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  1. #1

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    Default Argent MC-500HS Sapphire moving coil cartridge

    I just scored a minty vintage Conrad Johnson Sonographe SG-3 that should arrive by next Wednesday. I'm going to swap out and sell the Sumiko (built for Conrad Johnson) LMT tonearm with my Grace 707.

    The interesting part of the deal is the Argent MC-500HS Sapphire cartridge that is included and rumored to be a great, high output moving coil cartridge, but I can't find much information about it. At around 28 years old I'm not sure how good it can be without being rebuilt, but I'll give it a listen when it arrives.

    Is anyone here familiar with this moving coil cartridge? And for that matter, with the Sonographe SG-3?
    Last edited by inspiredsports; 11-05-2010 at 10:28 PM.
    VTL ST50 w/mods/RCA6L6GC/TlfnknECC801S
    CJPV-5 w/mods
    TT CJ Sonographe SG3 Oak/Sumiko LMT/Grado Wood Plat/Sumiko PIB2/The Clamp
    Musical Fidelity A1 CDPro
    Tuners w/mods Kenwood KT5020/Fisher KM60
    MF x-DAC V8, HAInfo NG27
    Herbies Ti-9/Vibrapods/MIT Shtgn AC1 IEC's/MIT Shotgun 2 IC's/MIT Shtgn 2 Speaker
    PSAudio Cryo PwrPrt Prem/ExctPwrEP15A
    Wlnt SDA 2B TL/Oak SDA SRS II TL-Sonicaps/Mills/Cardas/Cust SDA ICs/Mortite/Dynamat Extreme/TFLF Rings/FSB-2 Spikes
    NAD SS rigs w/mods
    GIK panels

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (37)

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,378

    Default

    Wow, this an amazing machine. It arrived Wednesday and I spent the day completely tearing it down, cleaning and lubricationg and then carefully setting it back up.

    The Argent cartridge brand is ultra-obscure, I think built only for a year or two and they only made 5 or 6 models. I learned there was a Diamond above the Sapphire model, but by price (and confirmed by sound), the Sapphire is absolutely top shelf.

    The Sonographe SG-3 itself is rare and obscure. The main reason I became interested is I use Joe's (hearingimpared) "The Clamp" which is made of Delrin and sonically impressive. The Sonographe's Platter and Sub-Platter are both made of Delrin. Additionially, the spindle bearing is made of "Turcite", (a self-lubricating polymer material), so everything is nicely isolated like tables costing an incredible amount more.

    They recommend using no platter mat, and the reflex action of The Clamp creates an incredible bond between platter and vinyl that seems to do a perfect job of transmitting only what's cut into the grooves to the stylus.

    This thing definitely plays like caviar on a cheese whiz budget

    At any rate does anyone here have personal experience and/or advice they can give about any of these components?
    VTL ST50 w/mods/RCA6L6GC/TlfnknECC801S
    CJPV-5 w/mods
    TT CJ Sonographe SG3 Oak/Sumiko LMT/Grado Wood Plat/Sumiko PIB2/The Clamp
    Musical Fidelity A1 CDPro
    Tuners w/mods Kenwood KT5020/Fisher KM60
    MF x-DAC V8, HAInfo NG27
    Herbies Ti-9/Vibrapods/MIT Shtgn AC1 IEC's/MIT Shotgun 2 IC's/MIT Shtgn 2 Speaker
    PSAudio Cryo PwrPrt Prem/ExctPwrEP15A
    Wlnt SDA 2B TL/Oak SDA SRS II TL-Sonicaps/Mills/Cardas/Cust SDA ICs/Mortite/Dynamat Extreme/TFLF Rings/FSB-2 Spikes
    NAD SS rigs w/mods
    GIK panels

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