Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Cartridge Experiments

 Expanded my bubble with a covid test and a visit for a weekend of listening to cartridge variations in DC.

Thus far the cantilever, diamond profile and suspension have been determined so the primary goal of this session was to confirm results of 10 different variations of tieback and coil winding materials. Comparing copper, silver and gold coil wires was interesting and a consistent sonic pattern of behavior is starting to emerge.  The system was Garrard based with my stacked quad57's and the tonearm for the primary swaps was a Schick and then ultimately the winner was installed in the 12" dymondwood "Chunk" and compared to the previous reference in the 16" magnesium "MegaChunk"

In order to do quick and effective swaps the head shells were all mass loaded to net the same VTF and in the case of the mono carts some substantial mass was required.  Zenith and azimuth were set electrically and the SRA was dialed in by ear for each cartridge to best isolate the variable being compared.  It has become abundantly clear that setup usually dominates the sonic results in comparisons like this so extra care must be taken to assure proper setup.  Once a general feel for the variable being examined was determined the pattern of results correlated nicely to the same set of tests in a different system.  The next step with this batch of cartridges is to repeat the comparison in a third system and then move onto coil formers and magnet types with the ultimate goal being a more finessed version of the field coil.

stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020


 Random said number 5

boptura needs to get me an address.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020


 It is that time again.  Everyone air your grievance below in an identifiable comment and before the year ends will pick a winner of a pair of the Slagleformer Modules.  We will cover shipping worldwide.



Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Silver and Gold

 I've used this title before around the holidays and this time I'll take it 100% literal.

Being a huge fan of silver wound things and loving the sound of silver wound cartridges I decided to take my game up a notch and see what 0.9999 gold coils sound like. 

It has been posed to me by Dick Sequerra that it is the oxide semiconductor boundaries within wire that that make silver a better sonic choice since silver oxide is a more benign conductor than copper oxide which creates a diode.  Dick made the compelling argument a few months ago that since gold doesn't oxidize at all it should be the ultimate choice for the low level signals found in an MC cartridge coils.

Stay Tuned.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Number 5


By my count that means Pete_B needs to send me his address.  


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Black Freeday

 Not many thinks kicking around lately that need new homes but these might appeal to a few of you.

A customer needed some naked speakerformers that went form -3 to -7dB and I inadvertently calculated and wound a pair that were -3.5 to -7.5dB.  Rather than bin them for the copper I figure someone here can put them to good use.  Full details of the concept can be found here.

leave a comment with a way to identify you and will pick the new owner mid next week and of course I'll cover shipping.


Friday, November 6, 2020


 I have been playing a fair bit with cartridge designs lately and have come to the realization that setup (mainly SRA) can have a profound impact on the sound of a cartridge.  When trying to make apples to apples comparisons of different suspension types or silver vs. copper wound coils, small changes in SRA will quickly swamp out the variable you are trying to isolate.  

My 12" Schick has been my goto arm for these comparisons since cartridges installed in headshells are a must for efficient changes. That means for these experiments my Schröder Reference sits idle.  The realization of the importance of matching SRA from cartridge to cartridge had me add VTAF to the Schick for quick and repeatable changes in VTA.  This left me counting turns and computing changes from a known thread pitch. Around four hours ago Jeffrey pointed me to a table he used at a show with a machinists indicator to read out VTA.  

I recalled that I had a similar indicator and to the cad/cam program I went. A few hours later I came up with something that would make my long lost uncle Rueben proud.  The end result tells me the VTA setting to the 0.001" over a 1" range which is just what is needed to dial in 5 different cartridges with different tie-back wire types for my next comparison.

When it comes to simple listening pleasure of a single field coil cartridge the Schröder gets cued up as  the daily driver.

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