What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

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Ricketts223
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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by Ricketts223 » 15 Oct 2019 02:55

So as a winter project (one of many, lol) I am restoring an old Pioneer PL-200. I used to have one of these back in high school, so it's bringing back some memories. As a cheap test cartridge I picked up a 3600L and I have to agree - it sounds amazing for a $10US cartridge. I might pick up a few extra if I start repairing/flipping turntables. The PL-200 is working well, I just need to sand out and polish some scratches in the dustcover. Ready for the cold winter nights :)

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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by cafe latte » 15 Oct 2019 08:54

Ricketts223 wrote:
15 Oct 2019 02:55
So as a winter project (one of many, lol) I am restoring an old Pioneer PL-200. I used to have one of these back in high school, so it's bringing back some memories. As a cheap test cartridge I picked up a 3600L and I have to agree - it sounds amazing for a $10US cartridge. I might pick up a few extra if I start repairing/flipping turntables. The PL-200 is working well, I just need to sand out and polish some scratches in the dustcover. Ready for the cold winter nights :)
Yes they really are very good indeed if all else is right they really can sing.
Chris

T68
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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by T68 » 15 Oct 2019 13:40

Just ordered my second one. Hopefully it will play well with that Lenco B52 I just scored on an aucion.

BMRR
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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by BMRR » 15 Oct 2019 16:16

In my experience, the 3600 likes to be in a fairly heavy headshell, like 10g or more. And don't be afraid to run it at 3g VTF. I've heard of people trying to use them at 2.5g or even 2g and that is not what they're designed for. Technically it'll work at 2.5 but you won't get the best results that way.

Ricketts223
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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by Ricketts223 » 16 Oct 2019 00:02

I'm running it at 1.75, but will definitely bump it up to 2 to 2.5 next as a comparison. Then 3g

octavius
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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by octavius » 16 Oct 2019 07:25

I'm running my AT3600L at 2,5gram. Goes bellow 2,5g is probably wrong when AT540ML with ML goes with 2g. :)
But I could try 3g. for AT3600L :)

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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by cafe latte » 16 Oct 2019 21:17

BMRR wrote:
15 Oct 2019 16:16
In my experience, the 3600 likes to be in a fairly heavy headshell, like 10g or more. And don't be afraid to run it at 3g VTF. I've heard of people trying to use them at 2.5g or even 2g and that is not what they're designed for. Technically it'll work at 2.5 but you won't get the best results that way.
I agree, tried one on my Lenco gl78 which is quite a heavy arm around 18g effective mass and the AT3600l sounds great.
Chris

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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by wblynch » 21 Oct 2019 05:12

Looking for a cost effective 78 playback solution I thought about one of these AT-3600L fitted with a Pfanshtiel 3 stylus. I see the stylus for the $17 range which would have me at $30, ready to go.

Has anyone here tried it for 78’s?

Btw, it was quite painful trudging through the first 2/3 of this thread enduring that boor with his effen $4290 cartridge. All I could think of was all the records I could buy with an AT-3600L and the leftover $4277

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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by Eric Auer » 21 Oct 2019 14:34

wblynch wrote:
21 Oct 2019 05:12
Looking for a cost effective 78 playback solution I thought about one of these AT-3600L fitted with a Pfanshtiel 3 stylus. I see the stylus for the $17 range which would have me at $30, ready to go.

Has anyone here tried it for 78’s?

Btw, it was quite painful trudging through the first 2/3 of this thread enduring that boor with his effen $4290 cartridge. All I could think of was all the records I could buy with an AT-3600L and the leftover $4277
This wont break the bank either:

https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-A ... B07JLWXGHL

Ricketts223
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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by Ricketts223 » 21 Oct 2019 20:14

I always wondered why more companies don't use threaded inserts.

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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by Woodbrains » 21 Oct 2019 21:49

Hello,

Has anyone tried/compared the Goldring E1. It is essentially an Audio Technica AT VM95. But the entry level AT VM95 conical has an aluminium cantilever. The E1 has the carbon cantilever and tracks at a recommended 2g. I have the E3, (aluminium cantilever, bonded elliptical) which I really like. I have also used the AT 3600, after reading these pages. Could the E1 potentially be a better cart than the 3600? Same stylus but with a better generator. If Goldring are not just overhyping, the E series has improved precision over the VM95, too. I've not heard the new line of 95's though; there may be no difference other than body shape, between them and the E2 and E3, which would roughly equate to the VM95 c and e. But the E1 gives a variation the AT VM95 line does not; the carbon conical. Admittedly, the E1 is not as cheap as either the 3600L or the VM 95c, but is still only £40 in Britain, not a great deal. Lower tracking than the 3600L and a 'better' generator. Could be the real winner.

Mike.

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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by BMRR » 21 Oct 2019 22:13

Other than having more turns of wire in the coils and therefore offering higher output, it's not clear to me whether or not the VM95 generator is "better" than the AT3600 generator. It very well could be better, but I'm not aware of any legitimate tests that have compared the two. The 3600 has significantly lower inductance, which sometimes translates to greater frequency response, but not always.

Probably the best way to compare the two generators would be to put an ATN91R stylus on the 3600 and VMN95C stylus on the VM95. The ATN91R has the same diamond, cantilever, and suspension as the VMN95C. That would seem to reduce the variables as much as possible and provide the fairest comparison.

The outer housing of the VM95, however, is definitely better in both appearance and ease of use (and supposedly also in terms of reducing unwanted resonances). :)

Woodbrains
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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by Woodbrains » 21 Oct 2019 23:19

BMRR wrote:
21 Oct 2019 22:13
Other than having more turns of wire in the coils and therefore offering higher output, it's not clear to me whether or not the VM95 generator is "better" than the AT3600 generator. It very well could be better, but I'm not aware of any legitimate tests that have compared the two. The 3600 has significantly lower inductance, which sometimes translates to greater frequency response, but not always.

Probably the best way to compare the two generators would be to put an ATN91R stylus on the 3600 and VMN95C stylus on the VM95. The ATN91R has the same diamond, cantilever, and suspension as the VMN95C. That would seem to reduce the variables as much as possible and provide the fairest comparison.

The outer housing of the VM95, however, is definitely better in both appearance and ease of use (and supposedly also in terms of reducing unwanted resonances). :)
Hello,

I would have to modify the 'test' you suggest, and try an E2 (alu conical) and E1 (carbon conical) stylii on my E3 body and a ATN91 R on the 3600. That would be more or less what you suggest, but with Goldring badged AT 95's. I was hoping some others here might have tried similar tests as, well I like opinions of others who have more varied experience, and also, my tonearms have fixed headshells and don't lend themselves to this sort of testing. When I get my Jelco arm set up, and get another shell, I could do this.


I must say, I'm intrigued by your assertion that the generators may only vary by increase in output voltage, but not necessarily 'improve' the sound. If you are right, and I am not saying you are not, at all, then only stylus shape and cantilever has an effect. Since all MM carts (of any manufacture) are essentially just coils and a stylus/cantilever, then the limit to performance is not sky high prices, when the better stylii can be had on carts of moderate price. For example, the AT VM cart series have fine line and shibata stylii in the sub 200 £/$ region. I'm not aware, personal preferences aside, there are many stylii much better nor radically more expensive than these, so what makes MM carts more expensive byfactors of 5? Beryllium cantilevers?

Mike.

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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by cafe latte » 22 Oct 2019 11:12

Woodbrains wrote:
21 Oct 2019 21:49
Hello,

Has anyone tried/compared the Goldring E1. It is essentially an Audio Technica AT VM95. But the entry level AT VM95 conical has an aluminium cantilever. The E1 has the carbon cantilever and tracks at a recommended 2g. I have the E3, (aluminium cantilever, bonded elliptical) which I really like. I have also used the AT 3600, after reading these pages. Could the E1 potentially be a better cart than the 3600? Same stylus but with a better generator. If Goldring are not just overhyping, the E series has improved precision over the VM95, too. I've not heard the new line of 95's though; there may be no difference other than body shape, between them and the E2 and E3, which would roughly equate to the VM95 c and e. But the E1 gives a variation the AT VM95 line does not; the carbon conical. Admittedly, the E1 is not as cheap as either the 3600L or the VM 95c, but is still only £40 in Britain, not a great deal. Lower tracking than the 3600L and a 'better' generator. Could be the real winner.

Mike.
I have at3600l at95e, and atvmc and the ml, also the l.p. gear cfse elliptical for the 95e and the at3600l.
And a Lot of other carts. The at3600l is great even with its own stylus, wide sweet too, it just lacks last nth degree of detail. The l.p. gear elliptical provides this again more of what is good. The 95e c.f. cantilever from l.p. gear with the elliptical sounds amazing too. I prefer both to my vm conical. The ml is fantastic, but the carbon are sweeter and very wide so I spend much more time playing even the at3600l, than vm ml. Not saying the ml is not amazing just the c.f. cantilever conical or elliptical gives a very nice sound.
Chris

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Re: What about cheap Chinese cartridges?

Post by MCM_Fan » 22 Oct 2019 19:44

cafe latte wrote:
22 Oct 2019 11:12
Woodbrains wrote:
21 Oct 2019 21:49
Hello,

Has anyone tried/compared the Goldring E1. It is essentially an Audio Technica AT VM95. But the entry level AT VM95 conical has an aluminium cantilever. The E1 has the carbon cantilever and tracks at a recommended 2g. I have the E3, (aluminium cantilever, bonded elliptical) which I really like. I have also used the AT 3600, after reading these pages. Could the E1 potentially be a better cart than the 3600? Same stylus but with a better generator. If Goldring are not just overhyping, the E series has improved precision over the VM95, too. I've not heard the new line of 95's though; there may be no difference other than body shape, between them and the E2 and E3, which would roughly equate to the VM95 c and e. But the E1 gives a variation the AT VM95 line does not; the carbon conical. Admittedly, the E1 is not as cheap as either the 3600L or the VM 95c, but is still only £40 in Britain, not a great deal. Lower tracking than the 3600L and a 'better' generator. Could be the real winner.

Mike.
I have at3600l at95e, and atvmc and the ml, also the l.p. gear cfse elliptical for the 95e and the at3600l.
And a Lot of other carts. The at3600l is great even with its own stylus, wide sweet too, it just lacks last nth degree of detail. The l.p. gear elliptical provides this again more of what is good. The 95e c.f. cantilever from l.p. gear with the elliptical sounds amazing too. I prefer both to my vm conical. The ml is fantastic, but the carbon are sweeter and very wide so I spend much more time playing even the at3600l, than vm ml. Not saying the ml is not amazing just the c.f. cantilever conical or elliptical gives a very nice sound.
Chris
What VTF are you using for the carbon fiber elliptical? I've used the cheap and cheerful AT3600L on a number of turntables and enjoy it, but I currently have a turntable with a tonearm with a maximum VTF of 2.5g (Yamaha PX-2). I added a 4g weight to the heashell, which helped lower the resonance to 10Hz, but the maximum VTF is still 2.5g.

It doesn't sound bad, but I'm wondering if a stylus that is more optimized for 2.0 - 2.5g would sound even better. I had a NOS ATN3601E that I stupidly threw in with a turntable I sold. It tracked great at 2.0g and was very quiet in the groove. So, that's what I'm looking for. I'm considering the LP Gear CFN3600LE and the Audio Technica ATN91 (the yellow one with the carbon fiber cantilever, not the red ATN91R with the aluminum cantilever). The ATN91 is a 0.6 mil conical that tracks at 2.0g and is only 20 bucks from Amazon. So, that seems like a better match for my tonearm than the stock AT3600L, but if the CFN3600LE works well at 2.5g, that would hopefully give me the same detail as the ATN3601E, but retain the "fun" sound of the carbon fiber Audio Technicas.

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