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Thread: Audio Technica AT33PTG/II

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,303
    I'm Ken.

    Default Audio Technica AT33PTG/II

    I've been using a pre owned Ortofon MC20 Supreme, its a nice cartridge, but the suspension is starting to sag, so I have to start think about what I will replace it with. I'm looking for a LOMC, but I don't want to have to sell a kidney, so under 500, which in MC terms is not very high up the ladder I know.
    I had a Denon DL-301 II which I liked a lot, punchy vibrant sound, especially liked the way it handled surface noise on my mainly pre owned vinyl. The cantilever fell out and that was the end of that.

    When considering a cartridge the Phono stage is part of the equation, probably more so than the turntable, if not the arm, so I've been thinking along those lines.

    The evergreen DL-103/103R with a valve MM Phono/SUT have been mewed over and would be a popular choice.

    I started to read good things on hear and elsewhere about the AT33PTG/II:



    I'm not knowledgeable on the AT range, so made a few enquiries and a very good fellow of this parish offered to loan me his, that's it pictured on my linear tracking arm. I was going to try it with my Pro-Ject Phono Box RS using the balanced inputs and with my newly completed tracking PSU. However an alternative came up which I couldn't ignore, in the form of a pre owned Aqvox Phono 2CI mkII:



    Designed originally for studio use on CD to Vinyl mastering and in direct to vinyl recording it is very transparent and detailed. This would be an ideal unit to try out the AT33.

    Well I have to say, I agree with the positive comments on the AT33. It has a nice balanced sound across the whole frequency range. Not too bright or brittle as some AT's have a reputation for, nice rich mids and plenty of punch and depth at the bottom end. For its price, there is a lot of detail retrieval, I like this one and it's good at ignoring all but the worst surface noise as well.

    This is currently top of my want list.

    I've been listening using solid silver wire between cartridge/phono stage, but I want to try it with copper, which I tend to prefer for the mids in most cases. I will be making some balanced leads using Sommer SC-Goblin, screened copper twisted pair (under 2.00/m) it's flexible, only 4.6mm dia and fairly low capacitance, so should be fit for purpose.

    I'll see how that fares.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 2,945
    I'm James.

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    There are a few MC cartridges around that price level I would consider Ken and the At33PTGii is certainly one of them. I would also like to hear a Hana SL at about the same price. I can get a Dynavector fairly cheap and have heard most of their range although the really good stuff does not really start till you get to 1500!

    I think you have a good choice there and glad it has worked out for you. As always preamp, SUT or head amp combinations make a big difference which always drives me mad with MC cartridges hence I am sticking with the 2M black for sometime yet. This would see off a lot of MC cartridges at the same price anyway.

    Sometime in the future Ken I would recommend you try a Decca, once heard never forgotten. As you know I wrote a big review on the Decca Blue, my conclusion being its like having a Ferrari in the garage that you only use occasionally. Certainly for excitement and the ultimate vinyl experience the Decca has to be one of the best.

    Happy listening with the AT33PTGii. I like their cartridges a lot.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,303
    I'm Ken.

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    Jimbo - The Decca Gold has been on my radar for a couple of years, what has held me back is reports that they emphasise surface noise.
    I've never heard a Decca so can only go off what others have said.
    How did you find the Blue in this respect?
    I know they are a good match on my arm as Vic at Trans-Fi uses either a Jubilee or Reference, I forget which.

    My vinyl is mainly pre owned so this aspect is important for me.

    The Aqvox Phono stage I just got wouldn't suit a MM/Iron, it's pretty average in MM or RCA input. When you switch over to XLR input and use a LOMC it works as a balanced current amplifier rather than a voltage amplifier. LOMC's are balanced current generators and put out low voltage but high current and according to the blurb that came with it, this is what it takes advantage of. All the Gain/Loading/Capacitance dip switches are bypassed when you flick a switch to XLR and the two gain knobs on the front come into play. Separate Left/Right controls allow you to balance cartridge L/R channels, these only operate on the first stage and are not in the signal path. They seem to act more like tone controls and you can subtly alter the way voices are portrayed for example when using them. I don't pretend to understand half of what is in the technical explanations but the results seem to match what is implied.

    I still have the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS which would work with a Decca, I'm using this with the balanced inputs now, its a fully differential balanced circuit and the results I am getting using it this way and with my newly completed tracking PSU are a significant improvement.

    I am also in line to try Alan's Vivant and want to set up a three way Phono shoot out.

    I'm keeping busy as you can tell, have some mods in mind for my arm, when I can find time, as I want to implement my Hypex DLCP modules next.

    Enjoying the AT33PTG/II it will take some beating at the price, will be sad when I have to give it back.

    Mnnn........ Decca's, you started something now.
    Last edited by Qwin; 06-07-2017 at 11:14. Reason: Typo
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 3,493
    I'm Alan.

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    Fantastic Ken. I've actually heard the AT33PTG/II through my system and it is a superb performer, good choice.


  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,303
    I'm Ken.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebottle View Post
    Fantastic Ken. I've actually heard the AT33PTG/II through my system and it is a superb performer, good choice.

    Yes, I could quite happily live with one of these, the rest of your system would need to be pretty top notch before it would be the weakest link.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  6. #6
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Toulouse

    Posts: 3,694
    I'm GettingFunky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebottle View Post
    Fantastic Ken. I've actually heard the AT33PTG/II through my system and it is a superb performer, good choice.

    It was on a different deck/arm combo though.
    I was just reflecting on that day yesterday.

    There was a guy on the Wam selling them at a very reasonable price recently.
    Kevin

    Funkified Technics SL1200 Mk2 (Funk FX-1200+, Hana SL/AT33PTG/II/, Funk Firm "Strata" platter, "Spin" bearing and BO!NG Isolation feet, MCRU/LDA PSU). Pioneer PD-S703. Caiman II. Firebottle KIN. Firebottle Monoblocks, Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear Headphone amp. Electric Beach FH3 with Taket BatPure super tweeters. Sennheiser HD540 Reference II & HD650. DIY Klotz MC5000/MS Audio interconnects. Talk cable 3 speaker cable. Power Inspired AG1500

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 2,573
    I'm Oliver.

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    Vivant = outstanding



    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Alphason HR100 MCS > Toshiba SR 370 Turntable > ZYX R50 Bloom cartridge > Firebottle OTP MK2 Phono Stage > Firebottle Monoblocks > Creek OBH-11SE Headphone Amp > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2013

    Location: Solihull, UK

    Posts: 268
    I'm Bob.

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    Another vote for the 33 PTG II.

    So far it's seen off:-

    Benz Micro Wood SL
    SAE 1000 LT (this was bl**dy close)
    AT OC9 ML II
    Nagaoka MP 500
    Shelter 5000

    I also have a brand new Ortofon Cadenza Bronze sitting in it's box that's a replacement for the original that had to be returned. The fact it's still in the box is testament to how highly I rate the 33.

    The bottom line is that you can spend an awful lot more and get an awful lot less for your money. The comments on Decca's are intriguing though................
    Source: Orbe SE / SME IV / AT33 PTG II
    Source: Leema Antilla IIs
    Source: AKAI GX-635D - Work in Progress

    Amplification: Icon Audio PS 3 Sig Phono + Audio Research LS27 + Musical Fidelity A5cr Power Amp
    Loudspeakers: ProAc Response D28
    Cables/stands: Mark Grant G1500HD + Linn K20
    Other bits: Okki Nokki keeping things clean

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 2,573
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    You could consider a ZYX R50 too. It's a very good cart.

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Alphason HR100 MCS > Toshiba SR 370 Turntable > ZYX R50 Bloom cartridge > Firebottle OTP MK2 Phono Stage > Firebottle Monoblocks > Creek OBH-11SE Headphone Amp > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 2,945
    I'm James.

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    Ken, my Decca Blue is resting at the moment as I am waiting to have it re tipped with a line contact stylus. If you would like to borrow it to listen too I will send it up, just PM me your address.

    They are a bit tricky to set up and take a bit of fettling but I can talk you through it.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

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