Cartridge identification

the thin end of the wedge
rachelcm
junior member
junior member
Great Britain
Posts: 9
Joined: 05 Oct 2019 22:15

Cartridge identification

Post by rachelcm » 06 Oct 2019 01:38

I've just bought a Pioneer PL-400 and it is fitted with this Audio Technica cartridge. I want to get a new stylus or look at upgrading the cartridge depending on what it is. I've tried finding pictures of this that match to identify it myself but it has me flummoxed. Can anyone identify this and is it a good match?? I have an at-95e on my old cheap TT and have been very happy with it. I can't imagine this is a lesser cartridge but I have no idea what it is. https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/CiAAAOSw ... -l1600.jpg

Thanks in advance for any help you may give me :-)

Rachel

lini
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Germany
Posts: 6662
Joined: 22 Sep 2007 05:17
Location: Munich/Bavaria

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by lini » 06 Oct 2019 03:00

Rachel: Provided the needle hasn't been changed, that's a either a regular AT110E or an AT410E/OCC (with PC-OCC instead of LC-OFC wire). Otherwise it might as well be an AT105, AT115E or AT420E/OCC body with an ATN110E or ATN410E(/OCC).

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

P.S.: Oh, and yes, I'd deem it a reasonably good match for a PL-400.

rachelcm
junior member
junior member
Great Britain
Posts: 9
Joined: 05 Oct 2019 22:15

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by rachelcm » 06 Oct 2019 17:16

lini wrote:
06 Oct 2019 03:00
Rachel: Provided the needle hasn't been changed, that's a either a regular AT110E or an AT410E/OCC (with PC-OCC instead of LC-OFC wire). Otherwise it might as well be an AT105, AT115E or AT420E/OCC body with an ATN110E or ATN410E(/OCC).

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

P.S.: Oh, and yes, I'd deem it a reasonably good match for a PL-400.
Thanks for that, I'll probably go and get another AT95e or a VM95e. I can get the discontinued AT95e for £30 at the mo which seems crazily good value, although I did listen to a comparison the other day and did find the highs better on the VM95e as well as the bass being less muddy and more pronounced. Either way I think I'll probably end up going back to what I know rather than replacing the stylus and seeing how the cheaper cartridge sounds. The 110e is less suited for rock music judging from what I've read and it's going to be playing a lot of hard rock and metal.

Rachel :-)

Mr Pig
senior member
senior member
Scotland
Posts: 380
Joined: 13 Feb 2018 23:17

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by Mr Pig » 06 Oct 2019 17:54

The AT110E sounds like a more refined AT95e, which it kinda is I guess, but you can't buy original styluses any more which clinches it for me. Sure, some aftermarket styluses are fine but some aren't. Considering how but the cost of a new stylus is relative to the price of a new cart? Plus, if you stick that AT110E on eBay, someone will buy it!

lini
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Germany
Posts: 6662
Joined: 22 Sep 2007 05:17
Location: Munich/Bavaria

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by lini » 06 Oct 2019 19:22

Mr_P: Well, over in the US TVoM still offers the ATN110E for not quite US$ 40.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

Mr Pig
senior member
senior member
Scotland
Posts: 380
Joined: 13 Feb 2018 23:17

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by Mr Pig » 06 Oct 2019 19:32

lini wrote:
06 Oct 2019 19:22
Mr_P: Well, over in the US TVoM still offers the ATN110E for not quite US$ 40.
Over here all I'm seeing is the odd old stock stylus and generic ones. Perfectly good cartridge if you don't mind the stylus issue.

Collux
senior member
senior member
Australia
Posts: 562
Joined: 01 Oct 2017 23:54
Location: Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by Collux » 06 Oct 2019 20:01

The AT-VM95E which can be had for ~$49 seems a good option here.
https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/cart ... index.html

circularvibes
long player
long player
Posts: 1398
Joined: 24 Sep 2010 02:09
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by circularvibes » 06 Oct 2019 20:07

The one advantage I see for replacing the stylus rather than the cartridge is that my assumption is the original cart is prealigned at the factory. A new cartridge will need aligning. Not the most difficult task, but frustrating for a first timer and as such possibly risking damaging a new stylus by trial and error. I am not trying to scare the OP, just pointing out some possiblilities.

AudioFeline
senior member
senior member
Australia
Posts: 501
Joined: 01 Feb 2016 11:05
Location: Melbourne, Australia.

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by AudioFeline » 07 Oct 2019 06:50

The AT95e + VM95e are good standard cartridges. The AT95 is superseded by the VM95e which is why it's currently cheaper. The new VM styli will fit the old carts if a bit of plastic is trimmed. These can also be improved by using the better shaped styli.

rachelcm
junior member
junior member
Great Britain
Posts: 9
Joined: 05 Oct 2019 22:15

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by rachelcm » 09 Oct 2019 08:33

Mr Pig wrote:
06 Oct 2019 17:54
The AT110E sounds like a more refined AT95e, which it kinda is I guess, but you can't buy original styluses any more which clinches it for me. Sure, some aftermarket styluses are fine but some aren't. Considering how but the cost of a new stylus is relative to the price of a new cart? Plus, if you stick that AT110E on eBay, someone will buy it!
circularvibes wrote:
06 Oct 2019 20:07
The one advantage I see for replacing the stylus rather than the cartridge is that my assumption is the original cart is prealigned at the factory. A new cartridge will need aligning. Not the most difficult task, but frustrating for a first timer and as such possibly risking damaging a new stylus by trial and error. I am not trying to scare the OP, just pointing out some possiblilities.
I've got a VM95e here now, I've changed a cart before so I'm not too phased by the idea of doing another, print off an alignment tool and i'll be good to go. The stylus issue is a biggie for me, I want to get genuine styli, not knock off generic ones of varying quality. I'm no audiophile as I have said elsewhere but this is the part that touches my vinyl, and I don't want to damage it. I will stick the old stylus on ebay and see whether someone wants it. Thanks for all the help. This forum is amazing :-)

rachelcm
junior member
junior member
Great Britain
Posts: 9
Joined: 05 Oct 2019 22:15

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by rachelcm » 10 Oct 2019 08:26

lini wrote:
06 Oct 2019 03:00
Rachel: Provided the needle hasn't been changed, that's a either a regular AT110E or an AT410E/OCC (with PC-OCC instead of LC-OFC wire). Otherwise it might as well be an AT105, AT115E or AT420E/OCC body with an ATN110E or ATN410E(/OCC).

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

P.S.: Oh, and yes, I'd deem it a reasonably good match for a PL-400.
OK, so after having a few hours to play with it on older "seconds" vinyl I've kept though it needed replacing, or it's stuff I've replaced already, I'm actually still using what is on there. It's bringing life from vinyl I thought was well past its prime! I am still not sure what cartridge it is as it's set and sounds good so I see no real point in taking it off to look at a sticker and then have to realign it. There was a cartridge box inside the original box that was for an AT455ex and an (old?) needle that seems to be an ATN12XE. My best guess is that's still the cartridge and the needle has been swapped out. Could that be the case? It'd be nice to know and I'll definitely look when it comes time to replace the stylus, I don't want to throw out anything that's good and it's always nice to hear different carts and not just be stuck in a rut with the AT95E or VM95E (although that's a pretty fine rut to be stuck in). The VM95E can just sit tight until it's needed, and if I then prefer the sound from this current set up, I can try to get another of those before I decide what to do. I'm just wary of 3rd party generic needles as these are the bit that's on contact with my vinyl and I don't want to ruin what I love as some of it would costs as much as the TT to replace. I'm not one of these collectors who buys vinyl to sit it in sleeves unopened, I got it to play it, not to make money, so play it I will ;-)

lini
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Germany
Posts: 6662
Joined: 22 Sep 2007 05:17
Location: Munich/Bavaria

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by lini » 11 Oct 2019 04:04

Rachel: No, that's not an AT455EX. The AT455EX belongs to the many renames of the older AT10 to AT12 family with the newer body variant with white mounting frame. I'm just not sure, whether it was originally equipped with the ATN12XE or rather with a variant thereof with bonded instead of nude diamond. Even the ATN12XE existed in two variants, though - always with nude diamond, but either with round or with rectangular shank.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

rachelcm
junior member
junior member
Great Britain
Posts: 9
Joined: 05 Oct 2019 22:15

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by rachelcm » 12 Oct 2019 00:06

lini wrote:
11 Oct 2019 04:04
Rachel: No, that's not an AT455EX. The AT455EX belongs to the many renames of the older AT10 to AT12 family with the newer body variant with white mounting frame. I'm just not sure, whether it was originally equipped with the ATN12XE or rather with a variant thereof with bonded instead of nude diamond. Even the ATN12XE existed in two variants, though - always with nude diamond, but either with round or with rectangular shank.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
Thanks for your help. I'm starting to really like this cart but I'm really a novice when it comes to knowing what fits what and where to look to identify these things myself. The cartridge seems to bring out a fair bit more detail than the AT-95E, but a lot of that could also be down to the fact I'm using a proper TT, not a plastic TT shaped toy. I don't want to knock the SoundLAb deck, it did get us back into vinyl, and it sounded really good, but this is just a different league. I'm hoping I can find a quality aftermarket stylus for this cart as I'm so tempted to keep it on long term as it sounds so good.

Rachel :)

circularvibes
long player
long player
Posts: 1398
Joined: 24 Sep 2010 02:09
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by circularvibes » 12 Oct 2019 02:59

Hi Rachel, I am glad you aren't afraid of setting up a new cartridge and that you are getting enjoyment from your records. As to replacing an older stylus, you couls take your time casually and search the online stores and auction pages if you aren't in a hurry. New old stock stuff shows up regularly. You could also post separately and see if others here have experience with generic replacements of your stylus and see where it goes. If you have an older stereo shop in your nearby travels you could pop in and say hi and find out if they have old stock too. It never hurts to ask. Shops don't always tend to advertise that they have old stock but are more than happy to sell it if they got it.

Mr Pig
senior member
senior member
Scotland
Posts: 380
Joined: 13 Feb 2018 23:17

Re: Cartridge identification

Post by Mr Pig » 12 Oct 2019 08:59

lini wrote:
11 Oct 2019 04:04
Rachel: No, that's not an AT455EX. The AT455EX belongs to the many renames of the older AT10 to AT12...
Identifying this cart is not complicated. Just take it off the arm and the number will be written on the top of the thing!

Post Reply