Audio Technica ART9 MC Cartridge- The Real Deal?

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

  1. wbass

    wbass Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I probably wouldn't go over $600-700 for a single SUT.... Or maybe more, if I could use it for two different carts, say, the ART9 and and DL103 or DL103R. I sent Kevin at K&K Audio an email, and we'll see what he says re: SUTs.

    As for a phono stage that, unlike my Era Gold V, can do both MM and MC well.... I might go up to $1500 or possibly $2000. Sort of a buy once, buy well proposition.... Black Cube is on my radar. Also, the JC3 Jr.

    I like the idea of a phono stage with multiple inputs (I have two tables), which might include

    --Gold Note PH-10 (well reviewed)
    --Music Fidelity M6 Vinyl (3 inputs, almost zero reviews)
    --possibly the Pro-Ject Tube Box DS2 (which has 2 input, 2 output, but might not be a step up, overall, from my Graham Slee MM stage)

    Lots more fun research to do. Thanks for any thoughts. Excited to hear the ART9 in my system.
     
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  2. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    try to look for stages with large internal or external transformers - look for under the hood images of the outboard box of the BCSEII for example. i have found that bigger transformers as part of the power supply tend to sound more dynamic.
     
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  3. wbass

    wbass Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Cheers, Avanti. Yes, it sounds like power supplies are really important for phono stages. Makes sense that you wouldn't want that small signal polluted right away by a noisy power supply.

    I've also got the Elac PPA2 on my radar. I'm really liking the idea of a phono pre that can take two inputs, and the PPA2 also has a mono switch, variable loading, and a high-pass filter. The PPA1 was well-reviewed. It's an intriguing possibility. As is the Lehmann.

    Would still welcome thoughts on SUTs for the ART9. Has anyone mentioned a good step-up ratio for the ART9 in this thread? Thanks.
     
  4. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I was working with Bob of Bob's devices and he recommended a SUT from his line- the SKY 30 set to 1:15 ratio when considering the ART 9 impedance and output.
    However I listened to some high quality needle drops between a SUT and active gain system and I heard some issues with the SUT setup. I decided to upgrade my phono preamp rather than add a SUT and am quite happy with the result.
     
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  5. wbass

    wbass Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Oh, interesting, I heard from Bob this morning, and he suggested a 1:10 ratio for the ART9 and the SKY20. Not saying anyone's wrong, just thought it was interesting. Perhaps his thinking has changed? Lot of art and science in this SUT stuff.

    Sort of on the fence between SUTs and a new phono stage. I'm between:

    --Bob's Sky SUT (well-regarded, pricey, but maybe won't be tempted to, ahem, step up from there)
    --Denon AU-320 or AU-340 (decent way to dip toes into SUT world for a lower price, can switch between 1:10 and 1:40, meaning good match for both ART-9 and DL103R)
    --new phono stage (don't quite have room in the hi-fi rack for another box, but would be most flexible)
     
  6. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    many people like SUTS- and never have to step up again!
    it may depend on the gain of your preamp for the suggested ratio. i also stated a preference that i wanted to duplicate the net 66db of gain hence the 1:15 ratio.
     
    wbass likes this.
  7. wbass

    wbass Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Great, thanks for clarifying that.
     
  8. wallabeing

    wallabeing Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    Just installed an ART9 on a Technics 1200G (using the LPGEAR Zupreme headshell w/auxiliary weight on the arm), into a Manley Chinook. So far really liking it, finding it a noticeable improvement over a Hana SL, and interested to see how it breaks in.
     
  9. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    I am a converted, I rather have the SUT even when the phono stage has high gain, I am about to engage on a third SUT upgrade, hopefully the last.

    On the previous post you commented on issues you heard with the SUT. Out of curiosity could you elaborate more on that?
     
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  10. wbass

    wbass Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Which SUTs have you tried? And what are you going for now?
     
  11. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    Sony HA T10, currently Denon AU340 and because of the overwhelming majority of positive comments I am now going for the Hashimoto HM7.
     
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  12. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I heard a slight but distinct ringing / peak at a certain frequency that was louder and made certain notes. In contrast I heard a more balanced sound from the active amp. Might be me but I am extremely picky.
     
  13. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    While it all depends on the transformer I would not be surprised that in many cases, a good, active, amp might produce a flatter response than many trafos.
    Despite of that, the openness of the sound, and more surprisingly the dynamic range -I always thought it'll be worse- are much more to my taste with a SUT rather than with a high gain PS. That is at least with the items I have experimented.
     
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  14. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    After purchasing the power supply upgrade I swore to myself that my phono stage does not need any upgrades. yet i am now leaving the door open for a possible SUT- for they dynamics like many people mention (including yourself).
    everything sounds so excellent though - so well dialed in from phono cable to interconnect cables to cartridge gain and loading- just perfect- i am not sure i want to go through another round of "tweaks", add another cable in the chain or take a chance on losing something in the process.
     
  15. wbass

    wbass Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I'm looking at a K&K premium SUT. That or a Modwright phono stage. Might have a chance to A-B the two in a month or so. Should be interesting.
     
  16. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    For a few years I knew I wanted to try a better phono stage, I did finally replace it a few months ago and I was happy. It didn't take long before that started a chain reaction that went from additional PSU, x2 new SUTs (already), several cables, new cartridge, tonearm rewiring, a few tweaks of my own and I don't think I have finished yet but the end product is making it worth it to my ears, even thought I was fairly happy with my previous set up.

    I had the Sony SUT I've mentioned somewhere for many years but I have never tested it extensively, it has some shortcomings but when matched with the right stuff sounds very good and also makes the music feel one step closer to the real thing. The Denon went one step further and it is pure joy but it was always meant to be a more serious test to see whether I prefer a SUT and it passed! I've decided now to invest in a more serious one like the Hashimoto, hopefully it was the right choice, I will know soon but most people I've spoken to, here and in other places seem to love it.
     
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  17. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    i'm thinking of a bobs devices again. the hashis do sound like they are winners though good luck!
     
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  18. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    I'm using the premium with the Art 9. I've tried it without and like it best with.
     
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  19. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Forgot to mention I use 1:8 ratio (can be switched to 1:16 I believe as well) into the MM input of SPL Phonos pre.
     
    wbass likes this.
  20. wbass

    wbass Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Oh, interesting, I was looking at a 1:10 SUT. I’m sure it would sound similar.
     
  21. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    for everyone's reference my ART9 sounded best with 66db of gain. lots of schools of thought on this- there is a thread about rethinking phono preamp gain calculations that suggests the need for more gain than typical for cartridges to sound their best.
    typical turn ratio vs db gain-
    1:10 = 20db
    1:15 = 24db
    1:20= 26db
    1:30 = 30db

    my target "assumption" whan i was looking at SUTs for the ART 9 was to use my phonostage at 36 db (adjustable to 46db) and have switchable SUT- 1:15 or 1:30, providing a net 60db gain (1:15) or a net 66 db gain (1:30).
    while the ART9 sounded good at a net of 56db, it sounded much better at 66db (after it was run in).
    the key here is to have some flexibility. I also assume that gain from a SUT is cleaner than gain from an active amp, and that more gain can possibly be used. not sure about that.
     
  22. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    You're better off going 1:10 and using the 46 db setting. Both k and k and Bob's devices suggested the lower turns option around 1:10. 1:30 is no bueno for sure.
     
  23. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    why?
     
  24. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Honestly can't explain it without looking back at correspondence from the owners of Rothwell, Bob's and K and K's.

    But there is a price for all those extra turns.

    Empirically I've used 1:20 and 1:8 and prefer 1:8.

    Best bet is to talk with the experts. All 3 of those guys know their stuff.

    Preparing for Iowa vs Ia State game now, duty calls but happy hunting for your SUT!
     
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  25. wbass

    wbass Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    1:10 is what I got from Kevin and Bob, too, FWIW. But there seem to be no hard and fast rules for SUTs.
     

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