DJ Cartridge Exploration

the thin end of the wedge
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Johnny_Utah
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DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by Johnny_Utah » 02 Jun 2019 22:43

Let me preface this by saying that I already own several elliptical carts...

Are there any DJ worthy cartridges out there, outside of the Stanton/Shure/Ortofon universe which i've already explored? Looking at anything with output >6mV and ability to stand up to basic scratching and backqueing. For example i just ordered a set of Audio Technica DS3 carts...can't wait to test drive them considering the lack of info online for them.

For reference, here's what i'm already working with:
Shure M44-7, M44-G, M35X
Stanton 680AL, 605SK, (looking for 520SK)
Ortofon Qbert, Elektro

themisto462
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by themisto462 » 03 Jun 2019 13:22

Hello and welcome to vinylengine.

There would be the new developed audio-technica AT-XP series cartridges and the older ATP series cartridges (some are still available NOS) - but I don't think that they can handle scratching.
The Stanton 750 (audio-technica OEM), the Nagaoka DJ-03HD and the Technics EPC-U1200 were also in my mind.

Regards.

tlscapital
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by tlscapital » 03 Jun 2019 15:23

Am I right understanding that these are the notions for the DJ cartridge and/or stylus ?

- required for back cueing without inflicting 'cue burns' is the tip needs to be conical.
- required for scratching is heavy VTF capable suspension for a safer "tracking".
- better for scratching is large conical stylus for less wear and less "noise" pick ups.
- better for playback rendition in biased acoustic conditions is a high output cart.

chiz
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by chiz » 03 Jun 2019 15:24

To my knowledge the only current manufacturers of DJ cartridges are:

  • Ortofon (Concorde MkII and OM ranges, Reloop range, Tonar Banana)
  • Audio Technica (AT-XP range, Stanton 750 and 300)
  • Nagaoka (DJ-03D, Pioneer PC-X10 and other Tonar models)
  • Grado (DJ range)
  • Taruya / Numark (don’t know who makes these)

Of these I've only heard some of the Ortofons and a couple of the Taruyas briefly and have not tested how any of them hold up to scratching.

As mentioned, other models may still be available as NOS.

tlscapital
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by tlscapital » 03 Jun 2019 15:44

Johnny_Utah wrote:
02 Jun 2019 22:43
Let me preface this by saying that I already own several elliptical carts... ...For example i just ordered a set of Audio Technica DS3 carts...can't wait to test drive them considering the lack of info online for them.
OK, can you please do us a feedback of your trial with the AT DS3 in comparison with the Shure M44-7 if ever ?

And BYW what replacement stylus are you using on those Shure M44-7 cartridges if you still buy any that is ?

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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by BMRR » 03 Jun 2019 16:30

Johnny_Utah wrote:
02 Jun 2019 22:43
Are there any DJ worthy cartridges out there, outside of the Stanton/Shure/Ortofon universe which i've already explored? Looking at anything with output >6mV and ability to stand up to basic scratching and backqueing.
. . .
Stanton 680AL, 605SK, (looking for 520SK)
I would certainly encourage you to add a member of the Stanton 500 Series to your collection. :) The 500 Series bodies are basically all the same (except for the earliest ones from the 1960s but you don't really need to worry about this). Stanton no longer makes styli for them, but the aftermarket styli from TEI (Normarrh) and JICO are very good and sound excellent.

The new AT-XP Series from Audio-Technica is also excellent. Of the three carts in that series, the XP3 is the best choice for scratching. The XP5 and XP7 are suitable for backcuing but not for scratching.

chiz
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by chiz » 03 Jun 2019 17:22

BMRR wrote:
03 Jun 2019 16:30
JICO
JICO make DJ styli for the Shure M44, Stanton 500/680 and their Pickering equivalents.
Info here:
https://www.jico-stylus.com/dj.php

jvcforce
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by jvcforce » 03 Jun 2019 19:30

DJ Q-Bert has used Audio Technica AT91 with yellow stylus at one point, before he got endorsement deal with Share, then Ortofon, (Check out"DJ Qbert & Mix Master Mike aka Dream Team (USA)- DMC World Champion 1993 - Winning Set")
I think they can use it for scratching, then it is good enough for me. AT91 sounds pretty good, cheap, and easy to get stylus. MY DJ cartriges as well.

chiz
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by chiz » 03 Jun 2019 19:47

jvcforce wrote:
03 Jun 2019 19:30
DJ Q-Bert has used Audio Technica AT91 with yellow stylus at one point, before he got endorsement deal with Share, then Ortofon, (Check out"DJ Qbert & Mix Master Mike aka Dream Team (USA)- DMC World Champion 1993 - Winning Set")
I think they can use it for scratching, then it is good enough for me. AT91 sounds pretty good, cheap, and easy to get stylus. MY DJ cartriges as well.
I've used these for DJing, didn't know Qbert used to use them.
Some recent discussion here of using non DJ cartridges for back cueing:

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 9&t=111497

tlscapital
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by tlscapital » 03 Jun 2019 22:03

chiz wrote:
03 Jun 2019 17:22
BMRR wrote:
03 Jun 2019 16:30
JICO
JICO make DJ styli for the Shure M44, Stanton 500/680 and their Pickering equivalents.
Info here:
https://www.jico-stylus.com/dj.php
Both the Stanton 500 and Shure M44-7 are appealing. Never have I compared them next to one another though, but I believe that my preference goes to the more bold sounding Shure M44-7. Especially fitted with those affordable low compliant suspension 'DJ' stylus from Jico.

With the cartridges channels cross binded into MONO fitted into heavy mass SPU headshells to DJ out. That's what I am using now to DJ out my old 45's. Trickier to set and adjust on those over rated limited (VTA, VTF, AS...) DJ's turntables, but well worth the effort in playback rendition.

The Jico replacement styluses for the Stanton 500 with a large conical tip are rather good I have also find. Heard it as such at a friend's place who still needs to upgrade his speakers (will be in a month) to do justice to the rest of his now "new" vintage phono chain. I will be able to tell some more then.

Johnny_Utah
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by Johnny_Utah » 04 Jun 2019 00:15

tlscapital wrote:
03 Jun 2019 15:23
Am I right understanding that these are the notions for the DJ cartridge and/or stylus ?

- required for back cueing without inflicting 'cue burns' is the tip needs to be conical.
- required for scratching is heavy VTF capable suspension for a safer "tracking".
- better for scratching is large conical stylus for less wear and less "noise" pick ups.
- better for playback rendition in biased acoustic conditions is a high output cart.
That about sums it up. Some people also look for a more booming bass sound, but that's just a preference. I'd say the M44-7 is more bass heavy than the high output ortofons i've used, but each have their own fans.

Johnny_Utah
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by Johnny_Utah » 04 Jun 2019 00:20

themisto462 wrote:
03 Jun 2019 13:22
audio-technica AT-XP series cartridges
older ATP series cartridges (some are still available NOS)
Nagaoka DJ-03HD
I have not come across any reviews on these outside of a Japanese youtube video featuring the DJ-03HD compared to a Taruya. Didn't seem like the guy set up the arm/cart to do it any justice...

I'll have to do more digging on the the older ATPs. Thanks!

Johnny_Utah
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by Johnny_Utah » 04 Jun 2019 00:32

Interesting info regarding the AT91. I actually bought a CN5625AL to be a tester for thrift shop vinyl, but have not mounted it. Might play around with it once i do.

I'll definitely post something regarding the DS3s when i get them. They seemed to be well liked in Japan, plus there's still styli floating around.

Haven't needed to replace any M44-7 styli yet, but will soon. My DJ friends have no problem with the JICOs. They all have the older versions without the "guard". Don't know anyone who has tried out the newer club/dj/more expensive versions.

Regarding the Stanton...i actually have two 600s that I use for more hifi-type situations since it's easier to snag NOS styli for that body. I did just receive a cheap gold body 500 in the mail today. Can't try it out til i snag a stylus from JICO at some point in the future. I started on 500ALs back in the 90s...

jvcforce
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by jvcforce » 04 Jun 2019 01:40

Johnny_Utah wrote:
04 Jun 2019 00:32
Interesting info regarding the AT91. I actually bought a CN5625AL to be a tester for thrift shop vinyl, but have not mounted it. Might play around with it once i do.

I'll definitely post something regarding the DS3s when i get them. They seemed to be well liked in Japan, plus there's still styli floating around.

Haven't needed to replace any M44-7 styli yet, but will soon. My DJ friends have no problem with the JICOs. They all have the older versions without the "guard". Don't know anyone who has tried out the newer club/dj/more expensive versions.

Regarding the Stanton...i actually have two 600s that I use for more hifi-type situations since it's easier to snag NOS styli for that body. I did just receive a cheap gold body 500 in the mail today. Can't try it out til i snag a stylus from JICO at some point in the future. I started on 500ALs back in the 90s...
I used to use Stanton 500AL, but Stanton went out of business (so it became harder to get stylus) and I found out that CN5625AL / AT91 is pretty good replacement. I wish I knew earlier. The white stylus' tracking force (3600L) is 3 gram, suitable for DJing.
I actually I prefer AT91 than 500L for better channel separation and flat sounding. Also, I used to put scotch tape to Stanton 500's stylus, because it become loose. With AT91, I don't have to worry about it.
For Shure 44 series, it sure is great for scratch DJs, but I found it a lot pricey for what it is.

tlscapital
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Re: DJ Cartridge Exploration

Post by tlscapital » 04 Jun 2019 07:36

jvcforce wrote:
04 Jun 2019 01:40
I used to use Stanton 500AL, but Stanton went out of business (so it became harder to get stylus)
Well the Jelco's Stanton's styluses replacements (fair choices of styluses cuts with and without brushes and DJ features) are very affordable and good to better performers in some cases than their OEM counterparts. And they are now easily available for sale outside Japan in Europe and the USA.
jvcforce wrote:
04 Jun 2019 01:40
I found out that CN5625AL / AT91 is pretty good replacement... ...I actually I prefer AT91 than 500L for better channel separation and flat sounding
Do you mind elaborating that 'flat sounding' as a "positive" feature ? Especially in comparison with the Stanton 500's. 'Flat' to me is opposed to 'lively' in my book. Maybe I could believe the Staton 500's to be that too much to some ears. Especially to DJ out in biased playback acoustic condition and rendition...
jvcforce wrote:
04 Jun 2019 01:40
...For Shure 44 series, it sure is great for scratch DJs, but I found it a lot pricey for what it is.
Well since I converted to them Shure M44-7 cartridges to DJ out with I went my own cheap little merry way with second hands without styluses to replace (if any) instantly fitted with Jelco's 'DJ' replacement styluses. Comes to $80 a piece (without headshell, wires and shim)... Not more pricey than AT91 all in.

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