Currently using a 20x2l in a LP12 / Aro / Urika and am thinking of upgrading the cartridge. In my part of the world almost impossible to audition cartridges.
Am thinking of upgrading to either the dynavector xv1s or the AT ART1000.
I have read many comments on the xv1s but haven’t read much about the ART1000 in my configuration.
Any comments on its sonic character, geometry and suitability on use with the urika?
In an era when the Troika and the Koetsu dominated I replaced an aging Troika with an AT-Art 1 and still rate it as one of the best cartridges I’ve ever had. On my Aro/LP12 it was extraordinary. However, it was very critical of set-up and unless exactly right it could sound a bit underwhelming. I took me several months of tinkering to find the magic spot but I can remember going to bed at 4am on many many occasions.
I first heard the ART1000 at Cymbiosis on an Aro. I was coming from a Kandid, which when I picked I preferred over the XV1s by quite a margin. When I compared it to a wide range of cartridges on that day I preferred it to everything else - it’s the only one that actually made me stop and think I was listening to something special. It sounds real, is the only way I can describe it. I thus purchased one which has been on my SE for about a year now.
Re: the phono stage, I am pretty sure the demo was with an Urika (it certainly was with the same phono stage for everything), so it shouldn’t be a terrible mismatch. That said, like other AT MCs, when it comes to Naim boards, I think S loading is better than K, which would also imply that it shouldn’t use the exact same loading as a Linn cartridge.
When I realized I was going to move away from the Kandid I sold my Urika as I did not want to feel trapped by a single loading option, so my experience may not be completely enlightening to you.
I’d encourage contacting @Cymbiosis for thoughts on this as Peter would be sure of what’s what when it comes to this.
Just saying but when upgrading to the very expensive cartridge territory, it pays to consider the future replacement cost, how much trade-in allowance, and if your future budget is good to go along with it, these items are consumables : /
Also, is your Aro on a keel?
Do you have Radikal PS?
I have demo’ed Te Kaitora vs Kandid vs XV1s for LP12/Aro/Urika.
Already liked the Te Kaitora and was intending to upgrade to one from a worn DV XX2 MkII.
The outcome was Kandid easily the most preferred sound to my ears, and not much more money than Te Kaitora.
Also by far preferred the Kandid sound over the XV1, plus Kandid price a lot more agreeable + generous trade-in allowance.
However there are also many who prefer Lyra cartridges on the Aro
You really need to go to Cymbiosis for demos : )
Many years ago I used an XV1s on an ARO/Xerxes setup, excellent until the suspension went awry after just six months. About two years ago I acquired the ART1000, and it is clearly superior. The unusual design of the coils right next to the stylus at the tip of the cantilever really does make an obvious improvement in speed and microdynamics, and also the portrayal of the harmonic envelopes of individual instruments. Yet it’s not over-etched at all, very smooth frequency response in the Audio Technica tradition. Cleaning the stylus is a delicate process, though. I’m using a different arm now with adjustable overhang, so I can’t comment on compatibility with ARO (or Linn). It is an expensive cartridge, but AT will do a rebuild for roughly half the initial cost, I believe. It’s nice to know you have a major Japanese company backing up the product, not a small, almost one-man operation.
Except that AT has a tendency to discontinue a cartridge much quicker than others. And usually they trade your old cartridge to their replacement cartridge. But maybe they make an exception in the case of AT1000.
Well, who knows how long the ART1000 rebuild program will last. It is prominently featured in the instruction manual and described in detail on the Audio-Technica website. Given the heavy promotion of this flagship model when introduced, Fremer’s extensive coverage, and so on, I do think it will have greater longevity than usual for AT. And Ortofon, for example, will service high-end cartridges like the A90 long after they have been discontinued.
I am currently using the cartridge on the Technics SL-1200GAE (the original limited edition, pretty much equivalent to the current 1200G), with the stock arm. The arm is actually very good, but the supplied headshell is junk–I’m using an Ortofon LH-9000 instead. The new Technics DD tables don’t receive much attention here on the forum, but the higher-end models are amazingly good, and VFM is off the charts.
Traditionally AT has always swap a discontinued cartridge with an equivalent replacement model. Interesting that they are making AT1k an exception. I hope they’ll keep servicing after they discontinue. Ortofon is much better servicing their legacy product. Maybe because they are much smaller company than publicly traded Audio-Technica.
Good point about publicly traded vs. private companies.
I still have two AROs, intact, only used on Roksan decks, the last of which is not in good shape. A while back I asked Chris West if he could have the AROs refurbished–wiring, paint, whatever, and he said no. But I’m not sure about that, will be asking the service people at Focal-Naim NA. I absolutely loved the ARO, would really like to get these back into service someday.
By the way, the main reason I initially bought the Technics deck was that, relatively speaking, it is cat-proof when the dust cover is closed, no record playing. The excellent performance was just an added bonus.
They do mention in the paperwork they could discontinue the rebuild program at any time - hopefully more as a “just in case” situation rather than being something we’ll see in the near future. Mine is still quite far from needing that.
Urika is designed for Linn cartridges you cannot tune it for other cartridges, although it works well enough with DV cartridges.
Urika II is not only a significant upgrade (IMO) but also works with a range of moving coil cartridges (not Strain Gauge unfortunately). You can specify precise values for gain, capacitance and impedance in Konfig. Urika II uses Exakt link means you have to use a Linn DSM/Hub, the huge upside is you get a first class streamer and, better still, Space Optimisation.
However, if using the original Urika, you need to carefully match the cartridge.
Because many here have LP12 and are probably not looking for a new TT. If I had a more basic TT or any of those Pro-Ject TTs and were looking for an improvement then Technics would be high on my list. The South West Audio EVO SL1200 is a fine turntable (SME arm) especially when used with a Strain Gauge cartridge. I heard one of these through Stax earspeakers and was mightily impressed.
The huge advantage is it just works (no set up expertise required) and if you buy 20 replacement stylii with your SG cartridge then it will last a lifetime without any need for a rebuild.