Top Wing Seiryu arrives at Believe High Fidelity

Jun 7, 2017
86
0
6
Seattle
www.solypsa.com
#81
I did received my Blue Dragon And Red Sparrow as well and i am gonna mount one of this Carts soon on Thales Statement Arm but i really cant choose..
Which Cart i will start whit?
Can you guys please explain the differences of this two first class Cartridges?
Weight. Different materials. Presumably different compliance.

Fortunate for you to have both to play with!
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
1,929
124
63
Bangkok
#82
I now have about twenty hours on the Red Sparrow. Well I cheated a little... had my secretary played it when I was in the meetings and during weekend :eek:. Yesterday I listened about four hours. Right now I am playing it too.

Peter asked me to compare to the Opus1 and the Atlas SL. I will do just that. May be after 100 hrs what I write today will be different. But for now...

The Red Sparrow is super in detail rethrieval and resolution. If you are not accustomed to hearing exceptional transparent tiny details from vinyls you will be amazed by this cart. The resolution of RS is about as high as the Opus and I haven’t heard anything more resolve than the Opus. In piano, you can clearly hear how hammer strike the string. And in Cello, you practically hear into the texture of strings. The AtlasSL is less resolve than these two on my current set up. But just for a note, My AtlasSL is on the Axiom arm, EMT 927 using EMT JPA66 phono. The RS is on SAT/AF1P while Opus1 is on SAT/Kronos using the same Ayon wonderful phono that no one but me use in this forum. Definitely not apple to apple.

RS has a tone that is as vivid as Opus1 making the AtlasSL a shade greyish in comparison. The body of RS is smaller with less meat on the bone than both Opus and SL. Image size is Asian size with a stage set further back. Midbass is less than both Opus and SL. Bass region doesn’t seem to be the high light of this cart. Extension on highs is as good as the other two. The cart seems to be linear from bottom to top but the bottom is not so heavy. RS is not warm and not cold. Very detail but not analytical.

Dimensionality. Both Opus and SL are more dimensional, dense...more object-like sound. The RS is flat in comparison. It has depth, it has layer, but it is flat. The Opus is most holographic, follow by SL. The RS is not holographic. I mentioned of piano and cello to describe the resolution. However, On these same instruments, the Opus clearly outshines the RS in term of giving you an excellent sense of the whole body or house of cello and piano. You hear “ the whole” piano and cello with Opus and SL, not just vibration and sound from strings. Dimensionality gives you this sense of whole instrument.

Musical involvement. I built my system to get connection to the music I play. I don’t even have to play loud for both of my set ups of SL and Opus1 to draw my attention and musical involvement. The RS is less so. I get more musical “pop” and “illumination” (borrow this word from micro :D) from the Opus and SL setup. With these two carts, when different instruments play at the same time, each has a lot of its own illumination, not boringly “within the crowd.” Also, When cellolist or bassist goes at it, the vibration and plug just hit my chest more with SL and Opus. With RS I have to crank the volume up more to get attack, sharp dynamic swing, the hit. I listened mostly jazz. I haven’t played RS on classical so it could be better than the Opus and SL in that type of music. Your phono need to have a very high gain to play RS dymamically. It is rated 0.2 mV. Only 0.03 mV lower than SL, but SL plays quite louder given the same volume.

The bottom line is this cart is A+ in detail rethrieval without being clinical. Transparency and resolution is sky high. The rest you just have to listen by yourself. Carts are up to ones preference. My SL took a while to grow meat and become balance. I have to play around more with RS. Switch arm to heavy mass Axiom. Switch tt. My life playing with vinyl front is a lot easier and less back ache than uncle MikeL :D.

Kind regards,
Tang

Added: The sense of ambient is big delta more with Opus, smaller delta more with SL. I don’t know why the RS on one hand is so very resolving while on the other gives less ambient spatial cues than the other two.
 
Last edited:

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,586
13
38
Sydney
#83
I now have about twenty hours on the Red Sparrow. Well I cheated a little... had my secretary played it when I was in the meetings and during weekend :eek:. Yesterday I listened about four hours. Right now I am playing it too.

Peter asked me to compare to the Opus1 and the Atlas SL. I will do just that. May be after 100 hrs what I write today will be different. But for now...

The Red Sparrow is super in detail rethrieval and resolution. If you are not accustomed to hearing exceptional transparent tiny details from vinyls you will be amazed by this cart. The resolution of RS is about as high as the Opus and I haven’t heard anything more resolve than the Opus. In piano, you can clearly hear how hammer strike the string. And in Cello, you practically hear into the texture of strings. The AtlasSL is less resolve than these two on my current set up. But just for a note, My AtlasSL is on the Axiom arm, EMT 927 using EMT JPA66 phono. The RS is on SAT/AF1P while Opus1 is on SAT/Kronos using the same Ayon wonderful phono that no one but me use in this forum. Definitely not apple to apple.

RS has a tone that is as vivid as Opus1 making the AtlasSL a shade greyish in comparison. The body of RS is smaller with less meat on the bone than both Opus and SL. Image size is Asian size with a stage set further back. Midbass is less than both Opus and SL. Bass region doesn’t seem to be the high light of this cart. Extension on highs is as good as the other two. The cart seems to be linear from bottom to top but the bottom is not so heavy. RS is not warm and not cold. Very detail but not analytical.

Dimensionality. Both Opus and SL are more dimensional, dense...more object-like sound. The RS is flat in comparison. It has depth, it has layer, but it is flat. The Opus is most holographic, follow by SL. The RS is not holographic. I mentioned of piano and cello to describe the resolution. However, On these same instruments, the Opus clearly outshines the RS in term of giving you an excellent sense of the whole body or house of cello and piano. You hear “ the whole” piano and cello with Opus and SL, not just vibration and sound from strings. Dimensionality gives you this sense of whole instrument.

Musical involvement. I built my system to get connection to the music I play. I don’t even have to play loud for both of my set ups of SL and Opus1 to draw my attention and musical involvement. The RS is less so. I get more musical “pop” and “illumination” (borrow this word from micro :D) from the Opus and SL setup. With these two carts, when different instruments play at the same time, each has a lot of its own illumination, not boringly “within the crowd.” Also, When cellolist or bassist goes at it, the vibration and plug just hit my chest more with SL and Opus. With RS I have to crank the volume up more to get attack, sharp dynamic swing, the hit. I listened mostly jazz. I haven’t played RS on classical so it could be better than the Opus and SL in that type of music. Your phono need to have a very high gain to play RS dymamically. It is rated 0.2 mV. Only 0.03 mV lower than SL, but SL plays quite louder given the same volume.

The bottom line is this cart is A+ in detail rethrieval without being clinical. Transparency and resolution is sky high. The rest you just have to listen by yourself. Carts are up to ones preference. My SL took a while to grow meat and become balance. I have to play around more with RS. Switch arm to heavy mass Axiom. Switch tt. My life playing with vinyl front is a lot easier and less back ache than uncle MikeL :D.

Kind regards,
Tang

Added: The sense of ambient is big delta more with Opus, smaller delta more with SL. I don’t know why the RS on one hand is so very resolving while on the other gives less ambient spatial cues than the other two.
Hi Tang

What do you load the Red Sparrow at? I see it's not an MC and closer to MM in design. 47k or more normal loading of 100 ohms or similar.

Cheers
Shane
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,935
34
48
North Shore of Boston
#84
I now have about twenty hours on the Red Sparrow. Well I cheated a little... had my secretary played it when I was in the meetings and during weekend :eek:. Yesterday I listened about four hours. Right now I am playing it too.

Peter asked me to compare to the Opus1 and the Atlas SL. I will do just that. May be after 100 hrs what I write today will be different. But for now...

The Red Sparrow is super in detail rethrieval and resolution. If you are not accustomed to hearing exceptional transparent tiny details from vinyls you will be amazed by this cart. The resolution of RS is about as high as the Opus and I haven’t heard anything more resolve than the Opus. In piano, you can clearly hear how hammer strike the string. And in Cello, you practically hear into the texture of strings. The AtlasSL is less resolve than these two on my current set up. But just for a note, My AtlasSL is on the Axiom arm, EMT 927 using EMT JPA66 phono. The RS is on SAT/AF1P while Opus1 is on SAT/Kronos using the same Ayon wonderful phono that no one but me use in this forum. Definitely not apple to apple.

RS has a tone that is as vivid as Opus1 making the AtlasSL a shade greyish in comparison. The body of RS is smaller with less meat on the bone than both Opus and SL. Image size is Asian size with a stage set further back. Midbass is less than both Opus and SL. Bass region doesn’t seem to be the high light of this cart. Extension on highs is as good as the other two. The cart seems to be linear from bottom to top but the bottom is not so heavy. RS is not warm and not cold. Very detail but not analytical.

Dimensionality. Both Opus and SL are more dimensional, dense...more object-like sound. The RS is flat in comparison. It has depth, it has layer, but it is flat. The Opus is most holographic, follow by SL. The RS is not holographic. I mentioned of piano and cello to describe the resolution. However, On these same instruments, the Opus clearly outshines the RS in term of giving you an excellent sense of the whole body or house of cello and piano. You hear “ the whole” piano and cello with Opus and SL, not just vibration and sound from strings. Dimensionality gives you this sense of whole instrument.

Musical involvement. I built my system to get connection to the music I play. I don’t even have to play loud for both of my set ups of SL and Opus1 to draw my attention and musical involvement. The RS is less so. I get more musical “pop” and “illumination” (borrow this word from micro :D) from the Opus and SL setup. With these two carts, when different instruments play at the same time, each has a lot of its own illumination, not boringly “within the crowd.” Also, When cellolist or bassist goes at it, the vibration and plug just hit my chest more with SL and Opus. With RS I have to crank the volume up more to get attack, sharp dynamic swing, the hit. I listened mostly jazz. I haven’t played RS on classical so it could be better than the Opus and SL in that type of music. Your phono need to have a very high gain to play RS dymamically. It is rated 0.2 mV. Only 0.03 mV lower than SL, but SL plays quite louder given the same volume.

The bottom line is this cart is A+ in detail rethrieval without being clinical. Transparency and resolution is sky high. The rest you just have to listen by yourself. Carts are up to ones preference. My SL took a while to grow meat and become balance. I have to play around more with RS. Switch arm to heavy mass Axiom. Switch tt. My life playing with vinyl front is a lot easier and less back ache than uncle MikeL :D.

Kind regards,
Tang

Added: The sense of ambient is big delta more with Opus, smaller delta more with SL. I don’t know why the RS on one hand is so very resolving while on the other gives less ambient spatial cues than the other two.
I really appreciate your report, Tang. It is very easy to understand what you are hearing and the differences you describe. Thank you so much.

You do mention that the cartridges are all on different arms, turntables and phono stages. You have written in the past that you don't think the turntables contribute much or anything to the differences you hear, but I suspect the arms and perhaps the phono stages/cables do. This is great information, and if you get around to switching the cartridges around for different combinations, that will add some important information to these impressions. Great work.

What do you mean by your comment about MikeL's vinyl playing being more of a back ache? He seems to have fewer choices than you do with your incredible cartridge/arm/table collection. Is this a reference to his amplifier choices?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,133
53
48
#85
.........

The bottom line is this cart is A+ in detail rethrieval without being clinical. Transparency and resolution is sky high. The rest you just have to listen by yourself. Carts are up to ones preference. My SL took a while to grow meat and become balance. I have to play around more with RS. Switch arm to heavy mass Axiom. Switch tt. My life playing with vinyl front is a lot easier and less back ache than uncle MikeL :D.

Kind regards,
Tang

Added: The sense of ambient is big delta more with Opus, smaller delta more with SL. I don’t know why the RS on one hand is so very resolving while on the other gives less ambient spatial cues than the other two.
depends on who has to install your AS-2000 when it arrives.:rolleyes: agree that arms and cartridges are easier to move around than amplifiers or tape decks.

thank you Tang for your feedback on this new cartridge. sounds to me like the Opus1 and Atlas SL both overall bring more to the music. it's is a service to all of us you having such a wide array of top cartridges (and arms.....and tt's) to comment from. many thanks for all your considerable efforts.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,415
66
48
E. England
#86
On the Audio Exotics Forum, they’re going loco over the Red and Blue, calling them “game changers”, “end game carts”.

Tang’s analysis seems to be a bit more realistic and, dare I say it, accurate.

Maybe another example of Flavour Of The Month from the acolytes on that forum?
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,586
13
38
Sydney
#87
On the Audio Exotics Forum, they’re going loco over the Red and Blue, calling them “game changers”, “end game carts”.

Tang’s analysis seems to be a bit more realistic and, dare I say it, accurate.

Maybe another example of Flavour Of The Month from the acolytes on that forum?
LOL. until next month :D
 

MadFloyd

Member Sponsor
May 31, 2010
2,396
6
38
Mass
#89
Slightly off topic, but Tang, do I recall correctly that you also had the MSL Platinum and found it very similar to the Opus-1? I am guessing you eventually decided it wasn't as good?
 

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
1,470
33
48
UK
#90
I have not much time to write as I am currently at work but I don’t recognise quite a few observations by Tang in the General’s system. In brief:

> Bass was very deep and textured and plenty of it
> Spatial resolution was incredible with loads of harmonic texture and generous in mid bass
> Ultra vivid mid range and extended treble
> Highly musical

These observations were vs Sumile cart (and Benz LPS very short time).

I wonder whether this cart is very sensitive to arm, loading, gain, vta etc to explain this.
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,737
17
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#92
Thanks Tango for the interesting report. Comparing cartridges is a very very difficult task, IME. So many variables come into play. I too am interested in what happened to your MSL Platinum. With only twenty hours of play time on the RS, I would guess it may not be even broken in yet. BTW, did you hear do the cartridge comparison with the new tubes you said were going to be installed in all your gear?
 
Nov 19, 2015
1,043
1
38
Hutto TX
ibelieveinhifi.com
#93
Interesting findings Tang. I am also curious to know which impedance setting you are currently using as well. The Top Wing products are a hybrid MM/MC design and unlike some of the very low output impedance carts are actually very sensitive to impedance settings as well as VTA. We use AnalogMajik LP and software to dial it in to precise settings. A lot of preconceptions in setup that degrade the sound you can read here on VTA/SRA

Audiophile Bill's summary I find to be much more on point and while I know not any single cart is going to be everything to everyone, I do know there are some points missing in my experience.

All things being equal as well, the Top Wing Designs leaning more to MM allow for stylus replacement at 1/10th of the cost of what you pay for any other brands. A lifetime cart.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,935
34
48
North Shore of Boston
#94
I think we will have to wait till Tang changes his arm, cart, and TT combo
Exactly. This will tell him and then his readers much more. The cartridge should also need much more break in.
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
1,929
124
63
Bangkok
#95
I really appreciate your report, Tang. It is very easy to understand what you are hearing and the differences you describe. Thank you so much.

You do mention that the cartridges are all on different arms, turntables and phono stages. You have written in the past that you don't think the turntables contribute much or anything to the differences you hear, but I suspect the arms and perhaps the phono stages/cables do. This is great information, and if you get around to switching the cartridges around for different combinations, that will add some important information to these impressions. Great work.

What do you mean by your comment about MikeL's vinyl playing being more of a back ache? He seems to have fewer choices than you do with your incredible cartridge/arm/table collection. Is this a reference to his amplifier choices?
Dear Peter,

Turntables do characterize the overall picture of sound, more macro than micro imo. For example when I say the 927 is more out of the way, it is a macro level. The same as when I say the AF1P sounds very organize, every thing is so in order like a marching band. That is also at macro level. You won’t be hearing me talking about dynamic, resolution, sound stage, bass, quietness, etc., of this level of tts because I think they possess all these more than adequately. And these attributes are only face values of a tt. The more “obvious” of a particular attribute the more calling for attention and the less out of the way. I think different arms, carts can give more difference in degree of these attributes than different tts. Only when you look pass through these surface of things, you will realize the inherent character or better yet a “non-character” character of a tt. I give you one example of my “non-character” character of a tt. The idler drive. Most people characterize this type of tt as having excellent drive..very rhythmic, dynamic. I had this in my head too when I bought the 927. But once I have sorted out the set up issues of this 927, I started to realize that i am struggling to find a character of this tt. The “drive” character doesn’t stand out but it has all the dynamic, the rhythm, the power one could ask for. Very interesting indeed. I have a lot more to learn.

When I mentioned uncle Mike I was just teasing him. He gets different flavor by playing different amps and he has so many wires to connect and disconnect switching amps. His amps are on the floor and he looks about 6’3”. That’s more back ache than me changing my vinyl fronts.

Kindest regards,
Tang
 
Last edited:

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
1,929
124
63
Bangkok
#96
I have not much time to write as I am currently at work but I don’t recognise quite a few observations by Tang in the General’s system. In brief:

> Bass was very deep and textured and plenty of it
> Spatial resolution was incredible with loads of harmonic texture and generous in mid bass
> Ultra vivid mid range and extended treble
> Highly musical

These observations were vs Sumile cart (and Benz LPS very short time).

I wonder whether this cart is very sensitive to arm, loading, gain, vta etc to explain this.
Dear Bill,

I have no doubt about what you are hearing. RS is a very good cart with its own strengths. I was writing in comparison to the other two carts on different tts of mine but easily a/b/c them at a flick of a finger. Differences I wrote are in degree to the Opus1 and Atlas SL. This is my feedback after 20hrs. And Bonzo is right I need to play around more. So pls don’t take my feedback as conclusive. Bonzo has good ears. He doesn’t like his Coralstone. But still I like his Coralstone in my system. People should not be so definite on vinyl fronts.

Kind regards,
Tang

Added: I did state that the RS has very vivid tone like Opus1. The excellent high extension I wrote to Gian and Kedar off line but forgot to mention in my post here.
 
Last edited:

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
1,929
124
63
Bangkok
#97
Slightly off topic, but Tang, do I recall correctly that you also had the MSL Platinum and found it very similar to the Opus-1? I am guessing you eventually decided it wasn't as good?
Yes, the sound has a lot of family resemblances. One cart has more in degree of some attribute in comparison to another doesn’t mean it is better generally than the other imo. MSL P has nicer midbass than Opus1. Opus1 has better high extension and more holographic than MSL P. So it is really up to personal preferences. The MSL P is now on my Axiom/EMT. I took the Palladian off. I like the MSL more than the Palladian.

391E7E48-227C-4C93-8109-D4DF8CB0AD4B.jpg

Kind regards,
Tang
 
Last edited:

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
1,929
124
63
Bangkok
#98
Thanks Tango for the interesting report. Comparing cartridges is a very very difficult task, IME. So many variables come into play. I too am interested in what happened to your MSL Platinum. With only twenty hours of play time on the RS, I would guess it may not be even broken in yet. BTW, did you hear do the cartridge comparison with the new tubes you said were going to be installed in all your gear?
Hi DeveyF,

The new tubes for my Ayon Phono are on the way. I haven’t changed tubes yet. But I don’t think this will effect much of the aspects of sound I commented. Beside the Opus1 is also using with this very same phono and on SAT as well. Only variables are tts and cartridge setting.

Kind regards,
Tang
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
1,929
124
63
Bangkok
#99
Interesting findings Tang. I am also curious to know which impedance setting you are currently using as well. The Top Wing products are a hybrid MM/MC design and unlike some of the very low output impedance carts are actually very sensitive to impedance settings as well as VTA. We use AnalogMajik LP and software to dial it in to precise settings. A lot of preconceptions in setup that degrade the sound you can read here on VTA/SRA

Audiophile Bill's summary I find to be much more on point and while I know not any single cart is going to be everything to everyone, I do know there are some points missing in my experience.

All things being equal as well, the Top Wing Designs leaning more to MM allow for stylus replacement at 1/10th of the cost of what you pay for any other brands. A lifetime cart.
I am interested in buying the AnalogMagik as well. I need all the tools that can help me because, I will say this out loud in the open, I suck at cartridge set up! I am probably the only vinyl person in this forum whom not good at setting up cart. I rely on my tonearm guy who makes his living of setting up carts and tt for so many systems here in Thailand. In fact I should put him on my company payroll :D.

So you guys don’t for one second think I know what I am doing setting up carts. I am no ddk or Peter. I only can use my ears to fine tune the setup that my tonearm guy do for me. Dietrich is another tonearm guy who does his things for me and egolessly ask me every time if it sounds right to me. Ddk will be with me in maybe a month. There shouldn’t be any question of setup by then since he did setup the RS in his system once before.

Kind regards,
Tang
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
1,929
124
63
Bangkok
thank you Tang for your feedback on this new cartridge. sounds to me like the Opus1 and Atlas SL both overall bring more to the music. it's is a service to all of us you having such a wide array of top cartridges (and arms.....and tt's) to comment from. many thanks for all your considerable efforts.
Thank you Mike. You wouldn’t believe how much I learn and get so much good info from you. My comments are only my point of view..just another data point. We are in a very expensive hobby and we cannot have every chances to try gears in our own system. So, this forum is excellent if we can read gears feedbacks from both the actual users and industry associates.

Kindest regards,
Tang
 

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