Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

the thin end of the wedge
barryme
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Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by barryme » 01 Oct 2019 09:52

Hi, I have bought a Thorens TD 150 mk 2. It seems to be in full working order. The cartridge is a AT 95E. I want to replace it. I am thinking of a Goldring elektra. The price is good and the reviews are positive. Anyone here have any experience with this cartridge in general or this cartridge in combination with a Thorens?
Many posts recommend a Denon 110, but the price is about 250 euro in comparison to the Goldring elektra´s 90 euro. The general consensus is stay away form Grado with the Thorens 150.
Also, when I touch the headshell, or when my fingers come close to the headshell, there is a buzzing noise. Is this normal with the Thorens? Will it go away as problem with a new headshell?

I currently have a Technics 5300 with a Nagaoka MP 110 and it sounds great. Will a Thorens 150 MK 2 with a Goldring Elektra sound better than that when set up correctly? Any advice appreciated. I have been reading various posts for days and days and don´t want to be disappointed. Thanks

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by raphaelmabo » 01 Oct 2019 14:30

I don't know about the Elektra, haven't heard one. I've seen some good reviews. What do you want from a cartridge? What is found missing with the AT95 or is it that you simply wants something that is a little bit better? I've had the Denon DL-110, I liked it for it's musical sound but on my Thorens TD280 MkII it sounded like loudness was on (despite me not having a loudness function in my system. :) ) - i.e strong bass and treble, but a bit underwhelmed midband.

I really liked the Sumiko Pearl on my TD280, this has a warmer character than the AT95 - bigger bass, smoother treble, and big soundscape. Can't say how it sounds on a TD150, it seems to have a 16g tonearm and my TD280 had a TP28 tonearm with 12.5g mass. But it's a smooth cartridge and comes at 140-150 euro.
Or why not simply get another Nagaoka MP110?! :)

My main cartridge is the Benz MC Silver but at 250-300 euro it's above your budget.

The Audio Technica VM95 is an AT95 that's upgradeable with finer styluses, for enhanced sound. Or the AT VM5xx-serie, like the VM520 at 150 euro. It's sharper and brighter than a Sumiko Pearl. Many loves that sound.

Can't compare Technics 5300 vs Thorens TD150, sorry.

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by goatbreath » 01 Oct 2019 15:21

When I got this TD150 MK2 I have just now,the output cables had been changed and err towards the bright..
I have a Shure M97xe on mine which is a dark cartridge,The M44 7 worked well,but both are now discontinued and I think over priced..so I can't recommend a cartridge as far as tonal balance goes..
It does sound good,although I think something tracking above 2 grams would be happier on the TP13ea..
Even if you have to add a little to the anti skating weight..
I have read there are 2 different sets of arm bearings and the later ones are finer..
Maybe I have the earlier version,I haven't had my arm apart..
It sounds good,can track classical stuff that is quite demanding,but isn't amazing with modern test records..
The AT95e behaved better,but with my output cables was a bit too bright/bass light..

I am going through a Technics Phase just now,but have owned and used 6 Thorens suspended Turntables..
Sorry 7 of them..lol..Various TD150,Td160,TD166,TD 125..
I can hear better piano on Direct Drive..
Suspended Subchassis decks have a charm of their own too though..
So taste comes into what's best..

You really want to get the compliance into the teens with those arms.The TP13A and TP16..
Sure a higher compliance cartridge will work,but not be optimal..

I have a Nagaoka MP 110 and it is a good cartridge,it is more detailed than the AT 95E,
especially in the Mid band..It is a little darker balanced than the AT95e.
The AT 95e is better matched mechanically to your arm.. "I think"...
The Goldring Elan may actually work better on there than the elektra as far as tracking goes..
You won't get quite as detailed cymbals etc though..
it is saying the Elektra Compliance is in the Teens..
The Tracking weight seems a little low for the figure quoted..
This can happen,but I tend to look at tracking weight...
Manufacturers Specs and reality can differ.,or be quoted in different ways.

Tell me,is the AT 95e...Bright or Dark.. Is it Bass light or does the Treble sound rolled Off..?
I know that cartridge very Well..

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by barryme » 01 Oct 2019 16:03

Thanks for suggestions so far. The AT 95e that was already on the turntable sounds quite simply "suppressed". It is not comparable to the Nagaoka. Everything sounds dull in comparison. Mid range and higher tones are just "missing". (By the way, I am using mainly an Audiolab 8000a Series B and Jean Marie Reynaud Studio 3 speakers).
The Shure M97xe has gone up in price. Also the Denon DL 110 now costs 240 euros.
Sumiko Pearl, I will check that out. AT VM520 sounds interesting too. Goldring Elan as well (any shielding problems that might cause hum?) Grado seems to be a bad choice due to shielding problems. I will need to look into these a bit more. Any other suggestions would be great….
Also, any reasons that the existing cartridge is buzzing when my hand comes close to the headshell? It is even louder when touching the cartridge. The phono leads were changed I think. All other components are original. There is no separate ground wire as it goes through the left phono lead. Should I change the phono leads again or is there an easier fix? Thanks

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by goatbreath » 01 Oct 2019 16:24

If the AT95 E sounds dull..The AT VM I think is brighter..Someone who has experienced one fully is best to ask..
The M97xe is more rolled off in the treble than the AT95e..
I think the Sumiko Pearl is more rolled off than the AT95e too..
Again,,I think the Elan from what I have heard is a little less trebly than the AT95 E..
The series before the VM the AT 130E etc were on the bright side..
Too high compliance for the TP13 A though..

Some confirmation would be handy here..

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by raphaelmabo » 01 Oct 2019 17:08

AT95 shouldn't sound dull, if it's already on then it may need a new stylus? Normally the AT95 has an energetic and a bit bright sound, a bit unfocused and loose in soundimage, but fun. The Pearl is smoother in the treble yes and with a warmer midband. AT VM-serie is a bit on the bright side for me personally, but they do sounds like a more mature and composed version of the AT95.

Re: the issue with the buzz sound. On my TD280 it makes a buzzz when I touch the cables to the cartridge. Sometimes it even buzz when my hands is close to it. On my TD203, it can make a sound too when touching the cables at the back of the cartridge. But touching just the headshell makes no buzz.

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by Boltman92124 » 01 Oct 2019 18:18

The Elektra is basically a re labelled Red Ed cartridge that sells for approx $30. I do have one (Elektra) and didn't find it to be an upgrade from the stock AT95e. I thought it sounded rolled off on top. It's also a tiny little cartridge that will make VTA a challenge/need adjusting. I would recommend The new VM95e or VM95en (nude stylus).

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by Mr Pig » 01 Oct 2019 22:43

Boltman92124 wrote:
01 Oct 2019 18:18
The Elektra is basically a re labelled Red Ed cartridge that sells for approx $30. I do have one (Elektra) and didn't find it to be an upgrade from the stock AT95e.
I agree. I'm not a fan of the cart and don't think it's good value. It's actually very similar to a cheap AT cart so kinda pointless in my opinion.

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by barryme » 02 Oct 2019 11:26

Then it seems to be "no" for the Goldring Elektra. This cartridge seems to be rated, in any reviews I have seen, as being in the category of 90-120 dollar carts and often gets decent reviews, whereas the at95 is only about 40 dollars. I will stay away in any case.
I might buy the at VM-95EN and VM 502 EB and compare them and keep the better of the two. Hopefully one or the other sounds good on the Thorens 150. I will read about these two a bit more and make a choice next week.
Any other suggestions are welcome……… Thanks
Interesting about the buzzing on TD 280 & 203 around the cartridge. I suppose I can live with it if it is unavoidable. It is not critical but I had hoped it could have been solved.

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by Boltman92124 » 02 Oct 2019 15:56

barryme wrote:
02 Oct 2019 11:26
Then it seems to be "no" for the Goldring Elektra. This cartridge seems to be rated, in any reviews I have seen, as being in the category of 90-120 dollar carts and often gets decent reviews, whereas the at95 is only about 40 dollars. I will stay away in any case.
I might buy the at VM-95EN and VM 502 EB and compare them and keep the better of the two. Hopefully one or the other sounds good on the Thorens 150. I will read about these two a bit more and make a choice next week.
Any other suggestions are welcome……… Thanks
Interesting about the buzzing on TD 280 & 203 around the cartridge. I suppose I can live with it if it is unavoidable. It is not critical but I had hoped it could have been solved.
The Elektra is like the Rega Carbon in the fact that Rega sells the Carbon for $65 but the AT3600 costs $20. Same cartridge. The Elektra is actually made by Pfanstiehl according to some. https://www.lpgear.com/product/PFCMG29DE.html

It's not a bad cartridge. The Goldring Elan is the conical version and was included as the stock cart on a bunch of turntables earlier.

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by yarvelling » 02 Oct 2019 16:18

If the AT95E is sounding 'dull' and lifeless, then yes, it could a worn or dirty stylus, but also the capacitance of the phono preamp could be too high.
When I use my AT95E it's always going through my Rega preamp:- capacitance of aprox 100uf. Several years ago I used a NAD preamp that was around 200uF and the aT95 sounded a bit flat through it. Using the Rega, it comes alive.
Another poster mentioned the new AT-VM95E; an excellent cartridge and an fair improvement over the original AT95E.
Mind, someone else also mention the AT3600.... an amazing little cartridge if you get the carbon fibre/plastic cantilever version...though I have found that using the Rega Carbon stylus instead actually does improve things even more!

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by Boltman92124 » 02 Oct 2019 16:34

yarvelling wrote:
02 Oct 2019 16:18
If the AT95E is sounding 'dull' and lifeless, then yes, it could a worn or dirty stylus, but also the capacitance of the phono preamp could be too high.
When I use my AT95E it's always going through my Rega preamp:- capacitance of aprox 100uf. Several years ago I used a NAD preamp that was around 200uF and the aT95 sounded a bit flat through it. Using the Rega, it comes alive.
Another poster mentioned the new AT-VM95E; an excellent cartridge and an fair improvement over the original AT95E.
Mind, someone else also mention the AT3600.... an amazing little cartridge if you get the carbon fibre/plastic cantilever version...though I have found that using the Rega Carbon stylus instead actually does improve things even more!
You should check out the LP Gear CF3600le elliptical/Carbon stylus on your Carbon bodies some time! Amazing! I like it more than any of my AT95 variants for sure. https://www.lpgear.com/product/CF3600LE.html

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by Mr Pig » 02 Oct 2019 17:31

yarvelling wrote:
02 Oct 2019 16:18
Mind, someone else also mention the AT3600.... an amazing little cartridge if you get the carbon fibre/plastic cantilever version...though I have found that using the Rega Carbon stylus instead actually does improve things even more!
The AT-3600L and the Rega Carbon are the same cart.

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by patient_ot » 02 Oct 2019 22:15

Boltman92124 wrote:
01 Oct 2019 18:18
The Elektra is basically a re labelled Red Ed cartridge that sells for approx $30. I do have one (Elektra) and didn't find it to be an upgrade from the stock AT95e. I thought it sounded rolled off on top. It's also a tiny little cartridge that will make VTA a challenge/need adjusting. I would recommend The new VM95e or VM95en (nude stylus).
Agreed. Goldring isn't having the Elektra/Elan made anymore by their OEM source either, so I don't really see the point. If I wanted one I would order the Pfansteil branded version from Voice of Music or something. Much cheaper than what the Goldring branded version sells for and substantially the same cartridge.

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Re: Thorens 150 mk2 & goldring elektra

Post by medwaybeat » 03 Oct 2019 12:30

Grado seems to be a bad choice due to shielding problems.
I have a Grado Black on my 150 and hum is not an issue.

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