mk. iV / FR-64fx driving a pair of Lundahl 9206's into a Pearl 1. I've compared this dude to a Denon DL-S1 MC and a Clearaudio Maestro MM, and the SPU just creams both of them. Amazing for such an old design, but cartridge / headshell mass is the great equalizer. It is the best cartridge I've ever heard in 40 years of playing with this stuff, including a couple Koetsus.

I'd love to own an FR-7fz SPU, but they are WAY too expensive - when you can find them.
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Old 27th June 2012, 04:44 PM   #42
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I've compared three different SPUs to a variety of other cartridges and find them all to be significantly better than anything I else I have owned.

I've had a vintage loaner GT/E, my own current Classic GM E II, and the current loaner Meister Silver GM II - all have strong family resemblances.

The Synergy is another one I have been thinking about, unfortunately this would force me to get another set of transformers. (500uV out is just too much with the LL1941 and Muscovite phono stage combo which is already very hot @ ~80dB gain)

I'm very impressed with the Meister Silver's (henceforth referred to as MS GM II) performance which gets even better each day but am also concerned about the lead in grooves of many of my records as it doesn't find the groove as quickly as the GM E II. I've had to modify my cuing approach considerably with this cartridge and I miss the relative unfussiness of the GM E II in this regard which exhibits this behavior much less frequently. (But not never)

The GM E II IMO offers the most bang for the buck, it is a very significant upgrade over the GM (spherical) for just $50 more, and offers about 95% of the overall performance of the MS GM II for about 65% of the price, and in some areas may better it.

The differences I hear so far is that the MS GM II has a little more resolving power at both ends of the spectrum than the GM E II and is also slightly better at sorting out very complex mixes.. The GM E II images & does depth better and creates a slightly more convincing sound stage, but I am only about 10hrs into the break in of the MS..
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:08 AM   #43
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Have you thought about shunting the Muscovite input with a 50 ohm load resistor and just run the Synergy straight in ? You might not need a transformer with a 0.5 mv input.

I am building a Pearl 2 with variable gain, (45-65 dB) for my set-up and plan on running the Ortofon straight in. X- formers can be a mixed blessing.
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:29 AM   #44
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Default Ortofon SPU Collector's Box

Btw, I am still hoping my sweet wife will love me enough to buy me the Ortofon SPU Collector's Box, so I can compare the GM spherical to the 85th, 90th Anniv. and Gold Reference versions. If it shows up for X-Mas this year, I'll invite all you guys over for Scotch, Miles Davis and John Coltrane !!
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Old 28th June 2012, 04:40 PM   #45
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcbingaman View Post
Have you thought about shunting the Muscovite input with a 50 ohm load resistor and just run the Synergy straight in ? You might not need a transformer with a 0.5 mv input.

I am building a Pearl 2 with variable gain, (45-65 dB) for my set-up and plan on running the Ortofon straight in. X- formers can be a mixed blessing.
Hi DC,
Not unfortunately an option as I have designed to CD based audio levels and even with 56dB of gain in the phono pre without the SUT or some other step up device I do not have enough gain available.. Noise would be about 16dB worse although that is probably not as big a deal - my line stage has just 4dB of gain, and I need about 1Vrms for full power amplifier output, allowing for margin for different recordings I would need about 15dB of additional gain.. Coincidentally I do have Partridge 977 which would provide sufficient gain..

The LL1941 are very good, were I to get a Synergy longer term I would probably get a pair of LL1931 for it..
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Old 1st July 2012, 10:35 PM   #46
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Default Shoot Out between GM E II and Meister Silver

This is where I get serious and talk about the differences I perceive between these two very competent cartridges over a couple of sides of vinyl.

Changes between cartridges was accomplished as rapidly as possible, however given the fact that two cartridges don't weigh the same I had to adjust the Schick arm each time I swapped cartridges - I can generally do this in about 90 seconds, but not nearly fast enough for direct A/B comparison, plus no way to remove my biases since it is not blind.

My initial encounter with the Meister Silver before it broke in was to note that it seemed to have a bit better control over the bass, but seemed less dynamic and images seemed more bounded..

It has been more than a week since I installed the Meister Silver and it has certainly got 20+ hours of use in that time.

I'll start by saying that everything the GM E II is, the Meister Silver is too, then add a little tauter bass, a significantly more extended and cleaner sounding top end and a general sense of greater refinement overall and you will have a sense of the differences between the two.

In general the GM E II sounds like the less expensive close cousin of the Meister Silver it is, just a little less capable and refined. The MS sounds cleaner and more transparent without being particularly obvious about it, and by the same token the GM E II is almost as good at extracting minute details from the recording, but sounds like it is working to do it.

The differences are probably subtle but seem to be significant enough to justify the cost differential and existence in the first place of the Meister Silver. I'm going to get one of my own, and the GM E II will end up on the other TD-124 where it will do a very good job.
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Old 1st July 2012, 10:43 PM   #47
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My current order of SPU preference would be from most to least:

  1. Meister Silver GM II
  2. Classic GM E II
  3. GT/E (Old transformer version with elliptical stylus)
Based on my limited experience any of these on the right high mass arm is going to be pretty good.
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Old 12th August 2012, 12:35 AM   #48
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Well the Meister Silver GM is staying here permanently, as I acquired it, and after about nearly two months of steady use I have to say this is the best cartridge I have ever owned.

I am really amazed at the detail this cartridge literally dredges out of the grooves, and it is completely unobtrusive doing it. The resolution is really there without any obvious penalties.

The differences I alluded to in previous posts between the GM E II and Meister Silver GM are probably a bit less subtle than I initially believed. My new phono stage makes the difference clearer, the MS GM is a great deal more refined while retaining all of the dynamic contrast of the GM E II. It also finds some additional detail and has a better defined and more precise bottom end.

Eventually I hope to get my hands on a 90th anniversary SPU..

I guess I have a thing for SPUs..
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Old 1st January 2013, 09:34 AM   #49
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Default New SUT on the market

Hi Guys, Happy new years.
Just thought i would let you know about a new SUT on the market that I received yesterday and mounted today.
It sounds pretty amazing straight out of the box, it's by a crowd called TemaadAudio and it is based around the Cinemag CMQEE-3440AH.
This is the same unit that's is used in one of Bob's Devices, (nearly bought buy one of Bob's earlier this year and then an EBay sale went soure so I could not affort it)
Well I am glad I did not because this unit retail for US$394 whereas Bob's is over $600.
Ther web is Home if anyone is interested.
Cheers
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Old 1st January 2013, 12:14 PM   #50
SY is offline SY  United States
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So why not just buy a couple of Cinemag transformers?
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