Clearaudio MM specs rolled back?

For those interested in Clearaudio MMs, they've changed the specs once again. When V2 was first released they said stronger magnets gave higher output and Maestro went from 3.6 to 4.1mV. Now they all say 3.6mV, except the two least expensive which are 3.3mV. This difference could be within tolerance because tolerance is anything they want it to be and it's around 10% anyway.

Inductance is now listed as 400mH, down from 420, except the Concept (least expensive) and Maestro which remain at 420. This difference is about 5%- within tolerance?

All the Clearaudio MMs share the same generator. Audio Technica is the OEM. If you're skeptical just pull out the stylus and look at the AT V magnet configuration. It's unmistakable. I always assumed the generator was different from the AT-95, and probably had the OCC wire which the 95 lacks. Now I'm not so sure. All the specs (with the exception of impedance)are identical to the 95. Impedance is complex and takes reactance into account. Clearaudio has changed the specs so many times over the last 4 years or so, I think they put down whatever they want.

I'll measure the DCR of my old Virtuoso and AT-95. If I remember correctly they are slightly different. But that won't prove anything. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Are the stronger magnets of V2 Maestro an illusion, or now abandoned? If one makes a wood top or body for a 95, would it sound identical to a CA? My V1 Virtuoso sounds slightly more refined than my potted 95. Could this be the wood top acting as a damper?
Turns out resistance is the same. According to the latest CA specs and my measurement, the 2 carts have the same output, inductance, and resistance.

What if they just order a big batch of 95 bodies w/stylus, sort them by spec tolerance, pot them? insert in wood housing, and mate with corresponding stylus?

It looks like their styli come from AT also. Stock CA has the same fitting as AT, rather than compliance screw. I haven't seen the Maestro plug, I wonder if that's an ATN150MLX with lower compliance?
So I'm not sure what your point is. I'm thinking of trying a Maestro on my Ovation table. Do I opt for an older cartridge, a new model, or does it make a difference??
Why not get an audio-technica cartridge in the first place?
The AT-150mlx will come cheaper and probably generator will be better.
Come on, nearly all of these manufacturers make up the specs. Measuring lots and lots of high end analog, I've found the specs are dreams and wishes. MC's that show flat but have a rise of 8db by 14khz. Turntables that quote .01% wow + flutter but are really .3%.

Before you argue with me, buy some test gear and prove it for yourself. Measurrments mean a lot. But manufacturer quoted measurements, in this industry with no accountability, are meaningless.
I don't know either, that's the point. I have a Virtuoso V1 (among others) and I've used numerous AT styli. It's a pretty nice cart.
Many people raved about the V2 Maestro with increased output. Most sellers say it's 4.2mV ?

There are numerous HO carts you can get for $1200 including Maestro, Decca, Soundsmith, Grado, Ortofon, Sumiko, AT and I'm sure three's more. If you can use a LO, there's many more. There are also vintage carts, but sometimes finding a stylus is a problem.

I don't know the mass of your arm or your system/taste. Maybe someone will chime in with recommendations, I'm a little reluctant.
The 150 has a different generator with a little less inductance. It's a matter of opinion if it's better or not. The CA generator seems a little smoother and flatter. The cantilevers and tip might be the same. The CA has lower compliance - 15cu opposed to 18cu. It seems to be the wood top or body that makes a big difference.
No doubt. I was reading something by John Curl where he said that he couldn't find 2 MCs of the same model that sound alike. Have you tested mass produced ones?

We're able to verify inductance and resistance repeatedly.
What are you using to verify inductance and resistance repeatedly?

I've measured, using state of the art equipoment (with AC test signal, the only way to do it right) 30% differences in impedance with some brands. Yes, "mass produced" ones, if you can call the bigger premium MC makers "mass produced".

A few manufacturers are quite consistent, and very consistent in sound. And with many manufacturers, I've never heard 2 sound close to identical, tested one right after the other. Fleib, how are you measuring compliance?
Compliance? I don't measure compliance.
These aren't MCs, we're comparing specs on Audio Technica MMs. DCR and inductance measured with a meter closely agree with mfg specs. Even though inductance isn't measured at 1KHz, results are very close.

That's about the extent of measuring capability. Impedance figures are somewhat of a mystery and don't seem to jibe on carts of nearly identical design/construction.

Any light you could shed on this subject would be appreciated. I'm sure most of the readers would also be interested if you could elaborate on what you've already said about MC specs/brands.
I run multiple AT95 variants. They all sound different. I currently use the LP Gear version called AT95se in dark green plastic body which replaced the yellow body AT95ce. The move to a elliptical tip from conical means more midrange detail but the top end is not as sweet. The green body AT95se as the high spec version of the normal green body that is made by At95e should be close in sound to the Concept. But they are very different. The cantilever on the Concept is longer and it tracks at higher VTF. The Concept is lighter airier, less warm and a lot more detailed. Concept costs a $100 or so with the Concept table. At $225 it competes with other great budget cartridges like the Atf3III which is sweeter with fuller and more natural tone but a lot less detailed.

Specs not withstanding, the Concept is a differently voiced cartridge, sharing more of the Clearaudio house sound and making an outstanding match for their basic table. Could you DYI something similar? Likely but you really are not saving much as both are budget cartridges. I used to the Linn versions of the AT95 series when I ran that brand of table. They are very close to the LP Gear specified versions.
Hi Banerjba,
The 95SE is an AT95 body with an aftermarket .3 x .7 stylus probably made by Jico. The stock stylus is a .4 x .7. The other LpGear styli, the vivid line and shibata are also aftermarket products. You can distinguish the "better" aftermarket styli from those made by AT, by the presence of a compliance screw. This is a small screw on the body side of that rectangular plug that holds the cantilever and plugs into the body. The screw head is painted over.

The styli that AT makes for this series of carts has no compliance screw. Instead they have a fitting that looks like a thin circular piece of metal. If you look at the 95E stylus, it has no screw. The funny thing is, my Virtuoso stylus also had no compliance screw, It had exactly the same fitting as AT made styli. I never measured the length of these various styli. It could be that the aftermarket ones are slightly shorter? Shorter is usually considered better, but as you say the voicing is to your liking.

I believe the Concept came/comes only with the metal top. I suspect that is the main difference in performance you hear, and the stylus is made by AT. AT made some models for Linn and I believe they were all different from the 95.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the sound of these carts.