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Willmax

Linn Ittok LV II tonearm with Ortofon M20E Super and other cart options

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Posted (edited)

I am seeking some advice/opinions from the more experienced members about the Ortofon M20E Super cartridge with Linn Ittok LV II tonearm.

I have to admit that I am not clued in at all when it comes to cartridge and tonearm combinations, particularly the Linn Sondek LP12 parts and upgrades. 

My turntable came with this cart/tonearm configuration when I bought it, so I've always wondered if changing to a different cart would yield a sound improvement (no pun intended), not that it sounds bad, I actually don't mind how it sounds at the moment.

I have a number of carts that I wanted to try but just not sure whether they'd be suitable for the Ittok LV II tonearm, for instance in terms of compliance, etc... 

Maybe the Ortofon M20E Super is already better than everything else I've got, for example - Denon DL-110 & DL-103 LCII, Ortofon 2M Red, AT95E - Who knows? Over to you...

 

Edited by Willmax
update title

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A couple of pics to illustrate my question 

 

20200401_193736.thumb.jpg.59b34f3b40990f2bb330e5c41632f873.jpg20200401_193631.thumb.jpg.cf7f6911f47f60b67a41e754cebf514a.jpg

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The LVII is an excellent arm--and can be substantially upgraded by Audio Origami if wanted--(I am an enthusiastic customer.)

 

I'm not an expert on the arm/cartridge combinations but someone should be along shortly with ideas about matching compliance etc.

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Of your list the 103 might be an improvement, up to your ears of course!

 

The Ittok is capable of carrying some very good carts though, think Dynavector, Benz etc

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20 hours ago, GregWormald said:

The LVII is an excellent arm--and can be substantially upgraded by Audio Origami if wanted--(I am an enthusiastic customer.)

I'm not an expert on the arm/cartridge combinations but someone should be along shortly with ideas about matching compliance etc.

Thanks Greg for your comments, being a newbie when it comes to the LP12, it is certainly reassuring to hear it is an excellent arm. Who would you recommend to do such an upgrade in Adelaide?

 

5 hours ago, Grizzly said:

Of your list the 103 might be an improvement, up to your ears of course!

The Ittok is capable of carrying some very good carts though, think Dynavector, Benz etc

Yes that would seem to be the case, however I'm not sure my amplifiers can adequately work with the 103 cart.

From the little information I could find on the net, seems to indicate the M20E to be a good cart, just how good is the question...

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Willmax said:

Who would you recommend to do such an upgrade in Adelaide?

It might not be worth it for the M20E.

 

I don't know of anybody here.

 

You might try asking Jim Tate Stereo (Linn dealer) although I suspect he would not like the idea at all.

 

I sent mine to Audio Origami in Glasgow UK. I found him to be exceptionally knowledgeable and helpful. He rewired it, checked it out completely, made a special long cable and did the foam fill. He later repaired the wiring free when I was really stupid😬and stuffed it up.

Edited by GregWormald

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would sound great if you are an Ortofon fan like me. 

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On 02/04/2020 at 7:35 PM, iant said:

The M20E is probably not an ideal partner for the Ittok,it's more suited to low mass arms like the Grace 707.

https://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_resonance_evaluator.php

Thank you for this link, below are the results for the Ittok LVII, now I need to do some research and find out where each cartridge sits.

 

image.png.f1f6eb46cd1439db627a8331156104ed.png

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Guest iant
Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Willmax said:

Thank you for this link, below are the results for the Ittok LVII, now I need to do some research and find out where each cartridge sits.

 

If the specifications at Vinyl Engine are correct the M20E  has a very high compliance of 40cu.This would require a low mass arm under 6g  for compatibility. Very few arms today would meet this criteria,the average eff.mass being around 10g+ .The Linn ITTOK is 13.5g thus suggesting carts in the 10-20cu range as suitable partners.                        https://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_database.php?m=Ortofon&mod=m20e&t=any&sort=2&Search=Search&sty=&ovlo=&ovhi=&can=&dclo=&dchi=&stid=&masslo=&masshi=&notes=&prlo=&prhi=

Edited by iant

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Hmm, interesting I'm glad I asked the question. Looking at VE database for the Ittok, I got the effective mass figure of 11.5g - is there something else I need to consider? Are the extra 2.0g related to the mounting screws perhaps?

 

PS: those links are a pretty handy resource. thanks for sharing. 

 

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Guest iant
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Willmax said:

 Looking at VE database for the Ittok, I got the effective mass figure of 11.5g - g. 

 

Yes there does seem to be some slight disparity in specifications.Out of interest I checked Martin Collom's  original ITTOK review in HFC.He measured  approx 13.5g including headshell screws.Linn's  later but very similar EKOS  is quoted at 11.5g.

https://www.vinylengine.com/tonearm_database.php?make=Linn&mdl=&sort=2&ascdesc=ASC&search=search&eflo=&efhi=&mdlo=&mdhi=&ohlo=&ohhi=&amlo=&amhi=&cw=                               ITTOK.thumb.jpg.8a5de842d9d82b9f28b6b9b92e5c195d.jpg

Edited by iant

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Posted (edited)

I've come across the specs for the M20E Super cart. 

image.png.fa9a0a09e8275de4e2cd7be3c3be9426.png

image.png.759a5c9cd6b4cd37a9ac0ad5fdd331ba.png

Edited by Willmax

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Guest iant
Posted (edited)

Another option is to upgrade the stylus to Ortofon's M20FL.

This is the fine line version of the M20E Super with a lower compliance of  20cu rendering it  suitable for medium mass tonearms like the Ittok.

Thakker in Europe has replacement stylii for these and specifies that it is compatible with the M20E Super.

https://www.thakker.eu/en/needles/ortofon-d-20-fl-super-stylus-for-m-20-fl-super-genuine-stylus/a-5900/#description

 

m20fl.thumb.jpg.5a00ba0e8de7d2f0ed580c248d2f8e4f.jpg

 

Edited by iant

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Thanks @iant for that, I might consider that stylus as an option. 

Unfortunately the data from Stereo Review on the M20E Super cart  seems to be incorrect. The Vinyl Engine Database indicates the output of the M20E Super to be 4mV instead of 0.8mV - this is further corroborated by the fact that I have been successfully using the cart with MM phono stage on all my amplifiers. 

 

Looking at my current carts, it seems the 2M Red would be the best match, still not perfect but certainly better than M20E Super which is currently installed. 

 

Now I need to find out how to change the cart and adjust all parameters on my Ittok LV II tonearm....the search continues.

 

804270927_Annotation2020-04-10142631.png.5e173cf13511d8a917abe5dff392c3c8.png

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i would consider the Ortofon 2M Red a very minor step up from the M20E, you would have to start at the Bronze(in my opinion) to make the change truely worthwhile, if staying with Ortofon

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Guest iant
Posted (edited)

The 2M series are reputed to sound more forward than the older Ortofons.This in combination with the Ittok's reputation for a slight emphasis in the upper midrange may not make for a happy marriage. Mike Fremer did a shootout with the 2M Blue vs  the ATVM95ML.The 2M Blue does sounds  noticeably brighter on these clips listening via headphones.

 

https://www.analogplanet.com/content/ortofon-2m-blue-versus-audio-technica-vm95ml

Edited by iant

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13 hours ago, Willmax said:

Thanks @iant for that, I might consider that stylus as an option. 

Unfortunately the data from Stereo Review on the M20E Super cart  seems to be incorrect. The Vinyl Engine Database indicates the output of the M20E Super to be 4mV instead of 0.8mV - this is further corroborated by the fact that I have been successfully using the cart with MM phono stage on all my amplifiers. 

 

Looking at my current carts, it seems the 2M Red would be the best match, still not perfect but certainly better than M20E Super which is currently installed. 

 

Now I need to find out how to change the cart and adjust all parameters on my Ittok LV II tonearm....the search continues.

 

804270927_Annotation2020-04-10142631.png.5e173cf13511d8a917abe5dff392c3c8.png

Look out for the different way the Japanese carts are measured compered to the Euros. It could be why they've ended up high.

 

Can't remember how it works. Something to do with measuring something at 10hz instead of 100hz.

 

Can someone comment if my rambling is relevant please ?

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I used to own an LP/Ittok with a Troika and they were a good combination.

 

Have a read through this blog. I like these guys as their approach is scientific and I do believe if you can measure it you can hear it as long as the ears allow.

 

https://korfaudio.com/blog67

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Posted (edited)
On 11/04/2020 at 11:10 PM, iant said:

The 2M series are reputed to sound more forward than the older Ortofons.This in combination with the Ittok's reputation for a slight emphasis in the upper midrange may not make for a happy marriage. Mike Fremer did a shootout with the 2M Blue vs  the ATVM95ML.The 2M Blue does sounds  noticeably brighter on these clips listening via headphones.

 

https://www.analogplanet.com/content/ortofon-2m-blue-versus-audio-technica-vm95ml

Hey @iant , you were spot on regarding the characteristics of the  2M Red with Ittok. Let me say that the marriage did not last very long at all, I think it did not endure a whole week.

The Denon DL-110 cart on the other hand is making beautiful music from the Ittok. 

I added an extra 3g between the cart and headshell to further improve the cart & mounting hardware total mass which seems to have worked favourably. So much so that I stopped looking for any new carts alternative. 

 

Thanks so much for your input, it has been very helpful to me. It is very much appreciated. 

 

 

Edited by Willmax

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20200429_182753.thumb.jpg.8b96bc6649f31a994ae378b379f4937b.jpg20200429_182645.thumb.jpg.d00fe4e3a07712da4e904ea6f61203b3.jpg

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