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Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

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Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby rnshwa16 » 13 Jul 2018 13:17

Just took delivery of a nice classic turntable - Thorens TD-145 II, similar to one I used to have. I knew it included a Grado Cartridge, but thought based on its picture that it was the entry-level black. Imagine my double disappointment when beginning the alignment process that not only was the stylus bent and twisted but that it was a higher end Gold! Did I somehow do that? Was it shipping damage, with the stylus unprotected? All moot now, I Suppose, as the damage is done.

I don't know how one tells which series Gold this is - original Prestige, Series 1 or 2 - as I haven't yet removed it from the tonearm wand. It's secured with a tiny hex nut and (wouldn't you know) my smallest hex tool is the one that's missing. So it's back to the hardware store today.

I know these stylii can't be repaired, and doubt they have "trade-in" value, but what are my better options for the cartridge? High end stylii replacements run about $150 (Ouch!), but I can buy a new, maybe better Cartridge for that kind of money. Presumably I can install a lower end stylus from the series. Or just sell the cartridge body to someone who likes the Grado. Appreciate any suggestions.
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Re: Grade Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby a.wayne » 13 Jul 2018 13:36

Are you familiar with the grado sound ..?

If not then i would suggest the less expensive grado blue stylus , this will give you a taste of the grado sound before committing up the line. The gold is considered by many as only a mild improvement over the blue , the blue is the sweets spot in the line to me vs gold...

https://www.parts-express.com/grado-pre ... mpaign=pla

You should measure your current body to see if its any good prior to ..

Regards
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Re: Grade Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby rnshwa16 » 13 Jul 2018 14:06

Measure as in what, the resistance at the terminals? For that I'll need to acquire a VOM.
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby josephazannieri » 13 Jul 2018 15:28

Yo Rnshwa16:

You can get an inexpensive digital VOM for about $20.00 at any big box store like Menards, Lowes, or Home Depot. Just be sure that you get one that will measure down to 1 ohm or less. Look for one with a lowest resistance scale that is 20 ohms or 40 ohms. The meter will then resolve down to 1 ohm. This will permit you to measure Re of a 4 ohm speaker accurately. Buying a digital VOM is a good idea. It is a useful device to have in your toolbox, almost as useful as a Phillips #2 screwdriver. You will find many things to do with it, such as checking to see if a wall outlet works without sticking your fingers in it.

To determine if your cart is bad, measure between left cartridge pin, marked with white, and left ground pin, marked with blue. Typically, it will measure between about 500 ohms and about 900 ohms. Then measure between right cartridge pin, marked with red, and right ground pin, marked with green. It should measure the same as the left side. If you have a side that does not measure, or measures a dead short, the cart is not worth investing in a stylus for it. There are a few cartridges that measure in the 1300 ohm range, such as some Shure V-15s, but most come in where I have suggested.

And good luck from the old outlet measurer,

Joe Z.
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby noisefreq » 13 Jul 2018 17:18

When I bought my TD145 mkII, it too came with an older Grado with a worn out stylus.
I bought a Silver stylus and installed it on the TP11 arm.
I found it to have a nice top end and a full bottom but the soundstage seemed narrow to me.
Not a big deal, just different from what I was used to.
I had read the Grado sound was "warm", but I found the top end to sound detailed.
There is also the "Grado hum" which, I believe, is more presents with turntables that have the motor close to the cartridge path, unlike the Thorens.

I ended up breaking the Silver stylus a short time later, fiddling around with it (don't ask), and went back to my trusty V15.

If it were me, I'd hold on to that Grado body but look at another cartridge choice.

That way you'll have something to compare down the road.

Building a turntable repair kit is also not a bad thing.
Tiny screwdrivers, a cheap digital volt meter, metric Allen wrenches for the Thorens, spring loaded needle nose pliers, magnified glasses, a digital scale, a bright light, little baggies or pill containers for parts and pieces.
I also use a Dremel tool quite a bit to cut the 2mm headshell screws to the proper length.
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby rnshwa16 » 13 Jul 2018 18:02

Well, I still need *some* stylus for the Grado body, otherwise there's no way I can compare it to anything. a.wayne suggested the Grado Blue stylus, which would run about $80, whereas a new Blue2 would run about $125. Other cartridges under consideration are all more expensive, e.g. Audio Technica AT7V at $188 or Ortofon 2M Blue at $210. (I'm assuming I can use a "2" stylus irrespective of the vintage of my Gold. Is that actually the case?)
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby noisefreq » 14 Jul 2018 03:27

You can use any Grado stylus in the body you have, Prestige or Prestige 2. Pick you price range.

The AT7V looks to be a nice cart but I believe the compliance is too low.
I would look at the VM540ML, VM530EM or AT120eb.

I never loved Ortofon on this arm.
I have the OM20 Super and it never really grabbed me.

The compliance of the 2M Blue does match up but keep in mind you will need the 2M Blue "Verso" to fit the Thorens armwand because it mounts from underneath.

I also really liked the vintage ADC QLM III and the Shure V15 III.
Any Shure would be nice if loaded with a JICO stylus.
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby noisefreq » 14 Jul 2018 03:31

You might check this out.
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=101616
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby cafe latte » 14 Jul 2018 04:30

I have 3 Grado carts, most recently the Gold 2, the others are higher up the range, I have a wood body Platinum (original version) and a Statement reference which is very high up the Grado food chain. Now the woody Platinum never inspired me the top end was rolled off which is a complaint of Grado, but the newer Gold 2 does not have this issue at all top end is totally different. I would disagree with Wayne and say go for a new Gold 2. Reason is the Gold as a better stylus which will retrieve highs better apart a lower tip mass. I am sure the blue is amazing too, but finally the new Gold 2 is a Grado that has great highs, a lesser wider stylus is not going to pull that high frequency information out of the groove as well. This will mean the blue high end will not be as good as the gold2 for sure. A new Gold 2 with stylus is 200 bucks online with a stylus so I would not be paying 150 bucks for a stylus to go on a Gold 1 which has inferior coils to a Gold 2, just not worth it. In the big picture 200 bucks is not a lot for a cart that sounds as good as the new Grado's. Tip by the way set it up 5-6mm tail up. Get stylus tip vertical on the edge of a record assess this with magnification, then raise tail of arm the Grado sings set up like this.
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby a.wayne » 14 Jul 2018 13:49

Never heard Gold2 but he has ,

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l8Wl6PUtBho

Heard Gold and felt blue lower entry price had better sound vs performance. At Grado gold prices there are other cartridges i would consider . In the Prestige line i did favor the blue when comparing back then..

At 80.00 bucks for a blue stylus which gets his cartridge up and running is a no brainer imo , no way to get that level of performance and have a backup so cheaply ..


My 2C


Regards
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby Laila1 » 14 Jul 2018 19:56

cafe latte wrote: .....
Tip by the way set it up 5-6mm tail up. Get stylus tip vertical on the edge of a record assess this with magnification, then raise tail of arm the Grado sings set up like this.
Chris

Hi Chris,

I have a Grado Gold2 and I like it a lot. When I first listened to it the load was 47K and about 410pF(for an Ortofon VMS 30 MK ll) and it sounded a little "dull". Then I lowerd the capacitase to about 230 pF total and the cartridge opened up in a fantastic way. Someone told me that the Grado:s are not sensitive to capacitanse but that was really not true for the Grado Prestige Gold ll. To cinfirm my findings I asked the horses mouth(Grado) and they told me that the optimum would be no capacitanse att all, or as low as possibly. I run the cartridge leveled with no tail up.

/ Lars
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby Laila1 » 14 Jul 2018 21:32

a.wayne wrote:Never heard Gold2 but he has ,

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l8Wl6PUtBho.....

Regards

Sorry wayne but this is guaranteed not a Gold2. :wink:

/ Lars
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby cafe latte » 14 Jul 2018 23:37

a.wayne wrote:Never heard Gold2 but he has ,

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l8Wl6PUtBho

Heard Gold and felt blue lower entry price had better sound vs performance. At Grado gold prices there are other cartridges i would consider . In the Prestige line i did favor the blue when comparing back then..

At 80.00 bucks for a blue stylus which gets his cartridge up and running is a no brainer imo , no way to get that level of performance and have a backup so cheaply ..


My 2C


Regards

No he hasnt, that is a gold 1.. A gold 2 has a varnish or something similar on the black plastic. A gold 2 plastic looks kind of rippled that is for sure a gold1. Going on the difference between my Platinum woody and my gold 2 which is way wetter than the woody and other comments online about the great high in the new 2 series I would be getting the new gold 2 for sure. I have carts in my cart box as most here know that are well over 1k and many of them, but love listening to my 200 dollar gold 2 so totally dont agree there are better options for the money. I have been buying carts for 30 years and IMO there is little to touch the new gold 2 for the money. Nothing out there sounds like a MC for the price of a mongrel.
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby rnshwa16 » 15 Jul 2018 21:49

I expect to order a multimeter this week, but in the meantime I hooked the table to my ART preamp and, doing a "brush test" on the stylus, I got sound out of both channels. So the cartridge body is probably OK, but I'll use the meter to be sure before ordering a new Blue2 stylus.

As to some of the cartridges under consideration, I appreciate all the suggestions. I hadn't considered the standard Ortofon 2M Blue might not fit the Thorens headshell, but it could find a home on another table. I went over 35 years with just a Thorens TD-145 II, but now have three more to play with. Aside from the Thorens, all are sporting older Audio Technicas: AT12Sa (Denon DP-61F), AT13E2 (Technics SL-3300) and AT15Sa (SL-1200 MkII). So whatever newer cartridges I go for, they should all find a match in this mix.
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Re: Grado Gold Cartridge w/ Damaged Stylus

Postby noisefreq » 15 Jul 2018 22:31

rnshwa16 wrote:I expect to order a multimeter this week, but in the meantime I hooked the table to my ART preamp and, doing a "brush test" on the stylus, I got sound out of both channels. So the cartridge body is probably OK, but I'll use the meter to be sure before ordering a new Blue2 stylus.

As to some of the cartridges under consideration, I appreciate all the suggestions. I hadn't considered the standard Ortofon 2M Blue might not fit the Thorens headshell, but it could find a home on another table. I went over 35 years with just a Thorens TD-145 II, but now have three more to play with. Aside from the Thorens, all are sporting older Audio Technicas: AT12Sa (Denon DP-61F), AT13E2 (Technics SL-3300) and AT15Sa (SL-1200 MkII). So whatever newer cartridges I go for, they should all find a match in this mix.


Wow!
I didn't realize you were so well acquainted with vintage Audio Technica cartridges.

The Grado would definitely bring a different flavor to the mix.
I think you will enjoy it.
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