Ranking What I have...

the thin end of the wedge
Post Reply
mdbrown
member
member
Posts: 103
Joined: 23 Dec 2017 00:43

Ranking What I have...

Post by mdbrown » 25 Jan 2020 05:38

Hi all. Starting a move so my entire system is currently broken down and I am preparing to send my table (TD-125 MKII w/SME 3009 Series III) to Dave and have it overhauled. It will be my primary table. Since I cannot listen and, to be fair, would prefer not to make a lot of changes once done I'd like to get a consensus on the cartridges I have. I know my own thoughts but would like others as well. I may not stay with what it is at the top of the list but it will give me a good starting point. So, the cartridges I have (in no particular order):

1. Audio Technica AT-OC9ML/II
2. Pickering XSV-3000 (with OE D3000 stylus)
3. Denon DL-301 (original, not the II)
4. Audio Technica AT-F3 (original, not the 1,2, or 3)
5. Pickering XV-15/750e (with OE D750 stylus)
6. Audio Technica AT-2211eh
7. Audio Technica AT-110e

I'm going to take the consensus here along with my own ranking and determine which cartridge to start with (and hopefully not need to go further). I'll likely install the second and third rated cartridges on my other two tables (TD-126 MKIII currently armless) and a Technics SL-Q2. The 125 will run through an Emotiva XPS-1 into an Adcom GFP-555/Adcom GFA-545II through Infinity RSM speakers.

nat
long player
long player
Posts: 4662
Joined: 07 Nov 2002 19:05

Re: Ranking What I have...

Post by nat » 25 Jan 2020 15:08

Ive used the XSV-3000 with a Series III and liked it very much. Obviously the arm is made for high compliance cartridges, and though it can be used with things like moving coils (I used a Denon 103S in mine for years), its not a marriage made in heaven - clear, but somewhat light sound. So the other Pickering might also be a good choice.
You can make the arm match lower compliance cartridges better by adding mass to the headshell, and I would suggest doing that if you want to use the OC 9 or similar cartridges.
Not sure that your plan to install the less highly rated cartridges in the other tables is wise - the rankings you get will (or should be) relative to a very low mass arm. With other arms, the rankings would be different - the lower compliance cartridges will be happier in the SL Q2, not because they or it are better, but because they match better.
Of course the arm currently on the Thorens has an effective mass of zero, so I don't think any of your cartridges will suit it. On the other hand, it also has zero friction, and no resonances, so for the right cartridge, it's perfect.

mdbrown
member
member
Posts: 103
Joined: 23 Dec 2017 00:43

Re: Ranking What I have...

Post by mdbrown » 25 Jan 2020 16:39

As I recall, the SL-Q2 arm is in the 12-14 gram range, if all goes as planned the 126 will have a 12 gram arm on it if that helps any. So perhaps we go with cartridges to arms. We have the III at 4.5 grams effective mass and two other arms of mid-mass (12-14 grams effective mass). Makes sense this way as the III may end up on the 126 depending on what other arm I end up with. I have a Series S2 Improved with removable headshell, if I use that it will need to be overhauled first. My preference would be to trade in the S2 towards a 309.

BMRR
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
United States of America
Posts: 6125
Joined: 23 Aug 2013 03:48

Re: Ranking What I have...

Post by BMRR » 25 Jan 2020 18:05

The AT-2211eh and the AT-110e are good cartridges but I would consider them entry-level. I'd put these away and use them as emergency backups, not as daily drivers.

I don't have any firsthand experience with the DL-301 or the F3.

The OC9, XSV-3000, and XV-15 are definitely my favorites on your list.

mdbrown
member
member
Posts: 103
Joined: 23 Dec 2017 00:43

Re: Ranking What I have...

Post by mdbrown » 25 Jan 2020 18:27

That helps, I know the 3000 and the 750e are high compliance and the OC9 is mid/high compliance as well. A little research in the VE database says all 3 should work well with any of the arms I have or plan to have. Will wait and see if anyone has any opinion on the DL-301 and/or AT-F3 in comparison to the "top" 3.

Post Reply