Favorite MM/MI for Simplex (or other WTL TTs)?

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Favorite MM/MI for Simplex (or other WTL TTs)?
« on: 12 Aug 2020, 05:17 pm »
Note I mention "favorite," not "best," which I believe might help generate more useful responses.  I have three cartridges: Ortofon 2M Black, Denon 103, and Fidelity Research MC201.  Currently I listen to the Denon via a pair of Cinemag 1254s.

I want to try out a better (than my 2M Black) high output (non-MC) cartridge that best mates with the Simplex's arm/damping.  I want more euphonic beauty or lushness, I suppose, than what the Black offers.  I listen to a lot of classical.  Maybe I can do a better job of aligning the Ortofon, but as you know, WTL locks in a lot of crucial adjustment variables.  I've tried various VTA settings, and I now just have the arm parallel with the deck.  VTF is about 1.7 grams.  Golf ball is about 1/3 of the way into the silicone goop.

Because the Denon is low compliance, I experimented with putting more weight on the Simplex's arm by wrapping some solder around it and back behind the counterweight: after weeks of listening, I didn't notice any difference.  Removing the wire didn't make much difference either.  I suspect the strong damping of the silicone fluid is more influential.

My analog chain is good: LTA MZ2 preamp, First Watt F4 amp, Omega Alnico high output monitors.  Phono preamp is one I never see anyone mention, a SofTone Model 4, bought directly from builder Shoichi Yoshimoto in Yokohama.  I like it. http://softone.a.la9.jp/english/index.htm. I have had others, and have built a couple, most recently a RJM Emerald, which was good, but not as good as the SofTone.  I have an EAR 834P clone PCB that I will build up "some day."

Used cartridges are fine, if there are replacement styli available.  I'm mostly wondering about Grados and SoundSmith options, but I'm certainly not locked into just those brands.

mick wolfe

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Re: Favorite MM/MI for Simplex (or other WTL TTs)?
« Reply #1 on: 12 Aug 2020, 06:13 pm »
No real world experience with either of these MM's, but two that come to mind are the Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood (of some ilk) and at a lower price point, something from Nagoaka. Neither should require any special attention in regard to your set-up.  As to the Denon 103, if the Simplex comes with 2 counterweights like the Amadeus, I would use both with the 103 in order to get the counterweight closer to the pivot point. I use an aftermarket XTC heavy counterweight with my Amadeus arm. This with VAS retipped 103's.....both with aluminum bodies. ( Zu and Midas)

Triode Pete

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Re: Favorite MM/MI for Simplex (or other WTL TTs)?
« Reply #2 on: 12 Aug 2020, 09:05 pm »
Note I mention "favorite," not "best," which I believe might help generate more useful responses.  I have three cartridges: Ortofon 2M Black, Denon 103, and Fidelity Research MC201.  Currently I listen to the Denon via a pair of Cinemag 1254s.

I want to try out a better (than my 2M Black) high output (non-MC) cartridge that best mates with the Simplex's arm/damping.  I want more euphonic beauty or lushness, I suppose, than what the Black offers.  I listen to a lot of classical.  Maybe I can do a better job of aligning the Ortofon, but as you know, WTL locks in a lot of crucial adjustment variables.  I've tried various VTA settings, and I now just have the arm parallel with the deck.  VTF is about 1.7 grams.  Golf ball is about 1/3 of the way into the silicone goop.

Because the Denon is low compliance, I experimented with putting more weight on the Simplex's arm by wrapping some solder around it and back behind the counterweight: after weeks of listening, I didn't notice any difference.  Removing the wire didn't make much difference either.  I suspect the strong damping of the silicone fluid is more influential.

My analog chain is good: LTA MZ2 preamp, First Watt F4 amp, Omega Alnico high output monitors.  Phono preamp is one I never see anyone mention, a SofTone Model 4, bought directly from builder Shoichi Yoshimoto in Yokohama.  I like it. http://softone.a.la9.jp/english/index.htm. I have had others, and have built a couple, most recently a RJM Emerald, which was good, but not as good as the SofTone.  I have an EAR 834P clone PCB that I will build up "some day."

Used cartridges are fine, if there are replacement styli available.  I'm mostly wondering about Grados and SoundSmith options, but I'm certainly not locked into just those brands.

I have had both Clearaudio Maestro I and Clearaudio Maestro II with superb results on my WT Reterence TT... Highly recommended!

My $0.02,
Pete

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Re: Favorite MM/MI for Simplex (or other WTL TTs)?
« Reply #3 on: 13 Aug 2020, 03:31 am »
Thanks for both of your recommendations!

My Simplex only came with one counterweight, btw.  I bought it in 2017.

sunnydaze

Re: Favorite MM/MI for Simplex (or other WTL TTs)?
« Reply #4 on: 13 Aug 2020, 03:00 pm »
Of the HO carts I have owned I really like Cartridge Man Music Maker and Soundsmith Zephyr.  Both work well in my medium mass arms, and the CMMM also worked well in my light Hadcock arm.  I have no idea how they will work in your WT arm, but worth investigating.

Soundsmith offers retips for both.

sunnydaze

Re: Favorite MM/MI for Simplex (or other WTL TTs)?
« Reply #5 on: 13 Aug 2020, 03:02 pm »
dupe

/mp

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Re: Favorite MM/MI for Simplex (or other WTL TTs)?
« Reply #6 on: 13 Aug 2020, 04:04 pm »
Since the OP is familiar with Denon 103 sound, I'll chime in I preferred 103D to Grado 8MZ, Prestige Black or ZC+ on original WTT&T before & between Van den Hul MC1 Special & Grasshopper cartridges. I listen to rock, jazz & classical music. I also preferred Grace F9E to F & G series Grados but not as much as 103D. FWIW, VdHs smoke all of them--as well they should given the difference in price. As always, YMMV

Hope this helps,
 

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Re: Favorite MM/MI for Simplex (or other WTL TTs)?
« Reply #7 on: 13 Aug 2020, 07:16 pm »
Hmm, never considered a Van den Hul, but yeah, I see they're as expensive as I semi-remembered them being.  But I'll keep the brand in mind if you're that impressed with them.

Last month I moved my stereo to another room, a smaller one, about 14 x 16 feet, and I like how the Omegas sound: it's as if they're "loading" the smaller room more comfortably.  Today, after a month of listening to the Denon, I thought I'd experiment and go back to the 2M Black again—it sounds a lot better than I remembered it sounding in the past.  Maybe I lucked out in the setup?  Anyhow, my desire for immediate change has been squelched for a while.

edit: The 103D is not in production, right?  I've always assumed that is the case.

tipatina

Re: Favorite MM/MI for Simplex (or other WTL TTs)?
« Reply #8 on: 13 Aug 2020, 10:08 pm »
I used a Grado reference Sonata high output on my WTA for a few years. No problems except the Grado screw holes were a little small and I had some trouble mounting it. The sound was good-on the mellow side with nice midrange. Got the itch for MC and now use a Dynavector 20.