Need serious cartridge/stylus help

the thin end of the wedge
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laidback93
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Need serious cartridge/stylus help

Post by laidback93 » 03 Nov 2011 00:07

I have a Technics SL-D2 that I recently picked up. The cartridge, which is an AT Series VIII, has a broken stylus. My initial thoughts are that this is the original cartridge and stylus. Also the headshell, which may or may not be original, is slightly broken. The handle to drop the needle is broken off, but would probably still function, it's just not pretty.

Now I have a brand new Stanton H4S headshell which I'd like to use. The question is this, what cartridge should I buy and how would I find out what is compatible with the H4S? And, should I buy a new cartridge and stylus, or just find a replacement stylus for the AT cartridge I already have? I don't want to break the bank, but I do want something that will last. Basically, what is the most cost effective choice?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

dlaloum
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Re: Need serious cartridge/stylus help

Post by dlaloum » 03 Nov 2011 04:42

The headshells for that table are all the standard SME/Bayonet type - and any normal 1/2" mount cartridge will fit these headshells.

P-mount cartridges will also fit, using an adaptor, which they usually come with. (or can be picked up for under $15)

The Series VIII, unless I am much mistaken, is a p-mount cartridge, which must be mounted on your table using a p-mount adapter.
Audio Technica has sold these under many many names and numbers - Currently you will find it being sold as an AT92 and AT3482.

The electrical bits in this cartridge are the same as in the AT95, but the stylus mounting/surround is a little different.

You can pick up a new stylus for that cartridge easily as a result, and the type of styli available range from basic conicals, to elipticals, hyper-eliptical and even shibata.

But for an S-arm table, I would suggest the AT95 rather than the AT92 series - although the electronics are the same, the styli on the AT95 series are lower compliance, which will match that arm a little better.

Some AT92 needles to fit your current body:
Eliptical (most basic I would choose)
http://www.turntableneedles.com/Needle- ... _1061.html
Shibata (best you can get for this body)
http://www.turntableneedles.com/Needle- ... p_960.html
HyperEliptical (small step down from shibata...)
http://www.turntableneedles.com/Needle- ... _3820.html

The AT95 is availabel with the same stylus options - but the suspension rubber is firmer...
Eliptical
http://www.turntableneedles.com/AT95E-A ... p_695.html
HyperEliptical
http://www.turntableneedles.com/Cartrid ... _3926.html
Shibata
http://www.turntableneedles.com/phono-C ... _3949.html

In theory the eliptical types cause higher wear and last least time
Conicals cause slightly less wear and last longer than elipticals but take a step down in high frequency performance (which is why I excluded them)
HyperElipticals - substantially less wear and longer life with improved sound
Shibata - another step up in reduced wear and increased life - improvement in sound over HE is an item of debate...

laidback93
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Re: Need serious cartridge/stylus help

Post by laidback93 » 03 Nov 2011 15:34

Thank you dlaloum for the in depth explanation. Much appreciated! The AT95 sounds like the best bet. One more question, do you know if this cart will fit the Stanton H4S headshell I have? If so, I'll be purchasing a new cart today!

Thanks again!

Jackd
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Re: Need serious cartridge/stylus help

Post by Jackd » 03 Nov 2011 18:35

I have an AT95 mounted in one now. Also have mounted Shures, ADC and Nagaoka's in them as I have several. May want to use the 2 gram weight if the counterweight gets to close to the pivot. I use the weight on some cartridges and not others.

laidback93
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Re: Need serious cartridge/stylus help

Post by laidback93 » 03 Nov 2011 21:54

Thanks Jackd! You brought up another question I had. Basically if I should add the extra weight to the headshell. So you're saying you currently use this headshell with the AT95, but do not use the extra 2 gram weight, correct? I guess I should try balancing without the weight first. So without the extra 2 g, I would set the counterweight between 1.5 g and 2.5 g right? That is the recommended tracking force.

If I add the extra 2 g to the headshell, then I add another 2 g on the counterweight?

Jackd
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Re: Need serious cartridge/stylus help

Post by Jackd » 03 Nov 2011 23:27

No adding the extra weight on the headshell just gives you a larger range of motion on the counterweight as adding it will cause the weight to be closer to the end of the tonearm when you reach zero balance. I would try it without and zero balance and then if the counterweight looks to far forward to the pivot point of the arm add the 2gram weight and start over with zero balancing. I think when I mounted it with the JVC QL-F6 I was o.k. without it but your mileage may vary depending on the weight of that tables counterweight.

dlaloum
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Re: Need serious cartridge/stylus help

Post by dlaloum » 04 Nov 2011 00:31

The AT95 is 6.5g, the HS4 headshell is around 9 to 9.5g...

I would be surprised if you needed the additional headshell weight!

If you do find you need more weight at the headshell... this means you have a "mass budget".

Additional mass can be used up by adding more damping to the arm, which can improve sound/performance...

Tweaks include

Purchasing high quality heavier non-resonant headshell
wrapping arm in tape, or putting heatshrink on arm tube
Adding non hardening modelling clay (plasticine) to the inside of the headshell, and adding another dot of plasticine on the arm at a resonant node. (dampens/absorbs vibrations)
Adding a wooden shim between headshell and cartridge (raises height of cartridge, but can also dampen vibrations)

etc...

If you find yourself at the limit of arm adjustability (which I doubt with this combination... but I do not own that TT so it is possible) - then use the weight to check that it works- then allocate the mass of the weight as your "mass budget" - and add that amount of mass in damping tweaks...

bye for now
David

laidback93
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Re: Need serious cartridge/stylus help

Post by laidback93 » 10 Nov 2011 21:42

Hi again everyone. The AT95E just arrived today and now I have another question. Which hardware should I use to mount this cart to my H4S headsheel? My choices are the hardware that came with the AT95 or the hardware that came with the H4S.

Alec124c41
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Re: Need serious cartridge/stylus help

Post by Alec124c41 » 11 Nov 2011 01:52

Use whatever fits, and looks good.

Cheers,
Alec

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