AT 3600L

the thin end of the wedge
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TD 166 MKII
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AT 3600L

Post by TD 166 MKII » 20 Dec 2018 07:03

OK, I just picked up the Thorens 203 in Red, I am very impressed with it coming from a Pro-Essential III with Acrylic Platter, nice unit but I could not pass on the deal that was offered. I love the Arm on the 203, I don't know if I will be able to ever go back to non pivot point arms. I have one LP that has a good warp to it and to see the way the flows and moves with the wrap is impressive. Anyhow to my question. It comes with the bottom end AT 3600L, branded Thorens, now is it just me or there others that are blown away by this Cart. This thing sounds almost like a MC Cart. I tried AT 95E, Goldring G3, Nagaoka 110, the new SUMIKO Olympia, Denon DL-103 and still have gone back to the 3600. I a can't believe this Cart. I believe it must be the ABS Carbon Fiber levier, the closest one in sound is the Denon. The sound stage is large with great depth and the separation is excellent, Bass is tight that dives into that Sub bass area, highs are clean and crisp Cymbals sound real and if you play drums you will know what I mean. The fade and ring are some of the longest I have heard. It sounds live like you are in the Studio or in front row. I put on Szell with Cleveland Orchestra and there is a part when these Harps come but it is subtle and the 3600L pulls it out better then all the others, how can this be? The thing I noticed is the Mid range is different then all the others very very life like and I believe it has to do with the Cantilever being of ABS and Carbon Fiber, it gives it a unique tonal quality in the Mid range that becomes very life like. From flutes to Sax to Strings acoustic or electric and Vocals are some of the best I have heard, how can this be? On top of this it tracks like a champ and is very quiet, I spent more on Carts in this last year then what I paid for the Thorens.
HOW CAN THIS BE?? #-o

bra10n
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by bra10n » 20 Dec 2018 09:03

Hi TD,

I have one and I like mine. I find the mids and highs a little exaggerated TBH but at the price point this cart does a lot well. Perhaps it fits in well with my gear (and yours) who knows... I've not looked at specs etc. Mine came new with a cheap TT find.

mamakasou
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by mamakasou » 20 Dec 2018 11:58

Indeed, it can be a very pleasing pickup.

AT obviously have done something right with it.
It must be the sum of its parts that makes it a winner.

cafe latte
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by cafe latte » 20 Dec 2018 12:55

There is a long thread here and over at Audiokama on the topic, I bought one for giggles expecting it to be junk, it is not junk at all it is scary good for the money. Not my best cart for sure but I have a LOT of carts some over 1.5k, but I keep my AT3600l on one of my turntables and it keeps getting a regular spin. I hear its faults but I love what it does right, a real sleeper IMO, not a giant killer but very good especially for the price. I got curious wit this cart a while ago and measured it, it is 400 ohms and about the same inductance which is low (and good) this maybe help it sound as it does.
Chris

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Re: AT 3600L

Post by cafe latte » 20 Dec 2018 13:35

Another 2c on this cart, separation is very good some report 20db, spec is 18db which is around what we can perceive anyway ie more is pointless. Is the sound the inductance or is it the cantilever? Has research beed done on the damping factor of CF cantilever? Possibly not, as far as I am aware it is there as it is hard to damage and ideal for entry level carts, but could it be good in another way I wonder? Or is it just the coils, decent conical stylus and inductance?
No not perfect but low inductance MM with ML stylus? Maybe with CF cantilever?
I am very interested in carts, but it does make me ask what makes it sound the way it does and what is it that holds it back. Yes we are talking about a bottom feeder cart but clearly something is right. I also own a Decca Super Gold and to look at it is a piece of junk that fell out of a Christmas Cracker, but it sounds amazing. Point is the oddest things can be magic, yes it is a rather special design, but you get my point. Maybe gold in the AT3600l design if AT dig a bit deeper and work out what is going on that is good that many of us are hearing, many with far far more expensive carts. Non are saying it is a giant killer we hear limitations but it kind of promises so much, then you go up the range and it is not there, something is lost when you go away from the humble AT3600l.
Chris

BMRR
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by BMRR » 20 Dec 2018 15:47

cafe latte wrote:
20 Dec 2018 13:35
Another 2c on this cart, separation is very good some report 20db, spec is 18db which is around what we can perceive anyway ie more is pointless.
There is a guy on YouTube who did some tests of the AT3600L and the Rega Carbon (which is the same cartridge dressed up in a fancy package) and he measured the channel separation at 26 dB.

Shure M97xE is only 17 dB :lol:

BMRR
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by BMRR » 20 Dec 2018 15:52

cafe latte wrote:
20 Dec 2018 13:35
No not perfect but low inductance MM with ML stylus? Maybe with CF cantilever?
That would be very interesting. I wonder if there is a VE member who would be willing to send a 3600 to Expert Stylus and have a nude Paratrace diamond mounted on the existing carbon/plastic cantilever...

On a related note, Stanley Engineering makes a cocobolo wood body for the AT3600:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Exclusive-WOOD ... 3d520910cc

Imagine how much fun you could have by inviting audiophile friends to your house and fooling them into thinking this is your latest $2000 MC :lol:

mamakasou
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by mamakasou » 20 Dec 2018 18:52

In my mind, the fact that this pickup can sound so blatantly good is a proof of a couple of things.

Firstly, that you can't judge a cartridge by its price or pedigree.
You need to hear it first, in comparison to others.

Secondly, that the 'magic' should be in the interaction of all its seemingly humble parts.
In other words, there must be a 'net' effect here in play.

The question to me is whether they were expecting that result when they did the engineering on it, or whether they exceeded their own expectations.
I believe it must be the latter.

Laila1
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by Laila1 » 20 Dec 2018 20:44

cafe latte wrote:
20 Dec 2018 13:35
Another 2c on this cart, separation is very good some report 20db, spec is 18db which is around what we can perceive anyway ie more is pointless. .....
Chris
Not really true . . . here comes the specifikation from LP-Gear:

Audio Technica AT3600L Phono Cartridge Specifications
- Output voltage: 4.2 mV
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Channel balance: 1.5dB
- Channel separation @ 1kHz/10kHz: 24/15dB
- Tracking force: 2.5 - 3.5 g
- Stylus type: Highly polished and shaped .0006 inch conical diamond
- Stylus construction: Bonded round shank
- Weight: 5.7 g
- Dimensions: 17,0 (H) x 16,3 (W) x 31,0 (L) mm


I have have measured +25dB CS at 1kHz on a pair of mine.

/ Lars

cafe latte
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by cafe latte » 20 Dec 2018 23:09

Laila1 wrote:
20 Dec 2018 20:44
cafe latte wrote:
20 Dec 2018 13:35
Another 2c on this cart, separation is very good some report 20db, spec is 18db which is around what we can perceive anyway ie more is pointless. .....
Chris
Not really true . . . here comes the specifikation from LP-Gear:

Audio Technica AT3600L Phono Cartridge Specifications
- Output voltage: 4.2 mV
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Channel balance: 1.5dB
- Channel separation @ 1kHz/10kHz: 24/15dB
- Tracking force: 2.5 - 3.5 g
- Stylus type: Highly polished and shaped .0006 inch conical diamond
- Stylus construction: Bonded round shank
- Weight: 5.7 g
- Dimensions: 17,0 (H) x 16,3 (W) x 31,0 (L) mm


I have have measured +25dB CS at 1kHz on a pair of mine.

/ Lars
I wonder where LP great goes those numbers from anyway as from my search a while ago during the original AT3600 thread even AT dont give the specs of the 3600l? Anyway I agree with you it sure sounds like it has more separation than 18db at 1kHz. I also agree with LP great that the stylus is highly polished too.
Chris

cafe latte
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by cafe latte » 20 Dec 2018 23:12

mamakasou wrote:
20 Dec 2018 18:52
In my mind, the fact that this pickup can sound so blatantly good is a proof of a couple of things.

Firstly, that you can't judge a cartridge by its price or pedigree.
You need to hear it first, in comparison to others.

Secondly, that the 'magic' should be in the interaction of all its seemingly humble parts.
In other words, there must be a 'net' effect here in play.

The question to me is whether they were expecting that result when they did the engineering on it, or whether they exceeded their own expectations.
I believe it must be the latter.
Bit like Greek cooking, a humble bit of fish, a little oil a herb or two out of the garden, all simple ingredients and WOW :D
Chris

cafe latte
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by cafe latte » 20 Dec 2018 23:20

BMRR wrote:
20 Dec 2018 15:52
cafe latte wrote:
20 Dec 2018 13:35
No not perfect but low inductance MM with ML stylus? Maybe with CF cantilever?
That would be very interesting. I wonder if there is a VE member who would be willing to send a 3600 to Expert Stylus and have a nude Paratrace diamond mounted on the existing carbon/plastic cantilever...

On a related note, Stanley Engineering makes a cocobolo wood body for the AT3600:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Exclusive-WOOD ... 3d520910cc

Imagine how much fun you could have by inviting audiophile friends to your house and fooling them into thinking this is your latest $2000 MC :lol:
Wow that just looks wrong :lol: That said I wonder what will make it sound better? How much is lost of the original sweetness with LP gear aluminium shank vivid line stylus for it? My feeling is the CF cantilever is playing its part in the goodness so unsure of the L P Gear mod..
Chris

TD 166 MKII
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by TD 166 MKII » 21 Dec 2018 05:47

OK good its not just me. I was starting to think I was loosing it, or have music induced flash backs to my younger days. I do believe the magic happens from the Cantilever being made from ABS and coated with Carbon Fiber which makes it very strong and ridged which will be against Freq resonance. Just for the fun of it I took some pic's, there is no doubt about the Carbon Fiber you can see it. Not best but I did what I could, what pain in the ___. The other neat thing is the Cantilever is tapered.
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cafe latte
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Re: AT 3600L

Post by cafe latte » 21 Dec 2018 08:05

I had not noticed the tapered cantilever before, so it is even went to check mine :)
Chris

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Re: AT 3600L

Post by raphaelmabo » 21 Dec 2018 09:08

I too have a TD203 (mine is in white gloss :) ) and it came with the Thorens TAS 257 (AT3600) cartridge. This cartridge is a stunner on this table, this table really makes the most of it. It's fun and cheerful. However, I choosed to go for the Benz Micro MC Silver in the end. The Benz brings up much more details, it's more lifelike in the room, like the performers are playing live in my living room. I also found the LP Gear The Vessel A3SA very nice (warmer sounding than the AT3600). But for the price, one can't beat the AT3600 and it can be easily upgraded by changing the stylus to something better (LP Gear and others offers stylus upgrades).

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