My Sonic Lab Platinum v Gold Signature

Has anyone compared them? I’m tempted by the Platinum but a little concerned it might edge into hyper-detail, which is not my happy place. The Gold reputedly has more body, but I’m wondering whether this comes at the expense of hard-won things like nuance and dynamics.

From what I can tell the main, perhaps only, design differences are cantilever and body material. The Platinum features a boron cantilever and titanium body; the Gold sports Duralumin, a form of aluminum, for both. Myself, I’ve never heard an aluminum cantilever that didn’t color or soften the sound somewhat, but then I’ve never heard one on a top flight cartridge like the MSL. Both have a DCR of 1.4 ohm and an output of 0.5mV.

The tonearm is a Graham Phantom Supreme; the phonostage is an Allnic H3000, probably via its 13x SUT. Based on MSL’s recommendation, the ideal load impedance is around 3-400 ohms (surprising for such low DCR), so this ratio should get me pretty close to what either one needs. Turntable is an Artisan Fidelity SP10R. Music is mostly jazz.

I'm especially interested in direct comparisons, but I also welcome experiences with either cartridge, and thoughts on how they might mesh with my arm and 'table.

Thanks in advance.



I own the Gold on the TriPlanar U12 SE and have absolutely no complaints. I don’t find it to be too warm, but I am pairing it with the Simaudio Moon 810LP, which will be much more neutral compared to your Allnic H3000. I also know two people who own the Platinum and have heard the cartridge on their systems. I never found it to be too hyper-detailed. Of course, their system’s components are different, but also yield wonderfully holographic results. With the refined nature of the Allnic H3000, I would swing for the Platinum. It will deliver slightly improved delineation that would likely be synergistic with the refined nautre of your phono stage. 

I haven’t a clue as to which you would prefer, but the inner vocal detail with the Platinum is impressive. I find my system to be quite musical and not fatiguing, but my MA12000 probably isn’t the most revealing preamp/amp and my tonearm isn’t of the same quality as Juan’s in the post above.  

I was looking at the two MSL cartridges below the Gold and Platinum. The Hyper and the Ultra Eminent. I may have the model names off, but the former is $5500, and latter $8,000 US dollars. I found the Hyper did give up some detail to the Ultra. But I found the bass on the Hyper to be more satisfying for my taste. The Ultra was more detailed in the mid- bass, while the Hyper was a bit more fleshed out with more overall punch. They are both excellent cartridges but I chose the Hyper.

I've heard both the Gold and Platinum at my dealer but not at the same time maybe 4 - 6 weeks apart. Both were stunning wish I could afford either but with that being said the Gold just moved me had a more musical presentation. Maybe the Platinum wasn't fully broken in it was only about 3 weeks new. Just my own view and experience.