Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by H8SLKC, Jul 9, 2017.
$ well spent...
Well, I'm sold. Over 20 hrs on the modified AT95ex(60+ total). Totally transformed the stock. $117 all in. Insert a glowing review with all the pretty language that makes your head spin. I've thrown everything at it. Last night was the ZZ Top Cinco box and originals for meat and potatoes which it delivered. Then 3 Diana Krall LPs for delicacy and detail which it handled quite well.
All things being equal and cartridges $350 and under are your thing, give this one a shot.
Cool tunes inside, beautiful view outside!
The surgery went fine on the AT95ex. Plugged it into a Linn K9 body I've had for years. Then into the ebony body. Planning to enjoy this for a time and keep an eye out for the vivid line or shibata to go on sale.
Broke down and got the $134 LPGear Vivid Line for the AT95e. Did the surgery and plugged it into the body above. Didn't even need to remove cartridge from arm.
Have about 40 hours on the combo. It's tracking and sounding great. Solid, clear and quick.
Nothing too cool or bright. Not at all forward. High frequencies stay where they are supposed to be in the mix.
Nothing too warm or relaxed.
To my ears an excellent $200 cartridge.
I was about to do the same thing when I got a 15% off coupon at DeepDiscount and dropped a hundred on music. I'm positive that I have a .4X.7mm stylus, so I'm thinking that the upgrade to the vivid line may be more dramatic. Do you feel it is a marginal or dramatic improvement over the AT95ex?
Good question. In my little journey, I'd have to say the most dramatic improvement came from potting and putting the AT95ex in the wood body. That was like a, "OK, now we're onto something." moment.
In the short time I've been listening to the vivid line the improvements seem more subtle. A little more detail, a little more depth of stage with the instruments having more definition/clarity though further back. A little more bass, a little more slam.
Lyrics are much easier to understand. Interesting and possibly very telling, this one.
I'll pop the ex back in at some point in the near future and see what I hear then.
You could also try the shibata for a few more bucks more than the vivid line..??
I like the shibata more than the vivid line.
I would love too but I have a history of being a little too accident prone with my styli. The vivid line is already at the top of my self-imposed spending limit.
It is very good, and IMO, more inline with the voicing of the cartridge. I like that both styli bring the voltage output down. IDK how that works.
I see that Lpgear also sells a carbon fiber version of the .3x.7mm that's currently discounted to $50. The reviews are very favorable. Maybe I'll pull the trigger on one of these before working up the ladder. I have never heard of carbon fiber being used for a cantilever before.
Interesting. Here's a LINK.
I might just have to give this one a try. I'm itching to try a better stylus on the Virtuoso that came with my TT15 table, which sounds pretty good but I think could sound better. I'm getting great mids and bass; hoping for a bit more extension and clarity.
I've tried the CF95 stylus from LPGear. It sounds solid and smooth but a tad dark in my system. I've got it in foam along with several other AT95 "flavors" that I'll try from time to time. It's worth a try for those who find the AT house sound to be bright and/or brittle in their applications.
Thanks for this intel. Sounds like it might not be the best choice for me.
I think what you need is the HE or VL stylus. I understand that LPGear replaced the HE with the VL so the HE is discontinued on LPGear. I have the HE in my Virtuoso and I am amazed by the clarity it provides. I daresay it is better than the original stylus on the Virtuoso.
+1 on the Vivid Line. I put one in my Virtuoso and think it is a significant upgrade. I also have a Tt15-s1.
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