ADC -high end replacement styli

the thin end of the wedge
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Collux
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ADC -high end replacement styli

Post by Collux » 16 Jul 2019 23:56

Does anyone have experience with the Jico Shibata and newer LPGear ViVid line offerings?
or alternatives....

Jico
https://www.jico-stylus.com/product_inf ... ts_id=1388
https://jicocanada.com/pages/search-res ... ?q=adc+zlm

LPGear
https://www.lpgear.com/product/ADCSZLM.html

wolfie62
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Re: ADC -high end replacement styli

Post by wolfie62 » 17 Jul 2019 14:28

I never buy the higher end diamond offerings of any aftermarket stylus maker until I first sample and listen to the elliptical offering.

If an aftermarket stylus maker can't get the elliptical correct, then the better diamond cut is going to be a disappointment and a waste of money; after all, the diamond will be the only difference, no change to the cantilever, grip, etc.

In my case, I have yet to find an aftermarket elliptical for the ADC XLM/XLM Integras that satisfies. They all suffer in treble and detail. Jico, LPG, TTN, EVG Japan, Pfansteil, Astatic, all fail to get the details correct for the cantilever+armature; This is a finely tuned system that ADC got correct, and the others refuse to try to get right, or just will not spend the requisite time getting right.

A while back, I bought an Empire 2000X cartridge, with an incorrect aftermarket stylus on it. No bass, tinny high end. In my search for the correct stylus, I found they are rare and expensive. Russell Industries markets a "genuine" Empire S917 stylus; I paid $100 to find it an inferior copy of the original.

Then I bought a S906 from TTN; it was so-so. Then I bought an LPGear elliptical S917; it sounded quite good! So I happily drove that cart for a month or so with the LPGear stylus.

Then I happened upon an EDR.9 cart in its original box, but no stylus. Again, difficult to find an original stylus. After research, I found the S917E to be a good fit and substitute! So, I modified the stylus to fit the EDR body; it sounded very good! But, it was an elliptical stylus whereas the EDR.9 was designed for an LAC, or Large Area Contact, stylus. More research led me to look at the LPGear Vivid Line stylus. So, $80 later, I had one. Again, I modified it to fit the EDR.9 body. WOW! It sounded very good! Then, I happened upon a NOS S5000 stylus. When I got it, I compared it to the LPGear S917VL. Virtually IDENTICAL performance!

So, that's why I am convinced, that if an aftermarket stylus maker can't get the elliptical right, no sense in buying the SAS, Shibata, LC, or whatever. Waste of money, and "lipstick on a pig."

wolfie62
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Re: ADC -high end replacement styli

Post by wolfie62 » 17 Jul 2019 16:56

I forgot to mention that of the aftermarket ellipticals for the XLM MK II, Improved, and MKIII, the LP Gear stylus plays the best on my cart/system. Still not up to par with Original, but decently close. Better than the Jico I bought. Far and away better than the TTN, EVG Japan, Pfanstiehl, Astatic, EVG Swiss units I wasted money on.

My take-away is this: Aftermarket styli: The cantilevers are too long, the armatures are poorly made, the pivot blocks aren't right, the geometry of the entire cantilever assemblies don't line up well compared to original styli. All the geometry is vital to getting the correct "tune" of the assembly in the pole gap. ADC fine tuned their units to track well, focus well, balance well, be correctly damped, have proper (consistent) compliance, and transmit the stylus vibrations up to the well designed armatures for the poles to "read".

So, my advice on this, if you want a line contact stylus for your ZLM/XLM, is to go for the LP Gear Vivid Line. They at least get the elliptical the most "right". The VL is a decent buy price wise, and has a very good chance of delivering the sound you're seeking from your ADC cart. I haven't tried it yet, but its on the horizon for me.

plyscds
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Re: ADC -high end replacement styli

Post by plyscds » 17 Jul 2019 18:00

I have four ADC Integra XLM cartridges - the 2-piece models with the up-down/front-back hinged joint in the middle. All have JICO sourced styli. One has a JICO MK-II Improved which was a bit of a sibilance producer until I found it's best tracking angle and effective length. Dialed in, it is a nice sounding stylus! Two have a ADC XLM-III, nice sounding also, but being brand-name styli, probably not available anymore, and one having a JICO sourced hyperelliptical. I have nothing but compliments for these four cartridges and their styli.

That said, ADC produced styli aren't available for sale any more, at least in the on-line sources my computer can find. So we are all making do with hopefully the best aftermarket examples we can dredge up. Whoever you decide to buy from, make sure you have a reputable merchant. Read their return policies so you know what to expect if you have problems. And don't buy on price alone. There may, or may not, be a reason stuff is low priced. Asking for specifics about a vendor and merchandise will help sort out some of these details.

Collux
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Re: ADC -high end replacement styli

Post by Collux » 17 Jul 2019 18:25

wolfie62 wrote:
17 Jul 2019 16:56
So, my advice on this, if you want a line contact stylus for your ZLM/XLM, is to go for the LP Gear Vivid Line. They at least get the elliptical the most "right". The VL is a decent buy price wise, and has a very good chance of delivering the sound you're seeking from your ADC cart. I haven't tried it yet, but its on the horizon for me.
Thanks for that wolfie.
I think the LP Gear ViVid Line option is worth trying, seeing all other aftermarket ADC styli seem below par.
-maybe it's a way forward for these carts?

phivates
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Re: ADC -high end replacement styli

Post by phivates » 17 Jul 2019 21:52

Who makes the LPGear stylii?

Collux
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Re: ADC -high end replacement styli

Post by Collux » 18 Jul 2019 00:25


wolfie62
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Re: ADC -high end replacement styli

Post by wolfie62 » 18 Jul 2019 04:40

The ad copy for the JicoCanada is identical to LPGear. The AK post says Jico doesn’t make the VL styli, that it is most likely Nagaoka.

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