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Thread: My Sonic Labs Gold Signature VS. Air Tight Supreme

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Hello srmusic. Here are the specifications for the two cartridges:

    AirTight Supreme: Output voltage is 0.4mV/1kHz, Internal impedance is 1 Ohm
    MSL Signature Gold: Output voltage is 0.5mV/ikHz, Internal impedance is 1.4 Ohm

    In my system, the MSL is louder than the AT by about 5-6 dB at the same volume setting on my preamp. I can not speak to other cartridges. Based on the specifications, the MSL should be about the same as your Skala and the AT should be slightly less loud due to its lower output. They are both excellent cartridges. I slightly prefer the MSL in my system, but I have not listened to the AT for about a year and I plan to install it this Winter to see if my preferences have changes. The system has undergone some changes during the last year in the areas of room treatment, cartridge loading and cleaner contacts, so I'm curious to learn how the Supreme will sound.
    Hey thanks for your reply PeterA, very much appreciated.
    You may not be aware that some cartridge manufacturers list their cartridge output by using the 3.54cm/sec method rather than the more common 5cm/sec.
    Neither of these two companies state which measurement system they have used for their output specifications but I contacted a supplier who confirmed that they both use the 3.54cm/sec method.
    This means that if I convert (for example) the MSL Sig. 0.5mV/1kHz output voltage, it becomes 0.7mV/1kHz using the 5cm/sec method.
    Lyra use the 5cm/sec method and my Skala's output voltage is listed as 0.5mV/1kHz @5cm/sec so there would appear to be quite a substantial difference between them hence my questions.

    When you say the MSL is louder than the AT by about 5-6 dB - using a "clock face" method with your volume control, if the AT is at say 12 oclock, where would the MSL be to obtain a similar volume?
    and how much difference in volume (again using the "clock face") is there when switching between phono/CD/Tuner?
    Kind regards, Stuart

  2. #92
    Addicted to Best! PeterA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srmusic View Post
    Hey thanks for your reply PeterA, very much appreciated.
    You may not be aware that some cartridge manufacturers list their cartridge output by using the 3.54cm/sec method rather than the more common 5cm/sec.
    Neither of these two companies state which measurement system they have used for their output specifications but I contacted a supplier who confirmed that they both use the 3.54cm/sec method.
    This means that if I convert (for example) the MSL Sig. 0.5mV/1kHz output voltage, it becomes 0.7mV/1kHz using the 5cm/sec method.
    Lyra use the 5cm/sec method and my Skala's output voltage is listed as 0.5mV/1kHz @5cm/sec so there would appear to be quite a substantial difference between them hence my questions.

    When you say the MSL is louder than the AT by about 5-6 dB - using a "clock face" method with your volume control, if the AT is at say 12 oclock, where would the MSL be to obtain a similar volume?
    and how much difference in volume (again using the "clock face") is there when switching between phono/CD/Tuner?
    Kind regards, Stuart
    Hi Stuart. I can't answer those questions for a couple of reasons. First, I don't own a CD player or a tuner. Second, the rotary dial on my Pass Labs pre amp is continuous so it just spins around and I can not reference it to a clock face. The maximum number on the volume control is 63. That is loud in my room and I could play the Sheffield Drum track LP at that volume using my AirTight. I had forgotten about the difference in output between the two cartridges, so when I played the same track with the MSL cartridge, the speaker blew and had to be repaired. My guess using the numbers on the rotary dial which have in increment of about 1dB is that the MSL plays 5-6 numbers lower for roughly the same volume. In other words, at the same volume number on the preamp, the MSL cartridge is 5-6 dB louder which makes sense given its higher output.

    I did not know that this specification can be measured using different cm/sec references. That means that the output for these cartridges is extremely high considering their low internal impedance.
    My system link on WBF: http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...-Sublime-Sound
    Analog: SME 30/12, SME V-12, My Sonic Labs Signature Gold, AirTight Supreme, VDH Colibri Platinum, MINT LP protractor
    Electronics: Pass Labs XA160.5 amp, XP-20 preamp, XP-25 phono, Cables: Transparent REF XL MM2,
    Speakers: Magico Mini II, Essentials: Jim Smith RoomPlay, 3 Vibraplanes, Dedicated circuits

  3. #93
    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    So the ZYX UNIverse Premium which, according to Sora Sound, has an output of "0.24mV (H = 0.48mV) (3.54cm/sec., 1kHz)" has an output of how many mV on the 5cm/sec standard?

    To which standard are the .3mV output Koetsu cartridges referenced?
    Mono and Stereo - Senior Contributing Reviewer

    turntable: American Sound AS-2000 (ordered) tonearm: SME 3012R (to come); cartridge: ZYX Universe Premium X-SB2 or Koetsu Coralstone (TBD)
    tape: Studer A820 Mk II
    phono stage: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 power supplies; line stage: Aesthetix Callisto Eclipse with 2 power supplies; amplifier: VTL MB-750s
    speakers: Gryphon Pendragons
    cables: MasterBuilt Ultra or Cardas Clear Beyond (TBD); power: Benjamin Electric subpanel; Torus AVR60BAL; JPS in-wall wire; Furutech NCF outlets; room: 20' wide X 25' long X 15' tall; treatment: ASC Tube Traps and Tower Slims; tweaks: Shakti Stones, Shun Mooks (Kedar to place)

  4. #94
    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    Has anyone compared directly the Benz Micro LP-S MR to an Air Tight Opus or an MSL Signature Platinum?
    Mono and Stereo - Senior Contributing Reviewer

    turntable: American Sound AS-2000 (ordered) tonearm: SME 3012R (to come); cartridge: ZYX Universe Premium X-SB2 or Koetsu Coralstone (TBD)
    tape: Studer A820 Mk II
    phono stage: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 power supplies; line stage: Aesthetix Callisto Eclipse with 2 power supplies; amplifier: VTL MB-750s
    speakers: Gryphon Pendragons
    cables: MasterBuilt Ultra or Cardas Clear Beyond (TBD); power: Benjamin Electric subpanel; Torus AVR60BAL; JPS in-wall wire; Furutech NCF outlets; room: 20' wide X 25' long X 15' tall; treatment: ASC Tube Traps and Tower Slims; tweaks: Shakti Stones, Shun Mooks (Kedar to place)

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Resnick View Post
    Has anyone compared directly the Benz Micro LP-S MR to an Air Tight Opus or an MSL Signature Platinum?
    I have heard both cartridges, but not in the same system. Right now, the Benz LPS MR is getting little publicity and is being talked down by most dealers who are selling the Lyra line and the Air Tight cartridges. I happen to believe that the Benz is still highly competitive with these other cartridges. It may not have quite the same resolution ( at least my recollection of it vs. the newer designs) as the Opus 1,but the price difference is considerable. There are trade offs in both cartridges, the Opus 1 is highly resolved, but I felt it was a little less ‘accurate’ if you will than the Benz.

    I have not heard the MSL Signature Platinum...it seems to still be a very rare bird here in the US.
    BTW, I am still very much enjoying my Benz Ruby 2, a cartridge that is still making many other A’philes who hear it in my system, shake their head in amazement.
    Since the Benz LPS MR is more resolving than the Ruby 2, I think for the money, it is a bit of a no brainer.

  6. #96
    Addicted to Best! DaveyF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Resnick View Post
    So the ZYX UNIverse Premium which, according to Sora Sound, has an output of "0.24mV (H = 0.48mV) (3.54cm/sec., 1kHz)" has an output of how many mV on the 5cm/sec standard?

    To which standard are the .3mV output Koetsu cartridges referenced?
    I would be interested in the answer to this as well.
    Nonetheless, the fact is that the ZYX is still an ultra low output cartridge, and as such needs to be carefully matched to the partnering phono stage. While they do offer a higher output version(s)...I am understanding that the magic disappears with the higher output...in their case.
    Ron, the Koetsu’s have differing output, depending on the model. The Platinum models have less output...generally, than the non Platinum models. The Urushi Vermillion has less output than the other Urushi models.

  7. #97
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    Can the Zyx MC trans be not used in front of your valve phono?
    Audition recordings: Zero Distortion Link; Reference Components: Zero Distortion Link; Own: Lampi GG One-day-to-get: Apogee Scintilla, or a horn (with Tenor 75 OTL ), Preamp to be fit in to suit the gain and drive the power amp. Analog: TBD

  8. #98
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    Sure, but then I would be ...at least imho, throwing the baby out with the bath water. Introducing a SUT is, IMO, a step backwards when it comes to SQ. Others will probably argue with this, but IME, I have not heard an SUT that competes with a good tube phono stage. The loss of purity is something that I don’t want to give up.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Resnick View Post
    So the ZYX UNIverse Premium which, according to Sora Sound, has an output of "0.24mV (H = 0.48mV) (3.54cm/sec., 1kHz)" has an output of how many mV on the 5cm/sec standard?

    To which standard are the .3mV output Koetsu cartridges referenced?
    Hi Ron, my understanding is if you multiply the (3.54cm/sec. 1kHz) signal by 1.41 you obtain the equivalent 5cm/sec figure and by my calculations this seems to be borne out.

  10. #100
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] Tango's Avatar
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    Mfg info on the Signature Platinum.

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