Headshell Leads Installation Tips

the thin end of the wedge
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schljc50
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Headshell Leads Installation Tips

Post by schljc50 » 23 Jun 2019 00:55

Does anyone have tips on installing headshell leads? It seems that every time I try to install leads they do not fit the cartridge or tonearm and I end up breaking one or more. Does anyone have any tips on how to enlarge or shrink the leads without breaking them? Better yet or there leads in the $10-$25 range that seem to work best on modern cartridges.

Alec124c41
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Re: Headshell Leads Installation Tips

Post by Alec124c41 » 23 Jun 2019 04:08

It is a fact that the pins on cartridges come in different sizes, depending on the manufacturer's choices.
Buy a pack of round toothpicks.
Put one in the clip, before squeezing it carefully, using small pliers, to tighten it.
Push one into the clip, to loosen it.
Handle the clips using small needle-nose pliers, and grasp the solder tag on the end, to push or pull the clip.
Be patient.

Cheers,
Alec

AudioFeline
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Re: Headshell Leads Installation Tips

Post by AudioFeline » 23 Jun 2019 14:46

Well-explained, Alex.

Also...

- If your cartridge has a removable stylus, remove it when connecting headshell leads and installing it into the headshell. If it doesn't have a removable stylus, make sure you put the stylus guard on it, and be careful!

- Check the pin orientations on the cart or the cart's documentation, some don't follow the usual colour/position conventions.

]eep
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Re: Headshell Leads Installation Tips

Post by ]eep » 23 Jun 2019 20:53

And make sure you are calm and composed and have steady hands. Not pressed for time or after heavy exercise. No need to go to bathroom, to much coffee etc. Be 'zen' and 'in the moment' (excuse the newage expressions but you know what I mean). I didn't say this but a shot of liquor sometimes helps...
Chores like that always make me calm and relaxed. And when the material I work on is new and well made (like those vdHul tags or Cardas) and not old, oxidized and brittle it's a joy to do. Then I use pincers, leaves me more room to manoeuvre than small pliers. And of course; what Alec said.

And it's good to memorise the colors: red=right, red and white are +, blue and white both cold colors are left, red and green are warm and go right.

lenjack
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Re: Headshell Leads Installation Tips

Post by lenjack » 23 Jun 2019 21:56

After you're done, double check your connections on all 4 leads, BOTH ends, to make sure they are firm, and not touching each other. Errors here, while not catastrophic, often cause difficult to track down hum problems later. Also, be prepared to use ALL your four letter words, liberally. [-o< :wink: :shock:

Boltman92124
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Re: Headshell Leads Installation Tips

Post by Boltman92124 » 24 Jun 2019 21:27

These are nice for $20. I have a bunch of them. They tips are more fragile than others though. Only takes a light squeeze to tighten if needed. My preferred tool is a nice pair of tweezers.
https://www.lpgear.com/product/LPGSOARHD5.html

Agrippa
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Re: Headshell Leads Installation Tips

Post by Agrippa » 26 Jun 2019 01:04

Alec124c41 wrote:
23 Jun 2019 04:08
Buy a pack of round toothpicks.
Put one in the clip, before squeezing it carefully, using small pliers, to tighten it.
Push one into the clip, to loosen it.
Handle the clips using small needle-nose pliers, and grasp the solder tag on the end, to push or pull the clip.
Be patient.

Cheers,
Alec
Alec's answer is basically the textbook method. Personally I prefer angled pliers over straight ones, but maybe that's just me.

AudioFeline
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Re: Headshell Leads Installation Tips

Post by AudioFeline » 29 Jun 2019 03:22


schljc50
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Re: Headshell Leads Installation Tips

Post by schljc50 » 01 Jul 2019 23:56

Thank you for all of your suggestions. I have not tried inserting a toothpick into the clip before squeezing them to fit a loose lead. I'll remember that the next time I install new leads. I recently purchased a $10.00 aluminum headshell from Needle Daddy on Ebay. It came with thick lead wires that fit perfectly with a Nagoaka MP-110 cartridge. It was the easiest install I have ever done. Although the headshell is lighter that the OEM headshell it aligns and works well. I have a pair of Sonar HD5 leads that I will use on a new install in the future. They are thick and sturdy for sure.

Sony PS-X60 turntable with the PUA-7 Tonearm (a great sounding vintage turntable with very low Wow and Flutter)
Adcom GTP 500II Preamplifier
Denon AVR 1613 Audio Video Receiver
Fluance 5.0 Speakers with Martin Logan Subwoofer

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