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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WJAAS - Western Japanese Audio Appreciation Society - the cartridges survey - Part 6 - Oosawa-san's cartridge and dedicated (active) phono step-up

I received few days ago a small packet from Japan, sent by UPS from my friend Seo... as promised, he sent to me on Oosawa-san's behalf himself, the new active, dedicated phono MC step-up, hand-built with care and passion in a little unassuming, humble aluminium case.

This little box, whose circuitry I already examined and appreciated (also in my limited electronic knowledge...) for the seldom seen solutions, remained - untouched/unused - for a couple days...

When I took my time to link it to my Schick's 12 inchers arm and Ikeda headshell mounting the Oosawa-san's cartridge, I finally understood "why" the japanese artisan strongly hinted me to try the full combo - i.e. cart and step-up!

The balance of the cartrdige was completely, say COMPETELY different from the several other MC-transformers I used: WE 618-B, Verion/Cotter, Peerless 4611, 4685 and 4722.

The inner details and music and weight of the notes had a new relationship... the "blackboard" where the notes were moving was clearer, less "black"... also the hiss in the (very) background of music was more akin to the hiss of my Neumann's mikes on an open-reel recording. Amazing.

Very, VERY quick!

The music was absolutely liquid, ONLY less "fat" than when using also top trannies... not lean or bleached, just a little "slim" vs. trannies sound.

I slightly retuned the mid-low horns and drivers in my autoformers passive 4-ways crossovers and was able to keep the extraordinaire quickness AND to improve the trueness with, say a trio harpsichord, violin and viola da gamba.

While before is sounded a little hifi-sh, after slightly fattening the low-end... a masterpiece!

I guess Oosawa-san uses chamber music and strings for tuning his gears... it's otherwise unbelivable to think he obtained such a refinement.

Not a combo for every kind of music... but with small jazz and ethnic and chamber music, the reality and beauty of the result is simply said, not coming from this planet, period!

Will further investigate in a couple of weeks, when in Japan and having the opportunity to meet my audio/music pals.

Thanks, Oosawa-san: you made something! Music is nearer, now...

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