upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

the thin end of the wedge
dor_in
Posts: 3
Joined: 27 Jun 2018 15:15

upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by dor_in » 27 Jun 2018 15:35

Hello everyone,


Sharing the kind of music one is into seems to be successfully contributing to a better feedback, so here it is: https://www.discogs.com/user/dor_in/collection

Getting the idea already I am sure, I enjoy mixing minimal house, micro house, deep/dub techno, bit of disco house and dropping oldies or piano recorded concerts here and there when I get the chance. Keeping away from LDC screens and any other kind of artificial lightning is what got me into this business in the first place. Just saying so that what's next makes sense. Rest of my setup is: sound card TASCAM US2x2, Presonus Eris 5. When recording I use Ableton LE, which came with the TASCAM. Slipmats are Technics.

Only by re-reading what I just wrote above I'd say an universal needle, would that even exist, good for all sort-to-say, would probably do me some good.

Most clubs here use https://www.djsuperstore.ro/ortofon-con ... -club.html OR https://www.djsuperstore.ro/ortofon-sys ... -mkii.html so I'd be tempted to run along. Getting both translates into a 300 euros investment. I apologise if most of you use USD. So let's say $350.

Now I am not sure whether these styluses (silly question styllus = cartdrige and needle is just the microscopic pin peaking out, or?) match the LP120's tonearm. Maybe you could Help me out with that.

Well can't think of anything else to ask right now, luckily I can do that later, throughout the Q&A :)

Looking forward to getting some of your thoughts.

Regards,
dor_in

chiz
senior member
senior member
Great Britain
Posts: 565
Joined: 16 Oct 2009 23:05
Location: London

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by chiz » 28 Jun 2018 17:40

Welcome to the forum.

This is a tricky question because the Ortofon Concorde models you mention can't be adjusted for overhang or offset and I don't know how well they will match your tonearm in respect of alignment geometry.

I believe the Concorde DJ models are designed to give the factory alignment when used on the SL-1200MK2 and similar Technics models.

Hopefully someone familiar with your model of turntable can offer some advice.

Boltman92124
senior member
senior member
Posts: 648
Joined: 23 Jan 2016 00:18
Location: San Diego

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by Boltman92124 » 28 Jun 2018 23:02

The carts made for the Technics 1200 should work fine on the AT120. The arm length/overhang is the same.

dor_in
Posts: 3
Joined: 27 Jun 2018 15:15

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by dor_in » 29 Jun 2018 06:52

@chiz, thank you for explaining that.
@Boltman92124 pretty much on the same page. I tried comparing them via google images and they do seem quite alike.

Perhaps sharing a more personal audio happening will Help out.

A while ago I purchased this vinyl: record label wood, artist Gianluca Circosta.
Next I tried mixing the tracks with a Romanian artist's release called MDMAzing. For the first I had to push the gain close to 12'o clock, being very close to seeing the red bleeping light on the TASCAM soundcard while the gain on the latter stayed as usual, at :45 minutes. Any ideea why a record would go out at such a low volume? It would be good to know the reason so that I can keep myself away from purchasing similar items in the future. Once I made this assumption that the reason behind it might relate to repress vs. clear. In that regard I could note this as a repeating case, since other records tend to release a quite low amount of sound power while others boost the speaker crazy
So, with this on the table, I'd like to ask, whether purchasing an eliptical needle featuring a high voltage output of 8 mV, such as the Ortofon Club (https://www.djsuperstore.ro/ortofon-con ... -club.html) would Help me get a better volume out of those low sounding records?
It seems I overlooked mentioning the mixer I am using. It is a NUMARK M101. Since it's not much of a toy, would you out there think it could hinder the audio capacities of the stylus that much, or it would not have that much of an impact?

As always, appreciate any thought. Thanks

chiz
senior member
senior member
Great Britain
Posts: 565
Joined: 16 Oct 2009 23:05
Location: London

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by chiz » 29 Jun 2018 10:10

Boltman92124 wrote:The carts made for the Technics 1200 should work fine on the AT120. The arm length/overhang is the same.
The critical measurement in this case will be from the headshell collar to the stylus tip which I believe is 52mm for the Concorde DJ range to conform to Technics alignment spec.
52mm.JPG
(27.33 KiB) Downloaded 305 times

dor_in
Posts: 3
Joined: 27 Jun 2018 15:15

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by dor_in » 29 Jun 2018 11:49

Sent an e-mail to Ortofon. Maybe that will Help clear up the compatibility issue.

@chiz I am sorry, but I don't get it. Should one put face-to-face the measuremets of the standard Audio Technica stylus with those of the Concorde Club? Seems LP120s are by standards delivered with an audio technica at95E stylus.
Attachments
1.JPG
(40.53 KiB) Downloaded 303 times

chiz
senior member
senior member
Great Britain
Posts: 565
Joined: 16 Oct 2009 23:05
Location: London

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by chiz » 29 Jun 2018 14:05

Yes, you can measure that distance on the cartridge / headshell you have installed now.

This will have either been set at the factory or possibly adjusted by yourself using a supplied template.

If the distance is 52mm then it is the same as the Technics standard which I believe is what the Concorde is designed to work with.

If you're in communication with Ortofon you could ask them to confirm that too.

Boltman92124
senior member
senior member
Posts: 648
Joined: 23 Jan 2016 00:18
Location: San Diego

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by Boltman92124 » 29 Jun 2018 16:08

dor_in wrote:Sent an e-mail to Ortofon. Maybe that will Help clear up the compatibility issue.

@chiz I am sorry, but I don't get it. Should one put face-to-face the measuremets of the standard Audio Technica stylus with those of the Concorde Club? Seems LP120s are by standards delivered with an audio technica at95E stylus.
You'll be fine if the cart has a 52mm spec> rubber washer to stylus. Not sure what those integral carts weigh though. If it's over 18 grams or so, you might need the heavier counterweight AT offers. Here the spec on another Concord model. 18.5g Probably borderline for the stock counterweight..it will be way back on the tonearm.
Ortofon Concord.JPG
(54.8 KiB) Downloaded 280 times

chiz
senior member
senior member
Great Britain
Posts: 565
Joined: 16 Oct 2009 23:05
Location: London

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by chiz » 29 Jun 2018 16:38

Boltman92124 wrote:If it's over 18 grams or so, you might need the heavier counterweight AT offers. Here the spec on another Concord model. 18.5g Probably borderline for the stock counterweight..it will be way back on the tonearm.
All the DJ models are 18.5g from memory but as most of this weight is at the back nearest the tonearm pivot they require less weight to balance than a conventional cartridge / headshell assembly of the same weight.

On the SL-1200MK2 etc they will easily balance without having to install the auxiliary weight.

Boltman92124
senior member
senior member
Posts: 648
Joined: 23 Jan 2016 00:18
Location: San Diego

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by Boltman92124 » 29 Jun 2018 16:52

chiz wrote:
Boltman92124 wrote:If it's over 18 grams or so, you might need the heavier counterweight AT offers. Here the spec on another Concord model. 18.5g Probably borderline for the stock counterweight..it will be way back on the tonearm.
All the DJ models are 18.5g from memory but as most of this weight is at the back nearest the tonearm pivot they require less weight to balance than a conventional cartridge / headshell assembly of the same weight.

On the SL-1200MK2 etc they will easily balance without having to install the auxiliary weight.
Interesting. Nice to have the heavier counterweight for the LP120 anyway. It allows you to position the counterweight much closer to the pivot for all carts..which supposedly improves tonearm performance.
https://www.lpgear.com/product/ATCW1.html

chiz
senior member
senior member
Great Britain
Posts: 565
Joined: 16 Oct 2009 23:05
Location: London

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by chiz » 29 Jun 2018 18:26

dor_in wrote:For the first I had to push the gain close to 12'o clock, being very close to seeing the red bleeping light on the TASCAM soundcard while the gain on the latter stayed as usual, at :45 minutes. Any ideea why a record would go out at such a low volume? It would be good to know the reason so that I can keep myself away from purchasing similar items in the future. Once I made this assumption that the reason behind it might relate to repress vs. clear. In that regard I could note this as a repeating case, since other records tend to release a quite low amount of sound power while others boost the speaker crazy
So, with this on the table, I'd like to ask, whether purchasing an eliptical needle featuring a high voltage output of 8 mV, such as the Ortofon Club (https://www.djsuperstore.ro/ortofon-con ... -club.html) would Help me get a better volume out of those low sounding records?
It seems I overlooked mentioning the mixer I am using. It is a NUMARK M101. Since it's not much of a toy, would you out there think it could hinder the audio capacities of the stylus that much, or it would not have that much of an impact?

Going back to the question about different volume levels between records, yes this is to be expected to some degree.

In general, records cut at 45rpm will be louder than records cut at 33rpm and records with a shorter playing time will be louder than longer ones.

For example, if you take a selection of 33rpm LPs with around 20 minutes per side they will all have similar volume levels to each other.

If you take a selection of 45rpm 12” singles with around 7 minutes per side they will also have similar volume levels to each other but these will typically be louder than the levels found on the LPs.

However, as you have a mixer with independent gain control for each channel this enables you to compensate for the different source volumes as you described.

Yes, if you install a cartridge with a higher output you will require less gain to achieve the same overall level.

And yes, that mixer appears to be a budget model which may not show the full potential of your proposed cartridge upgrade but that is another component that you can consider upgrading at another time.

Sterling1
senior member
senior member
United States of America
Posts: 534
Joined: 01 Feb 2017 17:28
Contact:

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by Sterling1 » 16 Jul 2018 20:30

chiz wrote:
Boltman92124 wrote:The carts made for the Technics 1200 should work fine on the AT120. The arm length/overhang is the same.
The critical measurement in this case will be from the headshell collar to the stylus tip which I believe is 52mm for the Concorde DJ range to conform to Technics alignment spec.
52mm.JPG
I wonder if indeed an Audio-Technica 120 USB's cartridge can be aligned properly by setting it to the Technics 52mm stylus to headshell tail distance and then squaring cart to headshell? I wonder, since A-T does not publish overhang, or pivot to stylus distance. It may or may not be 230mm, unless someone here has perhaps measured it.

chiz
senior member
senior member
Great Britain
Posts: 565
Joined: 16 Oct 2009 23:05
Location: London

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by chiz » 17 Jul 2018 00:02

Sterling1 wrote:I wonder if indeed an Audio-Technica 120 USB's cartridge can be aligned properly by setting it to the Technics 52mm stylus to headshell tail distance and then squaring cart to headshell? I wonder, since A-T does not publish overhang, or pivot to stylus distance. It may or may not be 230mm, unless someone here has perhaps measured it.
I’ve just found some more info here:

https://blog.audio-technica.com/audio-s ... urntables/

AT-LP120-USB
Effective length: 230.5 mm
Overhang: 16 mm

AT-LP1240-USB
Effective length: 230 mm
Overhang: 15 mm

The factory alignment appears to be IEC Stevenson according to the protractor here:

https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/reso ... _sheet.pdf

Of course, none of this helps answer the question of whether the stylus to headshell washer distance is 52mm for factory alignment or not.

However, from pictures I’ve seen the AT-LP120 tonearm looks identical to the one used on the Pioneer PLX-500.

The Pioneer manual specifies 230.5mm effective length, 16mm overhang and 53mm stylus to headshell washer.

Maybe the AT is the same? I don't have one to measure and confirm.

Sterling1
senior member
senior member
United States of America
Posts: 534
Joined: 01 Feb 2017 17:28
Contact:

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by Sterling1 » 17 Jul 2018 00:17

Your post is very useful. I would think that the A-T 120 USB could indeed support a PNP cart with 52mm stylus to headshell tail distance, in that the divergence is moot, 2.09 inches vs. 2.05 inches or .04 inches. That's about half the diameter of a no. 2 lead from a pencil.

chiz
senior member
senior member
Great Britain
Posts: 565
Joined: 16 Oct 2009 23:05
Location: London

Re: upgrade cartdrige audio technica LP 120

Post by chiz » 17 Jul 2018 01:59

Well 1mm less overhang with the same offset angle will result in a bit more distortion but you can calculate that here and decide if it's a significant amount or not:

https://www.vinylengine.com/tonearm_ali ... or_pro.php

Post Reply