The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

Moderator: Staff

maffe
Active member
Active member
Posts: 202
Joined: 2016-02-14 20:05

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by maffe » 2019-12-13 14:41

Thx for the clips!

I don’t find it strange that different bolts make a difference esp when it’s a weight difference.
Change hubs, springs and dampers to lighter and stiffer on a sports car and you will notice a difference. Maybe not always to the better since it might upset the balance. So I guess it would apply to a cartridge and tone arm since balance and positioning of counterweight will change.

ThomasOK
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2659
Joined: 2007-02-02 18:41
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-12-13 20:17

You guys have covered a lot of ground since I last visited a couple of days ago. Let's see if I can address some of this. The Rega torque screwdriver is fixed at .4Nm which is very close to optimum with most Rega cartridges except the Carbon, which is a conical AT that will be crushed by that force. For Bias2/Elys2/Exakt2 I have found .4+4 with .4+1 for the third screw. But the Carbon is .2+3 and is not unique in that regard as to the low setting. By the way, the Carbon also has a tiny phillips screw holding the body to the mounting frame and it sounds best at .2Nm - 11 notches, the lowest torque I've found. I haven't tried this with other AT cartridges with a similar mounting but they should have a proper low torque too. However, some of these are stripped for you by the factory and won't take even that small torque. As Fredrik mentioned the Adikt is .2+4 and most ATs I've dealt with, including metal bodies, are somewhere near .2Nm plus or minus some notches (although the Linn K series are at or above .4). Ortofon 2M, Quintet and Cadenza are also in the .2+ range. There are a number of others in that range but you get the idea. The vast majority of other cartridges cluster around the .4Nm range, plus or minus a bit with the real outliers being the Arkiv/Akiva/Kandid all of which are 1.0Nm minus 2 to 5 notches (-5 notches for the Kandid).

I definitely prefer the after clip of the AT VM95e. The aluminum hardware certainly makes a significant difference. I find the before clip more compressed and a bit harsh at times. I can sort out what is going on musically more with the after clip and find it moves better. I haven't had a chance to play with an AT VM95 series yet, in part since Ron insists on playing with his one on his own. ;-) The bigger problem is that AT is not used to dealing with Hi-Fi dealers in the US as they have been selling mostly into the pro audio field here. So even though we have talked to the AT rep about them he has said they are trying to work out a Hi-Fi dealer program but haven't done so yet??!!

By the way, there are some dealers who believe that making a suggestion to Linn about a product direction or modification (something which any good Linn dealer will do on occasion) makes them part of the design team. To each his own.

Since Isobariks have come up I will throw in that Fredrik has found 1.6 works for the mids and bass drivers. I had liked 1.2 for the mids on the last pair I worked on and .6 for the plastic face tweeters you are both referring to. These were not played with over time but were done at a customer's house as part of a tweeter replacement. Although this could raise questions of my sanity, I should mention that, while it is indeed best to have all similar screws at the same torque, whether it is a driver, an arm collar to subchassis or a circuit board, you can hear the proper torque on just one fastener, leaving all the others where they are and then adjusting them to the same setting you find right on the first one. This is something Fredrik and I discovered independently and have found it makes getting things correct a more efficient procedure.
The LP12 Whisperer
Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer and above all lover of music.

Spannko
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 842
Joined: 2008-01-24 21:46
Location: East of The Black Country, UK

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by Spannko » 2019-12-13 20:46

Spannko wrote:
2019-12-13 00:10
Great stuff Ron. Going by yours and charlie1’s descriptions of the AT95 series, I’ll guess that the first one is the C stylus, and the second clip is of one of the more ‘expensive’ styli? The first one sounds rough and ready to rock, whereas the second one is more refined and ready to waltz :-)
It just shows what I know, eh? lol :-)

Congrats to the Beckster on making the right call (thumbs up emoji)

beck
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1361
Joined: 2012-10-22 22:25

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by beck » 2019-12-13 21:06

Spannko wrote:
2019-12-13 20:46
Spannko wrote: Great stuff Ron. Going by yours and charlie1’s descriptions of the AT95 series, I’ll guess that the first one is the C stylus, and the second clip is of one of the more ‘expensive’ styli? The first one sounds rough and ready to rock, whereas the second one is more refined and ready to waltz :-)
It just shows what I know, eh? lol :-)

Congrats to the Beckster on making the right call (thumbs up emoji)
Thank you Spannko. That calls for a celebration. It does not happen that often to me! Guinness anyone? :-)

Ron The Mon
Active member
Active member
Posts: 160
Joined: 2014-07-17 17:17
Location: Detroit

Thanks...

Post by Ron The Mon » 2019-12-13 21:56

Tom,
Thanks for a very informative post. I will respond later as I don't have three hours to reply to all you wrote!!
ThomasOK wrote:
2019-12-13 20:17
I haven't had a chance to play with an AT VM95 series yet, in part since Ron insists on playing with his one on his own. ;-)
Now I know what to get you for Christmas (along with extra aluminum screws to try on your Kandid). I gave Günther an AT-VM95EN as a thank you gift a month back and he's the one who first tried the aluminum screws.

Ron The Mon

tokenbrit
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 971
Joined: 2012-03-22 19:47
Location: New England

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by tokenbrit » 2019-12-14 23:11

I'm a bit late to the party but to me the 2nd clip sounded like a playful pillow fight with attitude, whereas the 1st was a smothering pillow with a brick in it... Ridiculous difference. Seems like I need me some of them new fangled alumin(i)um screws for my AT-OC9 (& an Entity MC) for Xmas.
Last edited by tokenbrit on 2019-12-15 19:03, edited 1 time in total.

u252agz
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 457
Joined: 2013-10-03 12:44
Location: UK

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by u252agz » 2019-12-15 16:55

Agreed - I think.

‘After one ‘ definitely for me - I did not like the before clip at all .

I could hear the music in the after clip and happy to listen to it - even though it is not my thing.

Is this really just the difference in 2 screws?
KDS2/Sagatun Tundra Monos /242s /LP12 Kore-KRad-Ekos SE/Slip 7

Sneaky/RP3/Slip 6.1/ Boazu/ Komp110

Ron The Mon
Active member
Active member
Posts: 160
Joined: 2014-07-17 17:17
Location: Detroit

Two Screw or Not Two Screw,.... .........That Is The Question

Post by Ron The Mon » 2019-12-15 20:53

u252agz wrote:
2019-12-15 16:55
After one ‘ definitely for me - I did not like the before clip at all .

I could hear the music in the after clip and happy to listen to it - even though it is not my thing.

Is this really just the difference in 2 screws?
u252agz,
It is not the screws themselves making the difference. It is the fact approximately one gram of weight is removed at the extremety of the tonearm. This means you must move the counterweight closer to the pivot point. This always yields improved performance as the arm is able to move more quickly to changes.

Reread my above post on page two https://lejonklou.com/forum/viewtopic.p ... =25#p44174.

Are you ready for your mind to be blown even further? Below I'm attaching two more tracks. The only difference is ONE screw! Except this time it's on the clamp that secures the headshell to the tonearm. Only the screw is changed, not the stainless steel nut. Like last time, the torque and tracking force are the same.

The system is also identical; LP12/Cirkus/A-Radikal/LV X/AT-VM95C, Naim MM stage (powered by mystery SMPS), modded Naim 42 pre-amp (powered by Phoenix Contact SMPS), two Naim 110 amps with one channel removed (run as dual mono), 1991 Isobariks. You can see the black ash of the left speaker just 1.5 inches from the LP12.

Volume level was not touched during the change. Camera/microphone is in same position, yet listen to the change in dynamics!

To keep it even more identical, I've used another David Lindley track (sorry). Lindley is an aquired taste; kind of like pickled pigs feet. I also wanted to make it easy for Fredrik with smeared fat rumbling bass in the first track.


Track One:https://share.icloud.com/photos/0MLuWC2 ... dMfN0UVzzQ


Track Two:https://share.icloud.com/photos/0YTT2na ... n7ekje_yGA

u252agz
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 457
Joined: 2013-10-03 12:44
Location: UK

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by u252agz » 2019-12-17 12:11

This time I prefer track 1 - but there is not as much between them as the last example- I actually quite like this track!

To my untrained ears - this does not seem as big a change as changing the other two screws ( that was night and day) - even allowing for the extra weight, in the first set of clips.

How does a Linn adikt perform on your LP12 ? - you must have compared this as some stage judging by your cartridge history.
KDS2/Sagatun Tundra Monos /242s /LP12 Kore-KRad-Ekos SE/Slip 7

Sneaky/RP3/Slip 6.1/ Boazu/ Komp110

Charlie1
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2990
Joined: 2007-12-11 00:30
Location: UK

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-12-17 15:47

Clip 1 for me too - makes more sense to my mind.

ThomasOK
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2659
Joined: 2007-02-02 18:41
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-12-17 20:11

Well, I was liking clip 2 until near the end when both the auditory and visual presentation went all wonky. ;-) In clip 1 the guitarist needs new strings and a retuning and the rhythm section needs to get with it.

I thought I had posted this however it managed to get lost somewhere, but you don't need to send me aluminum hardware for the Kandid. I doubt they would take the 1.0Nm -5 notches torque that is most musical and I'm not sure the counterweight can get much closer to the bearing housing anyway. But it does seem like it might be the ticket for the Adikt in my second LP12.
The LP12 Whisperer
Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer and above all lover of music.

User avatar
lejonklou
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 4564
Joined: 2007-01-30 10:38
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by lejonklou » 2019-12-17 20:36

Clip 2 is a bit better to my ears.

Not as big or easy a difference as the previous one.

I have to test aluminium screws on both my Krystal and my Adikt!

BTW, I have this album (David Lindley's 'El Rayo-X') in my collection and have played it many times. I think it's great! It's also one of those albums that allow me to fine tune circuits by listening to just the first few seconds of a song. Either it gels or it doesn't.

Ron The Mon
Active member
Active member
Posts: 160
Joined: 2014-07-17 17:17
Location: Detroit

Ex-Mas

Post by Ron The Mon » 2019-12-17 23:20

ThomasOK wrote:
2019-12-17 20:11
...you don't need to send me aluminum hardware for the Kandid. I doubt they would take the 1.0Nm -5 notches torque that is most musical and I'm not sure the counterweight can get much closer to the bearing housing anyway.
Tom,
I was kidding about getting you anything as a gift; it was fun online internet banter, especially considering the aluminum hardware costs less than the shipping charge.

Now, expect a gift in the mail. I have paid extra for a large red bow and ribbon. Many folks on this forum owe you far more $34 for the advice you've given. I could quibble and say I've sent, or pushed over the edge, more customers to you and you owe me a commission.

The main thought I've learned from this forum is use smilies more often. As in, I was just kidding.

Tom, when is your birthday? We don't need your SS# or time or year. We will all send you gifts more often.

I previously misread your Kandid torque number. I thought it was super low; 0.1Nm. Turns out it was much higher at 1.0Nm. Ooops. Big ooops actually. No aluminum hardware will sustain that stress.

On another note, a few weeks back, on Thanksgiving we had a few folks over. One happened to be a guy down the street my wife has known for years. Turns out, he worked with you! He, Günther, and Fitz were the morang store crew. He is George Feder. George was blown away by my Isobariks. My wife insisted we listen to music on the LP12 after the football game and Westminster dog show. George later said just hearing my Isobariks with the Lions game convinced him I had an awesome hi-fi.

Three of us will be visiting you soon!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Ron The Mon

Ron The Mon
Active member
Active member
Posts: 160
Joined: 2014-07-17 17:17
Location: Detroit

El Rayo-X

Post by Ron The Mon » 2019-12-18 01:01

u252agz wrote:
2019-12-17 12:11
This time I prefer track 1 - but there is not as much between them as the last example- I actually quite like this track!
Hmmmm! Next thing you know, you'll be eating pickled pigs feet. There is a much bigger difference of this screw than the previous comparison as the previous demo had the aluminum clamp screw already installed. After a few more responses, I may redo this demo with aluminum hardware on the headshell.
How does a Linn adikt perform on your LP12 ? - you must have compared this as some stage judging by your cartridge history.
I have never heard an Adikt on my LP12 nor do I ever intend to. I have heard many Adikt at Overture Audio. I have chatted in person with many customers at Overture Audio who have this cartridge, and heard some of them. I mentioned above there should only be two cartridges manufactured today; AT-VM95 and Kandid. An Ekos SE with AT-VM95 sounds better than an Adikt in any other tonearm. It is simple, basic source-first principles.

My opinion is the Adikt is a complete waste of money. Just the replacement cost of an Adikt stylus could upgrade you from Basik to Ittok, or Ittok to Ekos, or Ekos to Ekos SE. Or Cirkus to Kore, or Kore to Keel,...

Styli wear out. A Keel will not.

Yes, an Adikt sounds good. But it costs over twenty times that of an AT-VM95E. If you damage it, or it fails prematurely, you are screwed. When's the last time you read about a Basik, Ittok, or Ekos/SE arm failing? What about a Trampolin failing? How about a Cirkus, Kore, or Keel failing? Any expensive cartridge will cost you a LOT of money.

Ron The Mon

User avatar
lejonklou
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 4564
Joined: 2007-01-30 10:38
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by lejonklou » 2019-12-18 02:05

I don't quite follow your logic here, Ron.

For years I used an Adikt on my otherwise top spec LP12. There were no other parts to upgrade and I spent a lot of time squeezing out more and more from that Adikt, by improving my Slipsik MM stage and it's less costly baby sister Gaio.

Now most days I play the records with a Krystal. Musically I find it rather close to Kandid, although admittedly it doesn't sound as precise and detailed. And I tried some Lyras and older Linn MC's, including a worn but original Troika (the rebuilt one I tried was no fun) - love the look of that cart. But Krystal is my favorite so far - fantastically engaging and within my rather privileged economical boundaries. The Adikt I remount whenever needed.

So those are my two picks.

Defender
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 255
Joined: 2018-02-14 22:35

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by Defender » 2019-12-18 11:38

I tried to understand what you are saying - let me rephrase what I understood:
you say the initial costs plus running costs of an Adikt over an AT will buy you a better arm.
However in which timeframe?

Real life example:
I have an Ekos 2 now and even if I am taking trade in value into account towards costs for a maybe used Ekos SE I could buy and enjoy the Adikt for 6-8years or more instead.

I think your equation only works if I would have the upgrade money or I could sell parts of the system to finance the upgrade completely.

Do you think the AT-VM95 is better music than an Adikt independent from costs?

Charlie1
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2990
Joined: 2007-12-11 00:30
Location: UK

The cost of a cartridge

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-12-18 15:40

Firstly, I think Ron is saying that, with limited funds, everyone should be using a VM95 until they can get the remainder of their deck to top spec Klimax Radikal, Keel, Ekos SE/1, etc.

And secondly, once ready for a cartridge upgrade, then you should save up for the very best before investing in the preamp/playback elements. Not sure I entirely agree with the second point because, unlike many components, the cartridge can have significant running costs, especially if you listen to a lot of vinyl. So, whilst someone could perhaps afford a Kandid, they might not be able to afford the running costs. I don't see why you have to limit yourself like this when a Krystal sounds great and is heaps more affordable. For example, whilst I could afford to run an Akiva, when the Kandid came out I had to step down from the Linn top MC and Krystal is perfect for that task.

Also, this approach would mean a switch to MC phono. If this approach means Singularity then you could be saving a very long time.
Last edited by Charlie1 on 2019-12-18 15:49, edited 1 time in total.

Ron The Mon
Active member
Active member
Posts: 160
Joined: 2014-07-17 17:17
Location: Detroit

Onions and Opinions

Post by Ron The Mon » 2019-12-18 15:47

What I wrote above is quite clear; it is my opinion. Simple as that. A bit of an exaggeration that there should only be a $34 cartridge and a $5000 cartridge on the market.

However, do a demo for yourself! I have heard my LP12 compared directly to another, more expensive, LP12 with Adikt and Ekos and Kore. My LP12 was cheaper, sounded better, and the savings from replacing Adikt styli could have bought me a Kore by now!

This doesn’t mean the Adikt doesn’t sound good or isn’t best in it’s class.

Maybe you guys are all more careful than me as well. I have ripped the cantilever out of a cartridge when the sleeve of my sweater caught it. I broke another while dusting. I bent several mis-cueing.

Some of my cartridges failed prematurely outside their warranty.

I did run a Troika for over five years with my young son learning to cue records on it. That needle was my only one that lived into old age and died a natural death.

Most out there in Audio Land haven’t heard the new AT-VM95 in their own hi-fi. Try one when upgrading another aspect of your turntable system, you will never miss your previous cartridge.

To be clear, this not just a “tune-dem” thing. The Mighty 95 plays music, boogies, has a wide sound-stage and depth, and has such a naturalness to the tone of instruments.

Ron The Mon

u252agz
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 457
Joined: 2013-10-03 12:44
Location: UK

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by u252agz » 2019-12-18 18:44

I am relatively new to LP12 s but my Adikt stylus on my Majik LP12 probably did not last more than 100 hrs ( of careful use)

With the upgrades I use vinyl quite a bit more -so at this rate I could be looking at a stylus every year.

So I can see Ron’s point that the next time it is due for replacement , it would make sense to switch to a AT-VM95E and put the savings into a Keel fund.

Or just get upgrade to a Keel and become cost neutral in 5 - 10 years, with the reduced cartridge running costs.
KDS2/Sagatun Tundra Monos /242s /LP12 Kore-KRad-Ekos SE/Slip 7

Sneaky/RP3/Slip 6.1/ Boazu/ Komp110

ThomasOK
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2659
Joined: 2007-02-02 18:41
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-12-18 19:26

Ron, your unbridled enthusiasm for the AT-VM95 is obvious and you make a somewhat valid point about upgrading other parts of the LP12 first, as our comparison you refer to demonstrated. However, your ability to frequently destroy styli indicate that less alcohol combined with your record playing might be in order! (Your math skills might indicate the same in conjunction with forum posting.) ;-)

Adikt styli run $320 so you would have to run through quite a few of them to equal a $1200 Kore, much less the $2050 difference between a Kore and a Keel or the near $4000 you would be likely to pay to go from an Ekos to an Ekos SE/1. Now I know you said you like to buy used but used Keels and Ekos SE/1 don't exactly flow like a river since there is nothing to upgrade to from them. But since you have saved so much not blowing away Adikt styli, I assume I should be getting your Kore order any day now!

By the way, since it is a replaceable stylus you are not screwed if you kill your Adikt stylus, you just get a new one. And I have seen Basik LV-X and Basik Plus arms die as well as a Trampolin (admittedly that last was user error but so is a decapitated Adikt).

Considering how wonderful an Adikt sounds through a Slipsik 7 several people don't feel they need a MC cartridge. And the Krystal is really the first midrange Linn cartridge to musically outperform the Troika, with an Entity I expect it will be a kickass combination (on the end of an appropriately loaded LP12). Plus the Krystal is a good choice for those who can't or won't afford $3500 every several years to replace their Kandid. (Personally, I'm trying to set up a Kandid replenishment fund for if and when I ever retire.) So maybe all we need to do is to combine your and Fredrik's recommendations and just have the VM95, Adikt, Krystal and Kandid. :-)
The LP12 Whisperer
Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer and above all lover of music.

maffe
Active member
Active member
Posts: 202
Joined: 2016-02-14 20:05

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by maffe » 2019-12-19 19:59

I would say that HiFi don’t make any economical sense. What it do make is emotional sense!
We can try to fool our selfs how much we want, but at the end of the day it costs a lot!
I listen to 1000 to 1500 records a year, LP is my main source of music. That makes the cost per record using an adikt less than 0,25€/record/year. Only once have an adikt died the “dusting the LP12 death” it was after about 800 played records, shit happens!
Would I buy a MC?
-No, to expensive for me even if it would last 1 or 2 years longer than a MM. Even less so since the slipsik7 found its way to our home:)

David Neel
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 640
Joined: 2008-02-08 23:17
Location: In the groove

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by David Neel » 2019-12-20 00:29

maffe wrote:
2019-12-19 19:59
I would say that HiFi don’t make any economical sense. What it do make is emotional sense!
We can try to fool our selfs how much we want, but at the end of the day it costs a lot!
It's all in proportion, not only to income, but also to personal priorities...
I really hesitated before buying my replacement Kandid, as I found it difficult to accept the running costs now I know how quickly I can use one up. I was very close to settling for a Krystal. Then I considered the cost of running my cars and the amount I used to (I've radically cut back this year) spend on good wine - both these sources of pleasure cost me rather more than a Kandid. Suddenly a Kandid was looking like a very sensible purchase! (And yes, I'm grateful to be able to afford any/all of my indulgences.)

George Best (a brilliant footballer) once said on a chat show: "Most of the money I spent on fast cars, women and booze. The rest I wasted." He knew his priorities, and sadly one of them killed him...
The less a person knows, the more certainly he knows it.

Ron The Mon
Active member
Active member
Posts: 160
Joined: 2014-07-17 17:17
Location: Detroit

One Tiny Screw

Post by Ron The Mon » 2019-12-28 08:36

ThomasOK wrote:
2019-12-13 20:17
...the Carbon also has a tiny Phillips screw holding the body to the mounting frame and it sounds best at .2Nm - 11 notches; the lowest torque I've found. I haven't tried this with other AT cartridges with a similar mounting but they should have a proper low torque too. However, some of these are stripped for you by the factory and won't take even that small torque.
Tom,
On page two of this thread I responded to Charlie1, "If you experiment with the K9, be sure to also adjust the torque of the Phillips screw on top of the cartridge body. I found it sounds better at a lower torque than stock (at least on the one example I had). Same goes for the AT95E body."

By "one example", I meant the K9. I have years ago previously, by ear, experimented with the torque of that screw on my AT95E. I only realized a month or so back the AT-VM95 has the same screw as well. I thought the body and frame were glued together but it is the exact same screw but hidden under the "Made In China (or Japan)" sticker with some glue on it.

On a Linn arm, that tiny Phillips screw is perfectly attainable through a hole in the headshell. As you mention, it is quite tight, and stripping could be a result of loosening and retorquing, not the factory install. It is a stainless steel screw with very fine pitch fastening two pieces of plastic together. It is also threaded directly into plastic. I'm going to try an aluminum screw as this would be lighter and there is no need for a high torque. Your Carbon value is not low at all considering it equates to an inch/pound of force fastening half-inch to an eighth-inch block of plastic.

Below is the unmolested torque from the factory vs. .2Nm -11 as recommended. I will experiment further. However, I am up now at 2:30am playing Partridge Family records!!! It is crazy the amount of music I'm extracting from this $34 cartridge.

Unmolested: https://share.icloud.com/photos/0bkvoO_ ... 8c2R7U7UhQ

.2Nm -11: https://share.icloud.com/photos/0H99kHd ... q0W_TWneZA

Ron The Mon
Aghast

Jokke
New member
New member
Posts: 5
Joined: 2019-12-27 22:07

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by Jokke » 2019-12-28 11:25

Hi everyone.

I'm new here so please bare with me :-)

I really appreciate this place's wealth of knowhow and the consistent attention to HIFI's musical performance.

My LP12 is from 89' pre-cirkus, akito (mk I), Trampolin (mk 1), home-rolled Airpower supply.

Since my Troika (esco rebuilt) died, I found an AT95 that I bought some years ago but never got to listen to back then. I have to admit that I was very surprised to discover just how great a musical performer this little gem is. It's not perfect with its crudish treble, limited resolution/clarity and somewhat grey tone, but boy it boogies! with a tracking force just north of 1.5g VTA about 1.1g and carefully tightened cart screws it makes rhythms come alive like I've never heard before on my deck. it makes musical sense!

I then discovered this thread and upon Ron the man's advice bought an AT-Vm95C to get a feel of what the new line was like. I have played around with tracking force, VTA and the cartridge screws, but I simply can't get it to sing as the olde AT95e does. The vm95c just sounds less open, less free, more confined. At the same time the new vm95 seems clearer but it exhibits a midrange emphasis that the olde at95e doesn't suffer from. I can hear that the vm95c has potential for great flow (perhaps greater than the olde at95e) but the flow seems too narrow-banded and doesn't 'come out' as it does with the at95e.

What am I not getting? Is it a breaking in issue where the vm95 just needs more time? Is it a loading issue (I run very low capacitance -very low capacitance cable and no added C in my phono pre and 47K). On another forum it was suggested to run the vm95 at higher impedance i.e. 100k which could make sense together with the new line's higher inductance... Unfortunately my pre can't do this.

Could it be that I am too used to more advanced styli and should have gone for a better styli fx. Vm95N or perhaps the vm95ml. On the latter, Ron you wrote that it and the Shibata didn't work well for you. Could you please elaborate on this since many write good things about the 95ml. Have others tried the more advanced styli vm95 variations?

Thanks in advance for any advice :-)

beck
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1361
Joined: 2012-10-22 22:25

Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by beck » 2019-12-28 19:54

Jokke, I think your observations are valid. The old AT95e (my guess) suits the old Sondek better. Do try the new vm95e version to be sure.

Post Reply