Great Audiophile Gift Ideas For The
2017 Holiday Season
Audio Machina V8 Broad Spectrum Cartridge/Tonearm
Their advertisement within The Absolute Sound jumped out at me and I requested a review sample at 2 a.m. on a Monday morning. By 9 a.m. they replied they would have one to me shortly. They did. I was expecting a small wafer of silicone sandwiched between some ultra light metal, and asked them not to tell me the price. The V8 is optimally mounted between your cartridge and the headshell of your tonearm or above the cartridge on top of the tonearm if the preferred position won't work on your rig. I've always said the closer you can get a tweak to the signal path of the music, the more effective (and cost-effective) it is likely to be. Only the Codia Acoustic Design equipment rack has proven me wrong so far.
The Audio Machina V8 affirms my theory – in spades. Using it on a VPI Scout turntable with upgraded power supply, and the Charisma Audio 103 cartridge that I use as my daily driver, the Audio Machina V8 produced a higher than expected degree of clarity that sucked me right into the music and the recording venue. The resolution, transparency and physicality of the music approached a level I heard from a $28,000 Kronos Sparta equipped with an $8000 Air Tight cartridge, lacking only the unique three-dimenionality of the Kronos table and the refined inner detail of the Air Tight. I wanted the V8 to be priced around $200 so most of us could enjoy it, but alas, I peeked at the website and discovered the extraordinary engineering and machining contained within.
Tiny rods resonate and dispel vibrations in a bath of silicone. Who would have thought? Anything any reviewer could write about the V8 is already spelled out on their website, except for an angle I'll borrow from another company's ad. At $499, the Audio Michina V8 is not inexpensive, but it will in effect replace your well-worn record collection with fresh pressings and upgrade your analog front end to a level you thought you could never afford.
Recommended by Enjoy the Music.com's Rick Becker.