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tom collins
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Joined: Apr 3 2007 - 11:54am
clearaudio aurum beta s

i wondered if anyone is now using this cart or has experience with it they would like to share. i just got the chance to get one at a really good price, so went for it. i can resell if i don't like it. the seller was moving way up the food chain. i am coming to this from the benz mc silver (which i will keep). are there any generalizations as to how the clearaudio products sound vs. benz products?
thanks for any input.

tom

Jim Tavegia
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Re: clearaudio aurum beta s

I am pretty sure that MF thought that cart was a great bargain at the normal price. It seems like ClearAudio is pretty well thought of. After you have listened for a while it will be interesting what your comments will be.

I am wondering what Shure is thinking and if they are regretting not continuing the V15 Type V-MR now that TT sales are back? I enjoyed mine on the older Dual CS5000 I sold.

linden518
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Re: clearaudio aurum beta s

Tom, Bob Reina says some great things about the Aurum Beta S in his review of Virtuoso Wood, here:

http://stereophile.com/phonocartridges/737/

tom collins
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Re: clearaudio aurum beta s

SD: thanks for pointing me to that review. makes me wish i was getting the virtuoso. however, i think some improvements have been made to the beta s since that time, so it should be even better. the thing is that this is a 6 month old cartridge that was used several times for $200.00. would anyone here pass that up? it should arrive tomorrow, can't wait to hook it up.
Jim: thanks for your input as well.

tom

Jim Tavegia
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Re: clearaudio aurum beta s

You may have the best $200 cartridge on the planet. I am sure you will enjoy it very much. Enjoy.

Tedrick
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Re: clearaudio aurum beta s

I'm using an Arum Beta wood-body (next model down) with a VPI HW-19 MkIII/AQ PT-6 set-up and am very pleased. I do hope to upgrade to a Maestro Wood someday, but for now I'm good to go. Unfortunately, I don't have experience with any Benz carts, so can't really help you there.

tom collins
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Re: clearaudio aurum beta s

i received the beta s yesterday afternoon and mounted it up. one immediate difference is that it has much higher gain than the benz 3.6mv to 2.0mv so i was able to turn down the gain on the built-in phono stage. i think that overall, the less gain you have to add from the preamp, the better. this cart. isn't even broken in yet, so it will take some time to reach its peak. straight away, on very familiar material, it seems more relaxed than the benz, but not in a bad way and the bass seems a little clearer and precise. i hope this trait continues to improve with break in. also, it is very quiet in the grove, background noise and surface debris seem to be less noticable. so far, that's all i can say. but very pleased at this point. there were no set-up instructions, if anyone with a clearaudio cart. would like to chime in, i would appreciate any advice.
thanks.

tom

tom collins
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Re: clearaudio aurum beta s

for those interested, i think the cart is pretty well broken in now.
there is such a change it is hard to know where to start. the first thing i have wanted to do is get out my old albums that i thought were ruined and try them because the cartridge is so much quieter than the previous benz. one possible factor in this is that the gain is so much higher, i don't have to run nearly as high a volume. the old albums sound much better in almost every respect.
the characteristics seem to be much stronger bass, but well defined. the top end seems more relaxed. in my room at least, i always felt that the top end seemed over-cooked before, not so now.
if i can level a critisism, it would be that female voices possibly don't sound as smooth ( but i would have to switch back to confirm this).
where this baby really shines is on jazz, especially the non-electric jazz quartet. you hear and feel the wood in the bass, the reed in the sax. on jennifer warnes famous blue raincoat, "we'll take berlin" - during the buildup in the fairly quiet introduction, when they kick it into gear, the first strike of the rim of the snare will make you soil yourself if you arn't expecting it.
really really musical. i can't wait to wear this one out so i can try a meastro.
world's best $200.00 cartridge? in the words of sarah palin - "you betcha".

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