the home of the turntable

Technics SL-1950 cartridge/stylus recommendation

turning japanese

Technics SL-1950 cartridge/stylus recommendation

Postby jrjones4 » 20 Oct 2017 20:41

Hey everybody,

I'm still relatively new to vinyl but over the past couple of years I've been really trying to boost up my turntable game. I have about 7 or 8 record players which I love dearly but I've only been using 2 of them regularly. One of them is the aforementioned Technics SL-1950, which I've designated solely for the purpose of playing my 45's. I specially ordered the Technics multistack 45 adapter that's compatible with this turntable and I love it! I can stack up to 6 of my 45's on top of one another and for the most part they all sound great. But, since all 45's are usually used or worn, I was wondering if there were any recommendations for what kind of cartridge/stylus to use for the best playback (and not too ridiculously priced)? When I acquired my Technics I had to have it repaired, and the people who repaired it went ahead and ordered a new needle for it: an elliptical Empire stylus with a tracking force of 1.0 to 2.5 grams. And I have no complaints, it does play a lot of my 45's well. But I have also read that a conical/spherical stlyus is better for 45 playback because it reduces the amount of distortion that the needle picks up. And even on top of that, I've read in another forum that this is an old wives tale and that the elliptical stylus is the way to go. I decided to start this new forum because I'd like to hear a wider range of opinions about this matter. I do want to preserve my 45's but I also want to have the ultimate playback, so I was wondering what was a good cartridge with a low tracking weight I could buy? Also, which is better for playing 45's, the conical or the elliptical stylus? And I probably won't have the money to buy one for quite a while but what about this MicroLine stylus - would it still work well on my 45's? On a separate note the cartridge weight range on this Technics model is 5.5 to 9.5 grams, so any advice would be deeply appreciated. Mad respect to all you audiophiles out there!
jrjones4
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 13 Jul 2017 17:40

United States of America

Re: Technics SL-1950 cartridge/stylus recommendation

Postby anmpr1 » 21 Oct 2017 18:32

The fidelity of 45rpm do-nut hole records is usually not too high. My guess is that something like an Ortofon Pro S at 4 grams would be OK. Or the Shure M44 which tracks a little lower, if that's an issue for you. Standard tracking error solutions are meant for LPs; a conical stylus would likely be less prone to audible alignment errors if it's misaligned. I don't know what the alignment offset would be for a 45rpm disc. I don't know that it would be worth working it out. Perhaps a mono cartridge might be helpful, or you can wire the stereo outputs for mono.
anmpr1
member
member
 
Posts: 123
Joined: 22 Sep 2012 00:05

United States of America

Re: Technics SL-1950 cartridge/stylus recommendation

Postby eddie edirol » 21 Oct 2017 20:09

I am a 45 stacking guy like you with a technics 1650.
The M44-7 or M44-G is good for your 45s if they aren’t in good shape. Those comical styli carts will mask some of the surface noise.
The problem with those is that typically you can actually stack around 10 45s on that stacker, but the shure cart is completely square and won’t allow that around record 7. If you’re fine with only stacking 6, you’ll be good.
Otherwise to make your listening totally worth it sound wise, replace the worn records with new or minty ones, then get the micro line stylii carts like an audio technica and enjoy the music the way it was meant to be heard.
I have an ortofon rondo red MC cart, and I live by it with clean non-worn 45s that I stack, and it’s totally worth it in every aspect. Looks, sound, and practicality.

If you want to learn more just PM me.

33663
User avatar
eddie edirol
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 781
Images: 33
Joined: 26 Apr 2011 07:42
Location: New Jersey

United States of America

Re: Technics SL-1950 cartridge/stylus recommendation

Postby anmpr1 » 22 Oct 2017 15:00

My guess is that, like everything vinyl, it's a mixed bag, where one aspect of the equation may influence another. First, 45 rpm discs have the potential for better sound than those cut at 33, all things being equal. But mass market do-nut hole discs were usually made as a cheap commodity, with little thought of sonic quality. It was because the criteria for the product was different than a typical 33 rpm disc.

Because the playing surface (relative to a 33rpm disc) is longer for the same amount of recorded time, 45rpm grooves were typically spaced wider, and the level cut 3 to 4 dB hotter than standard 33rpm discs. These factors were dictated by the requirements of professional and commercial use: limited dynamic range (AM stations often used signal compression) and freedom from potential groove skipping. The gear used to play these discs was industrial strength, to include juke box mechanisms and, for the consumer, portables with ceramic cartridges.

Program material was almost always monophonic pop, thus 2 or 3 minutes of music (and often, less) was the maximum that any disc required. That said, a 7" record cut at -3dB level, and with closely spaced grooves, could contain upwards of 6 minutes or more of recorded sound, but then other problems became evident. For more special purposes, a 7 inch record cut at 33rpm at -6 dB could have about 9 minutes of sound. Some record company promo discs were of this type. I once had a promo Jerry Jeff Walker 7" disc that contained a 7 minute song on one side, and two standard songs on the other. I'm thinking it was 45rpm, but to tell you the truth, I don't actually remember. In any case, the level was cut so low that it would not have been playable over the air because surface noise was about as high as the program signal. [As an aside, during the late '60s, some stereo 45rpm 7" discs were marketed, but their levels were also reduced, as I recall.]

Interestingly, linear groove velocity of a 7" 45rpm is higher than that of a 12" 33 rpm record [at the inner groove the 45rpm is 10.2 ips; 8.5 ips for 12" 33rpm disc]. This would seem to suggest that line contact styli would be a good choice. However, coupled with the fact that the grooves were likely cut wider, at a hotter level, and with less dynamic range, the possibility also suggests that a deep stylus geometry could, in fact, reach in to the bottom of the groove (where plastic residue and the usual contaminates settle) and make the sound worse. For a record with limited dynamic range and limited HF response, a line contact styli may not have an intrinsic benefit over an elliptical or conical. Coupled with likely questionable alignment geometry to reduce weighted tracking error in order to minimize tracking distortion (has anyone made an analysis of this, and is there a protractor out there one can use to align 7" records?) ...well, who knows?

Perhaps the best solution to experiment with would be the Ortofon Concorde. You can get everything from a mono microgroove conical stylus to a Gyger line contact. You just plug in the different styli, and compare. Once the arm is initially balanced, you only have to adjust tracking and skating force accordingly. The only down side is that Ortofon products are on the expensive side. That, plus weighted tracking error is fixed, so you can't make any adjustments with the Ortofon.
anmpr1
member
member
 
Posts: 123
Joined: 22 Sep 2012 00:05

United States of America

Re: Technics SL-1950 cartridge/stylus recommendation

Postby jrjones4 » 22 Oct 2017 21:35

Eddie edirol and anmpr1 - thank y'all so much! Both of your responses were incredibly helpful. Eddie it sounds like you and I are very similar - my Technics model looks very similar to yours and we even have the same adapter so you of all people should know exactly where I'm coming from - I will PM you. And I appreciate the in depth explanation behind how the 45's were made anmpr1. I've heard a lot of people say on various forums that the Shure M44-7 would be a good choice but both of y'all have suggested an Ortofon so I will consider my options. However I do know a MC and line contact carts/styli are super expensive so I will have to do some comparative shopping. I also don't know the art of balancing a turntable and need to learn how to do it (Eddie perhaps you can help me with that one). I could think of a million other questions so I do appreciate the sound advice guys.
jrjones4
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 13 Jul 2017 17:40

United States of America

Re: Technics SL-1950 cartridge/stylus recommendation

Postby anmpr1 » 22 Oct 2017 23:23

I did a search for "tracking error 7 inch record" which came up with some alignment protractors. If it's important to anyone, they should investigate. The claimed reduction in error for one of the devices appears to be pretty significant. If I was going to play 7 inch discs with any frequency, I'd certainly be interested in obtaining the device, or one like it.
anmpr1
member
member
 
Posts: 123
Joined: 22 Sep 2012 00:05

United States of America

Re: Technics SL-1950 cartridge/stylus recommendation

Postby eddie edirol » 22 Oct 2017 23:33

anmpr1 wrote:I did a search for "tracking error 7 inch record" which came up with some alignment protractors. If it's important to anyone, they should investigate. The claimed reduction in error for one of the devices appears to be pretty significant. If I was going to play 7 inch discs with any frequency, I'd certainly be interested in obtaining the device, or one like it.


That should work for me, thanks Anmpr1.
User avatar
eddie edirol
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 781
Images: 33
Joined: 26 Apr 2011 07:42
Location: New Jersey

United States of America

Re: Technics SL-1950 cartridge/stylus recommendation

Postby Phono-lover » 31 Oct 2017 18:46

Below is a very well written thread about vinyl/polystyrene 45's and how to tell the difference. It is an interesting read with lots of pictures. I always thought the 45's that got warped when left in the car were the polystyrene versions but they are more on the brittle side and break easier than vinyl. I know I have some that are worn out with that tell tale white wear on the grooves.

One thing I can add is that 45's were mostly stereo by the late 60's and when new, sounded fantastic on a good stereo. I have made cassettes of my collection to play in the car that have a real punch that's noticeable.

viewtopic.php?f=95&t=62462
Phono-lover
member
member
 
Posts: 44
Joined: 08 Sep 2010 22:13
Location: Pasadena, California

Return to Technics