Cart modifiers / budget hunters / Clearaudio / AT

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by H8SLKC, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Recent thread on this topic over at Audiokarma that found while surfing around..
     
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  2. serendipitydawg

    serendipitydawg Dag nabit!

    Location:
    Berkshire UK
    A link would help lazy folks (such as myself)
     
  3. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Recently went from the VL to the Shibata on this cart. No epoxy or fussing around. It's not a bad cart. It's a little noisy, but it is such a good match with my arm and the output is perfect with my phono pre. It kinda reminds me of the Denons in that is voiced to the mids and music rather than looking for extension. Sounds great with regular music. Differences between the VL and Shibata are what you would expect. The Shibata kills on my phase4 records like nothing else.
     
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  4. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Embedded in the blue Audiokarma text, so you can just click on it. :)
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Apologies for being dense, but which cart? The Virtuoso or AT95? And since I'm not well versed in differences among styli profiles, what exactly are the differences you are hearing? Thanks in advance!
     
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  6. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I've previously reported having my best luck of all with the Virtuoso using a HE stylus. To my ears it sounds better than the CA OEM stylus, which is reputed to be a plain-Jane elliptical. The Virtuoso with HE stylus is wonderful. I have not tried a VL or shibata in the Virtuoso but intend to at some point.

    Regarding the Maestro, it is a different beast because Clearaudio added a stylus plug that has a boron cantilever and advanced-shape tip. I don't suppose any of us would be able to approach its capabilities without grafting a far better cantilever and stylus into an AT95e plug, which is beyond me at this point. Some of the other threads about these carts included multiple posts discussing grafting cantilevers, so there is info out there for those so inclined!
     
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  7. PoeRaider

    PoeRaider Forum Resident

    I'm far from an expert, but I am under the impression that the Maestro V2 and Virtuoso V2 bodies are identical. Just the cantilever/stylus assemblies differ. But I could be wrong.

    I'd actually like to have an assembly that I pop into my Maestro body as an approximation of a Virtuoso V2, when the mood strikes. The Maestro is fantastic, but for some recordings I actually prefer the Virtuoso sound. I used to own a Virtuoso V1. I regretted selling it almost instantly. I just don't feel like spending $900 for a Virt when I have a Maestro body I can use.

    I'll have to start experimenting, and report back. Maybe I'll try out that HE.
     
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  8. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    AT95. Differences are like those between most hyper-elliptical and microline tips. Both are very good. Seems like any elliptical will show less well with previously played records showing some groove damage. A microline or Shibata will dig a little deeper, but also demand a perfect alignment and pick up some pressing defects that a hyper-elliptical will minimize. Pros and cons, but I'd highly recommend either the VL or Shibata—maybe the VL for Denon house-sound fans and the Shibata for those who like the AT150 and 440s. Ultimately depends on your music collection and taste. I did end up voicing the styli differently, loading the VL at 62K to open it up a little and loading the Shibata at 50K.

    I'd be interested in knowing how much mass is added in the epoxy potting process.
     
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  9. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Very helpful jb, thanks.

    I'm mostly a jazzer these days, also like various bluegrass and world music, occasionally classic rock, some "modern" (to me) rock. Just picked up a Marantz TT15 (still in the box); will be moving up from a well loved Technics 1200 MK I with MK II arm transplanted in. I run an AT155LC with a 440 stylus, and a Lounge LCR MKIII pre.

    After reading this thread and seeing that even I could probably swap the stylus out on the Virtuoso cart that came with the TT15, I'm considering doing just that before setting the table up. Moving up from the trailer park tt setup I'm used to (my Technics tt cost $80 with a $200 arm; sits on a towel since it came without feet) I am moving into uncharted waters..
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  10. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    I've got 25 hrs on the AT95ex. Sounds pleasant enough. Added the 2-8mm spacer to my arm and silicone fluid to my now working again cueing lever. Soldered a head shell lead that broke. What a pita! I now have a decent soldering station, though.

    Right before this my main cartridge started really sounding bad(400 hrs +/-). Double checked everything and no change. Pulled it off and sent to manufacturer. They tested, but of course found nothing wrong.
    On a good note, they are still sending me a brand new one.

    Now, just waiting on the walnut wood body for AT95ex. Should be here any day from Germany....
     
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  11. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I have been thinking about what we should call our AT-95 potted carts. How about the CAT (Clear Audio-Technica)? I have a CAT-E but want a CAT-HE or VL.
     
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  12. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I've been loving my CAT-HE this week! Great name!
     
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  13. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    Pretty good.
    How about the wood component? Ebony could be ECAT95-E or EAT95-HE
     
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  14. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Now we're talking!

    I love it. There's a walnut version right? Which would make it a WCAT95e/he.
     
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  15. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    The AT95ex Woody lives.....
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Question about the wood bodies: How to they attach to the screws? Is it metal to wood? Are there threaded brass insets? How much does the wood weigh in comparison to the plastic top?
     
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  17. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    No metal. Just threaded wood as in the Grado wood bodies.

    Crap, forgot to weigh. Best guess is walnut weighs 1.5-2.5g more.
     
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  18. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    The seller from Germany quoted me 4.5gr +/- .5gr for the ebony. My Ebony CAT-e weighed in at 9.67 gr. when all was said and done. So this cart is definitely not for light arms.
     
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  19. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    The walnut body added .9 grams of VTF compared to stock.
     
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  20. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Good stuff to know!
     
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  21. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    How do you like it? Have you considered "nuding" that stylus?


     
  22. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    3-4 hours in with the Woody and am loving it. Been rotating same 10-15 LPs that I know really well since the stock AT had about 20 hrs on it. Switched over to the modified AT after the stock got to sounding enjoyable for a number of hours. Frankly, I could probably gush over the improvements across the board. Going to hold off a bit to make sure no gremlins show up or adjustments need to be made before giving my complete endorsement.

    Yes, I want to nude a stylus and put it in one of the rectangular wood bodies. They look so cool. Or, should I get a Vivid Line for this one and nude the 95ex.....
     
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  23. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I like the vivid line and am enjoying the Shibata now. Both have their strengths.
     
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  24. 33na3rd

    33na3rd Forum Resident

    Location:
    SW Washington, USA
    How much taller is the cartridge with the new body?

    Thanks to all for the photos, this is a very cool thread!
     
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  25. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    2mm
     
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