WTL Classic vs Simplex

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 2132 times.

Ears Deluxe

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 29
WTL Classic vs Simplex
« on: 17 Jan 2023, 09:41 pm »
I see that lots of folks here have been asking about the performance difference between the older WT designs and the newer ones, and I see that in reply people are saying that there are older posts here that address that. But when I had that question, I couldn't find those posts. So, since I just moved my cartridge from my WTL Classic to my new Simplex, I thought it might be useful if I shared my early impressions.

The cartridge is a Soundsmith Zephyr MIMIC Star, and for each table I had things set up as accurately as possible, run through the same PS Audio Phono Converter. The only variable in the comparison is relative amount of damping fluid--since they use very different mechanisms, it's impossible to ensure the exact same amount of damping.

Here's what I'm hearing: the Simplex has all the WT virtues I hear on the Classic: organic, smooth, silent, and thoroughly musical, with body, flow, and a very solid bass foundation. But on the Simplex the silence is even more total: the notes appear out of nowhere and shine like stars in deep space (I never realized how much low-level junk gets through most turntables until I got a WT).

And the bass depth is even more profound. The first thing I listened to on the Simplex was the BSO performing Ives' 4th Symphony, and when the organ came in during the Fugue movement, it actually scared me. It was that deep and authoritative. I hear people talk about how digital recordings have more bass than vinyl, but those people have never listened to a Well Tempered table. The bass on this table is not muddy at all, and that abyssal depth only shows up when it is in the recording.

The Simplex's deeper silence means that reverb trails and depth cues are slightly cleaner than on the Classic, too.

It's important to note that most of the changes in the Simplex sound are relatively subtle refinements, not anything like day and night. And that make sense, since the platter bearing is the same design, and the suspended and damped tonearm principle is the same, if implemented in slightly different ways. I think the majority of the WT characteristics come from those two things. The bass depth of the Simplex is probably the most noticeable change in the new design, and I freely acknowledge that may be related to a different level of damping in my setup--again, the paddle/golf ball design makes it impossible to equate that level.

I hope that's helpful to folks who are wondering where their Classic stands in comparison to the newer designs. I would say you should not feel like you're missing out on major improvements, but that the newer designs offer a certain refinement of the Classic's very strong attributes.

mick wolfe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1208
Re: WTL Classic vs Simplex
« Reply #1 on: 17 Jan 2023, 11:20 pm »
Thanks for the excellent overview of these two designs. No surprise as I've heard more than once that the Simplex was WF's favorite design.

sebrof

Re: WTL Classic vs Simplex
« Reply #2 on: 17 Jan 2023, 11:23 pm »
Thanks for posting this, good info.
I've been enjoying my Amadeus MKII since 2014 have long felt that to better the sound I'd need to spend a good chunk of money.
And salute to Soundsmith, I'm running a Sussurro since last year, I personally picked up from Peter at SS in NY state (Low Z version).

Ears Deluxe

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 29
Re: WTL Classic vs Simplex
« Reply #3 on: 20 Jan 2023, 03:59 pm »
Thanks for posting this, good info.
I've been enjoying my Amadeus MKII since 2014 have long felt that to better the sound I'd need to spend a good chunk of money.
And salute to Soundsmith, I'm running a Sussurro since last year, I personally picked up from Peter at SS in NY state (Low Z version).

The Zephyr Star MIMC is the first Soundsmith cartridge I've owned, and I think it will probably be the last cartridge I buy--it gives me everything I want in music and nothing I don't want, and the easy and affordable retipping service makes it easy to envision keeping forever. On paper, it shouldn't work with the WT--the compliance figures suggest a complete mismatch--but it really, really does. In fact, the musical attributes of the Soundsmith are the same as those of the WT, so it really is a match made in heaven. Michael Fremer's review of the cartridge describes it like this: "More impressive was the presentation’s liquidity and complete freedom from mechanical artifacts. The Zephyr’s bottom end is robust and well-controlled, while the top end is airy, extended and seemingly limitless—all without producing edge, spotlighting on top or bloat on bottom." What does that sound like, if not a WT 'table?