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  • Grado V2 statetment & reference cartridges

    Has anyone heard or currently use the new version 2 Grado Statement or Reference cartridges, stereo or mono? After reading Bob Levi's review in Positive Feedback, I'm not sure how they compare to other possibilities I'm looking at, Ortofon Cadenza Bronze and/or Cadenza Mono, and the Kiseki Purple Heart. Seems like the newer version 2 models are quite different and improve from the previous version 1 model. Can anyone comment on Grado V2 vs. Ortofon vs. Kiseki?

  • #2
    Sorry I do not have an answer to your post. I share your interest in a Grado Statement V2. I am looking to purchase either the Grado or a Soundsmith Nautilus. I think they will pair well with my Conrad Tea2 SE Phono stage(Gain 55 db). They have similar price points & output.(Grado 1.0 Mv & Soundsmith 1.1 Mv.) Both have very positive reviews. Bob Levi for Grado and Tom Lyle for Soundsmith. Have you done any additional research or has anyone responded to your message?
    CJ Gat, Lamm ML1.1, CJ Tea1 S3 phono, TW Acoustics Raven AC, Tri-Planer MK Vll SE, Vdh Crimson Stradivarius, Exemplar Modded 205(Tube Version), Rockport Avior ll Speakers, Shunyata Denali 6000t,Triton V3, Shunyata Python Zitron IC's & Sigma Speaker Cables. Shunyata Sigma Power Cables, Audio Desk Pro LP Cleaner, Stillpoints, Stillpoints Aperture Panels & MG Corner Tunes.

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    • #3
      Given a choice between a cartridge from Grado or Soundsmith, I'll choose Soundsmith every time because of their "20% of cost" rebuild policy.
      Analog: Holbo Turntable, Transfiguration Proteus; Forsell Air Reference, Transfiguration Phoenix S; Rega RP-8, VdH Crimson XGW; VPI Prime Signature, VAS Nova Mono, VAS Nova Signature, Symphonic Line RG-8
      Digital: Mac mini 6,2 with YFS PS-12M LPS; Exogal Comet Plus, Exogal Ion PowerDAC
      Electronics: Aurorasound Vida, Channel D Lino C; Merrill Cara, Gryphon M-100 Mkii (pair)
      Cables: Morrow, Gryphon interconnects; YFS USB cable; Morrow, XLO, Channel D phono cables; Morrow, Gryphon, Goertz speaker cables

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      • #4
        Good point on the rebuild policy of Soundsmith. I am kind of leaning that way anyway. I wish I could demo or hear the Nautilus in a system. I am very familiar and have had Grado cartridges in the past. My last one was a Grado Reference VPI with a 1.5 Mv output. Nice cartridge for midrange and bass. In fact, a pretty good cartridge all around. If I could have improved it, the top was a little rolled off and it could have been a little more open & fast. The new Grado Statement V2 is supposed to have improved in these areas.
        CJ Gat, Lamm ML1.1, CJ Tea1 S3 phono, TW Acoustics Raven AC, Tri-Planer MK Vll SE, Vdh Crimson Stradivarius, Exemplar Modded 205(Tube Version), Rockport Avior ll Speakers, Shunyata Denali 6000t,Triton V3, Shunyata Python Zitron IC's & Sigma Speaker Cables. Shunyata Sigma Power Cables, Audio Desk Pro LP Cleaner, Stillpoints, Stillpoints Aperture Panels & MG Corner Tunes.

        Comment


        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
          Editing a comment
          Agreed. Nothing offensive, just wish it had a little more information. While I'd say the mids are little colored, they are beguiling nonetheless. Back in the '90s, some preferred Grado's Reference cartridge because it lacked the hardness of the many of the MCs of that era.

      • #5
        Originally posted by Hawk View Post
        I wish I could demo or hear the Nautilus in a system.
        I'm an audio dealer (pusher) and I feel your pain. Because of the economics, I can't afford to give a refund on new cartridges. But maybe other large retailers have more liberal refund policies regarding cartridges which essentially give users the ability to try cartridges in their systems. I don't know of any retailers who actually let you try before you buy.

        Regarding a 20% rebuild policy, that has nothing to do with sound quality. It's a nice sales feature when considering long term cost, but I would rather have the best sound over time.

        It would be interesting if Soundsmith offered 100% money back if not satisfied for customers who buy direct from them... I don't know if they do that.
        Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
        Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
        Phono 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable with 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Decade Phono Preamp
        Phono 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable with 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
        R2R Tape: Studer A810 with Bridge Console
        Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
        Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
        Power: Audio-Ultra Power System, IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
        Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

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        • #6
          I've never heard of a money back if not satisfied on a cartridge deal.
          Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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          • #7
            I heard the low output clone of the Nautilus, the Paua, in the Soundsmith showroom and it was quite excellent. As was the strain-gauge system I heard there. The Zephyr II I've used in my own system is superb for the price. In my experience, Soundsmith cartridges are overachievers for their price points.
            Analog: Holbo Turntable, Transfiguration Proteus; Forsell Air Reference, Transfiguration Phoenix S; Rega RP-8, VdH Crimson XGW; VPI Prime Signature, VAS Nova Mono, VAS Nova Signature, Symphonic Line RG-8
            Digital: Mac mini 6,2 with YFS PS-12M LPS; Exogal Comet Plus, Exogal Ion PowerDAC
            Electronics: Aurorasound Vida, Channel D Lino C; Merrill Cara, Gryphon M-100 Mkii (pair)
            Cables: Morrow, Gryphon interconnects; YFS USB cable; Morrow, XLO, Channel D phono cables; Morrow, Gryphon, Goertz speaker cables

            Comment


            • #8
              I owned the Paua for a while. There was something I different going from a moving coil to a moving iron. I had an Ortofon prior to the Paua. The Paua was drier sounding to me and very detailed. In fact, it was the most instrument separation I've heard personally with my own ears. There was just some passages where the music was sluggish to me, lacking that musicality factor which I attributed to the moving iron design. This was my experience in my own system, so others may have different experiences. From the Paua, I went to a Kiseki Purpleheart which gives up a lot of instrument separation and detail and extension on bass and treble, but the midrange and musicality if far better. Seems like a trade off in the cartridge world it always seems. No perfect cart and different flavors for everyone. I too wish demoing them in your own system was more ubiquitous.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Analog21 View Post
                I owned the Paua for a while. There was something I different going from a moving coil to a moving iron. I had an Ortofon prior to the Paua. The Paua was drier sounding to me and very detailed. In fact, it was the most instrument separation I've heard personally with my own ears. There was just some passages where the music was sluggish to me, lacking that musicality factor which I attributed to the moving iron design. This was my experience in my own system, so others may have different experiences. From the Paua, I went to a Kiseki Purpleheart which gives up a lot of instrument separation and detail and extension on bass and treble, but the midrange and musicality if far better. Seems like a trade off in the cartridge world it always seems. No perfect cart and different flavors for everyone. I too wish demoing them in your own system was more ubiquitous.
                the biggest tradeoff is cost. to get it all, it seems like you have to pay big bucks in a high end mc phono cart.
                Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                Comment


                • Analog21
                  Analog21 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  And big bucks must be BIG. The Paua retails for $3800, the Purpleheart for $3500. hard to imagine for that money there wouldn't be a better trade off, but so it is with 'high end' audio.

                • MylesBAstor
                  MylesBAstor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  How much is Sumiko's Palos Santos? I always thought that was an underrated cartridge. I also wouldn't discount Steve Leung's VAS cartridge. Sounded very nice at Harry Weisfelds.

                • Analog21
                  Analog21 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The Sumiko is $4000, so by no means cheap. The VAS is always one I hear about but have want to hear it first. Always sounds promising. I like the Kiseki, and may get better even after the breaking in time is finished. I always hear Kiseki is a late bloomer and really opens up more with use. We'll see.
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