matching cartridge and speakers

A lot of talk about matching cartridge and arm, and cartridge and phono. And rightly so.
However, that's not all, I believe. These are two points where energy transformation happens. The rest, with the exception of turntable itself, are just supporting structures and "wire with gain". Cartridge and speakers make music.
Well, outside of the room acoustics, the speakers and cartridge are the two types of components that deviate the most from linear response. It's because they are electro-mechanical instead of purely electrical devices.

That acknowledged, how would you match them? Would you get printouts of the frequency response curves from all the main contenders and see where they compliment or don't compliment one another? Then just add the room acoustics to that equation and you'll likely have quite a saucy stew.

Cheers :)
Interesting question, because you are right, all is a "chain". The X-over from the connected speaker can be a 'black hole' or can serve you more information. When that one is done right it is possible to hear more information, even when the overall gain from your source components is lower...
There aren't any other two components in the audio chain which are more independent from each other than the cartridge and the speaker.
They both are interfaces to the purely electrical part of the audio chain.
Their jobs are entirely in reverse to each other and to choose a cartridge because of a certain speaker or vice verse means nothing than masking apparent faults in either.
There are huge interactions between the output stage of an amplifier and the x-over of a speaker.
This is an electrical interaction (resistance, inductance). Very important to match here.
The cartridge/tonearm is a spring-mass system - a mechanic-dynamic interaction between the two components.
Again - very important to match.
But I see no objective reason to match a cartridge to a given speaker - other than to mask sonic faults and so to fit into a personal sonic matrix.
Dear Inna, this is the most brave thread ever !
So, lets make a start :
If I'm starting from scratch a stereo system, these two would be the most critical to identify it's character and the rest of ingredients (while not of secondary importance) were having the mission to serve these two (not mask their character). Of course we all agree on this.
But what if we proceed by choosing them first?
In this case lets see the process :
1). I would put on my list very carefully those speakers that connects me fluently with music. ie : (Shindo Latour, Red Rose R3) and simultaneously picking the cartridges that also fulfill this exact promise and keeps the spirit intact. ie : (Decca Reference, Colibri)
2). I would choose among my priorities the apparent matching : (The direct liveness of Decca and Shindo, Vs the etheral 3D soundstage of Colibri and R3)

Unfortunatelly or for my good luck, I'm not programmed to make this kind of rationally objective observations a buying decision, once that in reality these theoritical -on paper- mix of equal personas, could give a mega smack in my wallet and bring forth many questions regarding my brain salad. Because the straight wire with gain is a huge lie and everything matters everywhere inside & out of our components especially when they called to mixed together.
Trial & error the only way.
There is not a recipe formula for me. After auditioning all those components in my list, I could not predict the matching pairs among them. Sometimes created an overdose of a particular strength or even a new monstrous character that makes me suspicious for the genuine value of this characteristic strength.

Now in present reality that we allready have choose the synergy between a number of components that as a system satisfy our request, we can proceed to try a new cartridge to pursue our need for pushing the limits higher. Equally we may hear a speaker that could be a new breakthrough discovery to our request and realise that there is no way to reach it's quality of offerings without bring it to our system's chain. If we are not satisfied with our present speaker, there is no catridge that can rescue it from it's misery -"other than to mask sonic faults and so to fit into a personal sonic matrix"- I concur with Daniel.
When I first hear the Shindo 604, I've realised the huge improvement over my PHY Ocellia 03 Silver, but I was also worried about a somewhat heavy, overweight, dull & dark feeling on it's projection at every LP.I recognise that my analogue source certainly could give it a very different personality than Shindo's 301 TT/arm/cart that I was tested it with in the distributor's room. When I've carried my own TT/arm/cart to the auditioning room, the quality went to the stratosphere. But this is my favorite source no matter what the rest items are in the chain and also, I strongly dislike the nostalgic sound of the Shindo's combo. So, we can't say about a good matched source/speaker here. It's just my two favs playing together. opinion is that there is no reason to match these two; another opinion, that perhaps it could make sense but we wouldn't know how to do it, and yet another one is that we would even be unable to give a more or less clear definition of what to call a match here. And I could guess that someone would say: " If we do this let's also match the table with tubes in power amp ".
Yes, exactly thats the spirit !
(ie) : 300B=sweetness, 211=soundstage, 6c33c=definition
and : BD=lazy, ID=power, DD=flat

BUT : In their best implementation, they must leave no desire for an alternative and this is our will when we choose to buy an item. If we are tolerate and mistakenly accept any wrong of their general family label as an inherent fault, its like we buy something we don't like from start and then we try to fix it with another's item fault. Allways we are in search for the least compromise in everything without any prejudge. If I've heard an amp that I don't like, it does'nt mean the topology or the tube is not to my liking in every other implementation. An example for me was the Jadis Defy 7 a pentode Push-pull capable for greatness in most systems.

When I substitute my DP80 for a Symphonic Line RG6, my Goldmund monoblocks have had a stroke in preservation of timing. After many trials with power amps (PP, SET, OTL) and many other TTs, I've become aware that this SL RG6 was a very bad BD implementation in keeping the timing intact, while the Goldmund power amps love to analyse this in a big way. In such a desperate realisation and trying to save my losted money, I've made more wrong decisions such as pairing this TT with amps that masking its timing problems. Perhaps the outcome as a result in this mix is a great cheater for my audiophile friends, but for me that I've experienced step by step this personal undergoing of adopting & rescue the reputation of this TT, it is an unreversible tragedy knowing the compromise that I accept from the begining. A lesson that I've learn the hard way.

So, yes. " If we do this let's also match the table with tubes in power amp ". The analogy is correct. The results are the same. In the best form of it we can create a cheater monster.
Congratulations for your guts of posting such a topic.
Well, if I didn't knew before, than I know now why high-end audio is called by some bright minds "big boys toy- and dreamland".
Kind of "have no idea where to go from here, but will do so with high pace, past experience and all my strength" -approach.
This is a kind of naive devotion to audio, which helps a whole industry making their money with very little pressure regarding quality products.
In all respect - unless I am missing a brilliant self-sarcasm here - the last two posts by Geoch can't be serious.
Dear Dertonarm the world of audio is not only for the exclusive elite of yours that you pass from many stages from inside, but also in this world were many more naive souls that need any help that you can offer. Of course I don't mean Inna. His is the hero who find the courage to post this thread. Υou are in doubt regarding the manipulated sence of the logic coherence that the industry propels? Do you accept the mafia of the audio magazines & all of the fake reviews that manipulate the crowds? Why do you want to leave this situation intact?
Yes I like to believe that you misunderstand my reply, cause If you believe in the "each his own" religion of unconsciousness, then your experience its worthless once you cannot share it. So, go ahead and sing with your friends : Live & Let Die
You see now why this is one hell of a brave thread.
I spit on every elit.
Dear Geoch, this is not about elitist behavior nor such a state of mind - it is about logic and using one's brain.
"Matching" speaker and cartridge.
Oh please .... I certainly have a lot of understanding for many "each his own"-attitudes.
I am certainly not questioning Inna's original post - I have no problem with the initial question.
"Bravery" ultimately is the overcome of fear.
So fear has to be present to display bravery.
Don't think that Inna was driven by fear nor bravery here - he put out a unusual question.
Matching is of paramount importance in analog as well as digital audio.
You will find few people out there at all who are more concerned and involved in exactly this aspect of fine-tuning an audio set-up.

But - and this is my vital point here - even the idea of "matching" the first and last step of the audio chain implicit that you do so to mask/compensate accepted faults in the rest of the chain.
If this seems as a suitable way to anything near a balanced sounding system, than - sorry - you are lost from the very beginning.
And - it's élite, not elit.
Your last post is the epitome of the cruel reality in audio and of course WE NEED TO OVERTURN THIS AT LAST.
Very serious My dear D. This is the reality and this is the honest, real & valuable contribution of a Agon member.
My self-sarcasm is not "brilliant". It is true and sincere.
Unless you feel that the self-route to progression is not allowed to exposed in public. I want to point, demonstrate and prove the path of the wrong direction. No need to hide things that can be of a major help here.
Well - reality bites ...... which is an inevitable side-effect of reality .... it is real.
Enjoy the trip.
As a serious epigraph: do take care to match cartridge's dynamic-mechanical parameters with the moving effective mass and energy conductivity of your tonearm.
Likewise try to match the output stage of your amplifier according to your speakers x-over/voice coils inductance/resistance and capacitance.
Those are the things to match if you want to "match" speakers and cartridge.
Match their parameters with the direct partners.
For real world's sake and best results.
Now you talking. We were in a complete agreement from start. The only difference is that I choose to focus on the brain storm after the marketing onslaught in our hobby and how can alter the logical steps to the direction of a twisted reality.
And -it's epilogue, not epigraph.
>>10-02-11: Geoch
And -it's epilogue, not epigraph<<

Sorry Aristotle, epigraph was used correctly.

Epigraph- "A motto or quotation, as at the beginning of a literary composition, setting forth a theme".

Epilogue- "A short poem or speech spoken directly to the audience following the conclusion of a play".

And it's "now you're talking", not "not you talking".

Unless of course you be from the hood.
Bill, the key word is "the conclusion" and this I believe Daniel means by closing this theme.
OK my English are lousy, but as you see, I'm trying hard to express something important here so, don't be such a picky Bill now.
Well, not many people participate. They are still talking about best cartridges and power cords when it is obvious that there are no such things.
There is always both science and art involved in whatever we want to match. I wanted to stress the art part.
It is possible that at least in some cases people are not satisfied with their clearly great systems because this link, cartridge-speakers, is not the best to their taste.
Dear Inna, I certainly have to the slightest problem with "stressing the art part" of the game. However I noticed the the 160+ top-flight audio set-ups I have visited and listened to in my life, that the "science" should be solved first.
You won't find any great painter in history who was without decent technique.
Finding the right cartridge for a given tonearm and phonostage is a task. And finding the "right" one can tailor the whole sound of your system to your needs. The initial idea of matching cartridge to speaker however means the entire rest of the audio chain - from cartridge leads clips to speaker wire - would behave like a perfect no-loss straight wire.
This is wishful thinking with no correlation to the real world.
Especially so, as speaker x-over and the cartridge itself do have very important parameters to be matched with their direct next partners (tonearm and output stage of power amplifier).