Strain gauge vs Zyx 4D/Atmos


Has anybody gone from a Zyx 4D/Atmos or Universe to the Strain gauge? I have a 4d/Atmos running into a Whest Ref V phono and the combo sounds fantastic. Do you think it would a sideways step going to the Soundsmith?

I have read a few people say the Straingauge beat their previous cartridges, but I don't think they had a phono stage as good as the Whest.

Has anyone gone back to another cartridge after using the Strain Gauge?

Unfortunately I cannot demo the soundsmith in my system.

Please learn from the facts I and others give you. When we ask questions of you, just try to answer them, as that is what you would wish from us of course.

I will summarize one last time: We may desire better than +/-1dB from 20-20k, but this is not attainable for the FACTS I posted above, which you have ignored. Your loss.

I thought you had posted elsewhere about not liking the SS strain gauge sound. If not, I apologize but I will stand by my altered statement:
"If SOMEONE did not like the Soundsmith Strain Gauge, either it was not well-setup or its sound was just not HIS cup of tea, as Peter wrote does happen. What ANYONE would have heard cannot be laid at the feet of a +/-1dB response in my professional experience."
Does anyone disagree with my last sentence here? If so, then please explain why.

Another fact for everyone:
There are many studies showing we are far less sensitive to changes in loudness (amplitude variations/frequency-response flatness) than to shifts in phase (altering the timbre of thenotes) and changes via other modulations.

One more fact:
One peer-reviewed AES paper shows how the math proves that any non-linear system (including the ear) is MOST sensitive to changes in what is called the waveform envelope. It is a paper on LINEAR Distortion by the way.

Small frequency-response variations affect the waveform envelope only a very, very little. This can be proved mathematically. Things which do greatly change the shape of a waveform envelope include:
Dynamic defects such as undershoot or ringing.
Phase shifts between when the lows emerged versus the highs.
None of those can be measured via a simple frequency response test.

Raul, you say above
"musicality?, where I heard that " term "? oh yes, an audiophile term that means colored/distorted performer aways from accuracy/neutrality. I don't use that term any more for very good reasons."

I always thought the term musicality was about hearing and FEELING the music. Certainly you physically and emotionally respond to music, yes? Making you want to move, to dance, smile, to cry... Well, those are some of the things I meant by musicality. And I would add the ability to hear and feel whatever groove the band settles into, the sway and richness of the play between melody and harmonies...

You wrote above:
"Yes, the Telarc 1812 could tell us several things, between others if the cartridge always stay in full touch with the grooves ( at microscopic level. ). A cartridge that pass this music recording normally has low very low tracking distortion that the ones that did not..."

Have you any proof of that last statement at all, Raul? There is none. You are wrong, and one must study the math and physics involved to know why.

Let me say it this way: It is a large-swing groove. If a stylus can track the wide-swinging groove, then that is a measure of only how far it can swing- exactly like how far a car's suspension can extend when airborne like a dune buggy. No difference at all.

That means we still do not know from that extreme extension how it will do on short-radius turns taken very quickly, like an unpredictable road course, which of course is music.

" and lower tracking distortions means IMHO more MUSIC and less colorations. It is a lot better to have a cartridge that always is in the groove that other cartridge that are " jumping " ( again: microscopic level. ) in between because poor tracking habilities..."

Raul, the Telarc 1812 LP has a very large, quite visible groove when the cannons fire, yes?
That means it is a MACROscopic test only, not a microscopic test. It cannot reveal anything of a cartridge's ability to reveal the nuances of a performance.

This cannot be argued when one understands both the math and physics involved in reproducing that Telarc cannon waveform. Doesn't mean you are stupid, but as you have said elsewhere several times, only that you are "ignorant" of the facts, which is fine-- they are not your specialty. Therefore, take the opportunity to learn from those with training- such as myself and Peter. Dover made some good points as well, here, along with Dougdeacon.

Best regards and good luck!
Dear Royj: I always am prepare to learn, learn to me is a main target in audio for different reasons.

Nothing you posted I'm not aware of it. In the 1812 recording only two of the shots can really say " are macro " but the whole point it is not this one and maybe you can't understand it because you have no deep experience about, let me explain it a little and with this I would like to end this discussion that till today has no additional " light " on the ss main subject:

years ago I decided to understand in a better way different kind of distortions generated in an audio system and especially those one by the cartridge playback so I begin to investigate what is what the cartridge makes when in the groove and what makes during cartridge playback that distortions generated go higher or lower and how I perceived to know that was a tracking distortion type or an overhang wrong set-up or a SRS subject.
To make all these very difficult work I started with the normal LP dedicated test recordings ( Shure, CBS, Denon, Ortofon and the like. ), these ones help to understand part of the subject but really can't give and telling me the whole " history ".
So, I change to five-six LP recordings with real music that I knew and know so well that I can tell you in the tracks I use any single tick/pop on the recording and not only that because the tone on that click/pop I can tell you part of the cartridge performance. I use several months listening and learning about to be sure that what I heard and what I think on any cartridge performance level be repetitive and not only because in that cartridge " I have luck to predict " about.

Today with any unknow cartridge to me and from the very first five minutes on playback through one of my listening tracks I can tell you a nice cartridge " history " that you can't believe could be true till you listening and confirm it. I have this kind of hard training and that Telarc recording is only one of my music test recordings along my music tracks recordings to set up. All these has nothing to see ( directly ) with mathemathics or the like but with a deep training and that's all. You could do it as any one else with a training about. I have my own proccess but any one can works in his own: no big deal and not only a learning " job " but very revealing.

And yes: cartridge traking habilities is one of the main targets/characteristics that separe a good performer from the excelent one.

Do you know why Dougdeacon preference was for the A-90/Olympos over the ss in some performance areas?, I know why but this is another topic.

I'm done for now in the whole subject, thank you for your time and learning posts.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Knowing the sounds of several LPs is a very useful tool, and we all believe what you hear is what we would also hear in your home. We know you are a good listener and very careful in your setup and testing methodologies. This takes a lot of work and dedication.

However, when you do not consider facts, you will never understand WHY you are hearing what you do.

Again, best of luck.

If you are close enough to take a trip to NYC, you can hear the Strain Gauge on our Phantom II arm on a TTWeights Momentus Duo Drive table.

The speakers are TAD CR1's which as a point source are phase and time accurate enough to hear the Strain Gauge's qualities in just those 2 areas. And of course the ability to quickly change styli is just fantastic, and using different profiles lets you tailor how much information you get from various LP's.