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Upgrade from AT440MLb

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Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby octavius » 10 Dec 2017 20:52

I have this superb cartridge already one year now and I´m considering small upgrade. I want to stay in AT brand. So would be upgrade when I buy just stylus lets say ATN150SA or will be better stay with micro line stylus - VMN40ML ?
Or what suggest you guys? Many thanks [-o<
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby patient_ot » 11 Dec 2017 00:18

I don't think the SA would be an upgrade, just different if you are just buying the stylus as it's a Shibata cut. The microline you listed should sound very, very close to the 440mlb you already have.

I would probably look at the metal bodied MMs that are the top of the current AT range instead of just buying the stylus. Either that or look at an MC cart from AT.
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby billshurv » 11 Dec 2017 00:34

The question you have to ask is 'why do I want to upgrade?'. The difference between the 440 and the other stylii in the range might be disappointingly minimal.
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby fresherr » 11 Dec 2017 00:38

If you want more detail and open soundstage, get an ATN150mlx stylus. It has a gold-coated boron cantilever which is quite accurate. There are still some available for considerably less than a new AT cart.

I have a 155lc, 150mlx, and 150sa. The 155 is currently my favorite, but that model has reached 'vintage' status and is now commanding prices similar to when it was new.
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby octavius » 11 Dec 2017 09:04

To billshurv I´m thinking about the upgrade due to doubt of wear off the stylus.
I´m using turntable daily 4 hours approx. Yes I have also second cart MP-110 but I use AT440 more often. :P
I´m afraid when I change just stylus for 150SA result can be minimal as bill mentioned...
I just looked on 150MLX but there is a huge price now. :( I believe of quality 150mlx but the price is out of my budget unfortunately.
So there is so small sonic upgrade if I don't buy AT150MLx ?
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby billshurv » 11 Dec 2017 12:40

The microline should have a very long life so I wouldn't worry about wear too much. I did a lucky score on an ATN150mlx a couple of months ago as although I don't need it yet I could see it was probably the last good one available.

Thacker has some 440MLb for a not bad price https://www.thakker.eu/en/cartridges/au ... ge/a-8153/ slightly cheaper than a VNM40 which is almost identical. I can also see a few dribs of 440MLb replacement stylii around. Of course the 150sa is the next in line to go end of life, so if you want to try Shibata it's the right time. In 6 months they will be expensive.
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby octavius » 11 Dec 2017 13:32

I hope it has long life :) My records are not new but each record is washed by disco antistat. Every record is stored in new sleeves so I estimate my stylus should be ok but I was worry about that... Probably I would buy just a stylus AT150SA and put it on AT440 body if I will fell demand change the sound :):) right?
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby octavius » 12 Dec 2017 14:38

Just another idea... Would be considered for upgrade If I buy DENON DL110 ? It is for significantly sonic point of you better than AT440? :wink:
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby Roberto C2H3 » 12 Dec 2017 15:39

I have the Denon DL-110, AT-95E, AT-440-MLB and the AT-150-MLX.

My impressions:

AT-95E - Budget, yes, but it has to my ears a delicious "Juke Box Sound". I love it, and use it to test "new" used albums before spinning them on the turntable with the better cartridges.

AT-440-MLB - Much more detailed than my lovely green monster (AT-95E). The bell in "Dreamer" - Supertramp sounds like its live in the middle of my living room.

Denon DL-110 - Does everything well (note its a High Output Moving Coil, not a MM). I find myself listening and thoroughly enjoying the music without being awed and distracted by the occasional artifact like the bell above.

AT-150-MLX - Is the price hike over the 440-MLB worth it? Yes. Difficult to describe why, but if you hear it you will "see". Extremely finicky with the protractor setting. A fraction of a millimeter off and it sounds terrible. Just right and it sounds superb.

Given that you already have the AT-440-MLB, I would recommend you invest in a Denon DL-100 (elliptical). Trust me, you will like her very, very, much. 8)

Best from the Pampas,
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby patient_ot » 12 Dec 2017 19:18

octavius wrote:Just another idea... Would be considered for upgrade If I buy DENON DL110 ? It is for significantly sonic point of you better than AT440? :wink:


It will be different. Better? That's up to you.
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby Roberto C2H3 » 12 Dec 2017 19:40

patient_ot wrote:
octavius wrote:Just another idea... Would be considered for upgrade If I buy DENON DL110 ? It is for significantly sonic point of you better than AT440? :wink:


It will be different. Better? That's up to you.


+1 on the above 8)

By the way, I had a typo in my previous post - I meant the Denon - DL 110.
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby octavius » 12 Dec 2017 20:42

Thanks guys for yours input. Roberto I thought you meant DL-110 :)
Yes I know It would be different but I would like to have slightly better or very good sound quality as 440MLb does.
I think my phono pre amp should not have problem with HIMC carts.
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby Roberto C2H3 » 12 Dec 2017 20:58

octavius wrote:Thanks guys for yours input. Roberto I thought you meant DL-110 :)
Yes I know It would be different but I would like to have slightly better or very good sound quality as 440MLb does.
I think my phono pre amp should not have problem with HIMC carts.


Hola octavius 8)

The High Output MC Denon DL 110 should work just fine on your existing MM pre amp.
In fact, others here have posted that its output in mVs is actually stronger than its specs indicate. In my experience all I have to do is turn the amp one notch up to compensate as compared to the MM cartridges' outputs.

IMO the AT-440 MLB and the Denon DL 110 complement each other rather nicely. They will each sing from a record in different ways, but both are great singers 8)

If you have matched them to your tone arm and are in the green zone as provided by the resonance calculator in the tools section above, you cannot go wrong with either :)

Best for the Pampas;
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby RobberOfBostonPlace » 12 Dec 2017 21:48

Can you take a picture of your headshell? I just want to see where the screws are. I'm having a hard time aligning my cartridge, but I have a AT440MLb as well. I need something to base my alignment off of. Sorry for the odd question.
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Re: Upgrade from AT440MLb

Postby octavius » 12 Dec 2017 22:12

Here are my pictures. Alignment is Baerwald.

Image

Image
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