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Toole Blind Cartridge Comparison

Elkerton

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From Audio Scene Canada August 1980, a blind screen comparison by Floyd Toole of 2 MCs and a MM which I decided to add under its own thread rather than at least 2 others to which I might have added it.
 

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JP

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There ya go.
 

fpitas

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Has the same fault all these blind comparison tests have. How are the listeners supposed to know which cartridge is more prestigious and expensive?

/;)
 

restorer-john

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What a yawnfest of an article, I fell asleep reading it.

The only interesting part was the Mitsubishi advertisement.

1697352058341.png
 

JeffS7444

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Fascinating stuff, and despite cautions against making such generalizations, very tempting to consider just adding parametric eq to a properly-tracking cartridge and calling it good!
 

DSJR

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I own an MC30 Super with excellent unworn diamond, A mid-life V15 IV (HE) and used to own a DL103D (in original Mission 774 arm). The V15 IV is an interesting one, with an initially bland kind of sound subjectively, but the longer one listens, the deeper one hears into the music played, it's just that the sound doesn't leap out at you as it can with other pickups. As vinyl tends to underplay the 'sound' of the master used, I don't mind a bit of 'sparkle' if it's clean.
 

dlaloum

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Fascinating stuff, and despite cautions against making such generalizations, very tempting to consider just adding parametric eq to a properly-tracking cartridge and calling it good!

The things to look for in getting good basics, is not so much the frequency response, but the low effective mass, which results in improved tracking, reduced THD, and moving cantilever resonance up beyond the audible range...

So you need to aim for something with a cantilever resonance above 20kHz (and preferably above 30kHz)

Cantilever resonance can best be "read" by calculating the raw frequency response (you need to mathematically cancel out the influence of LCR in the circuit) - so you can spot that distinctive harmonic bell curve - without any interfering circuit influence.

There are very few contenders in todays market that can achieve this.... many TOTL contenders from the 1980's did achieve it.

Of course the needle should be a line contact - the patch need not be overly narrow - but it needs to be as long as possible.

The Dynavector Karat is the only currently made cartridge / needle that I am aware of that definitely meets the criteria.

Even exotic material cantilevers (ruby/saphire/boron) need to be in hollow tube formats to lower their mass - and no one is making hollow tube cantilevers - the Karat achieves it by having an ultra short cantilever - around 1/4 the length of the norm.
(London Decca may also meet the criteria, for similar reasons)

Anyone know of other contenders out there for very low effective tip mass?
 

JeffS7444

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The things to look for in getting good basics, is not so much the frequency response, but the low effective mass, which results in improved tracking, reduced THD, and moving cantilever resonance up beyond the audible range...
Although the study did not directly address such matters, the Denon DL103D had an elliptical stylus and aluminum cantilever, yet it fared marginally better than the Ortofon MC30, which has a line contact stylus.
 
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