Signet TK7E question.

the thin end of the wedge
whitetrashrocker
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Signet TK7E question.

Post by whitetrashrocker » 16 Jul 2018 00:28

A TT I bought at a garage sale had a little surprise, a Signet TK7E. The stylus is probably toast.

I stacked some reading glasses (3.25x) behind my task magnifiers (3.5x) and then used a 15x loupe I have.
With all that at the stylus still was extremely small. But when I look at other stylii I can see ok.
This isn't the important part anyways.

I only have one head shell for my Philips table and over here they are hard to come by. I would love to have another so I can A-B compare.

But funds are a bare minimum so here is what I ask.

Would it be worth it to get a stylus for the Signet or just stick with my Empire.

I could get a whole Cart and stylus for the price of a Signet replacement.

As I understand both the Empire cart and my Marantz have a warm tone and there's not much "air". I have the treble cranked and the mids and bass at mid level.

Would the signet be a brighter Cart? Would it be worth while to use it or is there not much gain for the amount of cash to get it running.

I'm quite happy with my set up now but I wonder if I'm really missing out on something good.

jdjohn
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by jdjohn » 16 Jul 2018 17:05

Definitely worth keeping! There are other alternate styli at various price points that will fit that cartridge. Any TKXE stylus will fit, but NOT TKXEa. Audio Technica styli from the ATN10/11/12 series will also fit. Maybe you're already aware, but Signet was sort of Audio Technica's high-end line years ago.

To answer your question about the sound, AT carts are known for sounding brighter. I've never heard an Empire, so can't comment about comparison, but I am a big AT fan :) I have a few Signet cartridges as well sporting OEM Signet styli and AT styli.

Sunwire
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by Sunwire » 16 Jul 2018 18:35

I used to sell Signet cartridges back in the days when the TK7E was a current model. It was one of my favorite cartridges. It is well worth keeping.

If you go to this page and look at the options, any of the needles in groups A or B will work on that cartridge body.

A needle for a TK7Ea will NOT work.

Jico makes replacement needles for the Audio Technica versions of this cartridge series. They don't make any that are labeled for Signet cartridges, but the Audio Technica needles are interchangeable on the Signet bodies.

So, if you can't find an original Signet (very rare) needle or the Audio Technica equivalent (also rare, but still come up occasionally), you may want to try the Jico replacement for one of the compatible Audio Technica models.
Jico's ATN12S appears to be the best needle currently available new.
https://www.jico-stylus.com/index.php?c ... =2a&page=2

donovan
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by donovan » 16 Jul 2018 18:45

Audio Technica's Signet Division sold some very nice stuff including wires,stylus cleaner,ect,
I still have a Signet TK5Ea and it sounds superb with Genuine AT stylus.
Definitely keep it, and find a new stylus.

whitetrashrocker
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by whitetrashrocker » 17 Jul 2018 01:18

Could I get a quick schooling on the AT numbers?

What's the difference between an atn12, 13, 14....
And I assume the suffex is the shape? E for elliptical and so on?...

And I did see two Signet needles on that link.TKN2E and TKN4E. Again the difference?

jdjohn
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by jdjohn » 17 Jul 2018 03:58

whitetrashrocker wrote:Could I get a quick schooling on the AT numbers?

What's the difference between an atn12, 13, 14....
And I assume the suffex is the shape? E for elliptical and so on?...

And I did see two Signet needles on that link. TKN2E and TKN4E. Again the difference?
In your case with a TK7E, only an ATN12 stylus would fit due to the size/shape of the cartridge body. ATN13 or 14 simply won't fit.

With OEM styli, the difference between a TKN2E and TKN4E might be nude vs bonded, or the shape of the cantilever. But with the JICO replacements, they don't provide any details, so hard to say.

I would be more inclined to get this https://www.lpgear.com/product/TK5.html or splurge for the upgrade https://www.lpgear.com/product/TK5E.html You could also get an OEM ATN12XE from here http://stereoneedles.com/audio-technica.html which *should* be nude mounted, or maybe this guy https://www.ebay.com/itm/Signet-TKN22-N ... m570.l1313

EDIT: Whichever stylus you choose, it should brighten-up the sound from your Marantz 2235B - a very nice vintage receiver. You might also try using the loudness button, and then bump treble up, and bass down.

Sunwire
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by Sunwire » 17 Jul 2018 06:09

The original stylus for the TK7E was a nude mounted square shanked .2 x .7 elliptical diamond on an aluminum cantilever.

The nude mounting and the sharp .2 x .7 elliptical diamond both contributed to the fine sound.

There are some conical and "duller" elliptical needles like a .3 x .7 diamond available. That's what the lower priced Jico needles will be. Around $24 for a conical and around $56 for an elliptical.

The TKN22 is .2 x .7, but it's bonded, not nude mounted.
The ATN12S from Jico is a Shibata stylus, but it's bonded, not nude mounted and a bit more expensive than the TKN22.
I think either one could be a good choice.
Neither one will quite match the quality of the original stylus, but they could be pretty close.

I am not 100% sure, but I believe the TKN2E and TKN4E are for later Signet p-mount cartridges. I *think* they would work with the TK7Ea cartridge body, but not with the TK7E.
The two body styles are similar, but the earlier TK7E has a round hole in the bottom of the cartridge and the later TK7Ea has a rectangular hole. So, you can't switch needles between them.

whitetrashrocker
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by whitetrashrocker » 19 Jul 2018 04:11

Thanks for all the info. It helps a learning noob with all the specs.

I might get a stylus under $50 to at least make it a complete unit.

Sunwire
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by Sunwire » 19 Jul 2018 04:56

I would NOT assume the original stylus is toast.
Maybe it is, but it's worth testing.
If you have a record you don't care much about (music you don't really like), but that is in excellent physical condition (no scratches and not worn out from playing on a poor quality turntable), try the original stylus on it.
If it sounds clear and undistorted, it's probably fine and OK to use on records you really care about and don't want to damage.

whitetrashrocker
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by whitetrashrocker » 19 Jul 2018 05:28

The stylus that came on it was a brown one with signet 7Ea.

I'm not throwing anything away. Don't worry.
But looking at it it looked very worn.

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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by Spinner45 » 19 Jul 2018 06:31

whitetrashrocker wrote:The stylus that came on it was a brown one with signet 7Ea.

I'm not throwing anything away. Don't worry.
But looking at it it looked very worn.
Of course you used a stylus microscope to judge, because you cannot tell with the naked eye.

Sunwire
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by Sunwire » 19 Jul 2018 07:20

OK, you need to revisit all the comments up above.
This is NOT a TK7E, it's a TK7Ea.
That's a different cartridge.
You are actually lucky, because it's a LOT easier to find needles that fit the TK7Ea.

The TK7E needles WON'T FIT.

But there are a LOT more needles that WILL fit.
The TK7Ea body is essentially the same as the Audio Technica AT100E and AT120E and many others. Electrically, they are a little different, but the needles are interchangeable.
Audio Technica is still making needles that fit this body, and they will probably continue for quite awhile.

There are lots of threads about this on VinylEngine. If you do a search in the forums for "AT120 stylus" or "AT120 Needle", you will find lots of posts.

Here is one that gives a pretty comprehensive list of the available needles that are compatible. It might not cover every single one, but pretty much.
https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 06#p789706

Don't bother with a Jico or other aftermarket stylus for this cartridge. There are enough genuine Audio Technica needles that you should get one of those instead. They are all good, even the cheaper ones.
The best buy, if you can find one, is probably the ATN132EP.
This is almost identical to the original TK7Ea needle.
Do NOT WAIT to buy one of these. They are disappearing fast. The price has doubled in just the last few months and won't ever come back down.

This place MIGHT have one. If they do, buy it. If they don't have the ATN132EP, buy the ATN120E. It's not quite as good, but it is better than anything else you will find at that price.
http://stereoneedles.com/audio-technica.html

All the needles in groups K and L will fit, but they are mostly out of stock. They will turn up on ebay from time to time, however.

Good luck!

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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by addicted-to-analog » 19 Jul 2018 22:27

Sunwire wrote:This place MIGHT have one. If they do, buy it. If they don't have the ATN132EP, buy the ATN120E. It's not quite as good, but it is better than anything else you will find at that price.
http://stereoneedles.com/audio-technica.html
Thanks for that link. :)

My bank balance may not thank you, but I thank you. :wink: :)

whitetrashrocker
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by whitetrashrocker » 20 Jul 2018 00:39

So I'm confused. I have a TK7E cart and a 7Ea stylus.
So this isnt supposed to work? Or is like backwards compatible.
I didn't give it a fair listen but it did work.

And spinner45. No I don't have an electron microscope, but I did use quite a bit of magnification that I could. About 22x. Not that it's enough but not naked eye.

donovan
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Re: Signet TK7E question.

Post by donovan » 20 Jul 2018 02:23

As Sunwire stated earlier, does your AT/Signet stylus have a round OR rectangular shaped snap insertion piece?
The earlier (e)Signets were round and the later (ea) models were rectangular. Period.

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