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Old 12-26-2013, 05:01 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dayton, OH
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The super bodies are just a little higher inductance for a little more output. It's maybe slightly more immune to capacitance changes on the phono stage end overall, if I remember correctly, but at the expense of high frequency extension regardless of electrical loading. This is sort of marketing hype. What's really happening is that the roll-off is now at such a lower frequency, that little you can do with capacitance is going to alleviate it. The tips are all interchangeable.

The Golds are just NCE tips. DJ has a double wall cantilever. They all have pretty high intermodulation distortion from the tip mass, but the DJ's rigidity always seems to slightly counteract this for some reason. I believe the Arkiv was like a single-walled version of the DJ, or something? It's been a while since I messed with them. All the Ort DJ tips are really too high of a tip mass for my comfort, but the DJ-S is a classic for a lot of people.

There's nothing preventing you from using an Ortofon OM hifi tip on the OM or Concord bodies. The OM5 and the nude NOS tips sound quite nice, all tracking well. The OM5 is probably my favorite sweet spot for the Ort hifis to spin real records with.

Moving Irons will tend to have lower IMD because of the use of a little iron pieces that moves between the coils or magnets or something on the cart-end. So it's almost moving coil-like in its reduced mass on that end. You have to worry about both ends when talking cantilever momentum. It produces all sorts of issues with high frequency extension, cantilever rigidity, the type of suspension that can be used, and is hard to make really optimal. You either end up with rolled-off top, low output, or inability to back cue. You can get great transients and stereo width, but no tracking ability. You can get great tracking, but sound like wool is over the sound.

However, in my opinion you should stop worrying about this stuff. Most DJ tips are too high mass. Most hifi tips are too expensive or probably will trash your records eventually even if you calibrate them properly, clean the tips, clean your records, etc.

Get some Audio-Technica AT3482P (or the version with the included p-mount converter if you don't already have them for headshells) and be done with it. They won't sound even as good as OM5E, let alone in the same realm as a Grado, but at least they track AND are forgiving.

The spherical diamond will probably be kinder to your vinyl (electron microscope photos seem to prove this), and the thick, ridged carbon fiber cantilever has surprisingly low tip mass for reduced high frequency IM distortion, which also reduces record wear, not to mention improves sound.

Pretty big, gooey, tuneful bass... if a little bloated. Not terrible mids. And it's just a little closed-in spatially and treble extension-wise. It's got enough of a mid-treble (or so) lift to counteract ultimate extension without being bright. Carbon fiber is too rare in phono and has too many advantages in my opinion to justify passing up on the AT.

And cheap as dirt. Use antiskate. Calibrate each cart by ear with Hifi News test record. And be done with all this shit. It's not worth your time or the wear on your records using styli that are too expensive for you to want to replace when they wear. Keep your records clean. Done.

If you're rich (and damn you if you are), then just go for moving coils. MMs really can't hold a candle to them. And MCs tend to have greater tolerance of various types of suspension, so you're more likely to find ones that can back cue than MI and the Grados.

As for myself, I'm doing the whole digital dance. The only time I really enjoy the digital stuff is either when it's music I cannot possibly mix by ear manually and can just use sync (gasp!) or I'm using a really cheap all-in-one unit that can't do sync and doing everything by ears, which is truly kind of a joy again... in spite of the unit's serious quirks. Little thing will even let me turn off the BPM readings to keep from distracting me. That's the most fun I have since vinyl.
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