Golden era MMs in the 21st century

the thin end of the wedge
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billshurv
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by billshurv » 01 Oct 2019 17:53

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AKG-Super-No ... 3235629441

See to me that is just to high a risk for €200 IF as it likely it needs a complete rebuild. But borderline.

ravelax
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by ravelax » 01 Oct 2019 22:00

I got a Goldring G900 IGC with broken cantilever from my father. Luckily, I managed to source a NOS stylus for it (yes, it was expensive...). A lovely cartridge, though a little low output. To save the rare stylus, I rarely use it, though. I've considered a retip of the original stylus grip I have. There's also a replacement from Jico, which however seems rather pricey for a generic, bonded "hyper elliptical" (haven't managed to find any measurements). Still could be a good stylus, but I haven't seen any reviews of it... The current 1000 series styli apparently fit according to some sources, any opinions on trying one of those (besides the fact it will look a little weird)?

I also have a Shure M75, and I agree it's a really likeable cartridge. I currently run a Jico non-tie wire elliptical, sounds good and tracks well enough, but I suspect the original (that I haven't heard) was better in that respect. Like many others, I've found the Jico replacement works better at a slightly higher tracking force than the original, I'm running it at 1,75 g. I'm tempted to try a SAS with it, any opinions on the SAS options for the M75?

billshurv
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by billshurv » 01 Oct 2019 22:17

I've not been brave enough to try a SAS yet as have found cheaper ways to get the stylii I want, but I wouldn't pay extra for the sapphire or ruby over the boron personally...

But this segs nicely into an interesting condundrum. Take for example the Panasonic EPC205C-II which I think is a cracking cartridge and can be picked up fairly cheaply if you are patient with a stylus of unknown provenance. This is a titanium tube, thin and light and the suspension seems to last well at least in my climate. Florida dwellers may have a different story. With a worn one you have a couple of options
1. NoS elliptical replacement. Usually £200ish on ebay with usual caveat emptor
2. SaS/B for around the same price
3. Expert Stylus will put a new elliptical on for around £90, a paratrace for around £120 and replace the cantilever with boron and paratrace for around £180.
4. Other retippers are available, just not sure how many will do MM work.

So a retip is, on paper the cheapest way to keep this cartridge running but a number of these options mean you end up with a possibly better, but certainly different cartridge.

My reference point for 'sensible modern' is the AT VM540ML. I am aware its not universally liked, but its a value king in new production for high performance* (feel free to disagree). A new VMN40 stylus for that is £190 from most outlets. So if a retip or NOS stylus is going to cost more than that I have to give it very serious thought as that's a lot of money. For those happy with a nude elliptical then about £120 is the bar above which air gets sucked between teeth.

*to clarify, for me high performance is when spending 5x more doesn't actually gain much.

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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by dagfinn » 02 Oct 2019 10:58

I admit to be recently smitten with an affection for older carts and styli (as well as tts), and is just starting to glimps into the greats of earlier times. Thanks to you guys here, I've quickly identified the AT-VM series as precious gems with interesting history and many options. The 540ML is excellent, and even better with AT152LP. I now have on order an old, used AT120Ea, coming from Japan. It will be the bearer of AT155LC and similar styli on my old Thorens tables :D. But the 120Ea is a little different from the AT120E, with lower inductance coils of 380mh vs 490mh - I wonder how this would change/affect sound? Anyone know why there is a difference? I also see other models like AT150Z, anyone familiar with that?

jdjohn
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by jdjohn » 02 Oct 2019 15:29

We must include the Grace F9 in this list. Original stylii (in good condition) are quite rare, but as many of you know, SoundSmith makes high-quality replacements with several options in cantilever material and diamond shape.

BMRR
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by BMRR » 02 Oct 2019 20:00

billshurv wrote:
01 Oct 2019 22:17
My reference point for 'sensible modern' is the AT VM540ML. I am aware its not universally liked...
Other than the usual AT Haters who are so irrationally biased against AT that their opinions shouldn't be taken seriously, I don't think I've seen anything other than glowing reviews for the VM540ML. And I've seen more than a few reviews from people who never considered AT in the past but gave the 540 a try and found it to be a game changer.

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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by Collux » 02 Oct 2019 21:40

Agree, the AT-VM540ML is a very good cartridge and it does represents good value for money.
https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/cart ... index.html

But I think the AT-VM740ML with the aluminium body and possibly a 'selected' generator, may be a better long term purchase.
- otherwise these two AT carts are very similar beasts, sharing a number of styli in the VM series.
https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/cart ... index.html

The connection with older MMs?
Nice current benchmark carts for comparison purposes.

billshurv
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by billshurv » 02 Oct 2019 22:13

Exactly it's a benchmark. If running an older cartridge costs more than runnning one of these then the oldster needs to be something quite special. and the 740 body design is from the early 80s. And keeping that in mind stops me doing to many silly things :)

33na3rd
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by 33na3rd » 03 Oct 2019 01:24

billshurv wrote:
02 Oct 2019 22:13
Exactly it's a benchmark. If running an older cartridge costs more than runnning one of these then the oldster needs to be something quite special. and the 740 body design is from the early 80s. And keeping that in mind stops me doing to many silly things :)
Very well said!

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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by wolfie62 » 03 Oct 2019 02:21

“So what do people think? What are your favourites from 40 year ago and how DO you keep then going? I'll drop in some of my favourites on the way.”


Listening to the 1965 LP of Bobby Hackett, “String of Pearls.” Hackett was a multitalented musician for the Glenn Miller Orchestra. This is an exceptionally fine recording on the Epic label. Both sides are recorded to within 1/4” of the label. Not a hint of IGD. But, I never get that with any of my cartridges.
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Using the 1979 Empire EDR.9 cartridge. I have a little used original stylus, also an unused NOS stylus. But I use the LP Gear S917VL Vivid Line Stylus for everyday listening, like right now. It performs so close to the original stylus, that I keep the originals as back ups. This is an effortless, yet extremely dynamic and supremely detailed cartridge and stylus combination.

Smoother, more detailed than my Shure M97HE. More detailed than the Empire 2000Z, every bit as wide a soundstage as the Stanton 681EEE.

The EDR was a last “hurrah” for Empire. A truly great cartridge!

With Vivid Line Stylus, hand trimmed to fit the EDR:
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With original Empire stylus:
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Delta667
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by Delta667 » 03 Oct 2019 03:12

Amazing metamorphoses.
Now he has become the flagship of the AT line ))
36841

Delta667
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by Delta667 » 03 Oct 2019 03:18

Grace Technics is captivating.
It is a pity that the sound cannot be photographed ))
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jdjohn
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by jdjohn » 03 Oct 2019 03:28

Stylus of 205C-IIX from the front:
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And from the side:
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dahoo
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by dahoo » 03 Oct 2019 06:35

dagfinn wrote:
02 Oct 2019 10:58
I admit to be recently smitten with an affection for older carts and styli (as well as tts), and is just starting to glimps into the greats of earlier times. Thanks to you guys here, I've quickly identified the AT-VM series as precious gems with interesting history and many options. The 540ML is excellent, and even better with AT152LP. I now have on order an old, used AT120Ea, coming from Japan. It will be the bearer of AT155LC and similar styli on my old Thorens tables :D. But the 120Ea is a little different from the AT120E, with lower inductance coils of 380mh vs 490mh - I wonder how this would change/affect sound? Anyone know why there is a difference? I also see other models like AT150Z, anyone familiar with that?
I once did a comparison with atn440mlb stylus switching between at120ea and at440 body, here is the rip on youtube.
To me, the at120ea+atn440mlb combo sounds a touch less bright.

dagfinn
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Re: Golden era MMs in the 21st century

Post by dagfinn » 03 Oct 2019 08:00

Hey dahoo, that's great, thank you so much! And yes, it sounds a touch less bright! How interesting! It is guilded plastic top mount, not aluminum like the 150?
I am also looking at the Signet TK and AM-series, and someone wrote that the TK5Ea has inductance of 1000mh? Not sure if it is right. As I accidentally slipped a used AM20S body into a shopping cart, I wonder about the Signets as well - AM vs TK series? I know the higher end TK7 & 9 is equivalent to AT22-24, but the TK5Ea I can't find much info on, nor AM series.

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