Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

the thin end of the wedge
Ronnie61
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Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by Ronnie61 » 21 Jan 2020 20:37

Today i bought, because i was curious to Pickering, a brand new original Pickering XV-15/625 DJ cartridge with a D150DJ stylus for only 35 dollar, i think it's a bargain but i can't find much info about this set, it's meant to be for a DJ ? does this mean i will notice this at my home turntable ? will the sound be much different/worse then for instance a XV-15/625 E ?

patient_ot
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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by patient_ot » 21 Jan 2020 20:47

It means the cart comes with a DJ stylus, usually designed to track a bit heavier and be more robust for DJ use. It should be a good cart otherwise, the XV-15 a/k/a Stanton 680/1 is a classic cartridge. The trouble now is finding high quality hi-fi styli for them. That's not to say you won't enjoy the cartridge...watch out for dried up rubber suspensions on any old/NOS cart like this though.

Ronnie61
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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by Ronnie61 » 21 Jan 2020 21:04

patient_ot wrote:
21 Jan 2020 20:47
watch out for dried up rubber suspensions on any old/NOS cart like this though.
Okay thanks, it was still, sealed, in his plastic box... but what do you mean by rubber suspensions ? :oops:

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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by patient_ot » 21 Jan 2020 21:17

Ronnie61 wrote:
21 Jan 2020 21:04
patient_ot wrote:
21 Jan 2020 20:47
watch out for dried up rubber suspensions on any old/NOS cart like this though.
Okay thanks, it was still, sealed, in his plastic box... but what do you mean by rubber suspensions ? :oops:
Most cartridges have some kind of rubber donut, or some kind of damper made of rubber elastomer. Over time, that rubber donut loses pliability and becomes stiff. As such, the cart will not function as intended. You just bought a sealed cart that is a few decades out. If you are lucky the suspension will be fine. If you are unlucky, it will have hardened or shrunk over the years, compromising the performance of the cartridge. This is something that is well known among buyers of vintage carts and styli. It has happened to me.

If it does happen to you, take comfort in the fact that the cart body was probably 35 dollars by itself, and you can buy a new aftermarket stylus for the cartridge (which will have a new suspension) if you want to get it up and running. There are many types of aftermarket styli for this cartridge, depending on what you want, and your price point. Do a search on the XV-15 or Stanton 680/681 (functionally the same cart body design) and you'll see a LOT of discussion about it.

Ronnie61
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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by Ronnie61 » 21 Jan 2020 21:40

patient_ot wrote:
21 Jan 2020 21:17
you can buy a new aftermarket stylus for the cartridge (which will have a new suspension) if you want to get it up and running. There are many types of aftermarket styli for this cartridge, depending on what you want, and your price point. Do a search on the XV-15 or Stanton 680/681 (functionally the same cart body design) and you'll see a LOT of discussion about it.
Thanks, so if i understand you correctly, i can't see those "rubber suspension" on the outside ? and it has nothing to do with the cartridge itself, but with the stylus ? sorry i'am pretty new with not standard cartridges/stylus...

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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by patient_ot » 21 Jan 2020 21:59

Ronnie61 wrote:
21 Jan 2020 21:40
patient_ot wrote:
21 Jan 2020 21:17
you can buy a new aftermarket stylus for the cartridge (which will have a new suspension) if you want to get it up and running. There are many types of aftermarket styli for this cartridge, depending on what you want, and your price point. Do a search on the XV-15 or Stanton 680/681 (functionally the same cart body design) and you'll see a LOT of discussion about it.
Thanks, so if i understand you correctly, i can't see those "rubber suspension" on the outside ? and it has nothing to do with the cartridge itself, but with the stylus ? sorry i'am pretty new with not standard cartridges/stylus...
On a cart like that it's in the stylus assembly, not the cart body. Changing the stylus also changes the suspension.

Ronnie61
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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by Ronnie61 » 21 Jan 2020 23:10

patient_ot wrote:
21 Jan 2020 21:59
On a cart like that it's in the stylus assembly, not the cart body. Changing the stylus also changes the suspension.
Okay thanks for the info, also for the advice of the Stanton :D

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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by mamakasou » 22 Jan 2020 07:38

If the D150DJ stylus is unused original, then you are lucky.
That original stylus alone, is selling for more than 50 bucks NOS.

It is a vintage, low compliance, high-output, heavy tracking conical that was intended for hi-fi use back in the day, under a different designation (probably as Pickering D100).

If you got experience with another classic vintage cartridge, then you know what tone to expect.
I like that stylus quite a bit for its full-body, wide soundstage and smooth rendition.

Run it in for about 50 hours at 4 grams and then you can lower it to 3 grams VTF.
I wouldn't recommend going any lower than that with such a low compliance vintage stylus.

By the way, both D150DJ and D625E original styli have a lot in common in terms of how they sound.
The elliptical just sounds a bit more detailed, due to a more pronounced top-end, while the D150DJ is more authoritative and rounded.

I might post a couple of recordings from both.
Stay tuned.

Collux
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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by Collux » 22 Jan 2020 09:23

Details on the XV-15 are found in the library
https://www.vinylengine.com/library/pic ... v-15.shtml

Ronnie61
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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by Ronnie61 » 22 Jan 2020 11:30

mamakasou wrote:
22 Jan 2020 07:38
If the D150DJ stylus is unused original, then you are lucky.
That original stylus alone, is selling for more than 50 bucks NOS.

If you got experience with another classic vintage cartridge, then you know what tone to expect.
I like that stylus quite a bit for its full-body, wide soundstage and smooth rendition.

I might post a couple of recordings from both.
Stay tuned.
Thanks ! this D150DJ is a original, unused, brand new stylus :D i saw they are offered here in the Netherlands for €69 ! and the XV-15/625DJ for about €160... so it sure was a bargain :wink:

I don't have any experience with other cartridges, i have been playing for about 40 years with the same Thorens TD 145 turntable, did sell it two years ago for a good price, bought a completely different TT last year with a Ortofon OM5E cartridge, ( a ITT8012) and since last month the Denon DP-300F, changed the standard cartridge with the Ortofon, and now waiting for the Pickering. :)

And it's always good to hear some recordings... :wink:

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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by Ronnie61 » 22 Jan 2020 11:37

Collux wrote:
22 Jan 2020 09:23
Details on the XV-15 are found in the library
https://www.vinylengine.com/library/pic ... v-15.shtml
And as usual, the XV-15/625 DJ is not mentioned... :wink: they always refer to the 625 E.

Collux
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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by Collux » 22 Jan 2020 20:29

The XV-15/625 DJ details are to be found in the Astatic NMR series catalogue.
(refer VE library)
Attachments
Pickering_astatic_magnetic_needles_nmr_series.jpg
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Ronnie61
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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by Ronnie61 » 23 Jan 2020 14:37

Collux wrote:
22 Jan 2020 20:29
The XV-15/625 DJ details are to be found in the Astatic NMR series catalogue.
(refer VE library)
Thanks Collux :)

Collux
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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by Collux » 23 Jan 2020 20:16

I suspect the 625 DJ and 625 E styli only differ with respect to the suspension.
-the 625 DJ having lower compliance, therefore requiring heavier tracking.
In all other respects: cantilever, needle and the body they are probably the same.

mamakasou
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Re: Pickering XV-15/625 DJ

Post by mamakasou » 23 Jan 2020 22:56

I am posting links to the recordings I promised.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YCiFER ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QSr1FO ... sp=sharing

For the time being I'll not name the two files, so you can try identifying them by your own.

Both of them (D150DJ and D625) are NOS, original styli with approximately 50 hours of use.
They are recorded on the same Stanton 680 body and the tracks are in 24bit WAV format.
They are time edited and gain matched within a +/-0.5% margin.

They do sound quite similar, so I'd suggest you use something other than your mobile or laptop speakers to audition them. Ideally, you'd download the files and run them on a digital player like foobar2000 and a good set of headphones or speakers.

Anyway, it's only for fun so don't hesitate to speculate. You have a 50% chance of hitting it right in any case!

I will post the correct name for each file in a subsequent post.
Enjoy!

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