Page 1 of 8

Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 29 May 2019 18:28
by johnnywalker
A question for those who can change cartridges easily:

What is your favorite cartridge to use for "beater" records? You know, those records you bought from the thrift store that, although may become treasured recordings, went around the block a few times before you got them, and consequently have wear and surface noise, even scratches. (For me, for example, that would include Mingus' "Ah Um," Davis' "Porgy And Bess," almost anything by Bruno Walter, and almost anything by George Szell.) Sure you want to minimize the surface noise, pops, and ticks, but you don't want to sacrifice the sound quality of the original recording. What do you use for those?

Conicals are frequently mentioned in this context, but there may be other shapes/contours that work here. What do you like?

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 29 May 2019 18:56
by patient_ot
I like the Shure M35X. Unfortunately out of production. I would recommend the AT VM95C as an alternative. Lots of folks like the AT 3600 or AT91 around here.

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 29 May 2019 19:30
by Legrace
For beaters my favorite to date is Pickering XV-15 w/conical. Has saved many a beater from the scrap bin.

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 29 May 2019 20:26
by beat_truck
Pickering V15 / Stanton 500

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 29 May 2019 21:03
by josephazannieri
Yo other possessors of beaten up records:

For me, the beater-basher of choice is a Shure M44 with a .7 mil conical stylus mounted in an old Thorens TP13A tonearm, tracking at 3 grams, which I use for both beaten LPs and 45s of all sorts. The TP 13A can be set up for antiskate even for 3 grams of force by dropping a small nut over the antiskate weight and using the blank record method to set the antiskate. I also use a generic 3 mil stylus in that same body for 78 RPM records, which also tracks at 3 grams. Works fine for both applications. No matter which stylus I am using, I parallel the channels for mono records, and particularly for lateral cut 78s. This gets rid of the vertical rumble that exists particularly on 78s. The M44 has a very high output. The .7 mil stylus is rated at 10 mv at 5 cm/sec, which is about twice what other MM cartridges put out. This means that I have plenty of signal for my passive 78 EQ box.

And good luck from that chatty old guy,

Joe Z.

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 30 May 2019 01:08
by Bob Dillon
Just whatever. Right now it's either Stanton Trackmaster or Stanton 680 V3, both conical tip. I use them sometimes anyway in casual applications, even for non-beaters, to save wear on my better carts.

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 30 May 2019 01:55
by goatbreath
Audio Technica AT91 tracking at 2.3 grams on a Rega RB250 arm..
I also have a AT VM 95 c stylus for Mono duty my AT VM 95 ml.
It isn't as good a tracker as the AT91.It's not bad though..

Shure M75 B / D /6s Stylus in a M75 ED body..With non tie wire Jico stylus tacking at 2.71 grams on a Dual 1226.

I did like the Shure M 44 7 too but the non Shure replacements I have tried don't track as well..
I also think having a 7 thou instead of 6 thou stylus was a handy alternative.
I tracked it at 2.88 grams on the dual and around the same on a Thorens TP13a.

lol. Just reading the exact same set up as Joe Z ..I used a nut dropped onto the antiskate too..
The Bass on that set up was really powerful..Walking Bass on Jazz sounded great..

I am now using a Shure M97xe brush down on the TD 150 mk 2...
It came with non original output wiring,low capacitance and quality etc,
but a little bass light and a touch bright..
The M97xe seems to like that arm though....

The AT91 sounds really neutral on what I have it on..

The M75 B is a little warm and Moreish..
I love that cartridge..Things just sound right with it..It gets most use as a beater and for Monos and 45s..

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 30 May 2019 02:50
by AudioFeline
AT 3600L - it's good quality, has a conical styli, and so cheap if the styli gets worn/damaged a replacement cart is cheaper than any replacement styli will cost (including for this cart!).

And as noted again, if it's a mono disk then use the mono button on your amp - it will reduce the noise, and any residual noise will be centred in the soundstage (and therefore not as distracting as coming out of two different speakers with mono music).

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 30 May 2019 03:01
by gofar99
I guess I have to be different.....I use a DL110 usually and occasionally a Grado M+ (similar to a Gold).

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 30 May 2019 05:04
by vinyl master
I'll agree with the AT 3600L AND I thrift shop a lot!! It was my first conical for such duty on the beater records...The AT91 BMRR sent with his 1219 was nice, as well! I may have to try my Radio Shack R27E (which is like a Shure M75 in disguise) at some point or my Pickering V15 AME-3 for such duty, but that's what makes this hobby fun! Being able to try different combinations comes along with the territory! 8)

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 30 May 2019 06:26
by smee4
Have used various old Shures and Stantons but now the AT3600L has them all beat for price and great performance still.

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 30 May 2019 14:37
by johnnywalker
I have a CN5625AL, which is a variant of the AT3600L (aluminum cantilever), and honestly, it loses out to other beater cartridges, like the SC35C body with an N35X stylus (fuller sound) or the AT-VM95C (more detail and better highs). Is the AT3600L really better than the CN5625AL?

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 30 May 2019 14:47
by billshurv
Are there actually two questions here

1. What is the 'disposable' cartridge for first play of a charity shop find
2. What are prefences for cartridges for dealing with worn/noisy records?

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 31 May 2019 00:19
by smee4
johnnywalker wrote:
30 May 2019 14:37
I have a CN5625AL, which is a variant of the AT3600L (aluminum cantilever), and honestly, it loses out to other beater cartridges, like the SC35C body with an N35X stylus (fuller sound) or the AT-VM95C (more detail and better highs). Is the AT3600L really better than the CN5625AL?
The AT3600L has a fuller sound than the Shure M75, M91,M95 carts I have. I don't have a VM95C, but have an AT95E and it does have more detail than the 3600.

I do like the heavier tracking of the AT3600L for old records. It will better handle scratches and deeply embedded gunk that doesn't come out in the first wash.

Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Posted: 31 May 2019 02:35
by johnnywalker
I do like the heavier tracking of the AT3600L for old records.
What tracking weight do you use for the AT3600l?