Which one?

the thin end of the wedge
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Bob257
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Which one?

Post by Bob257 » 08 Nov 2018 23:56

I own a Technics SL-D20 turntable. I've had it for some time, about 30 years! (Geez, I'm old). I haven't played vinyl for a while and just started collecting. I posted in another forum about getting a different turntable and was told that the one I have is pretty good, but suggesting replacing the cartridge. What would be a good choice? It's a p-mount tone arm. It shouldn't be too difficult to change. Also, where can I buy the tone arm scale for making tracking weight adjustments? I appreciate your Help

Bob

62vauxhall
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Re: Which one?

Post by 62vauxhall » 09 Nov 2018 06:56

As you said, your turntable has a plug in or P-mount (T4P) cartridge. The basis of the T4P system is user friendliness so they were made with no counterweight adjustment required. There is no counterweight to adjust. Consequently, all T4P/P-mount cartridges weigh the same and need the same amount of tracking force.

In your case, a scale is not required - it's all pre-set. Unless your want to check what it really is tracking at.

A compatible cartridge will be designated as a T4P or P-mount. Nowhere near as many to choose from as there is for conventional 1/2" mount cartridges but to the best of my knowledge there are offerings from Shure, Stanton and Audio Technica. Yours probably has one of the latter, most of the cartridge equipped turntables out of Japan came with one of those.

My pick would be Shure and Stanton but that's just my personal preference.

EDIT: You may be quite fine with the cartridge that's on it. and unless you played it to death, the needle may be OK. If not, a new one for your existing cartridge would be the cheapest option. There should be a make/model displayed somewhere on the cartridge body. Regardless of what brand is stated (Technics for instance), there's every chance that it will be an Audio Technica.

Bob257
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Re: Which one?

Post by Bob257 » 09 Nov 2018 15:23

I do have an Audio-Technica LS450/LT cartridge. Not sure what stylus it has. It sounds okay to me, but I just wondered, it being as old as it is, should I replace it and would I hear the difference?

jeff449
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Re: Which one?

Post by jeff449 » 09 Nov 2018 18:56

If you have a strong magnifier, you can check the stylus for wear. If not, It may be worth it to get a new stylus for $36:
https://lptunes.com/products/lp-tunes-s ... -cartridge
Cartridges don't really degrade with age.
If you want something brand new, Grado would be a good choice:
https://www.needledoctor.com/Grado-Gree ... -Cartridge
But if you don't mind vintage, and want to spend more $$, search for a Stanton or Pickering cartridge. They made some nice p-mounts.

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Re: Which one?

Post by BMRR » 09 Nov 2018 20:57

62vauxhall wrote:
09 Nov 2018 06:56
...they were made with no counterweight adjustment required. There is no counterweight to adjust.
That's incorrect. P-mount turntables absolutely do have counterweights (or springs, in the case of linear tracking turntables), and they are adjustable from 1.0g to 1.5g.

It's true that most P-mount cartridges are the same weight (within +/- 0.1g), although there were some exceptions, particularly from Stanton and Pickering who actually made a line of P-mount cartridges for DJs, and those cartridges are heavier than regular P-mount cartridges. Keep that in mind if you decide to look for a vintage Stanton or Pickering cartridge.

Regarding tracking force, most P-mount cartridges are intended to track at 1.25g, but almost all of them are designed to operate within the 1.0g to 1.5g range provided by the counterweight, and there are some P-mount cartridges, particularly those made by Grado and some of the Ortofons, that perform best at 1.5g. This is where the adjustable counterweight come into play. You may also find that vintage Stanton and Pickering carts with vintage Stanton and Pickering styli require more than 1.25g. I have a bunch of new old stock Stanton and Pickering P-mount styli and every single one of them needs at least 1.5g to 1.75g in order to track properly, due to the rubber suspension hardening over time. A few of them even need 2g, which makes them impractical for proper P-mount use, so I use them on my standard mount turntable instead.
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themisto462
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Re: Which one?

Post by themisto462 » 10 Nov 2018 11:53

Bob257 wrote:
09 Nov 2018 15:23
I do have an Audio-Technica LS450/LT cartridge. Not sure what stylus it has. It sounds okay to me, but I just wondered, it being as old as it is, should I replace it and would I hear the difference?
In my opinion, your cartridge is a good base for an upgrade. The used generator allows a wide range of replacement needles. From genuine p-mount needles like the ATN122EP, ATN122LP, ATN132EP, ATN142LP, ATN152LP, ATN152MLP
for example, the recently dicontinued ATN 120Eb, ATN440MLb, ATN150Sa, ATN150MLX - or the available replacements for the current VM500/700 cartridges. There is something for every taste and budget.

Regards.

Bob257
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Re: Which one?

Post by Bob257 » 10 Nov 2018 17:45

How difficult is it to replace a stylus? What are the steps required?

BMRR
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Re: Which one?

Post by BMRR » 10 Nov 2018 18:56

It's not difficult at all. You simply remove the existing stylus by pulling it straight down, and insert the new stylus by pushing it up into the cartridge until it snaps into place.

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Re: Which one?

Post by mamakasou » 10 Nov 2018 20:21

A p-mount that i can definitely recommend, is the Shure M92E.

It would need anywhere from 1.5g up to 2.0g VTF, to track nicely.

Other than that, a very capable cartridge for all purposes.
Sound excellent and it can still be found.

Bob257
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Re: Which one?

Post by Bob257 » 11 Nov 2018 00:32

Jeff, I ordered a stylus. I hope I can install it okay. BMRR seems to think it should be easy. Hope so. I'm kind of a klutz sometimes! LOL

BMRR
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Re: Which one?

Post by BMRR » 11 Nov 2018 17:22

It really is easy, I swear! You grasp the stylus and pull it down to remove it from the cartridge, and you insert the new stylus where the old one was. I promise it's easy!
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