Grado Black2

the thin end of the wedge
derspankster
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Re: Grado Black2

Post by derspankster » 18 Jan 2018 23:56

I began this thread because I found a $75 cartridge made in the USA that I thoroughly enjoy in my system. I thought perhaps others might be interested as well. I find it splendid with jazz music, especially voice.

But, I think if I swung my tonearm towards the spindle and closer to the motor of my $77 (new in 1969 price) ARXA and turn the gain full up I would likely hear some humming.

But, that's OK with me, I don't hear any humming at the levels that I listen. And, I still think it's a great value for the money. I have cartridges that cost a lot more that get no table time.

cafe latte
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Re: Grado Black2

Post by cafe latte » 19 Jan 2018 00:07

derspankster wrote:I began this thread because I found a $75 cartridge made in the USA that I thoroughly enjoy in my system. I thought perhaps others might be interested as well. I find it splendid with jazz music, especially voice.

But, I think if I swung my tonearm towards the spindle and closer to the motor of my $77 (new in 1969 price) ARXA and turn the gain full up I would likely hear some humming.

But, that's OK with me, I don't hear any humming at the levels that I listen. And, I still think it's a great value for the money. I have cartridges that cost a lot more that get no table time.
I agree there is something very interesting about Grado carts. I got a Platinum wood body off Alec and yes the sound was not perfect, but it really got me interested in the brand they have a mid range far sweeter than any cart for that money has any right to be and a wideness that few carts under 1k can manage. Only bass being a bit thick and a slight lack of sparkle up at the top let the Platinum wood down and the issue is the stylus. IMO a cheap black body with a decent stylus and it might just be a giant killer.
Chris

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by audiopile » 19 Jan 2018 06:38

Over about 20 years or so - installed a lot of Grado carts in a lot of tables ( maybe a couple of thousand?) . In terms of hum - most tables with AC synchronous motors hummed to some degree when mated with Grado carts (exception: low output 1.5mv/2.2 mv Grado's seem to be pretty hum immune ?). Having spent too much of my life trying to teach phono units the words -LOTS of things cause hum besides AC motor/Grados. The hum database became useless simply because it contained dozens of turntable models that didn't hum with Grado's - they had DC motors and whatever hum folks were hearing was coming from grounding issues or simply the noise threshold of other equipment downstream from the table/arm/cart.
I liked Grado's -still like 'em and own and use a bunch of 'em - but not on tables with AC synchronous motors. There are a lot of ways to make a induced magnet cartridge - but the square of magnets within the stylus assembly of a Grado is unique ( I am by no means completely confident in this statement - can anyone site another design with a removable stylus with both sets of magnets within the stylus body ? ADC has magnets of fair size within some of their stylus assemblies - but it seems to me they must have more within the cart body??)These are physically rather large magnets - would wrapping Mu metal around them do something that's a problem ? A reflection ? Don't know.
And John Grado deserves to be appreciated for the stylus assemblies that his company continues to manufacturer for cart models that have been discontinued for 35 -maybe even forty years ? I can't think of another user replaceable stylus company that does that ?

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by AdlerW » 08 Feb 2018 19:37

Sorry to bump this thread, but I'm just wondering: has anyone else here tried more of the Prestige2 series? I tried the Blue2 and thought it was a noticeable improvement over my Red1.

Was curious if the Gold2 was much of a difference.

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by wojo58 » 08 Feb 2018 21:13

I would also ask the OP how his Grado Black 2 is coming along..... it been a few weeks ??
:D :?:

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by derspankster » 09 Feb 2018 15:39

wojo58 wrote:I would also ask the OP how his Grado Black 2 is coming along..... it been a few weeks ??
:D :?:
The Black2 is still on my table. I am certainly enjoying it. With the addition of a little damping fluid to my Jelco arm the coil sounds even better. I've now gone through many of my favorite jazz albums and I continue to like what I hear. Tracking at 1.65 grams with no A/S. I've tried other A/S settings from .5 to 1.5 but always return to none.

der

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by pivot » 09 Feb 2018 16:00

I have been turned off on recent Grados, after years of owning them, by tracking and Inner Groove Distortion issues.

Glad to hear that the current line seems to have addressed this - might be time for another listen.

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by derspankster » 09 Feb 2018 16:31

Have not noticed any tracking problems or noticeable inner groove distortion. I do take pains with alignment. One thing I failed to mention is how quiet it is in the groove. My Black2 has about 70-75 hours on it. John Grado sent me an example that was already broken it. It's a bonded elliptical. That's about all I can see with my 50x loupe.

der

AdlerW
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Re: Grado Black2

Post by AdlerW » 09 Feb 2018 18:03

^Right, I remember seeing your posts on AK. I can also confirm that the Blue2 was very quiet in the groove. I didn't notice much IGD either (in general IGD is only noticeable to me on records that have it built-in, a consequence of buying so many used ones).

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by Boltman92124 » 09 Feb 2018 18:58

AdlerW wrote:^Right, I remember seeing your posts on AK. I can also confirm that the Blue2 was very quiet in the groove. I didn't notice much IGD either (in general IGD is only noticeable to me on records that have it built-in, a consequence of buying so many used ones).
I had a Technics SL-Q3 back in the 80's. Also had a SL-B2. One of those was a P-Mount I think. Nice TT's. Lasted all through HS and College! I see some on ebay for around $250..

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by Laila1 » 09 Feb 2018 23:57

derspankster wrote:
wojo58 wrote:I would also ask the OP how his Grado Black 2 is coming along..... it been a few weeks ??
:D :?:
The Black2 is still on my table. I am certainly enjoying it. With the addition of a little damping fluid to my Jelco arm the coil sounds even better. I've now gone through many of my favorite jazz albums and I continue to like what I hear. Tracking at 1.65 grams with no A/S. I've tried other A/S settings from .5 to 1.5 but always return to none.

der
Hi, I have the same arm that you have and my findings are that the recomended amount of oil(exactly half up) is the correct one. Setting the AS is very picky but for me I landed on about 1.58 for 1.60 tracking force. If you have no AS your neddle vill have a premature wear out, I suppose.

And yes, I was nearly to forget, my cartridge is a Grado Gold2 at about 40 hours.

wojo58
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Re: Grado Black2

Post by wojo58 » 10 Feb 2018 01:04

So, putting aside possible QA issues with this cartridge (as read on the AK forums on this very subject), I'm confused as to whether this cartridge is/has potting or it does not. Do we want it to have potting?

And, I'll admit I'm ignorant as to the details of potting. When do want/not want potting?

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by BMRR » 10 Feb 2018 17:30

Grado has potted their cartridges with the infamous "black goop" for several decades, so I guess they must have felt that it was a good thing. Are they no longer doing this with the Prestige 2 line?

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by audiopile » 10 Feb 2018 18:59

the black goop between the cartridge bodys "slot" and the stylus is there to damp the mechanical interface between the stylus and the body -IOW-keep the stylus from ratteling around in the body. Potting is something different-it's filling the inevitable cavity's within a cartridge body with something - beeswax has been popular. At a min. this will slightly increase the mass of the cart body -so there will be some difference in the sound of the resulting potted cart. The problem is that you take a real chance of breaking one or more of the VERY small diameter wires within the body.personally -not something I've wanted to try. OTOH - the black goop is a pretty clever idea (Joe had a bunch of 'em!).

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Re: Grado Black2

Post by derspankster » 10 Feb 2018 19:29

My Black2 has no black goop.

der

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