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Stanton 681 EEE

the thin end of the wedge

+1 for Stanton 681 EEE

Postby aabottom » 25 Jan 2010 20:15

I definitely have to latch onto this thread.

Just last week, after 13 years, I spun up my Philips GA312 with the Stanton 681 EEE cartridge.

I'll be lookin' for a new stylus.

See
http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ht=#179342
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Postby ssportclay » 26 Jan 2010 23:24

beatcomber wrote:Incidentally, on AudioKarma we determined that the Jico and LPGear-branded 681 Shibatas have the same cantilever shape (and are different from a NY-made Stanton), and both are made in Japan. The conclusion is that they are both probably made by Jico (but the LPGear one is $30 cheaper).


This is wishful thinking on your part that you can get a $30 cheaper JICO generic shibata stylus from LPGear. I have that stylus and it seems of inferior quality. I wish I had spent more and bought a real JICO shibata stylus.
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Postby ssportclay » 26 Jan 2010 23:29

Stan man wrote:Hello all,
I purchased the shibata for the 881 and the hyper elliptical for the 681 from lpgear. Both were returned for replacement . I couldn't get the 681 to track at all. The 881 sounded wonderful , but didn't trace well , especially noticeable on vocal. It's been 5 days now and haven't heard back from them yet. I'll email them now.


I had a very similar experience with an LPGear shibata stylus for the Stanton 681 that was rumored to be manufactured by JICO. Don't waste your money on the LPGear stylus. If you want a JICO stylus, spend the money and get a JICO stylus.
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Postby ChairSpud » 27 Jan 2010 03:01

ssportclay wrote:
beatcomber wrote:Incidentally, on AudioKarma we determined that the Jico and LPGear-branded 681 Shibatas have the same cantilever shape (and are different from a NY-made Stanton), and both are made in Japan. The conclusion is that they are both probably made by Jico (but the LPGear one is $30 cheaper).


This is wishful thinking on your part that you can get a $30 cheaper JICO generic shibata stylus from LPGear. I have that stylus and it seems of inferior quality. I wish I had spent more and bought a real JICO shibata stylus.



I respectfully disagree, It was I who shared notes with beatcomber over on Audiokarma with his JICO and my LPgear Shibata stylus for the 681.

Everything beatcomber heard with his JICO I also heard with the LPgear stylus. In addition to the audible similarity there were also physical similarities too unique not to conclude they are very likely one and the same.

If your LPGear Shibata sounded bad I suspect it was damaged, defective or not ideally aligned.
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Postby flavio81 » 27 Jan 2010 16:04

ssportclay wrote:I had a very similar experience with an LPGear shibata stylus for the Stanton 681 that was rumored to be manufactured by JICO. Don't waste your money on the LPGear stylus. If you want a JICO stylus, spend the money and get a JICO stylus.


Interesting, i had an hyperelliptical from LPgear and while the sound was beautiful, it had problems tracking the very loud passages cleanly. Maybe the stylus tip mass is too big?

Of course this can also be an alignment problem so maybe LPgear is not at fault.
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Postby ssportclay » 27 Jan 2010 22:24

flavio81 wrote:
ssportclay wrote:I had a very similar experience with an LPGear shibata stylus for the Stanton 681 that was rumored to be manufactured by JICO. Don't waste your money on the LPGear stylus. If you want a JICO stylus, spend the money and get a JICO stylus.


Interesting, i had an hyperelliptical from LPgear and while the sound was beautiful, it had problems tracking the very loud passages cleanly. Maybe the stylus tip mass is too big?

Of course this can also be an alignment problem so maybe LPgear is not at fault.


I can't say for sure who manufactures the LPGear Japanese tips but we seem to have 3 quick complaints about their quality and I have never seen a JICO quality complaint. LPGear also offers JICO tips for slightly more money than JICO but the LPGear badged tips run about $30 less. This seems like 2 different suppliers at 2 different prices at 2 different quality levels to me but I could be wrong. I don't think so though.
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Postby beatcomber » 29 Jan 2010 00:17

ssportclay wrote:I can't say for sure who manufactures the LPGear Japanese tips but we seem to have 3 quick complaints about their quality and I have never seen a JICO quality complaint. LPGear also offers JICO tips for slightly more money than JICO but the LPGear badged tips run about $30 less. This seems like 2 different suppliers at 2 different prices at 2 different quality levels to me but I could be wrong. I don't think so though.


It's a real mystery.

LPGear sells Stanton Shibatas under their own brand name, yet their Shure Shibatas are sold as Jico-brand styli.

Who really knows?!

I've heard conflicting opinions on the LPGear 681 Shibatas, which is why I played it safe and bought a Jico direct from Japan.
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Postby ssportclay » 29 Jan 2010 22:30

beatcomber wrote:
ssportclay wrote:I can't say for sure who manufactures the LPGear Japanese tips but we seem to have 3 quick complaints about their quality and I have never seen a JICO quality complaint. LPGear also offers JICO tips for slightly more money than JICO but the LPGear badged tips run about $30 less. This seems like 2 different suppliers at 2 different prices at 2 different quality levels to me but I could be wrong. I don't think so though.


It's a real mystery.

LPGear sells Stanton Shibatas under their own brand name, yet their Shure Shibatas are sold as Jico-brand styli.

Who really knows?!

I've heard conflicting opinions on the LPGear 681 Shibatas, which is why I played it safe and bought a Jico direct from Japan.


I am glad you are enjoying your JICO Shibata 681 stylus. I did save some money by getting the LPGear Shibata stylus but I am not really happy with it. Live and learn.
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Postby ChairSpud » 29 Jan 2010 23:50

beatcomber wrote:
ssportclay wrote:I can't say for sure who manufactures the LPGear Japanese tips but we seem to have 3 quick complaints about their quality and I have never seen a JICO quality complaint. LPGear also offers JICO tips for slightly more money than JICO but the LPGear badged tips run about $30 less. This seems like 2 different suppliers at 2 different prices at 2 different quality levels to me but I could be wrong. I don't think so though.


It's a real mystery.

LPGear sells Stanton Shibatas under their own brand name, yet their Shure Shibatas are sold as Jico-brand styli.

Who really knows?!

I've heard conflicting opinions on the LPGear 681 Shibatas, which is why I played it safe and bought a Jico direct from Japan.



Don't forget the Shibata and Hyper Elliptical stylus for the Audio Technica AT95 sold under the LPGear name as well.

As long as LPgear won't admit their source no one can say for sure who does or doesn't makes their Shibata stylus for the 681, but on the other hand comparing the two stylus and discussing the physical and audible differences gets us closer to the truth. I took a chance with the LPGear Shibata because of several positive buying experiences with them that earned my trust.
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Postby ChairSpud » 29 Jan 2010 23:51

ssportclay wrote:
beatcomber wrote:
ssportclay wrote:I can't say for sure who manufactures the LPGear Japanese tips but we seem to have 3 quick complaints about their quality and I have never seen a JICO quality complaint. LPGear also offers JICO tips for slightly more money than JICO but the LPGear badged tips run about $30 less. This seems like 2 different suppliers at 2 different prices at 2 different quality levels to me but I could be wrong. I don't think so though.


It's a real mystery.

LPGear sells Stanton Shibatas under their own brand name, yet their Shure Shibatas are sold as Jico-brand styli.

Who really knows?!

I've heard conflicting opinions on the LPGear 681 Shibatas, which is why I played it safe and bought a Jico direct from Japan.


I am glad you are enjoying your JICO Shibata 681 stylus. I did save some money by getting the LPGear Shibata stylus but I am not really happy with it. Live and learn.


Sorry to you're not happy with your LPGear Shibata stylus, would you be more specific about what you don't like about it? Also you may already be aware the Shibata stylus are more critical of alignment, have you taken extra care in setup?
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Postby ssportclay » 30 Jan 2010 16:00

ChairSpud wrote:
ssportclay wrote:
beatcomber wrote:[quote="ssportclay"]I can't say for sure who manufactures the LPGear Japanese tips but we seem to have 3 quick complaints about their quality and I have never seen a JICO quality complaint. LPGear also offers JICO tips for slightly more money than JICO but the LPGear badged tips run about $30 less. This seems like 2 different suppliers at 2 different prices at 2 different quality levels to me but I could be wrong. I don't think so though.


It's a real mystery.

LPGear sells Stanton Shibatas under their own brand name, yet their Shure Shibatas are sold as Jico-brand styli.

Who really knows?!

I've heard conflicting opinions on the LPGear 681 Shibatas, which is why I played it safe and bought a Jico direct from Japan.


I am glad you are enjoying your JICO Shibata 681 stylus. I did save some money by getting the LPGear Shibata stylus but I am not really happy with it. Live and learn.


Sorry to you're not happy with your LPGear Shibata stylus, would you be more specific about what you don't like about it? Also you may already be aware the Shibata stylus are more critical of alignment, have you taken extra care in setup?[/quote]

It has been a few months since I had the LPGear Shibata 681 mounted but the issue was tracking. I used a Van den Hul mirrored cartridge alignment gauge. I aligned the cartridge as close as I possibly could because alignment is so critical. Shibatas and fine lines are all I ever seem to use these days and these tips if of good quality always seem to track better with a bit more sparkle and shimmer at the high end. Keep in mind that LPGear tips may not always come from the same source. They can change suppliers without informing the customers and suppliers with the lowest bids will usually get the highest consideration in business. People desiring JICO tips should buy only JICO tips, otherwise, lowest bidder tips are probable what you are likely to get.
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Postby jmailand » 30 Jan 2010 16:15

beatcomber wrote:
ssportclay wrote:I can't say for sure who manufactures the LPGear Japanese tips but we seem to have 3 quick complaints about their quality and I have never seen a JICO quality complaint. LPGear also offers JICO tips for slightly more money than JICO but the LPGear badged tips run about $30 less. This seems like 2 different suppliers at 2 different prices at 2 different quality levels to me but I could be wrong. I don't think so though.


It's a real mystery.

LPGear sells Stanton Shibatas under their own brand name, yet their Shure Shibatas are sold as Jico-brand styli.

Who really knows?!

I've heard conflicting opinions on the LPGear 681 Shibatas, which is why I played it safe and bought a Jico direct from Japan.


Its says on the LP gear web site the stylus are sourced from Japan. Does anybody know of another company in Japan besides Jico making both hyperelliptical and Shibata aftermarket styli. Its not exactly a growth industry. I imagine there can't be more than a few.
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Postby ChairSpud » 31 Jan 2010 17:01

ssportclay wrote:
ChairSpud wrote:
ssportclay wrote:[quote="beatcomber"][quote="ssportclay"]I can't say for sure who manufactures the LPGear Japanese tips but we seem to have 3 quick complaints about their quality and I have never seen a JICO quality complaint. LPGear also offers JICO tips for slightly more money than JICO but the LPGear badged tips run about $30 less. This seems like 2 different suppliers at 2 different prices at 2 different quality levels to me but I could be wrong. I don't think so though.


It's a real mystery.

LPGear sells Stanton Shibatas under their own brand name, yet their Shure Shibatas are sold as Jico-brand styli.

Who really knows?!

I've heard conflicting opinions on the LPGear 681 Shibatas, which is why I played it safe and bought a Jico direct from Japan.


I am glad you are enjoying your JICO Shibata 681 stylus. I did save some money by getting the LPGear Shibata stylus but I am not really happy with it. Live and learn.


Sorry to you're not happy with your LPGear Shibata stylus, would you be more specific about what you don't like about it? Also you may already be aware the Shibata stylus are more critical of alignment, have you taken extra care in setup?[/quote]

It has been a few months since I had the LPGear Shibata 681 mounted but the issue was tracking. I used a Van den Hul mirrored cartridge alignment gauge. I aligned the cartridge as close as I possibly could because alignment is so critical. Shibatas and fine lines are all I ever seem to use these days and these tips if of good quality always seem to track better with a bit more sparkle and shimmer at the high end. Keep in mind that LPGear tips may not always come from the same source. They can change suppliers without informing the customers and suppliers with the lowest bids will usually get the highest consideration in business. People desiring JICO tips should buy only JICO tips, otherwise, lowest bidder tips are probable what you are likely to get.[/quote]

Your care with alignment should certainly rule that out as a contributing problem, like you just said alignment is "critical". Interesting you mention tracking issues, that was one of my primary concerns before buying the Shibata. Knowing both the JICO and LPGear stylus for the 681 to be bonded I worried if too large it might result in mistracking and sibilance like Flavio pointed out if "the stylus tip mass is too big"; fortunately that wasn't the case with my stylus.

You may be right about the lowest bidder and quality issues but if you are, wouldn't your claim also apply to every cartridge and stylus maker as well? Who really makes their own istylus assembles from top to bottom, I wonder if even JICO does?
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Postby ssportclay » 31 Jan 2010 22:35

Jico does have a fairly good website and they go into their processing to some detail. Of all the aftermarket stylus manufacturers across the world, JICO is the only one with any name recognition. All the rest seem generic and secretive. People are mostly better off buying only factory brand replacements with JICO being the only exception. Unfortunately, Shure and Stanton are not what they use to be and factory replacements are often of poor quality or unavailable.
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Postby superfunk » 01 Feb 2010 01:12

talking about stantons...
what do you think guys about the 890LE Kabusa is offering for 180 USD?
is said to be from the legendary 881 and somewhere on the net i was reading to have a channel separation somewhere close to 30db at 1 KHz.
if this is true, there should be no more reasons for keep searching a second hand 881 and/or a ShureV15 on ebay...
the 681EEEmk3 looks great too.
maybe both of them could beat my actual AT440MLa..maybe.. does anyone have an idea?

sorry for the OT :oops:
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