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Is the Audio-Technica AT90E a quality phonograph cartridge?

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Is the Audio-Technica AT90E a quality phonograph cartridge?

Postby KStewart2012 » 11 Sep 2010 15:36

I've been slowly setting up my Technics SL-D2 phonograph. Attached to the headshell is a Audio-Technica AT90E cartridge (stylus still attached). I am wondering several things. Is the AT90E a quality cartridge? Since my phonograph is used, would it make more sense to buy a replacement stylus for the AT90E or simply a new cartridge all together?

I am very new to the understanding of the phonograph world, and through my research, I've tried to determine a few quality p-arm cartridges for my model. Does anyone have any suggestions at a low to mid price level?
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Postby sreten » 11 Sep 2010 16:12

Hi,

Consider : http://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?t=29885

http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merchan ... ATSAT0090E

Its an AT11E by another name and good cartridge, but not as good
as the ADC, buy a new stylus or go for the Shibata upgrade are
the other options IMO.

rgds, sreten.
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Postby KStewart2012 » 11 Sep 2010 18:47

Thanks so much, Sreten. That's an amazing deal. On the ADC QLM 34 MKIII phono cartridge, do I need to worry about the installation on the Technics SL-D2 tonearm? On my SL-D2 manual, it says its applicable cartridge weight range is between 6g-9.5g and between 13.5g-17g (including headshell weight).

I have a P-mount headshell that has four terminals at the back that simply plug in to the end of the tone arm. The cartridge + headshell then secure to the tone arm with a single locking screw. Will that phono cartridge work with my model, and will I be able to properly have the correct tonearm height/balance with what looks to be a slightly bigger cartidge than the AT90E? I don't believe my phonograph has the ability to set the tonearm height.
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Postby sreten » 11 Sep 2010 20:11

Hi,

The ADC and AT11E suit heavyish arms, neither seem suitable for your arm.
For lighter arms another very good deal :
http://www.amazon.com/Audio-technica-AT ... B00006HO3L


FWIW the SL-D2 does not have the arrangement you describe, its a
standard tone arm with an SME bayonet connector, the ADC suits.
Check your model number in the library and report back.

rgds, sreten.
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Postby KStewart2012 » 11 Sep 2010 21:18

I have downloaded the correct Technics SL-D2 manual from the Vinyl Engine site. I am sure you are absolutely correct with your identification of my tonearm/headshell attachment set up. I apologize if my terminology has confused you. I have been slowly learning the ins and outs of my phonograph, or phonorgraphs in general, for the first time as of late, and it's very possible I am incorrectly identifying my tonearm/headshell set up.
I do know that my tonearm and headshell are the original Technics SL-D2 models. Under the tonearm section of my user manual, the following specs are listed:

Type: Universal Tonearm
Effective length: 230mm
Overhang: 15mm
Friction: Less that 7mg (lateral, vertical)
Effective mass: 12g (without cartridge)
Tracking error angle: Within 2(degree symbol)32' at the outer groove of 30cm (12") record
Within 0(degree symbol) 32' at the inner groove of 30cm (12") record
Offset angle: 22 degrees
Stylus pressure adjustment range: 0-2.5g
Applicable cartridge weight range: 6-9.5g and 13.5-17g (including headshell
(with shellweight) 3-6.5g and 10.5-14g (including headshell)
Headshell weight: 7.5g

If I am to be frank, I am simply looking for a cartridge that will produce quality sound for a good price. In the Vinyl Engine library, it lists the SL-D2 original cartridge specs as: EPC-270C moving magnet. You have, so far, mentioned two cartridges if I am correct; the AT11E by another name (the ebay auction), and the Audio-technica AT 92ECD (amazon). If I am following you correctly, you are now saying that the AT11E is a bit heavy to suit my tonearm correctly. Is the AT 92ECD the cart you would reccomend for my phonograph? I understand that a cartridge is a cartridge (so to speak), and that there are many different opinions on what is best. Reading the reviews of that AT 92ECD, it mentioned that the cart had a tendency to drag on the record with low-arm platters.

I apologize once again for the semantics of questioning. I am afraid I've become victim to reading far too much about the nuances of every available option to me. In your opinion, the lighter AT 92ECD would be a good avenue? I am quite ready to purchase a cartridge and clear my head of all the nitty gritty of phonograph/audiophile thoughts. I am in no way qualified to be approaching that realm anytime soon.

Thank you again for all your help, Sreten. I sincerely appreciate it.
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Postby sreten » 11 Sep 2010 21:44

Hi,

Its a medium mass arm.

The AT92ECD suits P mounts type light arms with the vertical screw,
which from your description sounded like you have, but you don't.

The ADC ($30) I referred to would work well and the AT11E would work
well. with a new stylus ($35), it would work better with the Shibata ($60).
One more option, the red Ed elliptical : http://www.edsaunders.com/reded.htm

Me, I go for the ATS12S shibata stylus upgrade or the ADC.

rgds, sreten.
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Postby Whitneyville » 11 Sep 2010 21:57

IMHO, the way to go is the Audio-Technica AT95E from LP Gear.com for $50. It weighs a mear 6.5 grams has an elliptical .4 X .7mil stylus (quite nice) tracks between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 grams (good), and is probably one of the best values out there. You can upgrade the sylus if you choose, but it's not really needed, and it's a darn good sounding cartridge for the money, since it did sell for $100. There are less exspensive carts in the A-T line (down to $20 that are still decent), but if you search this forum for "AT-95E", you'll find many, many people with high-priced systems that like this cartridge, and money-wise and quality-wise it's an excellent match for your turntable. You have several good options, but for the money, this is a very good cartridge. A new stylus for your AT-90 is $25-30 depending where you buy it and it will be a .7mil conical, which really doesn't compare with an elliptical in many cases for the detail in the music. The AT-92 isn't much cheaper, and can be hard to find in the US at times. So there's some choices for you to think about. Best of luck to you, and get to playing vinyl! :D
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Postby KStewart2012 » 11 Sep 2010 22:14

Thanks a million you two. I can't speak highly enough for the Vinyl Engine site and its members. I'm happy to be an inexperienced, but enthusiastically learning part! I have plenty of pondering to do with all your great advice, and will be making my decision here soon.
Best wishes to you both.
-Kyle
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Postby sreten » 12 Sep 2010 00:48

Whitneyville wrote:IMHO, the way to go is the Audio-Technica AT95E from LP Gear.com for $50. It weighs a mear 6.5 grams has an elliptical .4 X .7mil stylus (quite nice) tracks between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 grams (good), and is probably one of the best values out there. You can upgrade the sylus if you choose, but it's not really needed, and it's a darn good sounding cartridge for the money, since it did sell for $100. There are less exspensive carts in the A-T line (down to $20 that are still decent), but if you search this forum for "AT-95E", you'll find many, many people with high-priced systems that like this cartridge, and money-wise and quality-wise it's an excellent match for your turntable. You have several good options, but for the money, this is a very good cartridge. A new stylus for your AT-90 is $25-30 depending where you buy it and it will be a .7mil conical, which really doesn't compare with an elliptical in many cases for the detail in the music. The AT-92 isn't much cheaper, and can be hard to find in the US at times. So there's some choices for you to think about. Best of luck to you, and get to playing vinyl! :D



Hi,

the AT11E is very similar to the AT95E, almost identical in all details.
The ADC IMO is better, best of all is the ATS12S Shibata stylus.
for $10 more than the AT95E it makes more sense.

rgds, sreten.
sreten
 

Postby missan » 12 Sep 2010 00:53

Hi
I agree with Sreten, the AT90E with ATS12S stylus is IMO much better than an AT95E. Night and day really.
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Postby lini » 12 Sep 2010 11:02

Alternatively one could also consider an ATN12XE needle for the existing Audio Technica from Stereoneedles for 40 bucks - 10 bucks less than a new AT95E for LPGear, but already a nude, medium sharp (0.3 x 0.7 mil) elliptical...

Greetings from Munich!

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