Is this Ortofon TM-20H sylus replacement like the original ?

the thin end of the wedge
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JVE
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Is this Ortofon TM-20H sylus replacement like the original ?

Post by JVE » 11 Feb 2019 23:59

As some of you might know I'm in the possession of a TM-20H whose stylus got messed up during shipping. I've searched around here and am not sure if the Stylus 20 is like the original or not. It's this one:
https://www.ortofon.com/stylus-20-p-372-n-3384
The difference is that mine says 20H on the stylus itself, but from Ortofon's description this one is a replacement for various cartridges including the TM-20H.
Can someone please clarify ?
Also, if I get the stylus 30 instead would I be upgrading to the same as a TM-30H or there are other differences on the cartridge ? What about the stylus 40 =P~

DeepEnd
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Re: Is this Ortofon TM-20H sylus replacement like the original ?

Post by DeepEnd » 12 Feb 2019 09:20

Bit of a tricky one this one. The TM were Technics specified versions of the OMP series and at the time the OMP30 and TM30H appear to be almost identical (fine line, 1.25g tracking force 30-35 cu compliance). However the 20’s appear to be different the TM says fine line and OM says elliptical.

After the OM(P) series Ortofon launched the Super OM range with slightly improved bodies but shortly after launch they changed the compliance of all of the styli down to 25 and increased the recommended tracking force to 1.5g on the cartridges and replacement styli 20/30/40 as this was a better fit to most turntables and the Concord versions.
In order to support the P mount versions and the SME III integrated versions the H versions of styli as used on the TM series were still made.

I suspect that due to a lack of demand at some point the H versions were no longer made.

So to answer the questions:- No the stylus 20/30 are not quite the same but certainly the closest match unless you have an existing stylus retipped. If you can adjust the tracking weight to 1.5g instead of the 1.25g standard for the P mount (some decks did allow this) or are prepared to stick a 0.25g lump of blutak on the cartridge somewhere they are useable.

The bodies in each range appear to all be the same (apart from colour on the TM) so going by changing styli you can go from an OM20 to an OM30. The TM20H would appear to be a sort of halfway between a OM20 and OM30 so a Stylus 20 might be considered a slight downgrade and the stylus 30 a slight upgrade.

No reason a stylus 40 cannot be used either (subject to the 0.25g correction listed above).

With regard to the best option it’s rather a personal choice as the 20 is a good stylus but the 30 and 40 are a definite improvement.

Between the 30 and 40 it’s a more difficult choice. Some prefer the very high detail retrieval of the 40 (but it can be a bit critical of record condition) whereas some prefer the almost as detailed 30 with its slightly more forward vocal performance but the differences are small at this level.

My personal preference is that the 30 stylus is the sweet spot in the range but of course others may not think so and say 20 is the best value or 40 is the best.

That’s the trouble with our hobby there is never just one answer only definite maybes :D :D :D

JVE
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Re: Is this Ortofon TM-20H sylus replacement like the original ?

Post by JVE » 12 Feb 2019 15:43

Hey, thanks for taking the time to write such a lengthy post.
It seems to me from my search that even if I decide to get a new cartridge instead of replacing the stylus I'll be very limited. So that broken TM-20H might end up having some use after all if I reuse it's body.
I did notice from the specs on Ortofon's website that those stylus allow a wider range of tracking force, starting at 1.25g, but the recommended one is indeed 1.5g. My turntable (Tehcnics SL M3) is 1.25g tracking force, no adjustments :(

JVE
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Re: Is this Ortofon TM-20H sylus replacement like the original ?

Post by JVE » 12 Feb 2019 15:47

If sticking a .25g weight on the cartridge solves everything perfectly, I could give that a try, I guess..
I think I'm going to try to solve the TT's current problems first while I slowly meditate/search the right cartridge solution.
THanks

DeepEnd
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Re: Is this Ortofon TM-20H sylus replacement like the original ?

Post by DeepEnd » 12 Feb 2019 22:57

Forgotten you can still get the stylus 14 that tracks at 1.25g that would not need the extra 0.25g but is another step down from the Stylus 20 but would get the cartridge up and running.

However there are AT cartridges with a similar spec to stylus 14 that are cheaper but “nude” styli versions (20 equivalent) of the AT types are harder to find.

But yes get the deck close to running first :)

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