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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WJAAS - The cartridges survey - Part 2 - Kikuchi-san's masterpiece: the "Lumiere DST" replica

... yes,pals: the survey is going on... with no scientific pompousness, nor selfishness, BUT my senses, taste and feeling for music, details and enjoying and having good time... nonetheless, very instructive for me and the few, trusty ears-equipped friends who attended at the various listening sessions.
After some days spent with Oosawa-san's great creation, I had to return - both for comparison-sake AND pleasure - to my trusty "home-sweet-home" sound - i.e. Lumiere DST in its universal incarnation, mounted on an Ikeda headshell on the Ortofon RMG-309, at 3,5 grams, no anti-skating, of course.
After some fiddling with digital arm-loader meter and VTA set-up, I re-found the sound I left some days ago and switched my aural memory "ON";-)
I apologize (no, I don't really care to apologize... just kidding;-)) I used again side two of Grateful Dead's seminal "Bear's Choice" as a starter... and WHAT STARTER, folks!!!
Jerry Garcia's voice, ambience, sense of people attending at the live concert, timbre, trueness, animal-like enjoyment in yours truly... ALL at a time, an orgasm-like musical experience reached me as a warm flood.
Amazingly, that superb sensation of correctness I experienced with Oosawa-san's cartridge, isn't perceived as a separate feature, something which wake-up senses and moves eyebrows, but if analyzed, is WELL here, only mixed, like a God-made mayonnaise, and perceived as a whole, a perfect whole, with all other aspects coming from recordings - you name'em: music first, the sense of it as per composer and performer's souls and wishes, the temporal time bubble containing the time & space essence, the "where" recording happened brought, easily hinted, as an heavenly gift to the ear, then soundstage, macro & micro details retrival, trueness, "PTC" tm ;-) (pleasure transmission capability), "EF" tm;-)) (enjoyment factor), air among instruments and all the paraphernalia we audio lunatics loves so much endlessly chatting about...
Furthermore, Lumiere DST is simply incredible in differentiating one recording from another - i.e. you can swap from lute/viola da gamba/harpsichord on Harmonia Mundi J.P. Pontefract's engineered heavenly sounds to The Grateful Dead "American Beauty", like I'm doing now and you're de-facto using two completely different cartridges... while with Oosawa's you sort-of hear a character in cartridge (or arm or cables or...) when you listen to "Sugar Magnolia" with Lumiere in Gotorama, you simply enjoy Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia's voices, nothing distract the senses - the cartridge, better, the whole analog rig "disappears", changes its character sounding "bad and dirty", "cool", "unpolite" or "airy", "courtly", but always transparent and correct, like this or that music deserves...
Reminds me of a mom who save her child from a car-crash... Lumiere's immolates itself in everchanging-mode, always new to me, the listener, and, to a high degree, to itself... it's the sense of surprise which always amazes me and every listener, track after track, disc after disc, day after day, month after m... well, you got it;-)
"Operator" and "Candyman" on "American Beauty" side one are always new to me... a rare, sought-after feature... what more can I say, as I compare listening to music, old and new, with my beloved Lumiere DST, to enjoy sunset, day after day, without annoying?
... who care if the great Kikuchi-san doesn't reply to e-mails very often, if it's difficult to set-up (DST's not Kikuchi-san;-))) and to match with MC-transformers (my WE 618-B is always the winner, in my system and for my tastes, as I found after more than 15, say FIFTEEN, different matching), if you MUST clean diamond-tip from dust debris every few tracks during same side playback (... and no, I don't live in am overly dusty environment... it's diamond reaching "obscure" parts in groove?!?!)... and if it's utterly fragile (sort-of a giant with clay feet) and it changes in quality depending on "who" in Kikuchi's workshop worked on the cartridge itself - from sublime to... phisically flawed.
"There is no rose without stings", someone said... but the rose can be worth ANY risk, sometime, I must add.
Food for thought...

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