Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

the thin end of the wedge
Post Reply
smee4
long player
long player
Posts: 1127
Joined: 04 Jul 2004 08:07

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by smee4 » 31 May 2019 03:19

johnnywalker wrote:
31 May 2019 02:35
I do like the heavier tracking of the AT3600L for old records.
What tracking weight do you use for the AT3600l?
I have a few of them. I use 3.5g on a "test" machine and on a Garrard changer. I have used one at the low end at 2.5g. I hear no great difference in sound. Anywhere in the specified range is good. Even outside it. I had one that came on a Crosley where it was used at about 5g, and although it was riding low on the record, it actually survived :)

banerjba
long player
long player
Posts: 1029
Joined: 19 Mar 2009 16:25
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by banerjba » 31 May 2019 03:34

The might Ortofon Omega. Basically the old OM3.The top end is a bit rolled off and it is not as resolving as the 5 or higher but still a great sounding cartridge.

goatbreath
long player
long player
Scotland
Posts: 2527
Joined: 17 Mar 2010 16:54
Location: Edinbugger

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by goatbreath » 31 May 2019 03:37

Being an AT91 fan,,peoples description of the AT3600 varying so much it puzzles me..
It seems very conflicting..
Now I think the ace up the AT91's sleeve is the carbon composite cantilever..
I think the AT91 is a very neutral cartridge in the right set up..
I use mine on a Michell Mycro with damped Subchassis and a Rega RB250..
This is also a very neutral sounding turntable..
I am lucky enough to own 10 turntables..
No i don't need them all..lol...I do love them though.. :)
This is by far my most neutral,by this I mean tonally correct set up..
Not Warm or indeed not detailed at the loss of Timbre..
I find in a lot of cases conical styli maybe sound less detailed around the edges,but can sound more totally real..
Especially on voices...

In my Turntables Shures have a warmer and fuller sound..
In the wrong arm they can sound foggy and unfocused..
The AT 91 in the wrong arm can sound flat and thin..
Both are amazing cartridges thoug,just not magic cure alls.
I would think the neutrality of the AT91 would carry on to the AT3600L because of the carbon cantilever..
I imagine it sounds very good by the way..
I have heard that you only have to track the AT3600L at 2 grams and it will clear nasty scratches that
other heavier tracking conical cartridges won't track..HMMMM?..Not sure I would track it that low..
I totally get that it is a good cartridge and has it's place though..
I do wonder that with a recommended tracking force of 2 to 4 grams that matching compliance
with arm mass may be a bit of a problem..
Although I ask myself,what did they design the cartridge to be used in..
Was it for replacement in a changer,or is it a later variant of the 91 etc..??
I know the original AT91 was early 80s..

The AT91 and 95e are lower compliance than the heavier tracking Shures,bizarre but true by the way..
Although I think most aftermarket Shure replacements are a bit lower compliance.
Apart from the SC35c which is a different heavier tracking beast..
I just think that like myself when I found the AT91 to sound so good for a budget cartridge..
Or the heavier tracking point 6 tip M75 Shures..
I was so stunned,I maybe got a bit over excited at voicing their abilities...
This is what I think I am reading when it comes to the AT3600L.. :)


The Shures that track between 1.5 to 3 grams,I track them around..2.7..
The M91 tracked at between 0.75 and 1.5 grams originally,
there wasn't a 91 stylus that tracked around the weight of the AT3600L..
The Shure M93 E was a 4x7 elliptical..
So there were no equivalent 91 cartridges to the ATs mentioned.. :)
The 91 and 93 has the same generator as the 75 though..

I wish you could still get 4x7 styli of decent quality for Shures,it was a handy profile.
I have heard EJs sound very good on Thorens and Dual Turntables..
The Shures that track a bit under 3 grams have a very different sound to the E,ED and G styli.
So far any Gs I have used I'm not too impressed by,that includes original Shures..
The heavier tracking Shure M75 with a point 6 stylus have the same stylus profile as the Audio Technica AT91.

In my experience the Audio Technicas and Shure 6s/B/D point Six conicals are like any cartridges,
arm dependent when it comes to choice.
The M75 D sounds way better in the Dual and Thorens TD150 mk 2 than the Audio Technica AT91..
The AT 91 sounds pretty thin in those I find..
I track the AT91 at 2.3 grams..
I came to this by real World testing and the Hifi News disc,
it takes me quite a few days to settle on the tracking force of a cartridge/Stylus and all that stuff gets written down in a book..
On a Dual 1226 with a 12 grams effective mass arm or old heavier tracking Thorens arm,TP 16 mark 1 or TP13a,
the Shures have a fuller sound than the Audio Technica..
The carbon cantilever Audio Technica is a more precise and neutral sounding cartridge..
I know the Rega is around 12 grams effective mass too..
It likes the AT91 though..

Again having heard so many reports,I have heard the AT3600L sounds the same as the AT91..
I have also read it tracks lighter than it too although the specs say different..
I have heard it sounds similar to an AT91 but a bit more bold in delivery,
I think this one the most likely..
I have heard that it sounds fuller and warmer than the heavier tracking Shures,
with that carbon cantilever and experiencing other Audio Technicas,I find that unlikely..
Of course the heavier the VTF the less dust and scratches on the record are going to bother the tracking..
So a heavier tracking bolder sounding AT91 seems a safe observation..

Now this is why the SC35c was designed..
In a broadcast situation playing at higher VTF can maybe mean more potential wear,
but it means a much more trouble free performance for the radio listener at the other end.
The SC35c was designed with a higher mass broadcast arm in mind though,
i imagine although it will work outside that situation,but it's ideal is in that situation..
Plus of course the conical stylus are a very good censor..

I haven't owned a Pickering or Stanton believe it or not.

The SC35 C tracking about 4.5 grams on paper would work best i imagine..
If in the right arm etc though..
I have never tracked that heavy with a magnetic cartridge..
I have also never owned an SC35c..
Is the SC35c maybe overkill compared to a Shure M75 conical that tracks around 2 and 3/4 grams or equivalent..
The M75 seems more readily compatible with the equipment you are liable to find in your house..
is it maybe the same case between the AT91 and AT3600L..

Of course all of this stuff is discontinued now,but available by different means...

AudioFeline
senior member
senior member
Australia
Posts: 506
Joined: 01 Feb 2016 11:05
Location: Melbourne, Australia.

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by AudioFeline » 31 May 2019 05:07

FYI - the SC35c is a Shure DJ cart "suited for both scratching and mixing" (not implying that it can't have other uses).
https://www.shure.eu/products/dj-phono/sc35c

billshurv
long player
long player
Posts: 2487
Joined: 16 Oct 2014 15:38

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by billshurv » 31 May 2019 08:36

The SC35C was originally used (and some say specified) by the BBC for broadcast use in local stations with a Technics SP10mk2 and the BBC own design MP1-18 arm. Those original models had a nude conical unlike the late bonded models. In a heavy arm the compliance of 5 gave a lateral resonance at 12Hz. By all accounts a nice setup if not as good as the EMTs used on the BBC classical stations.

raphaelmabo
long player
long player
Sweden
Posts: 1850
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 21:01
Location: Askersund, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by raphaelmabo » 31 May 2019 09:47

I found my Sumiko Pearl to really excell with worn out records. Low surface noise and low sensitivity to static electricity. The Benz MC Silver that I have on now is clearly more sensitive. Better for records in good condition, not for flee market records.

goatbreath
long player
long player
Scotland
Posts: 2527
Joined: 17 Mar 2010 16:54
Location: Edinbugger

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by goatbreath » 31 May 2019 10:17

raphaelmabo wrote:
31 May 2019 09:47
I found my Sumiko Pearl to really excell with worn out records. Low surface noise and low sensitivity to static electricity. The Benz MC Silver that I have on now is clearly more sensitive. Better for records in good condition, not for flee market records.
Is the Sumiko Pearl the one that has the point 5 conical stylus..
If so I imagine that would contact a fresh part of the groove too.. :D

raphaelmabo
long player
long player
Sweden
Posts: 1850
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 21:01
Location: Askersund, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by raphaelmabo » 31 May 2019 21:14

goatbreath wrote:
31 May 2019 10:17
raphaelmabo wrote:
31 May 2019 09:47
I found my Sumiko Pearl to really excell with worn out records. Low surface noise and low sensitivity to static electricity. The Benz MC Silver that I have on now is clearly more sensitive. Better for records in good condition, not for flee market records.
Is the Sumiko Pearl the one that has the point 5 conical stylus..
If so I imagine that would contact a fresh part of the groove too.. :D
No, the Sumiko Pearl has an elliptical stylus. I believe that you are thinking about the Sumiko Black Pearl, this one has small conical stylus.

goatbreath
long player
long player
Scotland
Posts: 2527
Joined: 17 Mar 2010 16:54
Location: Edinbugger

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by goatbreath » 31 May 2019 21:34

raphaelmabo wrote:
31 May 2019 21:14
goatbreath wrote:
31 May 2019 10:17
raphaelmabo wrote:
31 May 2019 09:47
I found my Sumiko Pearl to really excell with worn out records. Low surface noise and low sensitivity to static electricity. The Benz MC Silver that I have on now is clearly more sensitive. Better for records in good condition, not for flee market records.
Is the Sumiko Pearl the one that has the point 5 conical stylus..
If so I imagine that would contact a fresh part of the groove too.. :D
No, the Sumiko Pearl has an elliptical stylus. I believe that you are thinking about the Sumiko Black Pearl, this one has small conical stylus.
I wonder how the Black Pearl stylus would deal with worn records..
A point 5 conical stylus..I think some of the old Pioneer cartridges and the Goldring G800 had this profile..
There was Shure M44 5 too..
Is the point 5 conical stylus another really handy profile that might find a fresher spot in the groove....
So the point 5 may not have been that rare back when those records were getting worn..
If a record had been played with a point 7 conical though would a point 5 conical not be presented with quite fresh vinyl..
The biggest elliptical side radius starts at 4x7 too..So a point 5 may help here too..
I know a point six often seems to miss the groove wear,like many of the cartridges mentioned so far in this thread..
The point 7 though not so much as it rides at the same height as most ellipticals..

The thing is..Like 4x7 elliptical styli..Those profiles are getting less common and 3x7 seems to be becoming standard..
Look at what happened with Audio Technica..Even the decades old AT95e moved to a 3x7 before being discontinued..
The Shue M75 ED replacements are usually 3x7 not 2x7 like the original..
Obviously not Nude either..

So if there is not a Point 5 conical in the new Sumiko range,we may have lost a valuable option..

The only non Ridge and non line style tips available now seems to be the 3x7 elliptical and the point 6 Conical..
Even the Point 7 like the M44 7 I am not seeing..I am seeing Point Six Conical Tips for the M44 7 copies being produced now..

So Have we missed the boat on the Point 5 Conical stylus..

goatbreath
long player
long player
Scotland
Posts: 2527
Joined: 17 Mar 2010 16:54
Location: Edinbugger

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by goatbreath » 31 May 2019 21:40

HMMM!! The Sumiko Black Pearl is difficult to get in the UK,but it still seems to be listed other places..
So maybe it hasn't been discontinued..
It just says Spherical on the specs sheet it doesn't say if it's point 5..
If it was a point 5 before it's profile may have been changed to the more readily available point 6..
Audio Technica changed from a 4x7 to a 3x7 with the AT95e.

Sunwire
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 2059
Joined: 07 Oct 2004 21:54
Location: New York

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by Sunwire » 31 May 2019 21:50

I tried for a while to find a 5 mil stylus to see if it would help with worn records. The only one I succeeded in finding was a Pioneer PC-110. I'm not sure the 5 mil stylus helped at all.
Quite a few Pioneer cartridges used 5 mil styli, but I don't think I'll be searching for more.

The Shure SC35C is probably my least favorite cartridge of about 30 or so I own. Just nothing to recommend it, at all. Perhaps the earlier version with nude stylus was better. I have two with Shure bonded styli. I'd rather listen using anything else.

goatbreath
long player
long player
Scotland
Posts: 2527
Joined: 17 Mar 2010 16:54
Location: Edinbugger

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by goatbreath » 31 May 2019 22:12

Sunwire wrote:
31 May 2019 21:50
I tried for a while to find a 5 mil stylus to see if it would help with worn records. The only one I succeeded in finding was a Pioneer PC-110. I'm not sure the 5 mil stylus helped at all.
Quite a few Pioneer cartridges used 5 mil styli, but I don't think I'll be searching for more.

The Shure SC35C is probably my least favorite cartridge of about 30 or so I own. Just nothing to recommend it, at all. Perhaps the earlier version with nude stylus was better. I have two with Shure bonded styli. I'd rather listen using anything else.
Interesting info that someone has tested the theory of the point 5 tip..
I think you run a Denon DL 103 so you probably have an arm very capable of dealing with the SC35c and it's compliance..
Plus you are OK with Conical Styli..
I think Conical Styli definitely have their place and can sound great..
I am of an age that I was brainwashed against them..
So when I actually tried the AT91 ,I was stunned that it not only wasn't awful,but sounded really good..

What did you think of the Pioneer PC-110 cartridge sound wise ..?
I've not heard one..

I have been having a look around,it seems the Black Pearl at least did have a point 5 spherical tip,
but the Oyster has/had a point 6 tip..

Collux
senior member
senior member
Australia
Posts: 567
Joined: 01 Oct 2017 23:54
Location: Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by Collux » 31 May 2019 22:16

The Sumiko Black Pearl is still listed in the Oyster range:
https://www.sumikoaudio.net/en-us/our-b ... ter-series

No details on the stylus other than it is conical.

goatbreath
long player
long player
Scotland
Posts: 2527
Joined: 17 Mar 2010 16:54
Location: Edinbugger

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by goatbreath » 31 May 2019 22:47

Collux wrote:
31 May 2019 22:16
The Sumiko Black Pearl is still listed in the Oyster range:
https://www.sumikoaudio.net/en-us/our-b ... ter-series

No details on the stylus other than it is conical.
Sumiko seems to have stopped selling these cartridges in the UK a while ago for some reason..
There is a leaflet in the Library saying the Black pearl at least was a point 5 Stylus..
Ah!! last time I looked in Wm Thakker in Germany they weren't there..
They are now though... :D

goatbreath
long player
long player
Scotland
Posts: 2527
Joined: 17 Mar 2010 16:54
Location: Edinbugger

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by goatbreath » 31 May 2019 23:57

Just remembered,the Nagaokas that are 4x7..
I use a MP110 sometmes too..Doh!
I got it recently but My AT VM95 ML is getting so much play just now..
I was talking about missing the 4x7 Shure EJs etc..

Post Reply