recommendation for headshell & cartridge for SL-23

the thin end of the wedge
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frevi
Hungary
Posts: 3
Joined: 22 Oct 2019 23:20

recommendation for headshell & cartridge for SL-23

Post by frevi » 23 Oct 2019 01:08

I'm going to try to refurbish my dad's Technics SL-23 when I go visit him in a couple weeks. I've ordered the new belt, and need to get a headshell & cartridge. He will use the system with a nice Denon integrated amp, but his speakers are crap. The main thing will be to digitize his collection of classical LPs, focusing on classical guitar, so hopefully he'll at least eventually have good headphones or new speakers to listen with. I 'm thinking $150-200 budget for headshell and cartridge. I see Audio-Technica has combinations like the AT-XP7/H, AT-VM95SH/H, or AT-VM95ML/H. Would I be better off getting separate components like an Ortofon SL-4 or even KAB HS-1 headshell? What kind of cartridge would go well with that? I'm assuming all of those are compatible with the stock tonearm, looks like a 1/2" connector. Finally, is it worth getting a $30 leather (or other) mat for this situation?

Thanks

-Frank

Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
Canada
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Re: recommendation for headshell & cartridge for SL-23

Post by Alec124c41 » 23 Oct 2019 05:36

If the original black rubber mat is still on there, use it. It is good.
The Technics headshells will do nicely. The knock-offs work, too.
Get a decent cartridge, not fancy mats or headshells..
The SL-23 will probably need some fresh oil in the platter and motor bearings. Also, the speed adjustment pots, both the fine and main speed ones, should be cleaned with a good contact/control cleaner (with lube), as the surface tarnish causes erratic speeds.
Does his Denon amp have a Phono input? If not, he will need a phono preamp, too.

Cheers,
Alec

jledwards
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Re: recommendation for headshell & cartridge for SL-23

Post by jledwards » 23 Oct 2019 10:10

I have this table and I use an AT95EX on a technics style headshell. Running through a ART DJ Pre ll phono preamp, sounds pretty damn good for very little money.

frevi
Hungary
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Joined: 22 Oct 2019 23:20

Re: recommendation for headshell & cartridge for SL-23

Post by frevi » 24 Oct 2019 06:51

Thanks very much, that's super helpful. Yes, Alec, the Denon has a phono input, so I'm good there. I'm going to get some DeoxIT, but should I just get spray, or liquid and the little tiny brush for the pots? ...and lube now that you mention that; good.

Much appreciated!

-Frank

AudioFeline
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Australia
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Re: recommendation for headshell & cartridge for SL-23

Post by AudioFeline » 24 Oct 2019 12:58

The Technics SL-23 was a competent entry-level turntable. Buying an expensive headshell would be a waste, just get a regular headshell like the Technics clones (don't get one that's thin pressed aluminuim). A high-end cart would also be overkill on this turntable. And AT95 would probably be good, the AT3600L is dirt cheap and just as good. A lower-end Ortofon could also be an option. Alec also gave good advice above, as always.

Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
Canada
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Re: recommendation for headshell & cartridge for SL-23

Post by Alec124c41 » 24 Oct 2019 17:13

When I had an SL-23, I popped a Shure V-15, and was surprised by how good it sounded.
This turntable has a particle-board base, which is much better at absorbing vibrations than the later plastic bases. I think that a $200 cartridge would not be out of place on it, but not necessary for a start. The above suggestions are good.
The spray can, with the thin tube, will allow you to get the cleaner into places that cannot be reached with a brush. Many pots are protected with little canisters, and you have to spray into a small hole in the case.
Nu-Trol is cheaper than DeOxit.

Cheers,
Alec

frevi
Hungary
Posts: 3
Joined: 22 Oct 2019 23:20

Re: recommendation for headshell & cartridge for SL-23

Post by frevi » 25 Oct 2019 03:55

You guys are all great. Thank you so much for the great advice, I really appreciate it.

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