Audio-Technica launches new entry-level VM95 cartridge series

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by daytona600, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. c-eling

    c-eling Love has no date of expiration...

    Nice break down!
    Love the AT7V, excellent cart, for an excellent price :cheers:
     
    rasputin1 likes this.
  2. On_the_dunes

    On_the_dunes Active Member

    Location:
    italy
    Rasputin, thank you, I really appreciated
     
  3. musicfreak

    musicfreak Member

    Location:
    Amersfoort
    Where have you found the blue stylus for 110? The aniversary blue styles sells for 125 normally.

    Thank you! I'd like the AT better, more detail and more energy.
     
    c-eling likes this.
  4. c-eling

    c-eling Love has no date of expiration...

    That's what I was getting as well. Vocals seemed more 'focused'
    The Blue is an excellent cart, but I'm thinking it wasn't a good match for my table. I seem to have good luck with the AT line with my set-up.
     
    patient_ot and musicfreak like this.
  5. On_the_dunes

    On_the_dunes Active Member

    Location:
    italy
    You can find it in eBay.it
    Is a very trusted Italian seller
     
    musicfreak likes this.
  6. dahoo

    dahoo Forum Resident

    33na3rd, astro70 and musicfreak like this.
  7. SNDVSN

    SNDVSN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I picked up the VM95sh, £165 for a shibata stylus, it would have been rude not to. I'll report back once it's broken in.
     
    struttincool, astro70 and Big Blue like this.
  8. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I’ll admit to curiosity about replacing my ML with a Shibata. I feel, in theory, ML may be a more desirable profile, but there’s probably no way to really know that other than trying it myself. I will in the meantime be curious to read impressions of the SH stylus for this cartridge.
     
  9. SNDVSN

    SNDVSN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I was using the VM540ml which was great but I guess I was looking for a slightly smoother sound. I watched the youtube comparison video between the micro line and the shibata and the latter was definitely more laid back.
     
    Big Blue likes this.
  10. SNDVSN

    SNDVSN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I should really give the VM95 shibata more break in time but the clear winner so far is the VM540ml, better separation, clarity and detail. The shibata is more laid back sounding which is what i was looking for but sounds a bit muddy at times. I'm assuming the cartridge body on the 540 is superior to the entry level 95.
     
  11. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I don't have a VM95SH here to test, so I can't tell you how it fares. There are a number of basic tests you can perform on both cartridges, such as frequency response, crosstalk, and tracking tests. I can tell you that neither the VM95ML nor the VM95C sound muddy in my system, nor do my FR tests point to "mud".

    In any case, the VM95 generator is a 2 coil design, I believe. There is also no metal piece to separate the left and right coils. The 400/500/700 series is a four coil design with the metal shield plate. The metal shield plate should yield better separation numbers in tests, but I was able to achieve 27dB separation with the VM95ML, which is more than adequate. I would guess a good examples of the 400/500/700 with an advanced stylus should achieve separation numbers in the low 30s at least.

    I like both designs but it should be pointed out that they are meant for tonearms of different mass (the 400/500/700 is higher compliance) and they may need to be loaded differently for optimum performance. The VM95 generator is easier to get a flat FR out of, IME.
     
    zombiemodernist and SNDVSN like this.
  12. melodic chaos

    melodic chaos Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    After living with a VM95ML for a couple of weeks now, I have to say that this has become my favorite cartridge I’ve ever used and it’s not expensive which is an added bonus.

    The sound is well balanced, not bright with a smooth midrange and a nice low end punch.

    I stepped down from a VM750SH which in comparison is very bright and accentuates surface noise. Where that cartridge displayed inner groove distortion and sibilance on a lot of older albums to where they were at the point that I no longer wanted to listen, this cartridge tracks them superbly and going back to revisit some of those albums has allowed for me to enjoy them again.

    I really can’t say enough good things about this cartridge.

    Cartridges that I’ve used in the past, Shure V-15 type III and IV / Ortofon 2M blue and bronze / Ortofon OM 30 / Clearaudio Concept / Grado Reference Platinum 2
     
  13. ClausH

    ClausH Senior Member

    Location:
    Denmark
    I tempted the VM95ML, even though I have the VM740ML which is a touch bright.
     
  14. melodic chaos

    melodic chaos Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    If you can find a seller that will allow you to return it, if you’re not happy with it, you should definitely give it a try. I thought about getting the ML stylus as a replacement for the Shibata on the 750 body, but figured I’d go this route, save some money and give it a chance and I couldn’t be happier with it. This is a true bargain of a cartridge.
     
    Andrea_Bellucci and Randoms like this.
  15. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    What do you have the cartridge loaded at? You may be able to tame the brightness by adjusting loading.
     
  16. ClausH

    ClausH Senior Member

    Location:
    Denmark
    It's loaded at 47 Kohms, and a little below 200pf
     
  17. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Does that include your cabling and the capacitance of the phono preamp? If you have more than 200pf in total that could be the reason for the brightness.

    One thing you could try are some resistive loading plugs to bring 47K down to 39K and see how that fares for you. If you have a reliable test record a way a to record the ouptut direct from the phonop preamp, you can figure out what this is doing. Without that, you're basically tuning by ear.
     
  18. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    Recommended the VM95ML to a couple of friends having heard one on a Rega P3 previously. One was installed in a RB300 on a late eighties Planar 3 and another in a Linn Ittok LVII on a LP12 with Lingo.

    I thought both sounded extremely good, detailed, dynamic and tuneful with no IGD and stellar tracking. Far more importantly the owners are both delighted and say surface noise is the quietest they've heard.

    For those who previously did not like AT cartridges, these are detailed but not too bright and are well worth a listen. From my couple of hours listening I reckon that the AT VM95ML is an absolute bargain.
     
  19. ClausH

    ClausH Senior Member

    Location:
    Denmark
    Yeah, it's just below 200 pf in total. Thank you for your suggestion. I'll check out the loading plugs.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  20. skippy

    skippy Active Member

    Location:
    Hilton Head, SC
    I ordered an A-T LP140 last week, which is bundled with a 550mH AT-XP3
    that is reportedly compatible with VM95 Series styli, so also ordered an AT-VMN95ML.
    Having read that less than 200pF loading is wanted to avoid high frequency resonance dropping into audibility,
    I started measuring my RCA cable collection, since Rotel RQ-970BX MM input already has 100pF.
    According to a NanoVNA, no audio cables were less than 100pF, not including tonearm wiring,
    which measured about 10pF wire-to-wire and 20pF wire-to-tube for an old Sony tonearm.

    Scrounging around uncovered component video cables, including Monoprice also labeled RG-59/U
    and Monster MV3CV-4M, both of which measure about 61-63pF/meter,
    so probably the same stuff..

    anyone here used RG-59/U for phono cables?
     
    MikeInFla and Andrea_Bellucci like this.
  21. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Blue Jeans LC-1 have some of the lowest capacitance around, 12.2pf per foot. An old trick is to use video RCA cables because they sometimes have very low capacitance.
     
    Andrea_Bellucci likes this.
  22. skippy

    skippy Active Member

    Location:
    Hilton Head, SC
    I tried a bunch of RCA composite video cables, but none were matched
    and all were more capacitive than these component video (RG-59/U) cables,
    which are stiff enough that I plan to install right-angle RCA connectors replacing existing.
     
    Andrea_Bellucci and patient_ot like this.
  23. 389 Tripower

    389 Tripower Forum Resident

    Location:
    Moline, IL USA
    I’m using the AT VMN510CB (.6 mil conical) stylus on my 440 Mla cart (strapped for mono) for needledropping vintage 45’s - with Tech. 1200mk2.

    It’s working great - tracks like a bloodhound! Beats out all my Shure conicals for tracking inner grooves. Fantastic detail. Very compliant for hot cut grooves!
     
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  24. Andrea_Bellucci

    Andrea_Bellucci Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Italy

    Hi!

    I do also have the AT-VM95ML for over 6 month and really enjoy it.

    Despite other AT carts, the AT-VM95ML is not so sensitive to the capacity loadings.

    I have it on a Rega RB 300 (120-130 pF) and then it goes to an Art Dj Pre II (100 or 200 pF). So the minimum pF is 220pf and even if I switch to the 200pf setting on the Art Dj Pre II - which is then about 320pf in total - I can't here any difference.

    Bye Andrea :wave:
     
    33na3rd likes this.
  25. skippy

    skippy Active Member

    Location:
    Hilton Head, SC
    That is encouraging, since most of my vinyl is over 35 years old.

    I expect that is thanks to good MicroLine alignment

    Back in the day (when elliptical was considered high tech), I used mostly Empire, then Shure, then B&O cartridges,
    which always seemed to go obsolete by the time styli were due for replacement.
    Audio magazine reviews generally gave the impression that A-T cartridges were to be replaced by "better" brands,
    but A-T are now one of the few remaining manufacturers with substantial resources, including experience.
    It would be nice, for a change, if replacement styli will still be in production when this one wears out.
    Buying NOS can be problematic, since some stylus materials are "best if used by"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2019
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