The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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Defender
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Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by Defender » 2020-05-12 20:29

hi tokenbrit
I asked more or less the same question somewhere ... I asked if I now have a Linto and an Arkiv B if it would be an upgrade to buy the Adikt/Slipsik 7 (as I was afraid of the higher running costs of an MC system). So my question was the other way around.
Fredriks answer was that would be a downgrade - the only chance would be to wear the Arkiv down really much and than make that move it would be perceived as an upgrade.
However if the move would be combined with a more close to source upgrade (what the Karousel would be) only than I would perceive it as an upgrade (source first at play).

To answer your question yes the rule is to spent the money first on closer to the source upgrades ... after Karousel into Radikal (edit: forgot the Keel) than into Ekos SE/1. But I am the best against the rule example and I am happy.
Sometimes the money you have is not enough to buy you the more value the source upgrades have.
Especially the Ekos SE/1 is difficult as you barely see it used.

found it meanwhile:
lejonklou wrote:
2020-01-25 21:15
Hi Defender!

That is a step down. If you at the same time upgrade something that is higher in the hierarchy (arm, subchassis, motor), it will be a step up.

I know many who've taken this step down (MC to MM) and the easiest way to cope with it seems to be to run the MC until it's really worn. Then, just before it starts sounding really bad and potentially begin harming the records, it will feel like an upgrade.

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Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by ThomasOK » 2020-05-13 15:28

Three things. On the tracking weight thing I think saying low tracking force cannot damage records is making an absolute where there is none. Is it safe to track at .5 grams as was attempted in the 70s? How about .25 grams? If you set the tracking force so low that you are running into mis-tracking then you are definitely damaging the record. However, kept within reason, lower tracking force is not causing record damage. Also not all manufacturers get the optimum force right - hence the Grado explanation I posted. I have also had other cartridges with recommended forces of 2.0 grams that were most musical at 1.9. As has been mentioned several times the best approach is to start at the recommended force and try a little above and below it to find the most musical setting. But it is rare that you have to go more than a quarter of a gram above or below the recommended setting to find the most musical one. Anti-skating force has more variance as a lot of turntables don't have that calibrated very well.

On the hierarchy question the answer is a Radikal and a 95e will musically outperform a Lingo and a Kandid. This was close to proven with Ron's LP12 which had a Radikal, Cirkus bearing and sub-chassis, Basik LV-X and AT95e and easily outperformed an LP12 with Lingo 2, Kore with Cirkus bearing, Ekos 2 and Adikt (and even a superior plinth). It is also indicated by Øyvind I who found that a new Majik LP12 with the Karousel musically outperformed his Klimax LP12 with Cirkus bearing. So within the turntable itself the cartridge comes last and I would say that MC makes no sense until you have a Radikal. That is the reason I have never sold an Accurate LP12 as a Majik LP12 with a Radikal is more musical for less money.

On the question of what it takes to beat the VM95e/c I can't answer as I haven't tried it yet. Ron said at one point that there should only be two cartridges, the VM95 (I assume C) and the Kandid. So there is the extreme version. I son't think Fredrik wants to give up his Krystal and I find it to be a very musical cartridge and I don't think a lot of people want to give up their Adikts. Does it sound better than a Troika? I'd have a hard time with that too, but since you can't buy a new Troika so that you could put both in the same LP12 setup it is a moot point. What can obviously be said is the little AT can certainly provide a lot of musical enjoyment and is the obvious budget champ.
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Re: The Mighty AT95E Becomes The AT-VM95E

Post by OscarH » 2020-05-13 16:00

ThomasOK wrote:
2020-05-13 15:28

On the question of what it takes to beat the VM95e/c
This is a very interesting point - which MM cartridges are better in absolute, not value for money, terms?

For someone, it could be me, who has no obvious turntable upgrade path and 'only' wants a good cart when the current one is done...

As it stands one would probably be a fool to not give the VM95 a go.... but let's say you actually WANT to pay much more?

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Re: More Bogus Information

Post by Ron The Mon » 2020-05-15 00:36

lejonklou wrote:
2020-05-10 19:56
Calm down, Ron. Nobody's picking a fight with you, so skip the accusational tone.

What is happening is that your info is being questioned. My suggestion is that you welcome that with open arms. It's a necessity for progress.
Fredrik,
I appreciate your concern for my mental health.

To be clear, the PDF link Spannko provided above was NOT written by anyone from Audio Technica. The "AT" logo is used as S.E.A. is a wholesaler for Audio Technica, not a manufacturer or designer. It is quite deceptive. It is false. Fake. Made-up. Bogus.....

I believe Audio Technica has their own offices in the United States and Europe. In Malaysia, S.E.A. is a box shifter and warranty service center.

If you buy an AT-VM95ML sealed in the box and the instruction sheet from Audio Technica says it will last 1000 hours, are you going to throw the needle out after 300 hours? What about your Linn Krystal and Adikt? I'm sure you will throw those out after 1000 sides of a record played (300 hours) because Spannko linked to a PDF that says so and you must welcome "progress" with "open arms"?

Why are you insistent I welcome inaccurate fraudulent information with "open arms"? How is that "progress"? What "info is being questioned" of mine?

Regarding the "chipping away" nonsense, it is just that; nonsense! With the millions of pages of hi-fi websites out there and the availability of cheap high-powered USB microscopes and editing software, you'd think there would be hundreds of videos out there showing this phenomenon. But there are no videos because it doesn't exist.

The later video (actually from Audio Technica) Spannko linked to is also deceptive in that the beginning of the video hints there could be damage from too light a tracking force. However, later in the video it reads, "If you set too light, the stylus can skip out of the groove on loud or dynamic musical passages.". Later it reads, "Setting it too heavy can cause excessive wear to the stylus and records". Nowhere in the video does it state low tracking force causes wear. This is also reflected in the owners manuals from which the video is based. Notice the words are "can" and "possibly" from the video. All this from Audio Technica themselves.

On the old 95 series (over a period of 35 years), AT used to recommend 2.0 grams tracking plus or minus .5 grams. Now they still recommend 2.0 grams but plus or minus .2 grams. Needle lifespan is the same. What changed? Nothing except the recommended range. The new stylus assemblies have almost exactly the same compliance and same tips, nothing has changed that would lead to wear or damage or tracking. Most importantly, every stylus I've tried on an AT-95 or new AT-VM95 version sounds best closer to 1.5 grams.


Ron The Mon wrote:
2019-09-13 00:16
This subject topic includes all variants of the current AT-VM95 line and its' predecessors including older non-compatible Audio Technica models. Also included here will be discussions of the Linn K5, K9, and K18. Source-first discussions and phono stages relating are also welcome and expected.
Fredrik,
I would prefer all current side discussions in this thread stay here. I find it fascinating that a little $34 cartridge can provoke so much thought and disruption.

The main person here "accepting progress with open arms" is me. The new AT-VM95 series is the very definition of progress. The many changes made to this cartridge and stylus assembly all are done to make it sound better. The majority of you reading this thread haven't heard this gem on an LP12. It is outrageously good. Not just good for the money, but good.

It is silly not to own one just as a backup. Buy the Conical version first. As you are listening, I guarantee you will not be thinking it can't track, has end of side distortion, limited frequency response, bad separation, and all the other hi-fi myths out there.

All you'll be thinking is, "Damn, this sounds good!".

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Q&A with T&R

Post by Ron The Mon » 2020-05-16 18:30

tokenbrit wrote:
2020-05-12 17:54
Prompted by Mr Pig, but an open question to those in the know: since a K9/conical &/or various shapes of AT(-VM)95 threaten to better the Adikt, and sounds better than a Troika or OC9, what's the next step up from a 95(C) & best MM phono stage/Slipsik? Does Krystal+Entity beat VM95/Adikt+Slipsik, or do you have to budget for better than a Krystal to make it worth stepping up to MC? (asking as the owner of an OC9 & Linto ;)

Further, at what point in the hierarchy does cartridge start to factor in as the 'next upgrade' - is Lingo 4 'good enough' to switch to MC, or does MC make no sense until Radikal? Or, put it another way, keep enjoying MM of choice with Slipsik & Lingo, until funds allow you to get Radikal and motor on to MC/Entity... (after taking a spin on the Karousel ;)
tokenbrit,
I noticed most of the last dozen or so posts on this thread are from those like you, Mr Pig, and others to whom my english isn't your native language. There may be a little bit of a translation issue, so I'd like to clarify a few things.

Mr Pig and I are not saying an AT-VM95C sounds better than a Krystal or OC9. It is in the context of source-first examples.

EXAMPLE: Any Ekos with an AT-VM95C will sound better in every way than an Akito with an Adikt. This example uses the same moving magnet phono stage.

Now let's start throwing monkey wrenches: Does an EkosSE/AT-VM95C into a cheap NAD 3020 sound better than an Akito/Kandid into an Entity? There's the rub. Most moving coil phono stages are of a higher quality and design than moving magnet stages. It is my opinion that you should buy a Lejonklou Gaio or Slipsik to use with an AT-VM95. The cost of running a Krystal for six years (or OC9 for 8 years) will pay for a brand new Slipsik 7 which will last you the rest of your life. Replacement AT styli will cost you nothing because every year you just ask for one as a gift. It makes the perfect stocking stuffer. Even your teenagers can afford to give you one.

Monkey wrench number B: You (tokenbrit) don't work on your own LP12. I suspect about half reading this don't either. If you buy an AT-VM95 online, it makes no economic sense to drive 500 miles to Ann Arbor Michigan to visit Tom O'Keefe. After time, gas, and lodging you are out hundreds of dollars. On top of it, Tom will charge his going rate to reset your LP12. My advice (in addition to others recommending here) is to "downgrade" your cartridge when doing your next LP12 "upgrade". It doesn't just need to be a cartridge downgrade either. You could do as I've done and downgrade the tonearm and cartridge and upgrade the turntable itself.

As to your question of when there comes a time to upgrade the AT-VM95 to a better cartridge; I say it may be never. I recently upgraded my tonearm and the music I'm hearing now is mind-blowing! A huge improvement for nominal outlay.

The bottom line is this; for those who work on their own deck, the cost of trying a $34 cartridge is negligible.

For you it is a giant leap of faith. Especially when the main guy advising you is a nut-job from Detroit who insulted you to your face when we last met.

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Re: Q&A with T&R

Post by V.A.MKD » 2020-05-16 19:23

Ron The Mon wrote:
2020-05-16 18:30

I recently upgraded my tonearm and the music I'm hearing now is mind-blowing! A huge improvement for nominal outlay.

Ron The Mon
Hi Ron,

Interesting info you post ... What is the tonearm?

I'm interested because as Fredric, Tom, you and also others, highly respect & follow source first ...
Top Spec LP12 / Tonearm ??? / AT-95C.
Music First ...
Vlado

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Q&A with V&R

Post by Ron The Mon » 2020-05-16 19:45

V.A.MKD wrote:
2020-05-16 19:23
Ron The Mon wrote:
2020-05-16 18:30

I recently upgraded my tonearm and the music I'm hearing now is mind-blowing! A huge improvement for nominal outlay.
Interesting info you post ... What is the tonearm?

I'm interested because as Fredrik, Tom, you and also others, highly respect & follow source first ...
Radikal LP12 / Tonearm ??? / AT-VM95C.
Vlado,
I will make some recordings and post the tonearm differences. I will award a prize of a brand new AT-VM95C to the first person who can guess my current tonearm.

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Re: Q&A with V&R

Post by V.A.MKD » 2020-05-16 20:07

Ron The Mon wrote:
2020-05-16 19:45
V.A.MKD wrote:
2020-05-16 19:23
Ron The Mon wrote:
2020-05-16 18:30

I recently upgraded my tonearm and the music I'm hearing now is mind-blowing! A huge improvement for nominal outlay.
Interesting info you post ... What is the tonearm?

I'm interested because as Fredrik, Tom, you and also others, highly respect & follow source first ...
Radikal LP12 / Tonearm ??? / AT-VM95C.
Vlado,
I will make some recordings and post the tonearm differences. I will award a prize of a brand new AT-VM95C to the first person who can guess my current tonearm.

Ron The Mon
:-)
Music First ...
Vlado

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Re: Marcel Story

Post by Lego » 2020-05-28 09:04

imarcel wrote:
2020-02-19 16:12
Ron The Mon wrote:
2020-02-14 18:10
Marcel,
What a great story and history!

It appears you have the best sounding AT-VM95 on the planet right now. No wonder it sounds so good; you've already taken it to the limit. It's good to get positive feedback of my tracking and torque settings.

Where is your café/bar? I'd love to have a drink and chat while listening to "vinyl" over Saras.

Ron The Mon
Hello Ron,

my bar is in Berlin/Germany, so I suppose it will be difficult for you to visit. But if you ever are around you are very welcome and we will have a few glasses of wine or a few beers together while talking abount good music (which is most important) and good hifi (which is also important).

https://de.foursquare.com/v/lass-uns-fr ... 20a34621e3

Some years ago the local linn dealer and Mr. Ivor Tiefenbrun were my guests. We had a few glasses of good south german Pinot Noir. At that time I was still running Linn Inteks with the Saras and Kans at the bar. Source were either MD´s (yes minidisc) of recordings from my records or a wadia 170i into a musical fidelity dac for the employees (they mostly use ipods or iphones). Of course Mr. Tiefenbrun adviced me to buy a DS. It was a nice evening.

...meanwhile I am still working on my setup. I got rid of the Urika and installed a Majik Base Board. I had been using the "old" feet with he Urika anyway. The timetable tables were designed to be used with them. I redid the spring adjustment and torqued again. Now that I have a Sturtevant Richmont CAL 36/4 it makes so much more sense.

By the way, if someone is interested: There is a guy selling them new over the german ebay site right now. He wants 230.-€ but is open for offers. So maybe a chance to get one here in Europe for a reasonable price (below 200 ? is that reasonable ?). It´s a bit hard to find because he spelled Richmond instead of Richmont. https://www.ebay.de/itm/303442839971
Please note that I am not the seller nor do I know him.

My turntable has been running many hours a day. If this goes on, I will need a new VM95E stylus before summer.
The Kandid I gave away for rebuilding has not come back. I will report, maybe it´s of interest. But I think it will probably not be anywhere near a new Kandid.

Greetings from Berlin
Marcel
Hi Marcel
Apart from cost what were the advantages and disadvantages changing from Kandid to 95E
I know that tune

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Re: Q&A with T&R

Post by Lemmy » 2020-06-01 11:06

V.A.MKD wrote:
2020-05-16 19:23
Ron The Mon wrote:
2020-05-16 18:30

I recently upgraded my tonearm and the music I'm hearing now is mind-blowing! A huge improvement for nominal outlay.

Ron The Mon
Hi Ron,

Interesting info you post ... What is the tonearm?

I'm interested because as Fredric, Tom, you and also others, highly respect & follow source first ...
Top Spec LP12 / Tonearm ??? / AT-95C.
Yes Ron, could you share some more info about the tonearm? I (and I’m sure a lot of other people here) would really like to hear about your findings.

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