Next steps with Soundsmith Fixed Coil cartridges

shakti

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May 9, 2015
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and for all you, thinking, that I am crazy about the details...
You might be right. I even tried a different damping of the Yamamoto TY1 Titan finger.
You can add a Yamamoto rubber ring to the finger and decide, what you prefer .

I do prefer the rubber ring TY-1 on SG210 / Titanium headshell and without the rubber ring TY-1 on Hyperion / Ebony Headshell :)

IMG_2601.jpg
 
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spiritofmusic

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Shakti, you obsess so the rest of us can watch and learn.

"Standing on the shoulders of giants" etc.

My Terminator LT arm is in effect a one piece 10cm long carbon fibre flat paddle, so no experimenting w headshells, other than carbon fibre beats aluminium as an armwand material comprehensively.

Maybe scope to expt w different screws?
 
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shakti

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Maybe scope to expt w different screws?

Sure ;-)

I have just searched for the best length of the Yamamoto Titan screws and the Soundsmith Nylon scews :)
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Let me know what I should be aiming to try myself
I've just installed this new carbon fibre armwand and soon new Kondo/Cardas/Bocchinos one-piece tonearm wire. Any new screws could come next.
 

shakti

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Today I went to the customs office to receive a shipment from the US.
I had asked Soundsmith to help me out. I managed to loose 2 of their stylus guards in my wall heater....
shit happens :-(
But this are the title things, where you can feel the difference in working with High End Manufacturers.

Without long debating, Peter Ledermann helped me out and even some more stylus guards were received.

Sending a box abroad, without using the chance to convince the customer to try a 360degree Soundsmith experience is not the style of Peter, so I found in the box a Soundsmith Headshell as well :)

Leonard Cohen was singing again, Using the Yamamoto ebony wood headshell and pure platinum headshell leads.

Than I changed to the Soundsmith Headshell, which looks like made from boxwood, but I am not sure.

To focus on the headshell alone , I changed the Soundsmith wires to pur platinum as well. Also the same headshell screws were used.

The difference in sound was audible, but smaller, as the difference between wood and metal headshells.
It is mainly the difference in the sort of wood. (Both headshells have nearly the same weight VTF adjustment was 0,2g))

Peter Ledermann has done the "correct" decision in choosing this headshell for his carts, the Soundsmith headshell just sounds natural, pure and in tonal balance. The Yamamoto Ebony had in comparison a little more emphasis to the bass and a little less in contouring the voice of Leonard Cohen.

Using the Soundsmith headshell an over all more harmonic balance can be heard.
(on my SME 3012R tonearm)

On other tonearms this might be different, but I will stay with this combination.

Comparing Headshell prices, I like to recommend to all Soundsmith users to give your cart a try in the Soundsmith Headshell too, as the Headshell is fair priced in todays High End market.

Soundsmith is running their own Webshop, so the headshell is just some clicks away :)

Thanx Peter!, if you read here?

My Hyperion feels much more safe with the new stylus guard and is taking a better ride with the new headshell :)

IMG_2650.jpg
 

dminches

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Oct 22, 2011
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Do those large attachment screws come with the headshell or are they an OEM part which you use?
 

shakti

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May 9, 2015
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Do those large attachment screws come with the headshell or are they an OEM part which you use?

The shown large screws are available from Soundsmith as well.

There are 3 ideas behind:

- easy cartridge fitting

- 1g to 6g available screw weight can customize your tonearm effective mass to your cartridge needs

- the different screw material has different damping factors, so you customize to your needs as well

Here you ca see the compete kit:

https://www.sound-smith.com/accessories/ez-mount-cartridge-screws
 
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Thank you for your posts. Yes, we are invisible. Some corrections - All high output designs are medium compliance except Zephyr MKIII which is LOW compliance. High compliance available on special order, as are all our magnetic designs as dual coil true MONO units. Loading for ALL low output carts has been 470 Ohms minimum for 10 years. A few very early units were 1000 - 2800. And no, current preamps (properly called transconductance preamp designs) are NOT compatible with our low output carts. And I am NOT a mad scientist. Just slightly perturbed. But in a good way I hope. - Peter Ledermann
 

shakti

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May 9, 2015
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Thank you for your posts. Yes, we are invisible. Some corrections - All high output designs are medium compliance except Zephyr MKIII which is LOW compliance. High compliance available on special order, as are all our magnetic designs as dual coil true MONO units. Loading for ALL low output carts has been 470 Ohms minimum for 10 years. A few very early units were 1000 - 2800. And no, current preamps (properly called transconductance preamp designs) are NOT compatible with our low output carts. And I am NOT a mad scientist. Just slightly perturbed. But in a good way I hope. - Peter Ledermann


thank you for joining!

Always good to have the „Brain“ behind a product participating the discussion ( and correcting / completing the facts, if wrong or not fully investigated in the www)
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Peter, l/t user of yr Straingauge cart. Absolutely love it, and that's coming off prolonged ownership of Transfiguration Temper Supreme and Orpheus, and an extended period w Lyra Parnassus.

I'm amazed at how it totally successfully melds blazing speed w natural warmth and texture. I've been working hard to optimise my analog for a long time now, and having cracked things, it's apparent how great the cart is also on timbral accuracy and even handedness. Nothing jumps out, nothing detracts.

My Transfigurations, Lyras and modded Denon 103 carts have all had many pluses...and quite a few cons. The Straingauge is the only cart I've owned that appears to have no weaknesses.
 
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The reality is......that all transducers (speakers. microphones, cartridges) have some of their DNA in the camp of scientific instruments, and some in the camp of musical instruments. If they didn't, they would all sound the same. They don't. Even within one model from one manufacturer they are different. I believe the Strain Gauge is the only cartridge to have most of its DNA in the scientific instrument camp - if its on the disk, you will hear it - the good, the bad and the ugly. Nothing added, nothing removed. But the truth is not for everyone. The Strain Gauge follows our philosophy - for all our designs - extremely low moving mass is the road to definition. But the Strain Gauge......or the Hyperion.........Once you have been served Fillet Mignon, its hard to go back to beans. And what some charge for a can of beans............(whew...)
 
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spiritofmusic

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Peter, and for our vegan members? Lol
 

spiritofmusic

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Peter, interesting take on the Straingauge being more scientific instrument than musical instrument. I've found it's by far the most musical cart I've ever used, only rivalled by the Lyra Parnassus, yet both are poles apart on presentation...the SG way faster and more precise, the Lyra lusher and "wetter". The less said about the Skala and Roksan Shiraz the better, and the Transfigurations and modded Denon 103's were one-trick ponys.

It's taken some sweating the small stuff to get the SG to fully bloom, esp azimuth, and a bespoke twin LPS has really transformed it's performance. Now it's blazing speed doesn't translate to brittleness as might have been the case in other fast but forensic carts, and it's even handedness doesn't translate to blandness as some neutral carts do. What is the real bonus in my system, is timbral accuracy which is right up w the best, and totally contributes to the trick of absolute realism at home.
 

bazelio

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Sep 26, 2016
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With the Straingauge's "if its on the disk, you will hear it - the good, the bad and the ugly" capability, why should a bespoke LPS be needed?
 
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You are correct; and what a horrible analogy I used as VEGANS cannot relate!!! But what I meant by musical instrument does not mean it is not musical, but each one that is more in the Musical instrument camp is unique and the results vary greatly. The opposite is true for scientific instruments. The Strain Gauge is HIGHLY musical as it transports you back to the master if the pressing is done correctly. Musical instruments vary and when they affect transducers they color things, like tubes can as they are highly non-linear (THD values from .5% down to .1% which are typically added EVEN ORDER harmonics not found in the source material), not to leave out bad Solid state designs which often generate ODD order harmonics (non musical sounding). But..... that said, not all coloration(s) are "bad". Many are quite pleasant. My philosophy is for the entire chain to be resolving with ultra low harmonic, transient and phase distortions, which is how I design cartridges, preamps, amps, and speakers. This is why our rooms at shows get high marks. Nothing should stand in the way of the original signal.

I have often said when asked, "what is the difference between an audio engineer and a recording engineer?". I have answered that a true audio engineer will develop the simplest, minimalist, most linear path for the signal to go through. A recording engineer often will send the signal he is attempting to record - daisy chaining - through every damn piece of gear he owns, because he owns it. A really great audio recording engineer will take the minimalist path. I have heard some obscure GREAT CD"s recorded that way and they are wonderful. But the math is the math. Analog has at least 10 times the RESOLUTION potential over 24 bit digital. A good cartridge can respond to groove deviations that are only 20 small hydrocarbon molecules (benzene) long. That distance is the "step size" or resolution for analog - and mathematically it is 10 times better than 24 bit, leaving out sample rate for the time being as another issue. Those of us that have heard a good direct to disk on the Strain Gauge have heard a wonder......it's even better than that.
 
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spiritofmusic

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With the Straingauge's "if its on the disk, you will hear it - the good, the bad and the ugly" capability, why should a bespoke LPS be needed?
Because you'll REALLY hear just HOW good, bad and ugly, it all is.

Bazelio, the SG uses an energiser in place of a phono. There are phonos I'm sure w outbd SMPS that benefit from upgrade to LPS. I've found the same w SG energiser.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
14,572
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You are correct; and what a horrible analogy I used as VEGANS cannot relate!!! But what I meant by musical instrument does not mean it is not musical, but each one that is more in the Musical instrument camp is unique and the results vary greatly. The opposite is true for scientific instruments. The Strain Gauge is HIGHLY musical as it transports you back to the master if the pressing is done correctly. Musical instruments vary and when they affect transducers they color things, like tubes can as they are highly non-linear (THD values from .5% down to .1% which are typically added EVEN ORDER harmonics not found in the source material), not to leave out bad Solid state designs which often generate ODD order harmoncs (non musical sounding), But..... that said, not all coloration(s) are "bad". Many are quite pleasant. My philosophy is for the entire chain to be resolving with ultra low harmonic, transient and phase distortions, which is how I design cartridges, preamps, amps, and speakers. This is why our rooms at shows get high marks. Nothing should stand in the way of the original signal.

I have often said when asked, "what is the difference between an audio engineer and a recording engineer?". I have answered that a true audio engineer will develop the simplest, minimalist, most linear path for the signal to go through. A recording engineer often will send the signal he is attempting to record - daisy chaining - through every damn piece of gear he owns, because he owns it.
That's ok Peter, I do love a steak. Fava beans good too, if I'm feeling less than social to my fellow human beings Lol.
 
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We are "forced" to sell our power supplies with the SG systems because of CE and RHOS rulings in varied countries - otherwise we would not be able to export. Mind you, our power supplies are full ANALOG - so no switching spikes. They supply 1 amp minimum each, and the SG-200 draws 1/10th of that from each. We of course have LOTS of further DC filtering and regulation inside the SG electronics. The circuitry itself also has 80dB power supply common mode rejection.

We DO make a unit called the WWE which goes inline with the suplies, (it come with our SG-230 automatically but can be used with the SG-200/210) and provides dramatic further inline filtering and RF filtering. Have I tried high end lab supplies? Yes, but ........so the door is open for those who want to try batteries and high grade supplies and report their findings.........and I am glad for those reports.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Peter, my SG has been back to you a couple of times, so I've been able to compare yr stock psu, the WWE alternative, Vinnie Rossie Red Wine Audio Black Lightning battery pack (now discontinued), and my current Peter Downs LPS.

All sound quite different from each other, w my current special order LPS seemingly the best. YMMV etc.
 

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