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Audio Technica AT-13 Reviews

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Audio Technica AT-13

Audio Technica AT-13

8/10 by VinylTune

Today is 1/9/2020 and this review is for the AT13ea.

About my setup:
Cartridge was bought used and came with a poor quality red conical stylus that sounded horrible. Did not feel like spending $40 for a proper fitting elliptical stylus to justify whether the cartridge was bad, or if indeed it was the cheap-o stylus that made the thing sound horrible. Purchased a $17.00 Pfanstiehl 629-DE elliptical (0.2x0.7)mil stylus and had to do a lot of fine trimming to make it fit properly and to get the moving magnets to align correctly within the cavity.

My thoughts:
Given the stylus was modified to work on this cart, it surprisingly turned out to sound really good. The first thing that I noticed about this cartridge and stylus combo is that it gives a really mid-forward sound signature. The mid tones sounded really clear and detailed. The vocals sounded really nice and was clear without any sibliance. Second thing I noticed was a very decent stereo separation. I believe this thing was rated at 29dB channel separation and I would say that it sounds just a hair more in separation than my AT100E and which is rated at 27dB. Though my TM8 has even more noticeable separation than the AT13ea. Besides the channel separation, the AT13ea has a wide soundstage with the Pfanstiehl stylus. It performed really good playing Sultans of Swing-Dire Strait where it was able to reproduce the guitar riffs really well, the drum snares and other guitars in the background, and give a nice wider sound than my AT100E.

The two weaknesses I have noticed with the AT13ea is that even though it has a fq range of 10-30k, it seemed to taper down in the highs in anything after 10k or so. Also, the bass is detailed but it lacked punch and depth. I had to add about 1dB eq in bass and about 2dB for highs to get the right sound that I wanted. It was able to play ACDC Highway to Hell album and sounded really good the whole time after adding the eq! However when I played something with a fast synthesized beat like Maniac-Peter Sembello on a 45rpm, it seems to not be able to keep up that well and the drum kicks and impact of the snares sounded a bit distorted.

I find tracking the AT13ea with the 629-DE stylus with at least 2 grams VTF will allow you to play most music without distortion. However on a track like Maniac, I had to put the maximum 3 grams and it still had a bit of distortion with the sound. Again it could be due to my jerry-rigged stylus on there, but it sounds good enough on most music that I will refrain from spending the $40 to get a proper fitting stylus. They got a shibata 203-DEX stylus online for just over $100. If I were able to get a more linear frequency response without the roll off in the high and low frequencies with the stylus I have right now, I might have gotten the shibata stylus because the mids already sound great on this thing and the wide soundstage might sound even wider with the shibata.

8/10 by glaze182

Own a AT13EaV with original .4 x .7 mil Elliptical. I also have a brand new one in the original box, but have never had to use it as the first one is still working flawlessly. Give it the proper tracking force and it will give you whatever is in the grooves with no distortion to be heard.

9/10 by fiddlefye

A really nice surprise!

10/10 by stratocat

I have owned this cart for at least 28 years, and have loaded it alternately with nude shibata and elliptical styli. I have found it to be very revealing and uncolored. Installed currently on my Technics SP15, and aligned using the Stupid Protractor, it is revealing even more than ever.For an inexpensive cartridge, it is flawless. Sounds far more expensive than it really was, and has aged well. It will exceed expectations when properly installed, and with the stylus upgraded.


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