Any Soundsmith Straingauge cartridge owners out there other than me?

spiritofmusic

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So the higher models have equalization?I had heard a romor that he had added the EQ, but didn't confirm it. You do need to equalize them, at 500Hz boosting at 6dB/octave to 2000Hz where it goes back to flat.
Just had confirmation, no equalisation. Just a rumble filter at 10Hz to manage subsonics and a high frequency filter at 20kHz to tune for perfect channel matching.
 
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spiritofmusic

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I heard the same as Ralph, although a more sinister rising response than just in the 500-2k band. And some EQ was employed. Although, this was quite some time ago. Not recently.
Nothing sinister, Brian. Just music, glorious music, 100% organic and unadulterated Lol.
 
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Atmasphere

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Just had confirmation, no equalisation. Just a rumble filter at 10Hz to manage subsonics and a high frequency filter at 20kHz to tune for perfect channel matching.
Hm.
The RIAA pre-emphasis boosts at 6dB per octave up to 500Hz. From there it goes flat to 2KHz where the 6dB slope resumes. The result is a slightly wavy curve. The idea is to reduce surface noise which tends to be high frequency, and equalize for constant velocity devices (magnetic cartridges). The playback EQ is the opposite and looks like this: 1642699503122.png

A strain gauge is not a constant velocity device (constant velocity refers to the fact that the faster the stylus moves, the more output it has so if it moves at double the speed there is twice as much output which translates to 6dB/octave); it has a characteristic (constant displacement) which essentially falls off at 6dB/octave, mimicking the RIAA curve. But its not exact. The problem is that red line- where it goes flat. If you place a ruler on the screen and align it to the first slope on the left, you'll see that it would reach the bottom of the graph at 10KHz. Thus you can see the error introduced if no EQ is applied.

The red line represents the math- the timing constants. The blue represents the result.

To correct for this, imagine a red line in which the playback EQ would have no EQ until the turnover frequency of 500Hz. At that point a 6dB slope is introduced, and then 0 again (going flat) at 2KHz. This would in turn generate a resultant blue line with just a slight deviation from flat. In this way the characteristic of the strain gauge is equalized to match the RIAA characteristic.

I love the idea of a strain gauge simply due to the reduced gain needed- even with the EQ it could still be plugged into a line stage.
 

spiritofmusic

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Ralph, it's been reiterated to me in no uncertain terms that you're incorrect in your assertions. There are no EQ filters in the audible band, that's a simple fact. I've had this message direct from the company, and so I'd reasonably assume their take is correct.
I'm not an engineer, so can't argue myself, but I'm gonna leave that as the final word on this Q.
 

Avidlistener

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Spirit, thanks for the report. I’m anxiously awaiting the work to be done on my SG400 and replacement styli. I wasn’t expecting much of a sonic upgrade, so hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Mine is an early unit - so I’m going from revision 2 to revision 12 I believe. BTW my SG runs balanced into Atmasphere’s MP-1 line stage.
 

spiritofmusic

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Avid, if my work is anything to go by, you're in for a treat. As opposed to you, my SG-200 energizer only needed minimal fettling having been more comprehensively upgraded in 2016.
My stylus is a slight special order, Peter offered me a boron stylus in 2016 that he thought I'd like, and the ultimate expression of this spec has now been reached w the greater precision of install that I've been informed about.
It's like a new cart, matching the speed and transient dynamics of the SG signature w way greater bloom and tonal nuance that I hear more in carts like the Red Sparrow, DaVa, Murasakino Madake and Sumile, and my much loved Lyra Parnassus of old.
 

Avidlistener

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@spiritofmusic or anyone else, I read a recommendation for a low cost power supply for my digital gear (EtherRegen) and wondered if one of the models listed could work for my Straingauge? It’s the SG400 which I believe has a different power supply than the SG 200. I can’t spend a lot on a power supply right now, since the SG rebuild and new styli will be expensive once the work is completed. Any insights appreciated - here is link to the product, but any other low cost suggestions are welcome.
 

spiritofmusic

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Not if the 400 has the same voltage spec as the 200, ie 24V.
 

Avidlistener

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Not if the 400 has the same voltage spec as the 200, ie 24V.
Hi, they do list an available 24volt, 4 amp version. Would you mind taking a look at this again and see if you think it might be worthwhile vs what is supplied with the SG400?

If so, would I need 2 of these for the SG? If so I imagine I need a custom cable coming from two pins on on each unit output to 4 pins in on the SG400?
 

spiritofmusic

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Avid, I'm struggling to find any useful info/specs on the SG400, certainly not on the website. I'm assuming the 200 and 400 are the same re voltage, but I can't be sure. Similarly re connecting cables.
 
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musklvr

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Hi Marc,
Nothing to do with the Soundsmith, but rather your choice of arm. I see that you are using the Trans Fi Salvation. If you don't mind, could you tell me what attracted you to this arm and why you continue to use it?

Years ago I owned a prototype table from Lloyd Webber with a linear tonarm. Since sold as it was too heavy and difficult to transport to Europe. I have but have not used an ET-2. The only problem I found with the Webber arm was near the end of the lp. There seems to have been insufficient arm in the manifold to hold the arm stable. For the rest it was a joy.
Do you have any such issues with the Trans Fi? I have a Morch dp-8 12 inch arm at the moment, which came with the table. It has some quirks I'm not completely comfortable with. I still think a linear arm is the way to go.

Any comments?
Thanks,
Ron
ps. what business are you in these days? If it is none of my business, just say so. Too us Americans, nothing is too private!
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Ron, I had owned two setups prior, an all-Roksan rig based around the Xerxes X, and a Michell Orbe/SME V/Transfiguration Orpheus/Tom Evans Groove combo, the latter sounding pretty reasonable, highly musical and involving.
I had been looking at a signature TT purchase, considered strongly the TW AC-3, Brinkmann La Grange and SME 20, but at the same time as listening to these I also got to hear highly modded Garrard 301s and a 401, and the idler signature beckoned to me.
I struggled a little to sort a restored example, and was a little unsure what arm I'd use, and around this time I caught sight of the Trans Fi Salvation and Terminator setup, and was impressed that quite a few owners had traded up from Garrards, and even SP10s. There's even an ex-Airline LT owner amongst the Terminator testimonials!
What nailed the decision was the Terminator LT arm, the deck and arm designed synergistically around each other, and working well as a zen balance of speed and deftness of the arm to the heft and dynamics of the deck.
The demo clinched the deal, and the concept of rim drive and air LT as a totally unique partnership very much appealed.
Of course, audiofoolia being what it is, I wasn't content to sit back, and upgrading via two lots of motors incl current SOTA option, major plinth surgery to replace stock slate w Permali/aluminium plate, and a superior version of my arm w better tolerances, materials and tonearm wire, the whole lot on a Stacore Advanced platform, has been a fun and educational journey.
--
Re my business, after the ravages of Covid, I'm just keeping body and soul together running my two osteopathy clinics, so poor were prospects in Mar-Jun 2020, I'm just happy to be afloat...since you're asking lol.
 

Atmasphere

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An interesting YT video that has a lot of information about strain gauge cartridges.

Of particular interest starting at 27 minutes, 30:00, 43:00 and 52:00.

There's some discussion about the 70s Panasonic cartridge, the Soundsmith and also a high end strain gauge from Japan.
 

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