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Mmc or smmc

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bramble
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bramble posted on Tue, Jan 6 2015 6:00 PM
Hello ,

Would you stick with your mmc ( ie get it retipped) or would you buy smmc from soundsmith.

Have any of you tried both? Is there abetter of the two?

My mmc is getting near the end, and would like some feed back before I shell out on any of the above.

Kind rgdsSad

Beovision 7 40 mk 5 ,beovision 6x3,   beosound 3000, beogram 3300 , 2 x lc2, 2 x beocom 1401, beocom 6000 x 2,  5 x beo4, 

, 4 x beolab 4's, form 2, h2, a2,a1 and a beolab 2 😀😀

 

 

 

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bramble
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Ouverture,

I will advise when it returns with info & photo's , etc etc ........Big Smile

Beovision 7 40 mk 5 ,beovision 6x3,   beosound 3000, beogram 3300 , 2 x lc2, 2 x beocom 1401, beocom 6000 x 2,  5 x beo4, 

, 4 x beolab 4's, form 2, h2, a2,a1 and a beolab 2 😀😀

 

 

 

Peter
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Peter replied on Mon, Feb 9 2015 9:11 PM

The SMMC20EN is I believe an SMMC3 in a MMC20 type body. If you look at the back, you can see where the 4 pins are! Perfectly good cartridges but different from the originals. More modern materials and engineered for a different listening audience. I seem to remember Soundsmith saying they could make a cartridge sound like the older MMC range if someone wanted one.

Peter

Cooker
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Cooker replied on Mon, Feb 9 2015 10:42 PM

So one sounds mellow and one sounds "CD" like? But what one sounds closer to what the original recording should sound like?

I havnt tried Axle yet and am curious as to what this "mellow" sound sounds like. 

For me, the one that reproduces the record as close to the original recording is the one for me. But which one is that? Also without getting to carried away, unless you can listen to the master tapes how would you know?

Just from what I've read here, the B&O cartridge puts their own personal mellow sound mask on the music, which to me, unless the recording was mellow, this is altering the music?

For example some people like additional Salt on all their food regardless of 1st taste, so is the B&O cartridge similar, in that its putting additional "salt" on every record. Adding its own flavour????? Or does it sound mellow from age and when it was new it was sharp and "CD" like???

I spoke to Peter at Soundsmith about this and he basically told me that his cartridges are exact replicas of B&O but using modern materials. He said ofcourse they are going to sound differant, as original carts have deteriorated over 30+ years so how can you compare the sound? He did not mention to me that he can make a "mellow" sounding SMMC, only that he has some NOS original MMC2's rebuilt with new suspension for sale. Even those brand new MMC2's he has, failed testing straight out the brand new box which led him to rebuild all of them even though they are brand new. This was a few years ago as well. So now, any NOS MMC is pretty much guaranteed not to be 100% optimized anymore.

I guess we need a good working original MMC2 that tests out perfect (not likely), compared to Axles MMC2 and SoundSmiths SMMC2.

ouverture
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luckily I have a very low hours MMC2 that does not have any suspension problems and sounds perfect to my 16 year old daughter, and a 50 hours SMMC2

I can tell you that the B&O original MMC2 is a better all rounder than the SMMC2 on my Beogram 8002, whatever B&O did with these cartridges they got it pretty well sussed IMHO :-)

NB  I do have another MMC2 that only has one channel working, and I will send this to Axel for a full repair and retip, when it comes back I will be in a position to test all 3 carts

Cooker
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Cooker replied on Tue, Feb 10 2015 7:23 AM

Wow, wonderful.

Yes please do post up your results/findings after getting an Axle repair. I am very curious.

Its strange then that nobody outside the B&O world seems to mind the sound of the Soundsmith SMMC range and in fact they are all highly praised as the best carts in their price range. This is what led me to purchase one, but now I'm thinking of getting an Axle MMC2.

Does anyone have Axles direct email?

 

Cooker
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Cooker replied on Tue, Feb 10 2015 7:28 AM

Oops double post

Cooker
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Cooker replied on Tue, Feb 10 2015 8:04 AM

Found the email on his website.

Looking at his website, I see he offers the Top MMC (most expensive) as a Shibata tip and aluminum suspension?

Is this higher quality/sound then a factory spec MMC1? How come B&O went from alloy to sapphire cantilever in their higher spec carts but Axles highest spec cart has an alloy cantilever and his sapphire one is cheaper?

Just curious on how Axles highest spec cart sounds compared to an MMC1 as I want to buy the best option.

Thanks

 

Peter
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Peter replied on Tue, Feb 10 2015 8:15 AM

I have a couple of Axel's Shibata tipped cartridges - one of my favourites. One of our members did a comparison with a SMMC20EN here.

Peter

Cooker
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Cooker replied on Tue, Feb 10 2015 11:30 AM

That just makes it more confusing haha

This is what I gleaned from that article and my other research,,,,,,,

If your vinyl is mint and of high quality the Soundsmith version is the best at bringing out the vinyls full potential.

The B&O one sounds nicer with average recordings and poorer quality vinyl which makes sense to me as vinyl quality has improved over the last 30 years and B&O may of made them to compensate for that. So people might prefer this B&O sound as it masks poorer quality vinyl, sound not so bad.

Whereas the Soundsmith is an honest cartridge and will play simply what's on the vinyl, poor quality and all.

I have a lot of brand new high quality vinyl and a lot of non B&O Audiophilles that review the Soundsmith cartridges do as well and as I mentioned before, they all seem to love them. So obviously the Sound Smith cartridges compared to other cartridges for non B&O machines are not "harsh", "cd" like etc but only when compared to a B&O factory one you hear these comments. So maybe on high quality new vinyl the B&O is to mellow and soft?

Peter at Soundsmith actually said to me that if I own a lot of second hand vinyl of varying quality not to get his higher quality carts as these will make the vinyl sound worse then a cheaper cart. But on very high quality vinyl, this is where his expensive carts shine.

The opinions I just stated are NOT FACT, just my point of view after internet surfing, talking to Peter and listening to my Soundsmith cart. Of course the only real test is to hear the original recording/master tape/live concert of a particular recording and then compare differant carts to see which one reproduces it the best.

I don't care if Sound Smith sounds differant to B&O carts, all I care about is that the music reproduction is as honest as possible. Whatever one provides that, is the one I will buy.

Any more thoughts?

ouverture
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I don't think you have to go to the bother of listening to Original Master Tapes, highly unlikely that you are going to be able to run through 10 or 20 of those in a sound proof room anyway !

for me the article that Peter wrote about the Soundsmith v Axel is spot on, if you are like me, then have both and be happy, that way you are not missing out :-) 

http://www.beoworld.org/article_view.asp?id=203

Cooker
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Answered (Not Verified) Cooker replied on Tue, Feb 10 2015 1:23 PM
Suggested by Lee

Good points brought out.

Lools like that's what I'll have to do, buy both.

Whats Axles higher end Shibata with Boron cantilever sound like in comparison to a/his MMC2/1?

The same signature B&O sound just with more clarity or in between B&O and Soundsmith?

Thanks

bramble
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Well it has arrived!!! 8 painful weeks without vinyl

We're to start ....... Sent to axel ( no issues) top class , all returned safe and well

I got the mmc 4 new elliptical and new cantilever and it sounds fantastic ,

I have tracking force set at 1.2g to start and have just listened to Noel Gallagher 's new album. Big SmileBig SmileBig SmileBig SmileBig SmileBig SmileBig SmileBig Smile

So here is some eye candy:

Like it has been said many times on this site....axel makes a lovely job

Beovision 7 40 mk 5 ,beovision 6x3,   beosound 3000, beogram 3300 , 2 x lc2, 2 x beocom 1401, beocom 6000 x 2,  5 x beo4, 

, 4 x beolab 4's, form 2, h2, a2,a1 and a beolab 2 😀😀

 

 

 

Peter
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Peter replied on Mon, Mar 30 2015 9:23 PM

The Soundsmith cartridges are not compete replicas of the originals - they differ is quite a few ways - for instance the orientation of the diamond is 45 degrees different. They do sound quite different as well - I don't have a a frequency analyser - maybe this is one for Martin!! - but I would guess the MMC20EN has a rise in the frequency response at about 12khz compared to the MMC20CL - I would be interested in seeing a scientific test and if someone has the equipment, I can provide the cartridges!

Peter

chartz
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chartz replied on Mon, Mar 30 2015 9:32 PM

Oh! My MMC4 Axel re-tip doesn't look anything like yours at all! And it took him two attempts... I gave up in the end. It sounds bad too.

Jacques

joeyboygolf
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Axel has done approx. 40-50 re-furbishs for me, maybe more. The above pictures look typical, so I don't know what you have if yours looks any different??

I ask him to re-furbish MMC4 and MMC2 to as near as possible their original spec and they all sound superb. I have never had any complaint re sound quality from a customer.

Regards Graham

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