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Easy to set up
Amazingly the new SA model improves on the already fantastic AT 33 PTG II
I've owned many cartridges over the years, most notably: Audio Technica's OC 9 ML II, and AT 33 PTG II. In short the AT 33 PTG II improves upon the OC 9 ML II in my opinion, and amazingly this new SA model improves on the already fantastic AT 33 PTG II. After reading Audio Technica's online literature for the new SA, specifically their claims of: "deeper and richer bass and mid's" I couldn't resist pulling the trigger. The PTG II was already a fantastic sounding cartridge and I was very impressed with it, but if I had one complaint it would be a slight lack of low end, and a mid-range that could be a touch more defined and richer. The AT 33 PTG II also had somewhat of a 'bright' sound to it; not as bright as the OC 9 ML II in my opinion, but highs could be a bit shrill and over powering on certain recordings. After extensive listening to the SA, (compared to the PTG II) I have noticed deeper and tighter bass, and richer more fuller sounding vocals. The differences are not night and day, but certainly noticeable. I really thought that Audio Technica's marketing department might be just be hyping a new and more expensive product, but the improvements they described with the SA over the PTG II were spot on. I have also noticed more overall detail with the SA model and have heard things in musical passages that I never noticed with the PTG II. While the Shibata stylus has a different shape than the microline, it tracks just as well with no discernible inner groove distortion (pretty impressive!). The high frequencies with the SA are not as bright and shrill, but more silky and smooth. Perhaps high frequencies are not as 'over emphasized,' or pronounced with the SA. With the SA I also perceived an overall better balance of the sound stage and greater neutrality in the presentation. The analogy I would use would be if the PTG II makes a good record sound like a top notch recording, the SA takes you live to the show. If you do purchase this cart keep in mind to realize its full potential setup and cartridge alignment are crucial. Take the time to get it spot on. I found 2 grams tracking force on my set up to work the best. Once you do set this cart up and spend some time breaking it in, you will realize that Audio Technica really knocked it out of the park with this one! Enjoy!
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: new | Sold by: williamthakker_com
Best of the Best!
I have had many stereo cartridges over the years the AT33SA is the best I have owned and heard! Be VERY careful when installing this cartridge as it is EXTREMELY fragile ! (the stylus cannot be replaced the entire cartridge must be rebuilt) I hear things in the upper register that I was never aware of on my records before! Surface noise is not as noticeable -surface defects not as bad !This is a cartridge only for very high end stereos I doubt if you would hear much difference on a low priced units ! Overall VERY PLEASED T.Y.
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: new | Sold by: SgfyeFcoQXK@Del...
Very good sealer
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: new | Sold by: 2juki-cartridge
great on new and old vinyl
performance and value for money are brilliant