Here is a bit of an update on the table. I have been swapping the Denon and the Benz back and forth over the past few weeks. The Benz is a M0.9O, which was recently retipped. I received it with 5 hrs of play and, at first, found it to be a be a bit hashy on the high end, as well as tilted up with a bad habit for a emphasis on sibilance. So, wanting to listen to the table I put the Denon on, which does a fantastic job of controlling sibilance, as well as having a very organic high end and over all traditional romantic analog sound. Meanwhile, I mounted the Benz on my Thorens TD 850.
Well, I was really enjoying the Denon. However, it does have a saddle in the upper mids, which is why it is a quiet cartridge, and which can add a bit of coloration to vocals. Don't get me wrong, the 301mkII is one of the best values out there and kills most cartridge in and above its class, but, on certain recordings this coloration is there for those that listen deep. So, I continued to rotate between the 850 and the 150, matching each recording to the turntable that better fit. Then, after around 25 hours or so, the Benz began to calm down and the entire signature changed. The high end went from hashy to spot on timbres. Low end was extended and tight, much as it was before but now with a bit more authority. The sibilance was now gone and the speed and detail of the cartridge now began to shine through. so, off it came from the 850 and on it went to the 150.
Tonight I spun Grateful Dead Dick's Picks 6, listening to Other 1, Stella, Mag and USB. after which, Paul Simon's One Trick Pony and Songs from the Capeman. I finished with Steely Dan's Everything must go and god darn it, this combination just blew me away. Every recording caught my attention and held it through out the entire listening session. The information extracted from the grooves was incredible. I heard these recording more times than anyone should......but I really enjoy them tonight. The General quality of each is exceptional but it was like I just went from very good High Def to super high Def video. It was something that anyone would hear and not subtle at all.
Listening the Songs from the Capeman I kept on thinking, "Is this the best I have ever heard it?" Well, it might just in fact be and trust me, I've heard this recording on a number of rigs and all formats. No, I haven't heard it on "price no object" systems but I have heard it on tables that most would consider very good and this combination left me thinking that this was one great combination.
Needless to say, this cartridge and table are staying married together for some time. Well, it not like I can just go out and buy another cartridge in this class. I am grounded in financial reality. So, with my Benz Glider SS ruby cantilever on the 850 and the Benz M0.9O on this 150 I'm set for sometime. It is great fun swapping between two very good front ends.
I'm certainly very excited about the way the 150 came out visually and more importantly, how it sounds. It is amazing what can be done with a near 45 year old turntable. Lots of fun to be had out there for one who is not afraid to venture deep into the modding waters!