Top Wing Seiryu arrives at Believe High Fidelity

May 4, 2013
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It not so easy just to add a diamond cantilever to an existing cartridge without tuning the cartridge, how does one determine that a diamond cantilever makes a difference, a cartridge has to be voiced to work together. I have have added diamond cantilever's in the past that have been disaster. I have had a diamond cantilever on a Koetsu Urushi it was a waste of time. My conclusion is that a cartridge has to be voiced to the materials used, I am sure if top wing come up with a new model with a diamond cantilever they may be able to come up with something tasty but I am sure they will look at other aspects of voicing the cartridge at the same time. I once asked a manufacturer to include a shappire cantilever to a design I had to send the cartridge back so many times to play around it it the balance was changed beyond any sence.
 
May 4, 2013
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I heard from a friend today who has had his etsuro cartridge cantilever replaced with a Ruby one he reports its a total disaster, sup prise surprise.
 

bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
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I agree that blindly swapping to a diamond/ruby/sapphire cantilever may not make sense. But designing around a diamond or sapphire cantilever does because of the technical merits. They are normally one piece, i.e. cantilever plus tip. So no glue joint and less mass. This should then translate to lower jitter, and therefore better tracking capability and lower overall distortion.
 

Solypsa

Active Member
Jun 7, 2017
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-snip: They are normally one piece, i.e. cantilever plus tip. So no glue joint and less mass. snip-
I would love to learn more about how that is accomplished in manufacturing.
 
May 27, 2013
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I would love to learn more about how that is accomplished in manufacturing.
I believe there are only a few cartridges which have been designed with one piece diamond cantilever/stylus, which would have to be made with the stylus profile machined in the end of the cantilever as a single piece. It is more common for cartridges which use a diamond cantilever (like the recent top designs from Ortofon) to still have a separate diamond stylus which is attached to the end of a diamond cantilever, not a single piece.
 

Solypsa

Active Member
Jun 7, 2017
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www.solypsa.com
I get that. Just saying:

1) it's pretty cool it can be done. Love to see a video of the process.

2) it's even more cool that it *is* done for something so niche and tiny of a market as high-end cartridge stylus!
 

bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
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I think the way it was sounding in your videos is excellent (and full not thin) and similar to what I hear in generals and Bill's, but did not hear in a couple other systems (one documented in my Anamighty report and the other in my FM vs Thrax report). The last two seem to concur with what tang heard as well as what one other in a horn based system heard, while yet one more called it rolled off. So there seems to be a lot of inconsistency it is primal very sensitive to VTA, loading, and systems. All the above were very good with analog set ups (or had help) so it is not lack of expertise that's the issue
It's going to be largely about loading with a Top Wing cartridge, and treble rolloff is probably likely to occur in most systems....

No matter what they say on the website in terms of "ground breaking technology", the Top Wing is really just a low output moving iron (MI) cartridge. Looking at the published specs, they've ridiculously decided to keep the inductance a secret:



We need to know its inductance in order to determine its suitability for use with a SUT. The only reason to keep it "secret" is that it's very high. Looking at other low output moving iron carts, for example Soundsmith Hyperion, the inductance is orders of magnitude higher than any MC cart at 2.75mhy. [Incidentally the Hyperion would be a very good direct comparison ABX for the Top Wing] So the Top Wing with its big coils has got to be in the milli-Henry range. And again, keeping the exact number a secret only leaves the user in the dark and needing to guess how to properly integrate it in to a system. This shouldn't be secret, but it is, so we'll use common sense and proceed...

High cart inductance can present an issue in many systems. Using a reasonable guess as to the Top Wing inductance based on what we know about other fairly similar carts, then we can calculate the Top Wing impedance at 20k is going to be in the range of 300-400 ohms. Hence, the treble will roll off in many systems. Take for example a 1:10 SUT and 47k phono input. That reflects 470 ohms back to the cart and will roll off almost -3dB at 20K with the Top Wing. You'll need a much higher (in value) load setting to avoid it. So you'd need a very low turns ratio in the SUT, but then you lose gain. And now you're in a pickle. Secondly, the SUT winding impedance needs to be a decent match for the 12 ohms internal impedance of the Too Wing. If the SUT is too low, then you'll get bass rolloff. My SUT is currently wound for a low impedance Transfiguration Proteus. To avoid bass rolloff with a Top Wing, I'd need a different SUT altogether.

Bottom line, these Top Wings are not easy electrical plug and play for many systems like MC carts are. If you don't have the right conditions for this cart, its performance is easy to compromise. I think SUT to 47k phono input is a non starter unless you don't mind treble roll off. I'm also still skeptical of its high compliance being suitable for medium high mass arms, too. But that's an entirely different question.
 
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Solypsa

Active Member
Jun 7, 2017
178
42
28
Seattle
www.solypsa.com
It's going to be largely about loading with a Top Wing cartridge, and treble rolloff is probably likely to occur in most systems....

No matter what they say on the website in terms of "ground breaking technology", the Top Wing is really just a low output moving iron (MI) cartridge. Looking at the published specs, they've ridiculously decided to keep the inductance a secret:



We need to know its inductance in order to determine its suitability for use with a SUT. The only reason to keep it "secret" is that it's very high. Looking at other low output moving iron carts, for example Soundsmith Hyperion, the inductance is orders of magnitude higher than any MC cart at 2.75mhy. [Incidentally the Hyperion would be a very good direct comparison ABX for the Top Wing] So the Top Wing with its big coils has got to be in the milli-Henry range. And again, keeping the exact number a secret only leaves the user in the dark and needing to guess how to properly integrate it in to a system. This shouldn't be secret, but it is, so we'll use common sense and proceed...

High cart inductance can present an issue in many systems. Using a reasonable guess as to the Top Wing inductance based on what we know about other fairly similar carts, then we can calculate the Top Wing impedance at 20k is going to be in the range of 300-400 ohms. Hence, the treble will roll off in many systems. Take for example a 1:10 SUT and 47k phono input. That reflects 470 ohms back to the cart and will roll off almost -3dB at 20K with the Top Wing. You'll need a much higher (in value) load setting to avoid it. So you'd need a very low turns ratio in the SUT, but then you lose gain. And now you're in a pickle. Secondly, the SUT winding impedance needs to be a decent match for the 12 ohms internal impedance of the Too Wing. If the SUT is too low, then you'll get bass rolloff. My SUT is currently wound for a low impedance Transfiguration Proteus. To avoid bass rolloff with a Top Wing, I'd need a different SUT altogether.

Bottom line, these Top Wings are not easy electrical plug and play for many systems like MC carts are. If you don't have the right conditions for this cart, its performance is easy to compromise. I think SUT to 47k phono input is a non starter unless you don't mind treble roll off. I'm also still skeptical of its high compliance being suitable for medium high mass arms, too. But that's an entirely different question.
A lot of truth in this post: at least for cart matching in a tube/sut environment....
 
Nov 19, 2015
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ibelieveinhifi.com
While I can't argue the logic in your critique of keeping that information from the public, I can say that it is not as much of a challenge as you are suggesting. As a example we did have a Hyperion at RMAF that Peter installed for Joshua Miles in hopes that he would use it. Without giving my own impressions towards a competing product I can say for sure that your oversimplification of the Top Wing cartridge's Coreless Straight Flux technology would have meant the comparison would have been similar....

...It was not and will leave it at that.
 

bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
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I actually would not argue that two Moving Iron cartridges should sound similar by virtue of both being MI any more than I'd make that argument for two MC carts. That goes too far, and experience says it won't be true. I've said that the two carts share commonalities such as large coils, which by their nature, have high inductance. And that high inductance has consequences and challenges in terms of system integration. People have reported bass rolloff, treble rolloff and other anomalies (aside from many good reviews; don't get me wrong). And I'm saying it's no surprise that there should be a wide variation of results system to system with this cart given its inductance. It's going to be much more sensitive to the system than any MC cart.
 
Nov 19, 2015
1,498
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ibelieveinhifi.com
Not sure then what the value of the comment " [Incidentally the Hyperion would be a very good direct comparison ABX for the Top Wing]" would suggest then...
 

bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
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It suggests that I'd like to hear the two in the same system for comparison. Presumably a system that is able to load high inductance carts properly. There aren't really any other MI carts of this caliber that I'm aware of, so comparing and contrasting these two would be interesting!
 
Nov 19, 2015
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ibelieveinhifi.com
Well if the high inductance is the basis for the comparison and you are not expecting them to sound the same then what it the objective result that you are interested in getting out of the comparison?
 

bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
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California
More subjective than objective once the system details are worked out. Then the same goals as any other comparison of similar-but-different widgets.
 
Nov 19, 2015
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ibelieveinhifi.com
We have received a sensational endorsement from Benno the head designer of Gamut/Raidho Loudspeakers. Benno has decided to standardize on Top Wing Seiryu "Blue Dragon" after using it for his playback at Munich High End. So any new speaker designs or demonstrations at the main office will be through the Seiryu moving forward.

As good as his master tapes! Who would have thought? ;)


66212188_2473333636221171_6068612777193242624_n.jpg
 

bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
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California
Well it seems to play well with Mayer, NVO, and someone I know also tried it successfully with Allnic. So different designs, different gain. Tang tried it with EMT and didn't work, General tried it with EMT and it worked as with Mayer. At Anamighty it was tried with Thrax and their own current phono, it didn't work that well, and in another it didn't work with Thrax, FM, and audio tekne. So don't think it is the phono. If I can hear it sound good on a couple of random pivoted arms, I am in!
I'm still trying to figure out the particulars of the SUTs that have been used supposedly successfully with the Topwing. What is the step-up ratio for the @VinylSavor Lundahl SUT, and what is its secondary loaded with (impedance-wise)? I think Thomas already stated it's a lower impedance SUT, and not a good match with VDH. That could be OK with the 12 Ohm Topwing. The other info would be good to know. Does the EMT have a SUT? I know Allnic does, but I don't know the details. Any info would be useful. Thanks!!

@Believe High Fidelity is there any way you can find out a maximum load recommended for this cart from the mfg? (Said another way, that is the minimum usable load value for flat response)
 
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Nov 19, 2015
1,498
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ibelieveinhifi.com
Sorry have a very busy week and weekend. @bazelio I will make the inquiry for you, but it would just make sense to just try one out.

FYI: The Top Wing Blue Dragon is a low inductance cartridge not a high one as you have suggested.
 

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