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Latest post 07-01-2009 4:33 PM by linder. 29 replies.
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  • 06-02-2009 2:49 PM

    B&O cartridge review

    Well here it is - a face off between the SMMC20EN and the re-suspended and Shibata tipped MMC5000 from Axel. The author has requested anonymity! Smile

  • 06-02-2009 2:59 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    Interesting. I haven't heard the Axel, but I have a Soundsmith SMMC20CL+, and I have to agree that there is a stridency to the sound, even at this level of quality.

    A stridency that surprised me, to the point where I've been thinking of returning it. Ended up putting in the original stylus ...

    EDIT: However, I don't want to knock Soundsmith on the basis of this one experience. I did buy a stylus that cost more than what I gave for the Beogram 4000 it was intended for (about twice as much, in fact), and it could be that my reaction is due to having become accustomed to the smoother sound of the cartridge I had.

     

  • 06-02-2009 3:00 PM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: B&O cartridge review

    He seems reasonably articulate - it's a shame he doesn't post here more often!

    Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.

  • 06-02-2009 3:42 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    soundproof:

    Interesting. I haven't heard the Axel, but I have a Soundsmith SMMC20CL+, and I have to agree that there is a stridency to the sound, even at this level of quality.

    A stridency that surprised me, to the point where I've been thinking of returning it. Ended up putting in the original stylus ...

     

    If you would like to try out the MMC5000, I can send it to you once it returns from its review!

     

  • 06-02-2009 4:48 PM In reply to

    • henrik
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    Re: B&O cartridge review

    Ah, very interesting read. Thank you!

    I hope Soundproof will accept Peter's offer, it would be very interesting to read his comments (I value his opinion highly).

  • 06-03-2009 2:24 AM In reply to

    • Kevin
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    Re: B&O cartridge review

    I have a similar situation: an MMC1 and a SMMC1.  I find the SMMC to be rather edgy and harsh in comparison.  I thought it was my imagination.  

    BeoSound 9000, Beolab 8000, BeoLab 4000.   Beogram 4002/Grado Gold Amina conversion.

  • 06-03-2009 9:51 AM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    There are other opinions.

     

    http://www.stereophile.com/phonocartridges/408sound/

    Beosound 5 BL9 BC2 BL8000 Beovision 7 BL6002  BL11 

     

  • 06-03-2009 10:13 AM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    also in the states, benny @ modular electronics in atlanta is now doing mmc rebuilds...

    worth adding a review?

    btw, a really great guy, and highly recommended for regional service!

    LINK

    • B&o bottle opener
  • 06-03-2009 10:27 AM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    @Linder - aware of the Stereophile review.

    This is how the cartridge was mounted for the review.

    On my Beogram 4000, the SMMC20CL+, highly recommended for that deck, left me unmoved. I convinced myself that I'd made a significant upgrade when I first used the cartridge, not that unusual given the cost. But after a week's play it was replaced with the older one.
    I wondered if something could be wrong with the cartridge. As I said above, a stridency, and as this was also mentioned in the review, it could be that it's simply Soundsmith's signature sound, and that the perceived stridency is a result of my having listened to a smoother cartridge.

    Looking forward to being able to compare more cartridges, and will be as objective as I can in my evaluation. Was very satisfied with the service from Soundsmith.

  • 06-03-2009 10:55 AM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    My favourite cartridge was the MMC6000 which I preferred to my collection of MMC20CLs. Slightly sweeter in top end performance - I believe it actually has a slight lift at the top end which might explain that. I doubt I could hear it now! Unfortunately it was lost when I lent my 4004 to a relative.

    I like the SMMC20EN - interestingly I use it to record my LPs to my Mac - so maybe the reviewer has highlighted its strength. I don't want this to turn into a knock SoundSmith who are the only people who have actually made new cartridges for the B&O range. They have been friendly when contacted and offer a very good product. The SMMC4 is a superb entry level product which comes highly recommended. The SMMC20 range seem to be a slight compromise but to be fair , that is exactly what they are since they are effectively modified MMC1-5s. Also remember that you get a new cartridge with a warranty compared to an old cartridge retipped. The MMC20 range seem rather more robust than the MMC1-5 range with the loose pins though.

    I will be sending Soundproof the cartridges as soon as they come back!

  • 06-03-2009 11:01 AM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    I presume mounting a SMMC1 on a nearly $5000.00 tone arm makes the difference in the Stereophile article.

    I also have a new SMMC1 cartridge and have noticed it's was a little strident on some records but not on other records.  I think that is part of the dilemma with owning a turntable.  Some vinyl records are of a better quality and some are very poor quality.  I never had a turntable until about 5 years ago and therefore didn't know exactly what to expect.  I had read in this forum and other sources that the sound from a turntable is more rich and full which is mostly true.  Although my SMMC1 is mounted on a Beograms 7000, I also have a Rega Planar 25 with a Micro Benz cartridge.  The sound from the Rega turntable is 100 percent better than the Beogram 7000.

    I admit I purchased the Beogram 7000 to match the rest of my B&O system.  That's the kind of thing Beophiles do.  However I think I will reinstall the Rega to get optimal sounds from vinyl records.

    William

    Beosound 5 BL9 BC2 BL8000 Beovision 7 BL6002  BL11 

     

  • 06-03-2009 11:10 AM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    Maybe the next project will to do a turntable comparison. The 8002 versus the 7000 is one I can do quite easily - I do have a tape of about 6 different decks and cartridges playing the same track. At that time the 4000 was my favourite but I confess to an attraction to that deck so will happily admit bias. The 7000 is a very convenient deck but in my view is not a particularly good one. The 8000 in my view is far better. Just far less reliable! The RIAA in the 7000 apparently has a rather bizarre circuit design, though I am no expert!

  • 06-03-2009 12:39 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    I've made a little edit in my first post, but to make certain it's read. My experience with Soundsmith is limited to one cartridge, and it could be that my Beogram 4000 needs a refurbish. I did prefer the sound of the original cartridge to the new one, but that could also be a question of what I had become accustomed to, or personal preference.

    As this is a review/comments thread on cartridges, I should mention that I've also experienced that the cartridge does a better job on some records.

    Again, Soundsmith is doing an excellent job of helping us keep our Beograms alive, and should be lauded for that.
    When I get the styluses for review, I'll do a thorough play-through; and then I'll send my stylus from Soundsmith to Peter for him to evaluate on his setup.
    Should be interesting.

     

     

  • 06-03-2009 2:20 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    I think the convenience aspect of the later generation of B&O turntables should not be overlooked. The sound quality may not be the best but if I had to stop/start, wipe, lift/ lower, lift/lower and stop just to listen to vinyl then I surely would not bother.

    Of course I could be persuaded if I could actually hear the improvement beyond the typical modern tangential. I did have a BG4000 for some months but must confess to not being particularly impressed. It was OK but I wasn't about to "wet my pants"!

    There is a BG6000 Quad in Weston Super Mare, waiting for me to collect it. I plan to get it refurbed by Tim Jarman and I will try again on the basis that the BG4000 was out of spec or the RIAA that I was using was rubbish!

    As things stand at the moment, I prefer the SMMC4 over the B&O original. I have just had 4 refurbed MMC4's back from Axel and am in the process of testing them. The first couple, which he did a month or so back, are both fine, probably on a par with the Soundsmith.

    Will report later.

    Regards Graham

  • 06-03-2009 3:18 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    Had a discussion about RIAAs in B&O. The consensus was that the one in the BM8000 is probably the best. The one in the BG6000 is obviously a bit odd!

  • 06-03-2009 3:44 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    I have had my Sound Smith SMMC2 since 2007 I think.

    A few weeks ago it gave up. It needs to be retipped atleast and Axel has given his ok that he can do it for me.

    I have spend countless hours listning to my Beogram 8002 and it has always sounded very good. If I had the money for a new one at Sound Smith I would properly not think about it being to expensive. Now Axel is doing a good job so it's worth trying it at least once.

    My Beogram 8002 plays well with my Beomaster 8000 and for a brief period a Beomaster 6000 due to service of the 8000. Dillen has had the pleasure of fixing my B&O so it's technology is as it should be.

    Some months ago a Danish HIFI oriented forum decided to make a mix tape on cassete. I was the only with B&O but it turned out to be just as good as anybody else really. It was Beogram 8002 to Beocord 9000 with Beomaster 8000 as the reciver.

     

     

  • 06-03-2009 4:36 PM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: B&O cartridge review

    I've never been a turntable connoisseur but when I bought my 5000 system I selected the BG5000 over the BG5005 tangential.

    Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.

  • 06-03-2009 5:12 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    Very good decision. I had the BG5000 and was seduced by the 5005 - and regretted it!

  • 06-03-2009 5:46 PM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: B&O cartridge review

    Peter :

    Very good decision. I had the BG5000 and was seduced by the 5005 - and regretted it!

     

    As I continue to find - flash and features aren't always a substitute for what is bestBig Smile

    Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.

  • 06-04-2009 8:07 AM In reply to

    • AdamS
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    Re: B&O cartridge review

    Puncher:

    I've never been a turntable connoisseur but when I bought my 5000 system I selected the BG5000 over the BG5005 tangential.

    A wise move. As mentioned on here before, I was quite shocked at the drop in quality when I temporarily moved from a BG5000 to a BG8500, running the same MMC4!

  • 06-05-2009 2:54 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    the Grado blue on the 4002 is clever

    http://aminaaudio.com/phono.html

  • 06-05-2009 3:17 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    ouverture:

    the Grado blue on the 4002 is clever

    http://aminaaudio.com/phono.html

    But looks horrible! I would have no problem with this, if it didn't destroy a perfectly good 400x tone arm...

    -mika

  • 06-06-2009 12:54 AM In reply to

    • Kevin
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    Re: B&O cartridge review

    I have a Grado Gold and it is sooooooo smooth and the sound soooo defined!  It doesn't look too bad on the 4002 IMO.  If its an issue of preserving the tonearm as original, perhaps cannibalize a junker and keep an original arm assembly in case you want to change it back.  The rule for a Beogram is to have 3.  One to use, one in the shop, and the last one as a donor.  (just like owning an old Jaguar)  Slightly off topic but a BG8002 has a particular microprocessor that is no longer manufactured.  If it fails then out of luck!  I have a junker 8002 in my basement for that very purpose!  A nice weekend to all!

    BeoSound 9000, Beolab 8000, BeoLab 4000.   Beogram 4002/Grado Gold Amina conversion.

  • 06-07-2009 3:24 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    I think it looks pretty OK to me as well, better than the abomination that Soundsmith provide !

  • 06-07-2009 5:00 PM In reply to

    Re: B&O cartridge review

    The Soundsmith cartridge is not that bad! A little fettling and it can be rather good!


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