My Sonic Labs Gold Signature VS. Air Tight Supreme

gian60

Active Member
Apr 17, 2016
1,255
13
38
#81
I asked to italian distributor about the MSL Platinum.
He told me that is exactly the same of the Gold,only change is the body,for the sound he doesn't know because he never listen in comparison.
 

perart1

New Member
Mar 17, 2012
44
0
0
Cheltenham
#85
MSL in the UK/Europe

I mean the MSL home web page.

Does anyone know who the importer/distributor for MSL is in the Uk or Europe. Did you (chelsedave) buy your cart in the the UK/europe/japan? When i spoke to the European importer of Air tight in Munich last week, whilst he personally knew the manufacturer he did not know the European importer etc

Peter
 

gian60

Active Member
Apr 17, 2016
1,255
13
38
#86
I am friend with Italian distributor
Audio reference.it of MSL
And I am also friend of italian distributor of Air Tight that is
Oz Sound
If someone need some I can have very good discount
 
Nov 25, 2014
23
0
0
London UK
#87
Does anyone know who the importer/distributor for MSL is in the Uk or Europe. Did you (chelsedave) buy your cart in the the UK/europe/japan? When i spoke to the European importer of Air tight in Munich last week, whilst he personally knew the manufacturer he did not know the European importer etc

Peter
Hi Pete. I bought mine directly from Japan.
 

srmusic

New Member
Nov 27, 2017
4
0
0
New Zealand
#88
As some may know, my MSL Signature Gold had a slightly skewed cantilever. It sounded great, so I did not really worry about this. I was able to rotate the cartridge enough in the headshell of my SME V-12 to align the cantilever with the alignment guides on my MINT Protractor. But, after a year or so, I noticed that the cantilever looked slightly worse and it eventually became difficult to align properly using my MINT. So, I decided to send it to Japan for a complete rebuild. A few weeks later, I got it back and was told to expect between 50-100 hours for complete break in.

Well, I started listening and it sounded really good, similar to how I remembered it sounding. But here is the big news: I now have 50 hours on it, and it has started to sound significantly better than before. It continues to improve, and it has reached the point where I now prefer it by a fair amount to my AirTight Supreme. I always thought the Supreme slightly emphasized the mid range and was a bit sweeter in the highs, especially with bowed strings. Well, the rebuilt MSL is much better in the mids than was my old one with the slightly skewed cantilever. It is highly resolving and yet exhibits no glare, fatigue or stridency. It is not the slightest bit bright or analytical. It just sounds natural, but it is more extended, more dynamic and more resolving than my Supreme, and now with the improved midrange, it is all of this across the frequencies.

There is little information on the net about this MSL Signature Gold, so I thought I would share this update to give my current view on the qualities of this tremendous cartridge, especially relative to the Supreme, which I also very much like, and which is better known by many members.
Hello PeterA, I am deciding between the MSL Signature Gold and the Airtight Supreme cartridges.
Both appear from the specifications to have fairly high outputs which concerns me a little (0.7mV/1kHz @5cm per second) compared to my current Lyra Skala (0.5mV).
I know it is difficult to explain or demonstrate via a Forum but I have two questions that if you can answer may help me.
1/ Is there any/much difference in volume between these cartridges?
2/ Is there much difference in volume between say the MSL and other cartridges closer to my Skala's output?
I am concerned not to overload my Coincident SUT and Leben phono/pre amplifier and also that when I switch between Phono and Tuner and CD inputs that there is not too much difference in volume.
Any help/comments you can give me would be appreciated. Thank you!
 

PeterA

Active Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,875
11
38
North Shore of Boston
#89
Hello PeterA, I am deciding between the MSL Signature Gold and the Airtight Supreme cartridges.
Both appear from the specifications to have fairly high outputs which concerns me a little (0.7mV/1kHz @5cm per second) compared to my current Lyra Skala (0.5mV).
I know it is difficult to explain or demonstrate via a Forum but I have two questions that if you can answer may help me.
1/ Is there any/much difference in volume between these cartridges?
2/ Is there much difference in volume between say the MSL and other cartridges closer to my Skala's output?
I am concerned not to overload my Coincident SUT and Leben phono/pre amplifier and also that when I switch between Phono and Tuner and CD inputs that there is not too much difference in volume.
Any help/comments you can give me would be appreciated. Thank you!
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.
 
Dec 18, 2013
214
0
16
San Diego area
#90
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.
Based on the specs of these two cartridges, the difference in output level should be 1.94 dB. Yet, as PeterA describes, it is actually three times this amount. This is not an uncommon circumstance, and is an example of why manufacturers’ specs should not be absolutely relied upon.
 

srmusic

New Member
Nov 27, 2017
4
0
0
New Zealand
#91
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
 

PeterA

Active Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,875
11
38
North Shore of Boston
#92
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.
 

Ron Resnick

Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,051
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#93
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?
 

Ron Resnick

Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,051
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#94
Has anyone compared directly the Benz Micro LP-S MR to an Air Tight Opus or an MSL Signature Platinum?
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,625
4
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#95
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.
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,625
4
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#96
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.
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,625
4
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#98
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.
 

srmusic

New Member
Nov 27, 2017
4
0
0
New Zealand
#99
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.
 

Members online