Audio Technica's new VM cartridge series

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Scott Davies, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    Hey bro, what table is that? Looks like the AT-LP1240 like I have.
     
  2. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    Same here. When from a lowly Stanton spherical stock cart, to an elliptical one, to the 30 stylus on an Ortofon Concorde body, to 40 stylus, now the VM760SLC.
     
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  3. ranch 22b

    ranch 22b Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Texas
    How would you compare the Concorde 30/40 with the 760SLC?
     
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  4. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Technics 1200Gr :)
     
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  5. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Mine isn’t quite the same comparison, but I went from the concorde 40 to the 740ml. In my rig the AT plays quieter/less noise but easily extracts more detail, especially in the bass and lower midrange. The stereo separation is fantastic, with images more delineated and focused and clearer, whereas the ortofon 40 is more “homogenous” sounding.
     
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  6. ranch 22b

    ranch 22b Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks. 'Sounding like AT has hit a home run with this VM line.
     
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  7. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    Hmmm. So far the 30 is in last place. The 40 had some good qualities, but I think the 760SLC has better highs, better channel separation and in some cases a little more detail. IMHO it's worth the money spent.
     
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  8. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    Wow, nice!
     
  9. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    Also one more little update. Right now I'm listening to the Heatwave album Too Hot To Handle, and some of the little veiled nuances even the FG70 missed are totally transparent and standing out to me. Every bit of all the instruments have a presence, where the Concorde 30/40 styli hid them. So if you want every bit of sound to be heard in your system, I'd HIGHLY recommend getting this sucker. Yes, even before the two lower models in the 700 series.
     
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  10. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    Wrong. The SLC makes more contact with the groove than the ML. The ML is longer, but less overall contact than the Shibata and SLC.
     
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  11. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I don't think that is correct. When I have time I will post more info.
     
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  12. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    I’d personally love to hear some solid debate between the two, as I’m a current 740ml with an itch to scratch for the 760slc ;)
     
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  13. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    So according to this graph, would you still disagree? It shows to have more/wider contact with the groove overall.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    In all honesty, I would read some comparisons before putting out that kind of money. Audio-Technica VM760SLC Phono Cartridge Review - HomeTheaterHifi.com
    Audio-technica VM540ML/H and VM760SLC Phono Cartridges Review
    Audio-Technica VM760SLC Phono Cartridge Review - Dev Ftw
    These should give you pretty good ideas for if you want to upgrade the stylus or not.
     
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  15. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Some of those I've read before but went ahead and re-read. My only concern is the consistent theme of a rising treble response compared to the VMN40ML stylus :( I'm pretty sensitive to treble issues or when the balance skews to a brighter, boosted treble response. I've got some nice treble EQ filters on my active stealth monitors if needed though.
     
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  16. MusicNBeer

    MusicNBeer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    So in overview of ML vs SLC:
    1. The ML contacts deeper in the groove than the SLC.
    2. The ML only contacts the deeper parts of the groove with its smaller side radius
    3. the SLC, while not tracking as deep, tracks an overall larger amount of groove.
    4. The SLC tracks areas of shallow groove that the ML misses.
    5. Since SLC has higher contact area, it wears records slower than ML.

    If correct, this would seem to favor the ML for used and beat up vinyl because it will track the deeper, less worn, parts of the groove. The SLC may be better for mint or new vinyl due to slower wearing.

    Oversimplified? Probably.
     
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  17. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    The problem with @Heckto35's interpretation of the pictures above is that they are focused on the ratio, not the minor radius, which is most important for inner groove tracking, IME.

    The ML shape has the smallest "r" radius.

    Now, all advanced styli have their upsides and downsides. Different designers had different priorities when they designed these and cartridge manufacturers have their own priorities when they are deciding which one to use on what cartridge.

    If anyone wants to know about the finer points of the evolution of advanced styli, I highly recommend you look at these two resources:

    1) This very long thread on VE:

    Advanced Stylus Shapes: Pics, discussion, patents.- Vinyl Engine

    2) The actual patent documentation, which is linked in the above thread, but also available on Google Patents.


    Here are some brief historical dates and links to patents:

    Shibata (1973)

    US3774918A - Phonograph pickup stylus - Google Patents

    Ogura (1978)

    US4105212A - Reproducing stylus for phonograph records - Google Patents

    Van Den Hul (1983)

    US4416005A - Stylus for tracking a stereophonic or quadraphonic sound groove - Google Patents

    Namiki (MR/ML shape) (1985)

    US4521877A - Reproducing stylus and method of making same - Google Patents

    Fritz Gyger (1989)

    US4855989A - Stylus - Google Patents
     
  18. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    I found the 440mlb a bit brighter than the VMN740ml, so to me the new version sounds more natural.

    I'd like to see those comparison type reviews for the 740ml or 540ml vs the 750SH shibata. I'm toying with getting the shibata stylus to try, but I've really loved the 740ML so much, maybe I shouldn't mess with a good thing.
     
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  19. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    I'm a guy so, you can call me "he" lol.
    My only point is that the SLC makes more contact with the groove. I can tell by the radius measurements that the ML is longer with deeper contact which will most likely result in higher HF production, but the wider shape of the SLC causes a better "hug" if you will on the groove, quite possibly causing more detail retrieval. I could be wrong on the "detail retrieval" tip, but I know based on the contact surface and contact ratio, the SLC can be viewed as "better".
     
  20. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    Well according to AT, the ML should last 1000 hours, where the SLC should last 800 hours.
     
  21. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    AT never says what the SLC is. There is strong speculation that it's an Ogura tip, which is one of the earlier advanced designs, and, in my view, inferior to later advanced designs. Note that I place a priority on inner groove tracking.

    On a different tip, there is also a site that measured the frequency response of both the 760SLC and the 540ML, and the 540ML had closer to a flat response. The SLC cart had a tipped up top end, which may or may not be preferable to some folks.

    Audio-Technica VM540ML Phono Cartridge Review - HomeTheaterHifi.com

    Audio-Technica VM760SLC Phono Cartridge Review - HomeTheaterHifi.com
     
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  22. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    The ML/MR designs can last longer than some other advanced shapes because of the extended peak cut in the shape. The shape is mostly maintained as the peak wears down. The downside to the peak is that in some cases, a user might chip it, which is not good for records. The is the reason Soundsmith gives for not preferring the ML design. If you look at magnified pics of SS OCL styli, they appear to be FG tips.
     
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  23. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    I can't begin to imagine the magic the ML has on inner grooves, because I have found the inner grooves with the 760slc to be with no IGD whatsoever already. Never heard of the "Ogura" tip, so thanks for something else to research!:D Plus, I prefer the upper treble response of the 760, so I know I made the right choice. Where have you seen talk of the SLC being an Ogura? Because based on my love affair with this 760, I'm very curious of this shape.
     
  24. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I have been through 4 or 5 ML tips on my old Signet cart. Nothing comes close for inner groove tracking IME, though other advanced shapes can do a good job as well. Currently using FG-S and Shibata styli on my main deck, but missing the ML magic on those inner grooves sometimes.

    Re: the SLC/Ogura speculation, I've seen the discussion on VE and/or AK IIRC.

    At one point I emailed AT asking for more details on the SLC but they didn't respond.
     
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  25. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    Well of course everyone's experience/equipment/ears is different, so we'll of course have to agree to disagree. I am however very interested in reading more about this stylus type.
     

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