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Any MM/High Output MC Cartridge Recommendations for Clearaudio Concept turntable?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Balthazar, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident


    Peter Suchy from Clearaudio is on record in the German press stating that the original Talismann is indeed based on the Denon 103, which they sourced from Denon and then modified. The extent of the modifications in the first version of the Talismann was less than in your Version 2; I believe version 1 retained the original aluminum cantilever, for example and the coils were also not gold as in the V2 Talismann. So the V2 indeed has further mods which should indeed differentiate it even further from the Denon. I'm sure it is a very good cartridge and substantially better than a stock 103. But it still starts off life as a 103.

    My main point was that the Denon (and the Talismann as a result) are fairly deep from front to back and can present a bit of a problem (like yours) in some tonearms as a result (do a search using the words Denon 103 and Jelco 750D and mounting distance at Audioasylum, for example!).

    http://translate.google.ca/translat...n+103+suchy&hl=en&biw=1366&bih=652&prmd=imvns
     
  2. ellingtonic

    ellingtonic Forum Resident

    That makes a lot of sense. If she's on board you kinda have to go for it. :righton:
     
  3. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks. That's quite interesting. I wonder if Denon's cooperation on the Talismann cart is return for Clearaudio helping Marantz get back in the analog business by supplying an upgraded Emotion for Marantz's tt15s. I owned one of those previously, and it is a great all-in-one package for the price.
     
  4. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    Possible, but I doubt it. I think the Europeans have spotted the 103 as great modding material for quite some time with the ability to create a better cartridge and better profits at the same time (do a google search for "Magic Diamond Denon 103" for some interesting reading!). Jean Hiraga was apparently doing custom bodies for the Denon in the 70's and early 80's.

    Zu brought the modding thing on the 103 much more mainstream while being more transparent and not gouging the public at the same time (kudos to them!) a few years ago, although the DIY types had gone all out a couple of years before Zu in terms of wood body modifications courtesy of gentlemen like Uwe Bretschneider.
     
  5. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    What is that mat on your turntable and what does it do for you that you need it?
     
  6. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's a Roksan RMAT5 turntable mat. It's similar to a felt mat, but thinner and a bit more dense. I get very good sound by clamping a flat record directly to the platter. But, for practical reasons, I like a soft material between the platter and the grooves. There's less chance of scratching the record if you start up the table without clamping or if you remove the record while the platter is still spinning. Also, records tend not to be perfectly flat so I like it when the surface of the platter has a slight "give" to it. Finally, by using the mat, I fiddle with VTA less. Right now, I've got the vertical angle set for a thicker (200g) record, so I throw the mat on the table when playing standard weight records, which are a lot thinner.

    A regular felt mat costs about $25-$35. This mat was $90. It might not have been worth the extra money, but I like the looks of it and Roksan claims it gets better sound than a felt mat. I figured why not - how many times do you buy a turntable mat?
     
  7. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident


    OK, Thanks. Your reasoning makes sense to me. How does it affect the sound, if at all?

    I'm actually thinking about getting the VTA Lifter when I order a CA Performance, but I hadn't thought about how the record might scrape against the platter when removing it. Is that really a problem?

    I'll have a Concept on loan this afternoon until Monday. I'll have to see if I think it's a problem for me.
     
  8. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I haven't really tried to compare the sound - it's hard when turntable mats are different thickness.

    The record scraping I'm talking about has nothing to do with the particular turntable itself. I just meant that I tend to be too impatient to wait for the table to stop spinning before I lift a record off. And, when you lift a record off a moving platter, if the platter is a hard surface, it's much more likely that you could scratch your record. If it's a soft mat, then it's less likely because the material won't scratch the vinyl as easily. That's all I was saying.
     
  9. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    As it turns out the CA VTA Lifter is very expensive (~$700) and only for the more expensive arms. I will see the CA rep today and see what he says about using mats.
     
  10. Sam

    Sam Senior Member

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    If you have a cartridge to trade in, the cost of the Maestro comes down to $720. At least that is what Music Direct has advertised.
     
  11. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    If you have a Clearaudio cartridge to trade-in. It isn't for just any brand cartridge.
     
  12. Baron Von Talbot

    Baron Von Talbot Well-Known Member

    For my money I'd go for those BENZ ACE cartridges mate well with Clearaudio are just on the end of what I think is reasonable to spend on a cart on a system like yours with a 1 grand tt and 2 grand amp with inbuild phono stage..
    You will love it !
    Unless you step up your game spending as much or more on a cartridge than the table & phono stage is wasted money, since the stylus will not last as long as a good TT or Phono stage..
    My 2 cents
     
  13. Sam

    Sam Senior Member

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Well, it's worth asking Music Direct about. The ads don't say that, but yes, I understand it is looked upon as a form of "retipping."
     
  14. ellingtonic

    ellingtonic Forum Resident

    You may need an actual Maestro to get that price. I wasn't able to use my Virtuoso Ebony wood as a trade because it is distributed by Marantz not Musical Surroundings. Music Direct did give me a discount for asking though.
     
  15. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    I did ask them. They asked if I have a Clearaudio cartridge to trade-in. The program is for trading up cartridges within the Clearaudio brand. Third part cartridges don't quality.
     
  16. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I don't know about Music Direct, but I was emailing with a gentleman from Musical Surroundings today. I was asking him about using a particular cartridge on the Concept arm. For various reasons, it turned out that cartridge wouldn't work, so I asked him for some recommendations, at different price points. At some point in the conversation, he asked what I was currently using. I'm using a Shelter 201.

    Judging from his lack of response after I mentioned the Shelter cartridge, I'm fairly certain he had been planning to mention the "trade up" within the Clearaudio brand as a possibility, but my non CA cartridge threw that possibility out the window. Really, it just makes sense. Why would they take other cartridges?

    I ended up getting a replacement stylus for my Shelter 201, so I can enjoy the Concept while I still have it. Even if it's ultimately a sideways move, I'm going to go ahead and sell the Concept, store my Rogue Cronus Magnum, and buy the Rega RP6 and Brio R to use with my Harbeths until next year. Then I'll get the RS5's, and use the Rogue and Harbeths in a second system. After that's all sorted, I'll look into an analog upgrade for the Rogue/Harbeth system. As of now, I'm considering a Well Tempered Amadeus/Dynavector P75 Mk II/Dynavector 20X-2L combo. But a lot can change between now and the time I write a check. We'll see.

    Anyway, hope you enjoy your new table, RaceTripper. Clearaudio makes nice turntables and Musical Surroundings is a great outfit. In the year and a half I've owned the Concept, they have been incredibly responsive whenever I've had a question.
     
  17. TSmithPage

    TSmithPage Ex Post Facto Member

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    My old turntable isn't working very well (only 1 channel playing) and rather than spend the money trying to get it fixed, I'm seriously considering just upgrading, since I probably spent under $300 on the turntable and cartridge when I bought them over 15 years ago. Elusive Disc currently is offering the Clearaudio Concept turntable as a combo with the Maestro Wood MM Cartridge and the Verify Tonearm for $2350. I prefer the idea of a combo as opposed to putting together the various components myself since there's no one around here to do it for me and I have no confidence in my own installation abilities. Would this combo be a pretty high quality turntable? Could I do better at this price range? Assuming I go this way, do I assume correctly I'd need to upgrade by phono pre-amp as well? What would be a good one to maximize the performance of this equipment without spending as much on it as on the turntable itself? Is there a high quality one under $500? I'm not opposed to used as long as it gets the job done.
     
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