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Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

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Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby jnjansen » 05 May 2012 17:48

The stylus on my AT120E must be damaged. I clean it all the time, and it seems to rake up too much debris and surface dust; even pieces of lint are really difficult to remove sometimes (like their catching on something). But mostly it does not sound right. It's over a year old with a lot of playing time. So here's my dilemma: do I replace the stylus for $50 or get something like the Red Ed for $30, which seems to have a lot of fans out there. I like the AT120 ok but feel the need to hear what else is out there in that price range.

Another option is to put a new stylus on an extra Shure 91ed. Right now I have one of those after market Fleabay styli on it. Some have expressed concern though about playing expensive vinyl with a generic needle, and that makes me feel nervous too. But now I see that Jico makes a replacement for $33:

http://stylus.export-japan.com/product_ ... ts_id=1024

Does this look like a high quality needle? I really like the sound of the Shure, but the bottom end seems a little muddy to me. Would a Jico stylus tighten up the bass or do I have to drop $130 for the SAS?

I should mention that I am running a Technics Sl-1200mkii through a Sansui G5500 receiver and EPI 100v/Polk Monitor 10a speakers. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby ripblade » 05 May 2012 20:09

I like the Red Ed, but not the Pfanstiehl stylus it comes with. Higher quality replacements can be had for it, but they come at a higher price.

Jico make excellent stylii, if you prefer to go that route. I don't know if it would tighten the bass on the Shure, however.
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Re: Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby Jackd » 05 May 2012 21:30

You can buy the same Jico stylus from Turntable Needles for cheaper and also avoid the fairly expensive shipping from Japan. TN ships for free

http://www.turntableneedles.com/Needle- ... _1390.html

If you want to try something new and less expensive than the 120E I would recommend the Ortofon Omega over the Red Ed. If you like the Omega you can upgrade up the OM line by just replacing the stylus up to an OM40
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Re: Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby jnjansen » 06 May 2012 02:11

Thanks for your responses! Ripblade, if I decide to go with the Red Ed now or down the road, what replacement styli should I be looking for? Ed says its a generic Goldring Elektra, so should I search for Goldring replacements?

And Jackd, thanks for the heads up on the Jico from Turntable Needles. That looks like a good deal. So forgive my ignorance, but I have only been back into vinyl for a year and a half now and have not read enough about vintage gear, but is the Shure 91ed known for producing muddy bass?
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Re: Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby Alec124c41 » 06 May 2012 03:44

Ed has an elliptical stylus for it.

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Re: Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby jnjansen » 06 May 2012 04:15

Hi Alec, is this the Pfanstiehl stylus to which Ripblade refers or something else? Now that I think of it my Shure stylus is a Pfanstiehl. Are these passable or unacceptable for playing on nice records?
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Re: Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby Alec124c41 » 06 May 2012 05:01

The Red Ed spherical and elliptical styluses are quite acceptable. It won't be an AT120.
If you want an upgrade, the Denon DL-110 would be excellent on your turntable, but it is another hundred dollars.
Clean your records.

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Re: Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby Jackd » 06 May 2012 13:46

In my system the M91 does not produce "muddy bass" I am using one now with an original Shure stylus. Also have used it with the Jico elliptical stylus and the results were very good also.
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Re: Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby jnjansen » 06 May 2012 14:43

Thanks all! I think I'll replace the Shure stylus for now with the Jico and when some more cash comes in later in the summer will either upgrade to something like DL-110 or just replace the AT120 stylus.
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Re: Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby ripblade » 06 May 2012 16:31

jnjansen wrote:Thanks for your responses! Ripblade, if I decide to go with the Red Ed now or down the road, what replacement styli should I be looking for? Ed says its a generic Goldring Elektra, so should I search for Goldring replacements?

The cartridge body is the same, but the stylus is considerably inferior, as observed under a microscope. The stylus assembly for the Goldring Elektra and Music Hall Tracker should fit the Red Ed and should be of much higher quality, otherwise how can they justify the considerable price difference?

As you might've guessed, I haven't tried them, but I'd like to. I really liked the sound of the Red Ed (bright, punchy, lively) but couldn't get it to track as well as claimed with the Pfanstiehl needle. Looking at it's construction under the m'scope made me uncomfortable with using it. It's adequate...but no more than that.
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Re: Red Ed Cart or New Stylus?

Postby jnjansen » 06 May 2012 18:12

Thanks for letting me know about how the Pfanstiehl needle looks under the microscope--something that I should probably invest in but haven't! I am still curious about the Red Ed and may pull the trigger on one down the road and use it for worn records until I can upgrade the stylus.
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