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08-01-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 1
Post ID: 18476
Reply to: 18476
Fidelity Research FR-7
fiogf49gjkf0d
At a risk of being severely bashed...I came across this old cart. There seem to be a Bavarian mafia
promoting it on audio-gone.."transparent, neutral, indestructible...blah blah blah" 
I'm wondering if despite being a fetish of the mentioned club,
there might be some merit behind this cart?
Anybody with a good 1st hand experience?
There seem to be different versions: FR7, 7f, 7fz.
How do they differ in their reproduction abilities (if they have any to talk about)?

Cheers,
N-set



Cheers,
Jarek
08-01-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 18477
Reply to: 18476
How Old is "Old"?
fiogf49gjkf0d
I think I remember the first FR from the mid-late 60s, and the FR7 came maybe 10 years later, so it could be pretty damned old.  Wasn't this stuff from "Ikeda Sama"?  Anyway, many older cartridges had/have damping materials that were not ozone-proof, and/or wires or connections that corrode over time, so caveat emptor.

As for German endorsement, whazza matter with a nice, new EMT?

Best regards,
Paul S
08-02-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 18480
Reply to: 18477
It's rather "mafia" then "Bavarian"
fiogf49gjkf0d
which is troublesome...They claim the suspension is sealed so the rubber do not corrode.
There is also someone who pressure fits new styluses.



Cheers,
Jarek
08-02-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 4
Post ID: 18481
Reply to: 18480
Self-Hypnosis
fiogf49gjkf0d
Shake yourself, N-set!

Surely, there must be more practical options?

Aren't there plenty of fresh, new throwback and cult cartridges available from legitimate, contemporary Japanese, Danish and German companies?

Sealed suspension, new stylus, my ass...

Best regards,
Paul S
08-03-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 5
Post ID: 18485
Reply to: 18481
Exactly
fiogf49gjkf0d
This is the point, Paul: is it a self-propelled, self-ass-licking FR7 club or does this cart has any merit?

Old vs. new, new vs. old...
in the world of planned obsolescnce I do not know how to navigate.
There is a myriad of models, but what they are worth?
What's Ortofon worth with TOTL model every year or so? And Shelter?
If I see something like this:

http://www.needledoctor.com/ZYX-Diamond-G-Phono-Cartridge

what should I think of the modern cart industry? A cart with balls...or rather one ball hahaha!



Cheers,
Jarek
08-03-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Stitch


Behind The Sun
Posts 226
Joined on 01-15-2009

Post #: 6
Post ID: 18486
Reply to: 18476
FR-Carts
fiogf49gjkf0d
The carts from Fidelity Research were made until 1989. From what I know, the FR-7 series are different among with Impedance, Output and what kind of diamond cut they have. They last forever based on their internal construction and can be retipped quite easily. Extremely high tracking ability. One or two of them are a bit special, they were made for Japanese Press Plants to listen with them their Test Pressings, there was also a FR-1 / FR-702 available....
Mitch A. Cotter used a FR-7f as his reference cartridge (but with silver body, silver Pins....). At that time it was also possible to order these carts with separate Diamonds, it was expensive anyway.

The FR-7 is available via ebay, normally no big deal to get one, same with FR-7f, but that one became rare in the last year, fz nearly impossible, the Japanese don't offer it outside Japan anymore...

Most have very low output (0.16mV-0.20mV), fz is highest with 0.25mV, you need a high gain amplification, in combination with one of their FR-Arms (64 for example) they easily compete with everything modern today.

In Germany are a few analog groups, some build their turntable with a piece of wood and a knife and think it is great, some prefer old Linn, Garrads, Thorens as the only, real solution to listen to and others refuse to listen to Linn, Garrads, EMT's for various reasons (BS, Waste of Time, wrong generally, colored) and when they have to, they want money for that...another group uses Seiki, Verdier from France, Cotter and that's it for them  ....Another group in this little country have the motto for their reproduction stuff "You will eat your heart out", they are arrogant, don't read Mags or communicate in Forums because they are all afraid of getting eye cancer from reading that nonsense, hate reissues and their owners and accept only 2 colors: black or white ... :-)

And there is another interesting Country: France
From there the real outstanding Japanese stuff was translated in the early 80's, introduced, built and there are also some very interesting audio circles ....



Kind Regards
Stitch
08-03-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 18487
Reply to: 18486
… a few analog groups
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Stitch wrote:
In Germany are a few analog groups, some build their turntable with a piece of wood and a knife and think it is great, some prefer old Linn, Garrads, Thorens as the only, real solution to listen to and others refuse to listen to Linn, Garrads, EMT's for various reasons (BS, Waste of Time, wrong generally, colored) and when they have to, they want money for that...another group uses Seiki, Verdier from France, Cotter and that's it for them  ....Another group in this little country have the motto for their reproduction stuff "You will eat your heart out", they are arrogant, don't read Mags or communicate in Forums because they are all afraid of getting eye cancer from reading that nonsense, hate reissues and their owners and accept only 2 colors: black or white ... :-)

And there is another interesting Country: France
From there the real outstanding Japanese stuff was translated in the early 80's, introduced, built and there are also some very interesting audio circles ....
Very interesting post and I would like to point out that there is truly no common denominator between those groups in generally. I mean there is absolutely no common sonic considerations why one TT is better than another. I have seen some people who own a few top flying TT and have them to setup in the same room with the same rest of the equipment. Even running the identical tonearm, cartridges and cables I did not feel that the “comparing” was adequate. Over the years I have developed my own judgment pattern about the validity of this or that audio groups but it has hardly to do with the actual comparing the sonic output from the different TTs.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
08-03-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Serge


Russia
Posts 51
Joined on 09-21-2009

Post #: 8
Post ID: 18488
Reply to: 18480
Suspension ageing
fiogf49gjkf0d
Quote:
"Degradation   of   natural   rubber   can   be   caused   by   a   variety   of
environmental   factors,   such   as   elevated   temperature,   humidity,   impurities,
mechanical  load,  irradiation  and  chemicals.  In  the  presence  of  atmospheric
oxygen,  the  useful  lifetime  of  many  polymer  products  is  limited  by  oxidative
reactions.

 Radical  attack  of  the  polymer  chain  causes  chain  scission,  crosslink
formation  and  crosslink  breakage.  Changes  in  the  properties  of  polymers  with
ageing depend on the extent of such reactions."

It not only oxygen that kills a suspension. It's movement itself and the heat caused by it too. And there is another killer: time.




http://hifiblog.livejournal.com/
08-03-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 9
Post ID: 18489
Reply to: 18488
Bildungsroman
fiogf49gjkf0d
Sure, there might be older cartridge designs that sounded good in their day if someone knew how to use them, but even new cartridges exhibit serious unit-to-unit variations.  Add aging and/or deteriorating suspensions, contacts, fasteners, wires, cantilevers, etc., and the numerical odds of getting a lemon go up exponentially.  I am also skeptical of refreshing a cartridge by taking an old stylus out of a cantilever and pressing a new stylus into and re-using "the same" cantilever.  The range of potential problems in a process like this is astronomical.  Whose garage is it done in?

As for "broadcast standard" or "studio playback standard" cartridges, I have owned several over the years, and these designations do not ensure unit consisistency, immunity from deterioration, nor Music in the home.

Not to impune the FR-7f, etc., but just some due diligence, based on personal experience.

I suppose you've already looked to see if Ikeda has any current offerings?

OTOH, if you insist to buy the antique afterall, N-set, you will at least have another chapter for your Bildungsroman.

Best regards,
Paul S
08-03-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 10
Post ID: 18490
Reply to: 18486
Broadcasting? Test Pressings?
fiogf49gjkf0d
I think the same Stitch has been bitching on the broadcast TSD's. Why test pressing analysis carts should be better than broadcasting?

Anyway, I do not insist Paul, I've just asked. Indeed, looking into the modern Ikeda there seem to be something...at least in a reasonable
price range: 9EM, 9R, blahblahblah










Cheers,
Jarek
08-04-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 18491
Reply to: 18490
Lumiere
fiogf49gjkf0d
Continuing my crawling in the sea of cartridge excrements, there is this Lumiere DST, inspired by Neumann DST-62 and highly praised by Stefano.
Difficult to get any reasonable info (at least some basic raw data), apart from apparent sample-to-sample huge variation, as the carts are handmade in some garage. I'm not even sure if the carts are still manufactured.  Anyone with some experience? How to contact Lumiere? Thanks





Cheers,
Jarek
08-04-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Markus
Posts 68
Joined on 03-07-2007

Post #: 12
Post ID: 18492
Reply to: 18476
BM
fiogf49gjkf0d
 N-set wrote:
There seem to be a Bavarian mafia

Stitch is very much a part of that, of course.
08-04-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Wojtek
Pinckney (MI), United States
Posts 158
Joined on 09-01-2005

Post #: 13
Post ID: 18493
Reply to: 18492
Whatever you buy
fiogf49gjkf0d
it's going to be a hit and miss affair. You can as well make a list, close your  eyes and put the finger randomly , really .If you're short with cash (and I have feeling that you are ) just buy something lesser, not having cult status and what goes with that highly inflated price. Benzes are decent , Dynavectors too and there is little reason to get something which is prized in inner circles of black art practitioners/gurus. Best , W 
08-07-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 14
Post ID: 18494
Reply to: 18492
Mafia
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Markus wrote:
 N-set wrote:
There seem to be a Bavarian mafia

Stitch is very much a part of that, of course.


Yes, I know. He is Syntax on audio-gone and by chance, when FR-7 surfaced in one of a threads, he's trying to sell one fz for a
stratosheric price. Miracously, in the same time another individual, Daniel-Dertonarm, was offering another fz on uk ebay hiding
for some reason under a different nick of lpsandvideo or sth. like that. His price was roughly 1/2 of Syntax's, maybe his fz was swimming
in a good Weizenbier for refreshing sound?



Cheers,
Jarek
08-07-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Stitch


Behind The Sun
Posts 226
Joined on 01-15-2009

Post #: 15
Post ID: 18495
Reply to: 18494
Worse than Mafia
fiogf49gjkf0d
Well, some say, he loves reading those postings, others think he raped his grandma or (and) will be responsible for the next earthquake in California, some bet he was a member of the well known German Anonymous Audiophile Alcoholics and left them because he converted to Coca Cola, some swear he is a member in the secret Analog Audio Assassination group who use digital Players for listening. Visitors saw at his Place Lyra Titan, Olympos, Transfigurations, Benz, Takeda Miyabi, Koetsus, several Arms, Turntables and were able to hear differences. Some audiophile groups hate him deeply because he is not interested doing someone a favor, he refuses to drink & listen...The world is a flat disc :-)

Cartridges.jpg



Kind Regards
Stitch
08-08-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 16
Post ID: 18496
Reply to: 18495
I'm not sure
fiogf49gjkf0d
why you feel you should show off with your equipment and it's price tags (on a-gone)
rather than results, but that's your choice. It's a thread about FR7 and the funny thing is
that in your show-off list above you do not mention it.

Since you know the cart, have you tried it on different arms than FR?
I have a free 3012R.

Cheers,
N-set



Cheers,
Jarek
08-08-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Stitch


Behind The Sun
Posts 226
Joined on 01-15-2009

Post #: 17
Post ID: 18497
Reply to: 18486
Hong Kong Dealer
fiogf49gjkf0d
Found that from a Dealer in Hong Kong .... there are a few around....
*********
Model No.Fidelity Research FR-7fz MC Cartridge
Description


Famous Fidelity Research flat ship model FR-7fz MC cartridge. Checked by Ikeda Sound Lab, guarantee in excellent working condition. 

Type: Moving coil cartridge 
Output: 0.24mV 
Stylus pressure range: 2~3 grams 
Frequency response: 10~45,000Hz 
Channel separation: 20dB (1kHz) 
Channel balance: 1dB (1kHz) 
Compliance: 7x10 -6cm dyne 100Hz 
Internal impendence: 2 ohms 
Net weight: 30 grams


Condition9 / 10
Retail Price (HKD)22,800.00
Retail Price (USD)3,020.00
QtyONE
Status  
*********


Kind Regards
Stitch
08-08-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 18
Post ID: 18499
Reply to: 18497
Hong Kong Bavaria
fiogf49gjkf0d
Yes, they pop up here & there but that's not the point. The point is what's they are worth after 30+ yrs,
and if they'd hypothetically work in my situation of 3012R.

Some people compare them to modern ZYX carts UNIverse and Airy
(I've got one such a comparison by a private mail),
I'm not familiar with ZYX, but if ZYX is able to produce a caricatural one-ball joke quoted above then I do not
know if this comarison is a compliment or to the opposite.




Cheers,
Jarek
08-08-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 19
Post ID: 18500
Reply to: 18499
Arm/Cartridge "Development"
fiogf49gjkf0d
The 3012 is actually a fairly "flexible" arm, but to "develop" any arm/cartridge pairing might take a long time, and during this time you are pretty much on your own.  The truth is, you may or may not EVER hear a cartridge the same way someone else heard it.  And this may or may not matter in the end.

Surely, enough has been said about the "vintage" cartridges for any attentive person to make a decision about this particular matter?

Best regards,
Paul S
08-12-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 20
Post ID: 18513
Reply to: 18500
Decca be it
fiogf49gjkf0d
After dealing with a  few individuals trying to sell me a FR-7, I've decided to kiss goodbye to this idea
and look into the direction which has actually been considered at this site: Decca Jubilee.
From several sources the the signals are that this might be what I'm after. Unlike the half-brain
US distributor quoted somewhere at the site, the UK London Decca manufacturing people are very cooperative and will
send me their demo Jubilee for an in-system trial. Nice!

The big challenge seems to incorporate it into 3012R and EMT930.... It puts a lot of energy due to almost non existent
cantilever damping and the knife bearing can rattle. The "Decca arm wisdom" seems to be damped heavy unipivots,
with precise bearings, but lets challenge it. Also EMT930 beats at approx. 3Hz -- the idler fundamental, which may additionaly excite
arm-cart lateral resonance.
Luckily I have the steel R version, which is internally
better damped as I learned than the alu one + nylon bearings.  Putting an extra headshell weight
to the max of the arm (or machining an extra counterweight to reach circa 30g eff.) + possibly SME FD200
viscosious lateral (where the most needed) damping kit and lets see...

Cheers
N-set








Cheers,
Jarek
08-12-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 21
Post ID: 18514
Reply to: 18513
Ducklings, TTs, and Phono Cartridges
fiogf49gjkf0d
Way back when I was an undergraduate, we studied about baby ducklings that some maniac made to follow a "surrogate mother" around a moving turntable.  To make a horrifying story short, the "study" concluded that the harder the ducklings were made to work to keep up with the dummy, the more stongly they "bonded" with it.

Best regards,
Paul S
03-02-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 22
Post ID: 19059
Reply to: 18481
I shake my head in disbelief
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:
Shake yourself, N-set!
.....
Sealed suspension, new stylus, my ass...

Best regards,
Paul S


Well Paul, I did not shake myself and given your list above I risked with the first two positions, skipping your ass ;-)
I got a Bavarian, Weizenbier marinated FR7f, 6 digit S/N, Namiki quadrophonic Q4 stylus+boron super thin
cantilever, super low hours...blahblablah....wank wank wank....
Hm...I put into SME3012R on my EMT930. A very crazy stuff! I'm far away from any serious optimization yet, 97R load results
in the hyperresolving, atomized mode, briliantly described here:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?PageIndex=2&postID=11177#11177

VTA set so-s0, 2.6g VTF (Vhat The Fuck), 1:10 SUT which is not enough...
but even non-optimized, the interesting moments it's able to paint, are just plain crazy in their naturalness, dynamical and
tonal picture, emotional engagement...at least to my non-existent sonic intelligence and deaf ears...I touch my stupid headpones
trying to touch that Sound I'm being exposed to...quite hallucynogenic
Still those moments are a bit discontinously separated by less interesting ones, lowering the emotional attention.
I'm working to ameliorate that (the first culprint is too low load) and get a more stable emotional output.

Loosely comparig to the London Jubilee I auditioned in my setup some months ago, London was putting a very nice and constant,
creamy flow, which at beginning catchy, with some LP's became too predictable. Nothing like that here, so far.






Cheers,
Jarek
03-02-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 23
Post ID: 19060
Reply to: 19059
Good To Go
fiogf49gjkf0d
I love the "meaty" sound of those cartridges!  But it isn't enough for me.

If you like it, it doesn't matter at all whether it is anything like the "original", and hopefully it will at least remain viable for you.

In 6-8 weeks I hope to continue where I left off with my own cartridge, which I now realize took me about 7 years to really figure out, and most of that time spent before the "light" even went on!

YMMV, of course...

Prost,
Paul S
03-02-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 24
Post ID: 19061
Reply to: 19060
Meaty
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:
I love the "meaty" sound of those cartridges!  But it isn't enough for me.


I'd would not call it "meaty" at all at this stage of my aquintance with it (all the caveats from my above post re optimization apply).
My TSD15SPH would be meaty.
"Transparent" would be probably more suitable if anyone forces me to choose one world from the common
audiopedofile (poor) dictionry. But the cart, to my ears, does show it's own reproducing intelligence and, so far, it
doesn't seem to put too much of it's own ego upfront...so far so good. Let's see how it changes when we evolve in our relationship.



Cheers,
Jarek
03-02-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 25
Post ID: 19064
Reply to: 19061
Only the Good Parts
fiogf49gjkf0d
N-set, I was somehow thinking of the (German...) EMTs when I "remembered" "meaty".  Sorry.  I have no idea how your newly modified cartridge might sound.

The rest, if generic, remains apropos, I think.

Good luck.

Best regards,
Paul
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