The Study

BVjs1JT.jpgFinally completed the transition of the Study in my home, to a listening room. Added heavyweight curtains, acoustic panels on the ceiling, etc.

System is comprised of:

B&W 805 D3’s, McIntosh C47, MT-5 with SoundSmith MIMC STAR cart, MC275, PS Audio P5, BlueSound NODE2, Sumiko S5 sub, and various Audioquest/PS Audio cables.

Also, the room is accented with original art from various artists :slight_smile: I am “losing” hours a day to this room, and am super grateful for it! LOVING vinyl, again. Thanks for sharing in my excitement :slight_smile:

Looks as nice as I imagine it sounds!

That looks great, @wired1! We have some similar components, BTW. I have the MC205 with B&W 804s and Soudsmith MIMC Star cart! I’m curious about your thoughts on the SS cart. I absolutely love mine. Big love.

@amgradmd I LOVE the SoundSmith cart. For me, aside from the fact that the sound signature is exactly what I want from a cart, and the design is fantastic, it hits a price point that makes it hard to ever upgrade; and that is a good thing, to me! It has SO much value, punches SO far above its weight class, that I can’t see doing anything other than rebuilding/retipping it in the future. Awesome product. :slight_smile:

Couldn’t agree more! Ever since I got the MIMC Star, I haven’t looked at another cart or read so much as a review. For me, that’s saying something! BTW, I also feel the same way about my Gold Note PH-10 phono stage which is absolutely amazing.

amgradmd, check your Private Messages please, David Hanover VA

A forum note which may be of interest: The forum does not send email notices upon the posting of a private message unless this is affirmatively requested by the user in the setup options. Thus, users often miss PM’s as the only notice is a increment in the number next to the Inbox icon.

@amgradmd and @wired1 - did either of you have the non-star MIMC prior to getting the Star? I’ve wondered if it was worth the upgrade. I also am very happy with my Soundsmith.

No Beef. This is my first Soundsmith MIMC. I couldn’t tell you about how much better it is. I know it’s not an apples to apples comparison, but if you like I could dropbox you some ripped vinyl to get a feel for how the cart sounds so you could judge yourself. Not to mention my TT and phono stage, or course.wink

Same. First SoundSmith cart. I love it, though. The jump I made was HUGE, too. Went from a Sumiko EVO III MM, to this. Not a small upgrade, so that is part of the WOW factor; a major upgrade vs an incremental one… Love this cart, though. :slight_smile:

can’t see, the images are being blocked in my safari browser…

So - funny. The Forum Software put this thread at the bottom of the page as a Suggested Topic. Not sure what I was looking at or posting or thinking in my deepest thoughts that made it do so…

I click on it, and it chides me in a blue box to the right:

"Revive this topic?

The last reply to this topic was over 1 year ago . Your reply will bump the topic to the top of its list and notify anyone previously involved in the conversation.

Are you sure you want to continue this old conversation?"

Uh, yeah…I guess so.

I got a MIMC Star a month ago or so, and it is a clearly audible improvement over the MIMC.

HOWEVER, this was the now prior Star, marked down from $2k to $1,200. In the meantime (in-between time), ain’t we got…carts. Sorry. They upgraded/changed the headshells of most of their carts, so the current Star is still $2k-ish, but with the new and improved headshell design.

I’m in the market for a turntable and cartridge combo. Just picked up a Herron vtph -2a phono preamp used. How would you characterize the sound of this Soundsmith cart? It’s all a bit confusing given how hard it is to demo these components.

Are there any other carts that you can compare the MIMC Star to? I’ve been reading great things about Hana carts. Fremer did a blind comparison (under very challenged circumstances, obviously) with two sound clips on his sight. It was a showdown between the Ortofon Quintet Black and Hana SL. I preferred the Hana for it’s warmth over the analytical Ortofon. It’s not a lot to go on, but better than nothing I suppose. . .

Yeah - sort of a “2+ whatever = whatever” question, as I’ve not heard the Heron or the Hana carts. However:

The Soundsmiths are balanced across the Spectrum. Guessing they will work happily with more other bits than the average cart.

Can’t give my two cents regarding how they sound plugged into that pre… IMS… “in my system”. I use it with a VPI Scout, and an old VTL TL2.5 Pre (which has the optional Phono stage. 7 tubes total).

Not sure if I told this story here before, but I had been a Benz-Micro Guy for many years…Musical and Euphonic for sure, if (at least on the low end of the line) sorta wooly-ish by today’s standards. Coincidentally, Darren and I share that history, as well as a love of Harbeth speakers.

Got the MIMC, and with the pre I was using, being a 0.4mV (very low output) cart - was having to crank it to +72dB gain, which was noisy-ish.

The Functional Issue IMS, was that it was triggering the Auto Input Setting of the DSJ (which I prefer - just let the DAC auto-decide what source to play) whenever any other source stopped. Immediately. Took a while to figure out why the DSJ was switching sample rate, etc.

“Nothing is playing…why is the DAC showing a 24/96 source with nothing playing?”

Because, as it turns out - this source was cranked so much that the open TT input was making the DSJ think it was a live source. But if you do not have a DS DAC set on Auto Input…no worries. But I do - it’s a nice feature of the DS DACs.

So I called Peter at Soundsmith and asked, “Do you have something that is High Output, and is maybe more ‘Romantic’ than this? This cart is sort of indistinguishable from Digital.”

He replied, “That’s not a Problem I’ve run into before”, or words to that effect. ; )

Short Story - duh…he was right. Tried the Zephyr III, and it was not happening. Very High Output (MM) and noisy in its own right. Have to characterize myself as a Low Output Cart Guy before and after this experience, despite the not-necessarily-intuitive fact that MC has to be amp’ed way above and beyond MM. It ends up potentially presenting a quieter signal to the Line Pre however. My VTL uses 2 more AX7’s to jack it from MM to MC.

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Thanks, Beef! I realize that these requests for recommendations are fraught with complexities. Sounds like a great overall performer. And the discount is tempting.

Keep us posted on how the Herron sounds. I’ve been on the fence for one.

pic link seems broken

Will do. Hopefully in the near future once I get the turntable and cart sorted out.