A: The most obvious improvements usually noted by the addition of the V8 to your vinyl playback system are:
1. Deeper, stronger, better defined bass.
2. Greater midrange purity and clarity.
3. Sweeter, more delicate highs.
4. Deeper, blacker backgrounds.
5. Wider and deeper soundstage.
6. Less hash, grunge, and listener fatigue.
7. Hearing “deeper into” the recording.
8. Greater listening ease and relaxation.
A: In our opinion, whether your vinyl playback system costs $2,000, $20,000, or $200,000, the AudioMachina V8 should be one of the highest priorities in your upgrade path. There are several reasons for this:
1. The money spent on an AudioMachina V8 will usually yield greater benefits musically than a similar expenditure on interconnect upgrades, speaker cable upgrades, fancy power cords, or “tweaks” such as blocks, feet, risers, platforms, resonators, or many other devices being sold at similar cost.
2. Due to the poor resale value of used cartridges, even in mint condition, a significant cartridge upgrade will likely cost far more than the V8. In many cases, merely replacing your existing cartridge with a new (same type) cartridge will cost far more than the V8. And since the V8 is so inexpensive compared to even “entry-level” high-end cartridges, it is really a very smart choice to just buy a V8 and use it with whatever cartridge you currently have, knowing that when you do finally upgrade your cartridge, the V8 will be used with your new cartridge as well.
3. Most important of all, it is highly likely that the V8 will stay with you for the rest of your life, becoming a “dear old friend,” perhaps the only audio accessory that you will actually want to keep forever, with no desire to ever remove it. You will want to simply re-install it into your vinyl playback system over and over, regardless of how many changes or upgrades you ever make, no matter what cartridge you use, no matter what tonearm or turntable you use. Thus, the AudioMachina V8 is probably one of the soundest and most long-term-satisfying upgrades you will ever make to your music system, regardless of what your system is now, or ever will be.