My Experience with AT-LH13/OCC Headshell

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Location: Essex, UK

My Experience with AT-LH13/OCC Headshell

Post by hi_torq » 10 Aug 2019 21:32

For the benefit of anyone in the market for a new headshell, I though I'd share this.

Now, unless you are specifically looking for a shell with adjustable azimuth (sideways tilt) and overhang, the chances are you won't have heard of these. However, I believe that this product deserves more attention. It's a very finely-engineered and specialist piece of hardware, made in Japan, that has nothing to do with AT's "disco decks". It eliminates at a stroke the issue of misalignment due to manufacturing error that cannot otherwise be corrected. (Interestingly, a HFC review of the Technics EPA-100 highlighted this problem!)

Straight away there is a dilemma: Which to choose - 13, 15 or 18g? Well, I opted for the 13 (on the basis that more mass can be added if necessary) and I'm glad I did. My Jelco SA-370 only just balances out with an AT-110E attached, and in this case the 15 or 18g would have presented a problem. (The stock headshell for this arm weighs in at 8g.)

The next point to note is that, in cases where it is necessary to mount the cartridge in a rearward position (i.e. where the arm pivot has been set too close to the spindle), there may not be enough clearance behind to use the lead wires supplied (due to their sleeved lugs). I would postulate that this shell has been designed primarily for short-bodied moving-coils (and also given the high mass which is better suited to low-compliance MCs).

Finish and precision are excellent. Even the finger-lift has a silicone coating - presumably to damp resonances. And of course, the benefits of azimuth and overhang adjustment that can be performed without dismounting from the arm are manifold. In addition, the headshell is as rigid as possible, quite unlike a regular type where the connector block is 'stamped' on.

Highly recommended then, notwithstanding certain points to consider.
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(A dusty disc - how embarrasing!)

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