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Introducing the Phono Cartridge Measurement Library

dlaloum

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When back from a bit of travel I plan to order a Grado Gold 3 for testing. Xtalk 35dB!
The Grado's are a bit of an odd fish....

But the Grado body (outside of the flagship "woodies") has been in use unchanged for 40 years.... and in the past the flagships used this body, that means that if you can get a flagship needle replacement for your gold body, you can substantially upgrade the performance. (and Grado have been pretty good about maintaining support for their past models)
 

Thomas_A

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At the moment, is the flattest cartridge the Shure V15 Type V? The Ortofon OM40 and DL-60 both look impressive as well.
There are several not yet in the database that show linear frequency response. However most of them are vintage and not sold today.

The Ortofon Super OM line is different since it
- is from the "old days" but still sold today
- can be configured with 2.5 or 5 g of mass (adapt to arm mass)
- shows a very good linear frequency response, and easily fine-adjusted with load

The disadvantage IMO is a bit too high distortion. OM30 is the best one, IMO. A fine polished diamond with low friction and much cheaper than OM40.
 

Balle Clorin

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dlaloum

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There are several not yet in the database that show linear frequency response. However most of them are vintage and not sold today.

The Ortofon Super OM line is different since it
- is from the "old days" but still sold today
- can be configured with 2.5 or 5 g of mass (adapt to arm mass)
- shows a very good linear frequency response, and easily fine-adjusted with load

The disadvantage IMO is a bit too high distortion. OM30 is the best one, IMO. A fine polished diamond with low friction and much cheaper than OM40.
Also the Super OM and standard OM share the same needle, but with slightly difference inductance - so you can use the differing bodies to tweak, along with the loading adjustments.
 

Hiten

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Probably not a fair comparison but any cartridge measurements with linear tracking turntable ? would be interesting to see distortion measurements and resonances if any.
thanks for informative thread.
regards.
 

Thomas_A

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Also the Super OM and standard OM share the same needle, but with slightly difference inductance - so you can use the differing bodies to tweak, along with the loading adjustments.
And the LM series.
 

GXAlan

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Probably not a fair comparison but any cartridge measurements with linear tracking turntable ? would be interesting to see distortion measurements and resonances if any.
thanks for informative thread.
regards.

My Sharp RP-117 and Sony PS-X555ES Shure V15 are linear tracking but I am not sure how good my CBS test disc is.
 

dougi

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Also the Super OM and standard OM share the same needle, but with slightly difference inductance - so you can use the differing bodies to tweak, along with the loading adjustments.
Apart from the OM 5s, aren't they technically discontinued now? I can't buy any in my market, and they are listed as "historical" products on the Ortofon website.
 

dlaloum

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Apart from the OM 5s, aren't they technically discontinued now? I can't buy any in my market, and they are listed as "historical" products on the Ortofon website.
Yes, but they were one of the most prolific series, so it should be relatively easy to pick up an old body! (Concorde's are OM's too...)
 

Thomas_A

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Apart from the OM 5s, aren't they technically discontinued now? I can't buy any in my market, and they are listed as "historical" products on the Ortofon website.
Ortofon lists OM 5s, 5e ans Super OM 5e. And I can buy a Super 5e and then a 10 to 40 stylus for it.

 

Hiten

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My Sharp RP-117 and Sony PS-X555ES Shure V15 are linear tracking but I am not sure how good my CBS test disc is.
Sony turntable looks beautiful.
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if only comparison* is criteria (insted of fidelity) then quality of record should not matter much ? I mean measure a cartridge on linear turntable and then on regular pivoted turntable and just evaluate the difference ? (Specially high frequency region and resonances)

* linear vs pivoted turntable.
 
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Sumiko Pearl
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Sumiko Pearl - Denon DP-35F - CA¹ - 1.png
Sumiko Pearl - Denon DP-35F - CA¹ - 3.png

PXL_20230914_204410476.MP.jpg
S20231127_0015.jpg
S20231127_0008.jpg
S20231127_0001.jpg

Notes
  • Like new cartridge with elliptical stylus
  • Excellent crosstalk and distortion for a budget cartridge
  • Quite a dip in the presence area
    • I initially thought this sample had a suspension issue
    • Lowbeats measurements corroborate my results
  • Sumiko seems to put out a wide assortment of different sounding cartridges
    • Not providing measurements creates a large burden for customers
  • Remember that the cartridge is one part of your sound system
    • This could sound more neutral with bright speakers such as old B&Ws
  • Can you guess how this will sound?
    • Not everyone has a neutral system or knows how it measures so anecdotes about sound quality are not dependable
      • This is why we need cartridge measurements to best understand how they sound
    • If your system is colored you can compare measurements to each other in order to determine good compatibility
      • You can make an educated judgement if you have access to measurements of your current cartridge
    • Another way is to compare sound samples
      • See if the measurements make sense with my recording comparison against a neutral cartridge
      • The easiest and most affordable way to more directly "hear" a cartridge is with headphones EQed to Harman neutral
 
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dougi

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Sumiko Pearl with possible suspension issue
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View attachment 311363
Notes
  • I believe this sample has a suspension issue
    • The 2dB drop between 1-5kHz is suspicious
      • But it does swing back up again
  • I am posting this but not including on official list so that we can confirm if there is an issue in the future
Lowbeats measured the Oyster, and it had a similar depression but it did swing up better.
 
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dougi

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I think you can. I guess it must sound a bit "warm" as they say.
I think I'll measure an AT150MLX next and post a recording comparison against this cartridge. Sumiko seems to distinguish their cartridges more through voicing.

I should have a Blue Point coming in soon. That's all I will offer in terms of Sumiko.
 

Thomas_A

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I think I'll measure an AT150MLX next and post a recording comparison against this cartridge. Sumiko seems to distinguish their cartridges more through voicing.

I should have a Blue Point coming in soon. That's all I will offer in terms of Sumiko.
I think R could be set >= 60 kOhm to get a more linear upper end.
 
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Sumiko Pearl with possible suspension issue
Click to increase size
View attachment 311363
Notes
  • I believe this sample has a suspension issue
    • The 2dB drop between 1-5kHz is suspicious
      • But it does swing back up again
  • I am posting this but not including on official list so that we can confirm if there is an issue in the future
Thanks for posting that! Pretty clear that it is related to the A&R P77. (Although the P77 does swing back up again - https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...esponse-measurement-script.41148/post-1691314
 
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Here are some quick recordings for you to compare:


One used the Sumiko Pearl as seen above.
Another used a Shure V15 V-MR (though it was recorded about a year or so ago and loaded with ~50pF less than in my measurements so not ruler flat).
And one is from a digital remaster.

All are outer groove recordings so, basically, optimal conditions. Inner groove recordings should show more of a difference, but that is for another day. All set to -16 LUFS. Again, a quick comparison but in the end do the measurements tell the story?

I'll take these down in a few weeks.
 
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Balle Clorin

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I did not like no 3, whatever it was, is sounded more dull and distant.
Played trough Roon/Lindemann Network/Atom headphode amplifier/Grado SR125 headphones without EQ
 
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