Audio Technica VM95 Cartridges Review & Comments

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Phil Hinton, Feb 26, 2019.


    1. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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    2. T N Args

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      The reviewer says "no less than 6 styli"
      spherical
      elliptical
      nude elliptical
      microline
      Shibata

      Did I miss one?
       
    3. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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      Mono.
       
    4. T N Args

      T N Args
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      Ah, thanks. Where does it fit in terms of price and stylus?
       
    5. jep

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      I've been looking at this cartridge (elliptical) as a potential replacement for my rega carbon on my planar 1 2016 model (the other option is an imported 3rd party elliptical stylus for the carbon from lp). I note you mention it as a possible replacement for the planar 1/2. Did you try it on one of these? Also what did you track it at? Im just a bit wary getting a new cartridge given the new planar 1 does not have adjustable anti-skate feature (just "auto" bias or more accurately its just preset and fixed) and I dont want it to start skipping.

      Anyone on here managed to pair the new planar 1 with one of these? Regas response is that 3rd party cartridges are not guaranteed to work, however it seems that even their own cartridges above the carbon, e.g. bias 2, will not work on the planar 1 due to the lower tracking weight recommendation, hence the upgrade pack is no longer deemed suitable for the planar 1 (I should have gone for the essential 3a /rant over).
      EDIT: Just read the article again saying it should be ok on arms with limited /no adjustment. Still interested to see if anyone has tried it with a planar 1.
       
      Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
    6. Stinger69

      Stinger69
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      What I can reassure you with is that "anti skate" is there to even out the pressure on both sides of the diamond tip, not to stop skipping. If a turntable does skip, there is always another reason ie damaged stylus, faulty arm bearings, damaged record, tracking force way too light or external forces like wobbly floorboards etc.

      Andy
       
    7. GHNorth

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      Would the VM95SH work with my CD4 demodulator? I currently use an old/questionable Ed Saunders Quad CD4 cartridge (A/T based, but model # ground off), and it still works, but I'm thinking an upgraded cartridge would allow me to use just one cartridge for all my vinyl, instead of switching every time I want to play a CD4 record. My Shure M91ED is getting tired, too. The VM750SH costs twice as much, but is that extra expense necessary.
       
    8. jep

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      Sorry you'll have to forgive my lack of knowledge as I'm a newbie in the world of vinyl (and loving it). But from what I have read is that if the bias is too much / too little it causes the arm to skip (or skate) with some some sections on a record being repeated as the arm is being pulled outwards to the edge of the record. Am I miss-understanding here?
       
    9. Stinger69

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      Yeah, it's quite understandable with it being called "anti skate" but as I said, it's a very tiny sideways force to counteract the arms natural tendency to be pulled to the centre of the record. Even if you didn't use it on an arm that is adjustable, you would never get skipping unless something else was wrong. Slight mistracking maybe at certain points, which sounds like high frequency distortion on one channel, but actual groove jumping is extreme and 99 times out of 100 caused by something else. I've set up hundreds of decks back in the heyday of vinyl, and this has always been the case for me.

      Andy

      Edit: To give you an example, I have a setup with a Shure ME97HE cartridge that tracks best at just under 1.5 grams. If I adjust the anti skate to zero, or at the setting for two grams, it won't jump. It may wear the stylus unevenly and cause some distortion on louder passages, but skating across the record is indicative of something else being wrong.

      Edit 2: It doesn't help that almost every article on the internet says that anti skating is to prevent the arm sliding across the record! If the arm does slide across the record I would always check these things first:

      1. Check the stylus tip, is it slightly damaged, chipped, is it even there!
      2. Is the tracking force set correctly?
      3. Is the record damaged?
      4. Is the turntable level?
      5. Is the deck on a stable surface, free from bouncing floorboards vibrations etc.
      6. Are you sure the stylus is okay?!!
       
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      Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
    10. jep

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      @Stinger69 much appreciated for the detailed reply :) Its very useful information for me.

      On topic: just bought the 3rd party stylus from LP, but this cartridge will be my next upgrade down the line going for the nude elliptical or even the micro line as the next step.
       
    11. Stinger69

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      I've used the previous model AT95E a few times and it's an amazing cartridge for the money, so I would imagine the replacement would be even better!

      Andy
       
    12. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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      For what it is worth, the Rega Carbon is basically an Audio Technica AT-91. The required tracking and anti skate numbers for that are effectively identical to the VM-95 Series and I can't imagine for a second this was accidental.
       
    13. Stinger69

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      That's handy!

      Andy
       
    14. invisiblekid

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      Vinyl noob here having just purchased a vintage AR with Linn Basik LV X tone arm

      I assume these can be fitted to it OK?

      The cartridge on the AR is a Nagaoka but I think the stylus, while not worn too much is a bit old.
       
    15. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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      Yes- a VM-95 body will easily occupy a space that can accommodate a Nagaoka.
       
    16. invisiblekid

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      Cheers Ed.

      What do you think of the Nagaoka Ed? My new/vintage “only” has an MP20. Since I cannot find a replacement one anywhere but plenty of MP100’s or greater is worth changing everything for the Audio Technica or upgrade to a better Nagaoka. I assume it’s the same as the AT and I can just buy the stylus to attached to the existing cartridge body?
       
    17. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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      Honest answer? I love Nagoka cartridges. At any price point, they make the best or near the best* model you can buy.

      Buuut

      This has to be balanced against two considerations. The first is that any Nagaoka is a pig to fit. Unlike the VM-95, the body doesn't have threaded inserts so you need a bolt and a nut. If you're new/ returning after time out, it's a fiddly challenge.

      The second is that Nagaoka quotes a heartbreakingly short stylus life. Even though I feel they are being pessimistic, you would need to work on the principle of changing a Nagaoka stylus twice as often as an AT one. No idea why before anyone asks.

      *For example, the £139 MP110 isn't as good as the £150 VM-95ML but it's close. By the time you get to the MP150 and MP200, I prefer them to AT designs.
       
    18. invisiblekid

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      Thanks Ed. Yeah I’ve read the lifespan expectancy! Looking at cartridge alignment videos and saw mine had nuts and bolts, sheesh that makes life a bit more difficult.

      I’ll have a think as to what to do. My equipment might not get the most out the higher end carts, so lifespan may trump absolute quality. Then again I won’t be listening to them all the time.

      Oh decisions decisions.
       

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