An old thread still has life. I hope it got your creative juices going. All 2 year old cactus-ized cartridges continue to play. Sumo II is strutting next to me now.
Learning more? Always, but not with cactus grafts. But having more fun? Yes!
I did cactus-ize a Shure M97HE cartridge. It is not exactly the M97xE but close. The tip-holder with fancy carbon-fiber brush was lonely without a tip so an Audio Technica AT140LC tip was grafted. Combined, it takes the characteristics of both. It is not CD sound. It is very sterile but not like a hospital. It has more of a moving-coil cartridge midrange which I like because it is something we hear every day. It is multilayered or has depth. And in my opinion I get a bit more separation but that might just be me. It is not screechy in treble, and the well-known old style Shure bass comes through. No slop in sound; I think it has exceptional “piano” quality.
I would not recommend the micro-surgery for everyone but if you have the determination, and a cactus, then what have you to lose? This is not knitting needle sized but I have done a couple so it cannot be too hard. Cacti are hardy plants and their needles equally tough. They do not mind if you take some of their, yes, leaves. The leaves are flexible and durable; the properties make them ideal for tip internal grafts. And they are common and cheaply found. I still prefer to secure the bond with white glue with an acrylic sealer overcoat because if I foul up then the surgery can easily be taken apart with an easy to get solution of ammonia and water. Our gain would be to own something unique. It is not a one-way street; we can recycle cartridges inexpensively. This method can keep a lot of cartridges going for a very long time.
Your neighbors would either be envious or think you are crazy. It is surely more convenient to slap in a CD and hit play but what is the fun in that?
Recently, DavyW has graciously spread the concept to others.http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showth ... p?t=404018