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Thread: Miyajima cartridge - re-cantilevered in bamboo! Lots of mono fun

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jul 2011

    Location: Northamptonish

    Posts: 1,594
    I'm Peter.

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    Yes, makes sense, I suppose ... like the early SME 3009 having foam in the arm-tube.
    Anyway, glad you found out before my compulsive garden cane whittling caused premature blindness

    Quick question ... with your mono cartridges, do you play them through standard stereo settings, or do you need to press the 'mono' button on the pre-amp?

  2. #12
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,159
    I'm Tom.

    Default Miyajima cartridge - re-cantilevered in bamboo! Lots of mono fun

    Quote Originally Posted by petrat View Post
    Yes, makes sense, I suppose ... like the early SME 3009 having foam in the arm-tube.
    Anyway, glad you found out before my compulsive garden cane whittling caused premature blindness

    Quick question ... with your mono cartridges, do you play them through standard stereo settings, or do you need to press the 'mono' button on the pre-amp?
    With some phono stages you get a very slight ground hum with a single coil mono cartridge like the Miyajimas if you wire it up as normal using the four pins, so I used to get into the habit of pressing the mono button. I haven't noticed any hum with the 912 but when I remember I still do it anyway out of habit.
    Last edited by montesquieu; 18-08-2017 at 18:17.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  3. #13
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,159
    I'm Tom.

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    New arrival today - a Miyajima Spirit (mono) fitted with a 3.0 tip for 78s. This was a Miyajima I picked up with a missing tip, and again sent it off to Francois at Ana Mighty Sound for retipping.

    78s from different eras use a different groove width, with the very latest mid to late 50s examples requiring something like a 2.5. I went for 3.0 as a compromise so that I could get the best from slightly earlier stuff.

    And pretty stellar it is too on the post-war stuff - I put a couple of digitised examples up on dropbox (from 1946 so well out of copyright) - Count Basie and his Orchestra ... put flac, aiff and wav versions up there.

    What does this give over and above a regular mono-strapped Shure M44 with a big tip on it (like I generally use)? Nothing can really be done about the hiss/crackle, that's just the limitations of the format, but it's amazing just how much is there on the record - great mono separation (a big fat image on stereo speakers with instruments placed in imaginary space, and a lovely back to front presentation), pretty good timbre especially considering the high frequency limitations, and in many cases quite perceptible room ambience. Some 78s (well recorded and not worn to death with a steel needle - by the 50s thankfully steel needles were less common) really have a pretty good sound.

    The recording doesn't have any post-processing done but I have tweaked the equalisation using my Esoteric Re-Equalizer, which sits in the tape loop and gets clicked in when necessary.

    As expected the Miyajima is not quite so brilliant with early 78s, most of my Lieder is late 1920s to late 1930s and the groove width is bigger, so my Shure with a 3.5 or 4.0 tip is still giving best sound, or less crackle at least, though it's still doing its trick with timbre and room ambience. Of course it's much harder to get pre-War 78s that haven't been at least a little worn out in the 70 or 80 years since they were made.

    Anyway enjoy the Count Basie

    [/IMG]

    Just edited the link so that everyone can access
    Last edited by montesquieu; 13-02-2018 at 23:46.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,159
    I'm Tom.

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    Not entirely sure this belongs in a Mono thread but I've just had a loan of a Fidelity Research MC-702, a rather late FR cartridge, designed by Isamu Ikeda.

    It's absolutely top notch - right up there with the best in my opinion. Colis are 2ohm so potentially very tricky to match loading, though no problem at all on the 3 ohm setting (which is about 10 ohm measurement IIRC) in the EAR 912.

    Its strength is recreation of the acoustic and the soundstage of the recording - it's almost up with the Miyajima Madake on that and probably beats my SPU Royal N (quite a feat). It's tonally well balanced and a pretty solid tracker too. It's a fixed head with SPU stylus positioning, 29g weight and a very low compliance of 7, so fits well in an SPU-oriented world, though it's very shallow so I had to drop the Ortofon RMG 309i to its lowest setting to accommodate.

    With many thanks to David 'dwhistance', new AoS member, for the loan. It's destined for his FR64fx, when he gets it up and running.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Aug 2013

    Location: Isle of Wight, UK

    Posts: 40
    I'm David.

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    As the owner of the MC-702 mentioned in this thread I thought I ought to say something about it.

    I bought it on its reputation nearly 20 years ago, albeit that I had heard an FR-7 which is a related design in a friends system. At that time my tonearm wouldn't work with the MC-702 so I also bought a Fidelity Research FR64fx arm to mount it on, unfortunately before I got an armboard made for it my life changed dramatically and they both ended up in store without me hearing them.

    When I finally got them out of store and set up my hi-fi again last year I considered selling the MC-702 as they seem to have gained in value in the time since I bought it but held off because I thought that it probably had the potential to deliver kind of dynamic sound I look for. I therefore sent it off for a clean/retip at Expert Stylus then put it away again until I had collected the bits together to allow me to mount it up on my Garrard 401.

    Other than sourcing a heavy counterweight to allow me to use it on the FR64fx I hadn't really thought about it that much until Montesquieu's thread about low compliance cartridges where I mentioned these and the related FR-7 series cartridges in passing. He was clearly interested but it wasn't until later that I thought I might as well lend him mine, after all they are very rare and fairly expensive so not something you can find on a whim and mine was just sitting in a cupboard! Given his other equipment and the way this cartridge is constructed the risk was very low so I sent him a PM. I must admit I'm pleased I did as it's good to know that it is still working and there will now be someone to ask if I have any questions when I come to set it up in my own system. Given his comments above I must say I'm excited to hear it myself!

    Coming back to the topic of this thread before the MC-702 diversion I'm also hoping to pick Tom's brains about playing mono LP's and 78's - I have a significant number of both but have never really heard them properly since I inherited them from my uncle whilst he seems to have that side of his system well sorted.

    David Whistance

  6. #16
    Join Date: Aug 2013

    Location: Isle of Wight, UK

    Posts: 40
    I'm David.

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    Tom, I've just replied to your PM but you are over the inbox limit! David

  7. #17
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,159
    I'm Tom.

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    fixt!
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  8. #18
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,159
    I'm Tom.

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    Here's another really good score for the mono department

    Saw this on ebay a week or two back, from Holland - 'Edison Replica' cartridge. Looked familiar to me despite the name, but thankfully it seems it was familiar to no-one else and I got it at the end of the auction for £32. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EDISON-RE...72.m2749.l2649

    Before Miyajima cartridges became Miyajima brand, they were called Oto-no Edison - because of Noriyuki Miyajima's reverence for Edison (actually a reverence which is widespread in Japan). Indeed there is a Japanese connection, as Edison used high iron content bamboo (yes, bamboo) for the filaments of some of his early lightbulbs. The place where this bamboo came from is now protected, but Miyajima-San's Madake cartridges (of which I own one) use bamboo in their cantilever from this very place, by special permission.

    Anyway I digress .. I happened to spot that the 'Edison Replica' for sale was none other than an early version of the Miyajima Kotetu (about £400 these days, bottom of the range but still extremely good as it has the same generator and tip as the higher up Spirit, as well as the Premium at more than twice the price, just in a cheaper body) .. nowadays it has a 3.0 spherical tip, but back then had a 4.0 spherical tip. Perfect for my early 78s - the bulk of my 78 Lieder collection is pre-war, while quite a few post-war 78s respond well to a wider tip as well.

    Anyway I set this up today and it sounds absolutely stellar with these pre-war recordings. It's great when eBay works out ... there's nothing better than a seller who doesn't know what he's selling!

    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  9. #19
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 36,170
    I'm Geoff.

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    You're as crafty as me at spotting bargains that nobody else identifies Tom .

  10. #20
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Barnet, london UK

    Posts: 937
    I'm Adam.

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    Great score Tom! Lots of great music on those 78s. Enjoy
    "lack of passion is fatal"

    Vinyl: Garrard 401, Russ Collinson 'shindo' plinth / Tenuto gun metal mat / SME-3012 j7 rewired / audio-technica ATP-12T - phonomac modified / Ortofon Vintage SPU GTE /Shure M3D / Ortofon Royal N / Cartridge Man Music Master with isolator / Miyajima Zero B 0.7mil mono / Vintage GE VRII mono / Amps: Radford STA25 mk3 / David Coe AD Audio 'Satchmo' pre & phono / Hashimoto HM-7 SUT / Digital: SW1X Audio Design DAC 1 signature / Roon / Tidal Speakers: Tannoy 12" MGs' in RFC custom 'Rutland' Cabinets with RFC custom crossovers / Cables: Duelund DCA16GA tinned copper / Kimber 12TC / SW1X Audio Design USB-SPdif / Duelund DCA20GA interconnects / SW1X Audio SPDIF Aero 6 / Mains Power Conditioner / Box Furniture sapele rack

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