LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

the thin end of the wedge
BMRR
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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by BMRR » 06 Dec 2016 03:16

Ouch... LPG has really hiked the price of the AT95SA. :shock:

Looks like AT95VL (Vivid Line) has received a substantial price increase as well.

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by JRob1125 » 16 Nov 2017 01:07

I know this is an old thread, but I'm curious....how good is the AT95 catridge itself? I have a U-Turn Orbit that was installed with a genuine AT95e, which I upgraded with the Shibata stylus from LP Gear. I can't imagine a cartridge sounding much better than this....side by side comparisons with hi-res sound nearly indistinguishable. What are the flaws of the AT95e? Why is it so cheap? To those of have heard it with a Shibata stylus, how does it compare to ATs more expensive carts?

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by BMRR » 16 Nov 2017 15:16

The cartridge itself is excellent. It uses Audio-Technica's proven Dual Magnet design, which is one of the best moving magnet systems ever developed. The only limitation of the stock AT95E is that the shape of its diamond is very basic. I wouldn't call this a flaw; it's just a necessary feature to keep the cartridge affordable. By replacing the stock stylus with a more sophisticated stylus, you're unlocking the full potential of the cartridge.

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by Boltman92124 » 17 Nov 2017 23:35

JRob1125 wrote:I know this is an old thread, but I'm curious....how good is the AT95 catridge itself? I have a U-Turn Orbit that was installed with a genuine AT95e, which I upgraded with the Shibata stylus from LP Gear. I can't imagine a cartridge sounding much better than this....side by side comparisons with hi-res sound nearly indistinguishable. What are the flaws of the AT95e? Why is it so cheap? To those of have heard it with a Shibata stylus, how does it compare to ATs more expensive carts?
I bought one of the CF95se's from LP Gear. It's just a finer shaped elliptical than stock. Great cart but doesn't have the soundstage or channel separation of even the 100e. I think I almost prefer the stock green stylus, which is just a darn musical sounding needle for cheap.

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by james73_2008 » 18 Nov 2017 01:10

BMRR wrote:The cartridge itself is excellent. It uses Audio-Technica's proven Dual Magnet design, which is one of the best moving magnet systems ever developed. The only limitation of the stock AT95E is that the shape of its diamond is very basic. I wouldn't call this a flaw; it's just a necessary feature to keep the cartridge affordable. By replacing the stock stylus with a more sophisticated stylus, you're unlocking the full potential of the cartridge.
True, but isn't the case that the stock green AT95E stylii are now .3 x .7 ellipticals rather than the previous .4 x .7 tips? There was, or is, a AT95EX stylus (maroon coloured) which is .3 x .7 and I think the green ones are now the same. Might not sound like much but every little helps... :)


James H

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by pcourtney » 18 Nov 2017 12:17

a lot of us in the UK are using the 95P Paratrace on our AT95 carts, amazing value and sounds pretty damm fine :-)

http://theaudiofiles.co.uk/95p-paratrac ... -cartridge

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by BMRR » 18 Nov 2017 14:17

james73_2008 wrote:True, but isn't the case that the stock green AT95E stylii are now .3 x .7 ellipticals rather than the previous .4 x .7 tips?
You are correct, sir. :) The OP's U-Turn Orbit probably came with the original .4x.7mil version — U-Turn stopped offering the AT95E before AT switched from .4x.7 from .3x.7.

At any rate, I rather like the sound of AT's .4x.7 diamond. And I'm a very big fan of their aluminum tube cantilever. I don't care for the plastic-carbon cantilever at all, although it's a good option for folks who need something less fragile — e.g. if they have kids in the home.

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by BMRR » 18 Nov 2017 14:26

pcourtney wrote:a lot of us in the UK are using the 95P Paratrace on our AT95 carts, amazing value and sounds pretty damm fine :-)
I've seen these on eBay and they look beautiful. If I hadn't gotten such a great deal on my AT440MLb two years ago, I almost certainly would have bought the AT95P instead.

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by eriathomas » 20 Nov 2017 04:45

pcourtney wrote:a lot of us in the UK are using the 95P Paratrace on our AT95 carts, amazing value and sounds pretty damm fine :-)

http://theaudiofiles.co.uk/95p-paratrac ... -cartridge
This is an offical AT stylus? Seems weird they'd only offer it in the UK/EU. I'm tempted to grab one after Christmas.

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by MikeyB456 » 20 Nov 2017 10:51

eriathomas wrote:
This is an offical AT stylus?
No, it's a 3rd party product. You can either get one direct from Expert Stylus Co, which involves sending them a serviceable ATN95 stylus to re-tip, or from The Audio Files as as ready-made package.

They're pretty nice, I'm very happy with mine :D

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by JRob1125 » 20 Nov 2017 17:49

Thanks for the input guys. I've never heard of the Paratrace stylus....is it worth replacing a shibata?

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by pcourtney » 20 Nov 2017 17:52

pretty special in the UK - masterminded by Expert Stylus about 20 years ago

this is a good bit of info

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/daveyw/ ... -t589.html

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by eriathomas » 21 Nov 2017 03:50

pcourtney wrote:pretty special in the UK - masterminded by Expert Stylus about 20 years ago

this is a good bit of info

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/daveyw/ ... -t589.html
I re-read it and realized my mistake. It'd be cool to have, but $180 for an AT95E stylus seems crazy. Does it really sound that much better?

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by DeepEnd » 21 Nov 2017 06:56


I re-read it and realized my mistake. It'd be cool to have, but $180 for an AT95E stylus seems crazy. Does it really sound that much better?
Depends on your point of view. Almost 90% of a cartridge performance is down to the quality and sophistication of the diamond tip. As a result putting a more sophisticated nude tip on a cartridge will make a significant improvement.

The Paratrace is a very high quality and sophisticated nude tip and is an extended line contact type which is slightly higher spec than the line contact tip fitted to the $350 Ortofon 2M Bronze and similar to the one fitted to the $500 Goldring G1022GX.

I am not saying the performance of the 95P will be quite as good as these as the cantilever and bodies do make a difference but it will be very very close.

This makes the Paratrace styli along with AT’s 440 and 540 cartridges as one of the lowest cost ways of getting into the performance of these high end tips/cartridges. The rest of your system may possibly limit how much of an improvement you can hear.

Whether you view it as a very expensive tip for a 95E (note: i’s quite a lot cheaper having your own styli done by ESCo) or a cheap way of getting a high performing cartridge is up to you.

I have a Paratrace tip fitted to a generic Japanese body that cost me £135 (~$170) for body and styli and the control in the lower registers, the refinement through the midrange and upper registers along with the imaging, separation of instruments and vocal performance is such I might have spend $800-$1300 to improve it significantly. To me £100 ($130) for a Paratrace stylus is an absolute bargain and if it’s good enough for high end MC’s like Supex and Koestu it’s certainly good enough for me.

Lot’s of info re advanced stylus types/shapes in this thread viewtopic.php?f=19&t=22894&hilit=Advanced+stylus+shapes

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Re: LP Gear AT95SA Shibata Stylus REVIEW

Post by eriathomas » 21 Nov 2017 07:14

I do have an AT440MLb as my daily driver, so I'm not too concerned with it now. I'd love to hear the 95p at some point, but can't justify the price before the holidays. I did e-mail today, and they said after the current batch (which is still being made and almost sold out) the price will increase to £140 due to the demand.