Dear friends: I always said that each day is a learning day and if like me that from several years now think always " out of the box " many of you will find out great rewards that audio always has for us as an unexpected gifts.

Obviously that’s not easy to think " out of the box " because to do that we have to have a different kind of self attitude where between other things we must to forget for ever at least the 50% of all the information we learned through our audio life in the AHEE. With out that " forget " we just can’t do it.

This review is more than an usual audio item review for many reasons I will try to explain over the thread.

First I want to leave very clear my room/audio system main target: STAY TRUER TO THE RECORDING.

To achieve that we have to think that usually the recording microphones are positioned at very near field of the MUSIC sources even like in the 3 Blind Mice recordings: inside the instruments. Recording microphones are not " seated " at 20m-35m. from the source as usually we listen when attend to a live acoustical music event. So we have to have self experiences of live MUSIC seated at near field. If some of us do not have that kind experiences then is very dificult to understand what I’m talking about here and elsewhere.

OK, the ADC 26 cartridge is a vintage Induced Magnet invented motor design by Peter Pritchard ( that pass away. ), it’s not a MM or MI or MC kind of cartridge design. Here you can read about and on his patent and a little of his audio life history:

The cartridge under review is this:

that is part of the ADC 25, 26 and 27 cartridge family.

This is the ADC 25:

and this the ADC 27:

and here the ADC 26 specs ( please take note those 15° stylus tip mounted angle. ):

As you can see and read all seems very old and rudimentary with really humble cartridge specs ( nothing spectacular down there. ) where the elliptical stylus is: 0.03 x 0.07.

The ADC 25 red dot stylus ( exist the red blue 0.03 x 0.09 and the white dot. ) is similar to the 26 and the ADC 27 change is that is the same 26 stylus type but nude. I own all those models that comes with the same cartridge body but different color and where the cartridge motor in the 26 and 27 is similar and the cartridge differs only in the stylus and that the compliance instead 50 cu as in the 25 and 26 is " only " 40cu.

All these cartridges are my oldest ones ( comes from the 60’s. ) that I bougth years ago when started the very long MM Agon thread and I remember that I mentioned there the 25 and 26 but almost no one took cares about not even me because I really never gave it the enougth listening time to those cartridges and was only like a month ago that I really discovery this fenomenal, outstanding, astonishing and " perfect " performer.

When you listen it you are not listen as if was alike MM/MI/electrect cartridges but more as a live event/truer to the recording with some characteristics only shared for the best of the best LOMC cartridges.

I made my self developed evaluation proccess where I’m deep trained and is almost " bullet proof ".

The best MM/MI cartridge is with out doubt the AKG P100LE followed by Astatic MF-2500 and others as the JVC X1MK2 or the Technics EPC 100CMK4 but no one of them can even the quality performance levels of the ADC 26. The ADC is in a different league " the major league ".

I compared the 26/27 against the Colibri, Ortofon A95, Lyra Etna, My Sonic Labs Supereminent ( I think ? ? ) Dynavector XV-1s, Clearaudio Goldfinger and some other vintage top MC designs. No one of them beats overall the ADC 26.

The main 26 characteristics to beat belongs at both frequency extremes where if we want first rate quality performance there first condition is the transient response/attack of the music notes and develops of harmonics along the decay timing that’s where exist clear differences in between MC cartridges and all the other kind of designs. Nothing but the 26/27 compares with a top LOMC cartridges in those regards.

The transient response and fast timing decay in the low of the bass range is second to none and " mimic " what we can listen in a live event at nearfield position. With out this " sole " characteristic MUSIC as MUSIC just can’t exist and is here where belongs the MUSIC foundation.
At the other frequency extreme things are more of the bass range quality performance. In both frequency range it’s not only the rigthness of the transient response but the notes definition its very clear distinction in between and its harmonics. Exist no overhang or bold sound. At the high frequency range ( at the top. ) nothing can beats a Colibri 0.22mv output and the only contender for is precesily these ADC 26/27 ! !

As you can see the 26/27 specs says not very wide frequency range but when listen to it you can sware it goes from 5hz to over 100khz but the more important issue is the clear definition. When the timing in those frequency ranges are spot on then the overall MUSIC rythm is just spectacular and makes and moves all your feelings and body.

We all hear through all our body not only through our ears. We hear through the skin, bones, skind hair and millions of nervous terminations in the body and when you are listening to the ADC 26/27 all those have a true meaning as never before.

What about soundstage, layering, inner detail and the like: just very first rate. Tonal balance is outstanding nothing at the broad wide frequency range tells you " hey: I’m here ", exist a true coherence in between all frequency ranges.

Yes, it’s a UNIQUE listen experience a NEW listen experience coming from a very older cartridge and YES is the best Pritchard design and if you think that you already own the best cartridge ever you need to experience the ADC 26/27. I compared against the best out there in the same system with the same tonearms and same everything.

Was not only me but some other audiophiles friends where at least one of them is a music player. This one is a drummer/batery player and when he was at my place I run ( between other LPs. ) the Sheffield D2D with Ron Tutt and Jim Keltner great drummers with out telling him which cartridge was playing and my friend that’s a true expert with those instruments and golden ear by nature was " jaws dropping " and it’s because is incredible the TRUE of that kind of sound coming from the ADC’s
. This recording specially is something to listen through the 26/27 at 95db SPL with peaks in the 100db neigborhood, you can touch the sound and cut it with a sizzers ! ! !. It’s amazing.
The ADC never lost its aplomb no matters at what SPL you are listening from 70db to over 95dbs .

Every single good recording " sings " as never before of all what I experienced in my system and several other top audio systems.

One of the best MUSIC LP for testing any audio item is the Telarc 1812 and not because the cannon shots but overall frequency ranges that’s always a challenge for any cartridge andd for any audio system in other frequency ranges than the bass range.
No one of the other top LOMC cartridges can even overall the ADC 26/27 quality performance levels in this LP recording in all the frequency range other than the very low bass where the ADC beats to all of them.

I running the ADC 26 at 1.1grs and due ot its very high compliance ( 50cu. ) and cartridge body design is a very low rider when the 27 is only a low rider.
As with other top LOMC cartridges the alignment set up is critical but with the ADC 26 we have to do it with the best accuracy we can and with the VTA/SRA tiny/sligthly up at the tonearm bearing. This VTA/SRA is critical and as always not only depends of the accuracy overall set up but room system dependent.

That explosiveness, power, dynamics, transient response, thightness, flow, true tonal balance agresiveness, natural brigthness, rythm that usually exist only in a live MUSIC event with the ADC 26/27 you can feel that never was in your home audio system as nearer as with these ADC cartridges.

Those audiophiles terms as: lush, organic, color, smothness, bold, and the like does not exist through these " truer to the recording " performers. Those audiophiles terms/characteristics of sound just does not exist in the nearfield MUSIC live events are only characteristics " invented by the AHEE and very far away from reality.

The ADC 26/27 as the very top LOMC cartridges are made it for true music lovers more than for " audiophiles ".

I think that in the 60’s the ADC 26/27 you can get fro no more than 80.00 and today can compete against 15K+ LOMC cartridges.

This all new experience through the ADC 26/27 bcartridges came in the best moment when I 'm more mature in all subjects with MUSIC and audio and when my room audio system is at its best with all the up-dates and up-grades I can afford bor the better.

As always your contributions in the thread all are welcomed and appreciated.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,

Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas
@chakster    I am well aware of the technics EPC 1000mk4 problems.  I own one.  Its an amazing cartridge while it lasted.
  VDH did some naughty crap without telling me when they put a new stylus onto the cantilever a few years back after it literally fell off.

The VDH stylus is good but certainly does not sound as good as the original.

personally, these days I stick with my Lyra Atlas SL  - it really is king of every mountain for me.

@downunder i remember that you have it, your comment is interesting:

VDH did some naughty crap without telling me when they put a new stylus onto the cantilever a few years back after it literally fell off.

The VDH stylus is good but certainly does not sound as good as the original.

@knollbrent you see why re-tipping vintage MM is not always a good idea even if the stylus profile is better than the original (low mass elliptical).

This is the reason why i prefer original cartridges.
Dear friends: I forgot something interesting I learned in the session listening with my friends.

One of them look the M&K D2D Earl " Fatha " Hines recording and we listened but when I was reading the LP cover I learned that Earl Hines together with Louis Amstrong recorded their first D2D LP in 1928 and by coincidence the E.Hines by M&K was recorded 50 years latter.

Hines was a great piano player and the M&K LP is really good and shows the E.Hines skillful about.

Btw, latter on I will post to that so high ignorance or bad memory levels already posted here. Always is a day to learn, unfortunatelly some people never learn or only want to attack some one .

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Dear @downunder: """ personally, I don’t believe the hype or your new cartridge of the month.... """

Certainly it’s not the a hype and certainly it’s not " cartridge of the month " and that’s why I started a specific thread for it.

In the other side was to what you call " the cartridge of the month " in the MM thread where all of us discovered several MM/MI/IM cartridges that because its performance quality levels till today some of us are considered as a good alternative to the well regarded LOMC cartridges. No it can’t competes yet to the top today LOMC cartridges but the ADC 26/27.

In all that MM thread " voyage " we found out excellent, very good, good, average and mediocre performers and we learned about but with out that MM thread you never could have the opportunity to listen the Technics EPC100CMK4 ( stand alone model ) or the AT 25/24.

OF all those discovered cartridges the AKG and Technics were almost the only ones with some kind of problems and I remember very well that we found out a source for your stand alone Technics model, this source had 8 NOS units and you and me were some of the ones that bougth it. After that source never comes out another NOS of that stand alone Technics model.

I had your same problem with my sample before you and VDH was the only that fix it. Maybe because for many years that model was the cartridge reference of Dr. vDh whom manufactured MM cartridges too, I own two models that I not listened yet.

Your posts about in the MM thread were way different on what you posted in this thread:

Those were your words. Btw, I own the stand alone version of the AT25: AT24, really good performer.

""" How long would the suspension, dampers and every other part of the cartridge last if you used it as your everyday spinner - rather than the cartridge of the month for a few hours? """

in the same way that with the Technics but looking through the internet and by what Lutz shared here no one owner of the ADC 26/27/25 reported problems with the cartridge suspension, me neither.

Even I posted here that due that I own two cartridge bodies maybe I will send one cartridge for a change of cantilever/stylus tip and if need it dampers and fine tunned suspension.

I’m sure that will be an improvement for the better because the important subject in the quality performance level on any cartridge is the: self cartridge motor and in the case of the ADC 26/27 I can get better " materials " down there with out touch its motor: boron instead the aluminum cantilever and VDH stylus tip insted an old elliptical stylus shape and ceratinly better dampers and the like.

No, the original hollow Technics cantilever is an inferior design that a solid rod of today boron cantilevers, the hollow one is more resonant and suceptible to develops vibrations that does not exist in the LP grooves and today quality of stylus shapes are way better than the vintage ones. The motor is the real and true subject. Got It?

""" The VDH stylus is good but certainly does not sound as good as the original. ""

Not true, it sounds different but in anyway the original is superior. That you like it the original ( you hve very good udio memory but very bd memory on wht you sid in the pst ? ? ? ) does not means is better. Shane, makes no sense what you are saying.

BTW, Of all the Technics models I owned/own including the top LOMC one only the EPC00C MK4 gave me trouble.

The ADC 25/26/27 is the only non LOMC cartridge that can challenges today top LOMC included your Atlas that was challenged by the Technics that’s outperformed by the ADC.

Shane, do it a favor and don’t follow ignorant people because you will or are contaminated by.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,