Audio Technica ART9 MC Cartridge- The Real Deal?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by avanti1960, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    While hunting for a new cartridge the Audio Technica ART9 was mentioned as being one to consider. Upon investigation it was discovered to be quite a favorite in a popular audiophile forum. At least a dozen or so people have been inspired to purchase it with several more waiting with interest. Not a single mention of dissatisfaction with the sound quality, which seems unprecedented in this hobby. In fact most user reviews have had nothing but high praise for the ART9 even when compared to their previous more expensive and well regarded cartridges, some costing in the $2K to $5K range.
    There were a few mentions of grossly misaligned cantilevers and azimuth, but thankfully the one I received is perfect.
    Upon unboxing, the quality of the packaging became obvious. I was impressed. Much better packaging than some competitor's cartridges that I have witnessed. It seems as if the high volume mainstream and commercial products that Audio Technica sells has given them a fair amount of resources to draw from and apply to their entire line.
    The enthusiasm for the product along with specs that meet my needs (I really like the low mass/ high stiffness boron cantilever) make it sound like a great value - on paper.
    I hope that it lives up to expectations.

    Specs:
    Audio-Technica AT-ART9 Specifications
    - Type: Moving Coil VM Dual Magnet Stereo
    - Playback frequency range: 15 ~ 50,000 Hz
    - Output voltage: 0.5 mV (1kHz, 5 cm/sec.)
    - Channel separation: 30 dB (1kHz)
    - Output balance: 0.5 dB (1kHz)
    - Tracking force: 1.6 ~ 2.0 g (1.8 g standard)
    - Coil impedance: 12 Ω (1kHz)
    - DC resistance: 12 Ω
    - Rec. load impedance: 100 Ω or more (when head amplifier connected)
    - Coil inductance: 25 μH (1kHz)
    - Static compliance: 35 × 10-6 cm/dyne
    - Dynamic compliance: 18 × 10-6 cm/dyne (100Hz)
    - Stylus: Special line contact stylus with tip radii curvature of 40μm × 7μm
    - Cantilever: Diameter 0.26mm solid boron
    - Vertical tracking angle: 23°
    - Dimensions: 17.3(H) × 17(W) × 25.6(L) mm
    - Weight: 8.5 g




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  2. MikeK

    MikeK Active Member

    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Wow. The packaging alone is beautiful. I'm interested to hear your opinion on the sound.
     
    HiFi Guy likes this.
  3. mreeter

    mreeter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Columbia, MO. USA
    To the OP, where did you purchase yours from? Probably my next cartridge, I just wish that AT had threaded mounting holes in the bodies, sooo much easier to set-up. At least for me!
     
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  4. ted321

    ted321 Forum Resident

    This may also be my next cartridge. Looking to move up from an AT33EV. Looking forward to your opinion. Congrats!!
     
  5. That looks lovely! What gain setting are you using?
     
  6. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Forum Resident

    Early this year I was so ready to buy this cart, reading all the same things you mention, how really good this cart is. Then the cart became un-buyable from LPG, where I normally buy my AT carts from. They could not tell me when they were to get more, so I bought the other cart on my list that is now my avatar.

    I know you can buy them off the 'bay from that Japanese seller but if something goes wrong I want to be able to send it back to AT US for repair or replacement under warranty....Just me.

    Looking forward to your impressions...
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  7. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I will mention where I bought it when I get a little customer service item ironed out. Until then, I am not mentioning them. It has nothing to do with the cartridge or its received quality. I agree about the thru-holes in the body.
     
  8. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I haven't installed it yet (busy re-doing my listening area). But the target gain setting will be 56db and this should be perfect.
     
  9. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Forum Resident

    I will say having threaded holes now, makes setup so easy....You don't need 4 hands. I bought the Soundsmith EZ mount kit, no more going nuts installing carts LOL!

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  10. Thanks! Setting it up will be a nice opening act for your new room. Keep us posted!
     
  11. mkane

    mkane Well-Known Member

  12. patrickd

    patrickd Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    That packaging looks very interesting -- what actually are we looking at in that last picture -- that orange buttoned holder with writing on is catching my eye.

    As others note, the Soundsmith EZ mount screws make life a lot easier for sure if the cartridge allows for them.
     
  13. mkane

    mkane Well-Known Member

    pushing the button releases the cartridge.
     
  14. yohimeys

    yohimeys Member

    Location:
    Elkhart,IN.
    I have the ART 9 mc and probably got 80-90 hrs on it. Had to put a bubble level on head shell to set it up , my eyes are weak from age , and even a magnifying lens didnt help much, the boron shank is about the thickness of a eyelash and the diamond is so tiny , my old ortofon quintet blue was easy to set up by eye , it was so much thicker and bigger tip. Once you get a really good set up on this cart you will be very glad you bought it. i paid for a kontrapunkt b but asked for a cancel after i decided it too heavy for a 9 " arm and went with this ART 9 , now theres a cartridge showdown id love to hear shoot it out with a 10 " armed prime vpi table for sure.
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  15. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Looks like quite a bit of added mass at the end of the tonearm. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good depending on the tonearm/cartridge match.
     
    SixtiesGuy and SandAndGlass like this.
  16. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Forum Resident

    I use the ProJect 9cc arm which is only 8.5 arm mass and the EZ screws I am using are the aluminum ones which get me to about 9.48g total cart weight, the cart alone is 7.35g, there is no head shell on ProJect arms so I think some added end mass is good.

    I experimented with all the screws including the Lyra screws and the tonal quality is much better with the EZ Aluminum ones. I thought I was going to be able to use the brass EZ screws but those are too heavy giving me a total cart of 13.69g, I did buy the bigger counter weight, but the brass ones did not sound as good installed, although the heavier counter weight has helped.
    I did a quick check on VE for RF and I came up with about 10.8Hz, still green but in the top end...using the brass screws I could get to about 9.8Hz, splitting hairs.....At this point the sound quality, tracking and sound stage are outstanding so I will leave it for now.
     
  17. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    OK so the nuts are ~ 2.1 gm which is not bad at all. Must be that the close up shots make them look huge! They looked like the size of my 5gm scale calibration weight. I was thinking they would add 10g! I could have used these installing the ART9 today!
     
  18. mkane

    mkane Well-Known Member

    Don't think there long enough
     
  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Installed the ART9 today. What a PITA! I had to drive the screws from underneath (very small slotted head) while trying to hold the nuts. I wish I could have used the VPI allen head screws and / or the EZ nuts.
    The cartridge is fairly long. I had to push it all the way back in the tonearm slots to line the stylus up with the protractor arc.
    Load setting is 100 ohm, gain is 56db.
    At first this thing sounded lackluster and gray. I was seriously thinking of sh$tcanning it and putting the 2M black back on. Then after about (4) albums it started to come alive.
    The midrange is a little forward (which I like) and otherwise very neutral. Dynamics are great for an MC cartridge, very lively. Bass is OK, midrange clarity is good, perhaps a little rich. Treble is a little reticent so far but not bad.
    The amazing thing (so far) is that the sound stage is absolutely HUGE! Fills the entire wall.
    Definitely a keeper and even after a day it sounds better than the Dynavector 20X2L, much better than the Ortofon Quintet Blue and slightly better than the Ortofon 2M black- but with a much larger sound stage (which is extremely impressive and the key ingredient).
    More updates as it breaks in.


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  20. mkane

    mkane Well-Known Member

    wheres your finger lift
     
    Lownote30 likes this.
  21. Krzych

    Krzych Member

    Location:
    Bali, Indonesia
    I don’t have ART9 (yet), but according to the specs this cartridge is quite heavy (8.5 g) and has a high compliance (18 @ 100Hz which is at least 28 @ 10Hz).

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you need an ultra light arm for ART9 to get the resonant frequency “by the book”…
     
  22. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I don't use it because the dust cover can snag it on the way off.
     
  23. Interesting about the soundstage as I find the same with my AT-33ptg. I've been breaking in a pair of Audioquest Highthawk headphones and every day brings a better sound that makes it an exciting process. I hope the ART-9 continues to improve for you as well. Are you using it on the VPI Traveller in your profile?
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  24. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    This is a very sketchy topic with carts from Japan because they rate compliance at 100Hz while Euro carts rate it at 10Hz. There are ways to approximate it for 10Hz but it is not precise. My arm is 10.1g and it sounds fine. Other users have reported similar findings with a 10g arm including passing rigorous LP test tracks. Not worried.
     
    Seafinch and Krzych like this.
  25. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Thank you, and yes.
     
    Shoalcove likes this.

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