I replaced my VPI TNT 3.5 Table/JMW 12 Tonearm for an Avid Acutus Table/SME V Tonerarm in my system. I kept the same cartridge (for the time being) which is an older Lyra Clavis. The results, unfortunately, have gone in the wrong direction. With my TNT/JMW combo I had full bodied rich 3-D analogue performance. By compariosn I have more of a thin, light and 2-D or "collapsed" sound with my Avid Acutus/SME V combo.
I heard the Avid/SME combo in multiple systems over the years and was impressed with its performance. My other requirements were that the table needed a small footprint to fit directly on my equipment rack without needing a seperate oversized shelf (which the TNT required), and it had to be aestheticly pleasing for me to look at. The Avid seemed to fit the bill. The cartridge I heard this combo with, however, was the Dynavector XV1S. Logic would seem to dictate that this is where the problem lies and replacing my Lyra Clavis with the Dynavector should help, although I am not sure.
I had an analogue buddy of mine come over for a second opinion. He checked out my setup which turned out to be right on the money. When he listened to the system, he thought that the SME V may need to be replaced (with the likes of a Triplanar VII) as well as mating it with a Shelter or Air Tight cartridge.
I know that the SME V/Dynavector XV1S mates well and that the Triplanar/Shelter cartridges mate well.
So here's my dilemna:
1. Should I go down one of the tonearm cartridge mating paths?
2. Is the SME tonearm cable the possible culprit?
3. Do I just say the hell with it and ditch the Table/Arm altogether and go back to a VPI or some other table/arm setup that works better with my system?
I am open to all suggestions and would love to hear from the analogue experienced among you!
Here is the rest of my system for reference:
- Avid Acutus Turntable/SME V Tonerarm (with SME tonerarm cable)/Lyra Clavis cartridge
- Magnum Dynalab MD-109 Tuner
- Audio Research CD2
- Spectral DMC-12 preamp with phono (being used as an out board phonostage only)
- Spectral DMC-30SL linestage preamp
- Spectral DMA 150 Mk II amplifier
- Stax SRM-007t Headphone amplifier
- Avalon Eidolon Loudspeakers
- Stax SR-007 Headphones
- Spectal/MIT Interconnect cables
- MIT Oracle V1.1 Speaker Cable
- MIT Z Systems Conditioners
- MIT Power Cords
- Zoethecus Equipment/Amp Stands with z Slab shelves