Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

the thin end of the wedge
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cafe latte
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Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by cafe latte » 14 Oct 2018 13:27

Ok I know this is stupid, but went bonkers and bought an AT3600 just for almost a joke weeks and weeks ago and it is still on one of my turntables #-o
0.6mm conical and bottom feeder too. Annoyingly it sounds good and it shouldnt. Ok admit I like it , can I hide now 8-[
At95 with conical worth getting? what other conical, am I nuts? Answer is clearly yes but but but...

stevoz
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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by stevoz » 14 Oct 2018 13:45

No, not when you consider how good a (admittedly not so 'cheap') conical sounds on a DL103. :)

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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by lenjack » 14 Oct 2018 14:11

Probably why lots of inexpensive tables are sold fitted with bottom of the line elliptical AT95e's, and getting very good reviews.

ms_enj
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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by ms_enj » 14 Oct 2018 15:02

I've just spent $93 on a line contact stylus for my Chinese AT3600.

Don't let the price tag fool you, they are very capable cartridges for the money.

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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by addicted-to-analog » 14 Oct 2018 16:39

Been using the Denon DL103 with it's very precise and beautifully polished Conical since 1977. By today's standards, a very reasonably priced cartridge.

I love the way a good conical stylus sounds like music. To my ears.

I also mounted up an A-T 3600L on my Lenco L70. Tracking at 3g (the maximum), it is a fun sounding cartridge.

octavius
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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by octavius » 14 Oct 2018 18:55

I'm still disillusioned from this cart too :) It really sounds better than Nagaoka MP-110

AsOriginallyRecorded
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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by AsOriginallyRecorded » 14 Oct 2018 20:23

If you are a little nuts, you are definitely not alone, as I believe there is an element of insanity necessary to pursue this hobby with the passion most of us here seem to possess. I have an early 80s example of a CEC based turntable (much like a Marantz 6300 construction), with it's original MC7 variant cartridge (possibly by Coral), with new replacement conical stylus. I bring it out of display and connect to a system, and every time, swear it sounds amazingly musical and full sounding. Other cartridges I have are certainly more detailed, but the listening satisfaction I derive from this old player and cartridge/stylus is undeniable. And, I get to relive the pleasure every 6 months or so as desired. Nuts maybe, but in a pleasant, rewarding kind of way for sure. Simple pleasures should not be denied! : :D

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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by audiopile » 14 Oct 2018 20:55

Ya -several things are probably conspiring to get a good result from conical styli ?
1.) If you're into old jazz or classical recordings -they were cut with conicals in mind for playback. I've repeatedly "guessed" that this is why some of my great old jazz recordings from the 50's to early 60's are transformed thru a DL-103 (as others have mentioned - look at these under a microscope and they make most stylus tips look like chunks of rock).

2.) I've lost track of how many alignment gauges of various sorts I own. Have aligned for customers in my past carreer -probably a thousand - maybe 2 thousand carts (mostly using a Dennisen Protractor). But I've always been aware that with any elliptical/line contact,HE,Vdh,Gein=ger or whatever whahoo-whuhoo tip -I'm trying to get two ridiculously small contact patches to meet the groove walls perfectly. Only advantage I have is when I get there I can hear when I've GOT IT. And have the min. good sense to mark down just where I'm at for that good result for future use.
3.) I still find that aligning conicals is worthwhile and somewhat puzzling ( at least for me?) cart height/VTA/SRA/pivot alignment make a signifigant difference - it ain't a slap it in and run situation.
4.) As a recovering Linn mechanic - I almost hate to say this-but sorta proves out the Linn practice of selling topflight arms/tables with relatively cheap cartridges. And this sounded great! Most cheap carts go into cheap arms/tables -with the merry dance of resonances ,rumble and speed inaccuracy that the real BOTL or abused arm/table produce -NOTHING in terms of cart would sound good.

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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by cats squirrel » 14 Oct 2018 22:12

I suppose it might depend on the music one is listening to, too. The AT3600/AT91/Rega Carbon have a vertical distortion figure of around 8%! If you are listening to electric guitar music with 40% distortion, a little more probably won't make much difference. 8)

But if one is listening to classical music, sometimes the 8% distortion does show itself. A few days ago I put an AT100 on a Rega arm/Lenco tt, and it sounded much better than my AT3600's and AT91's and my Rega Carbon. I'm looking forward to modifying the spherical AT carts for mono use, by restricting vertical displacement.

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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by addicted-to-analog » 14 Oct 2018 22:16

cats squirrel wrote:
14 Oct 2018 22:12
I'm looking forward to modifying the spherical AT carts for mono use, by restricting vertical displacement.
This could be very interesting.

katana1100
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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by katana1100 » 14 Oct 2018 23:46

I’ve posted on numerous occasions on how conicals can be quieter than other types.

cafe latte
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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by cafe latte » 15 Oct 2018 00:24

cats squirrel wrote:
14 Oct 2018 22:12
I suppose it might depend on the music one is listening to, too. The AT3600/AT91/Rega Carbon have a vertical distortion figure of around 8%! If you are listening to electric guitar music with 40% distortion, a little more probably won't make much difference. 8)

But if one is listening to classical music, sometimes the 8% distortion does show itself. A few days ago I put an AT100 on a Rega arm/Lenco tt, and it sounded much better than my AT3600's and AT91's and my Rega Carbon. I'm looking forward to modifying the spherical AT carts for mono use, by restricting vertical displacement.
When I first got my at3600 I might have believed an 8% vertical distortion figure, but now it has settled down I doubt it. I do wonder if some of these figures are dependant on how cart is set up, also probably 11 dollar carts vary quite a bit so maybe true for most, dont know, mine seems to be rather good. Yes it has its limitations, but I am hearing enough to ask questions re conicals.
Chris

cafe latte
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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by cafe latte » 15 Oct 2018 00:27

Good seems there are a few of us here a little bonkers, I thought it was just me :)
Bonkers or mot I will be getting the new AT95 conical just for giggles when it comes out.
Chris

cafe latte
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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by cafe latte » 15 Oct 2018 00:34

ms_enj wrote:
14 Oct 2018 15:02
I've just spent $93 on a line contact stylus for my Chinese AT3600.

Don't let the price tag fool you, they are very capable cartridges for the money.
I actually have loads of carts some seriously nice with various tips line contact, shibata et, part of me would be worried replacing the conical something will be lost. I grew up on conicals as many here did then all of a sudden they were no good you needed an elliptical, then a line contact, then the next special cut. I remember having about 3 spare stylus just in case and changing them way sooner than needed because they costed nothing. Now things have gone nuts.
Chris

cafe latte
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Re: Am I nuts or do cheap conicals sound good?

Post by cafe latte » 15 Oct 2018 00:37

addicted-to-analog wrote:
14 Oct 2018 16:39
Been using the Denon DL103 with it's very precise and beautifully polished Conical since 1977. By today's standards, a very reasonably priced cartridge.

I love the way a good conical stylus sounds like music. To my ears.

I also mounted up an A-T 3600L on my Lenco L70. Tracking at 3g (the maximum), it is a fun sounding cartridge.
Well said, fun is the word, I do hope the new at95 conical is the same with a little more quality, if so it could be a little stunner.
Chris

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