Stylus for Grace F9

the thin end of the wedge
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zacster
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by zacster » 29 May 2016 12:29

Now I'm tempted yet again to do something with my F9E. When I tried it about a year ago it sounded soooo good, even with the shaft that is bent downward, not side to side. I still wonder if it could be fixed without replacing. I could try sending it to Soundsmith, but my guess is it would cost as much as a replacement.

I guess the letter to Grace never got a response.

In the meantime I am still more than pleased with my Ortofon Quintet Blue MC.

Spinosaurus
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by Spinosaurus » 29 May 2016 16:43

zacster, what do you think of the Boozhound MC pre? Did you mod any components? What did you use for a power supply?

zacster
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by zacster » 29 May 2016 21:53

On the Boozhound I built it stock with Jason's components. The parts were decent to begin with. For a power supply I'm using 2 9v batteries in series. They last for 5-6 months with moderate use, you just have to remember to turn it off as it draws power whether being used or not. It is all mounted on a piece of wood with some generic gold plated RCA jacks. It is an easy build, cheap, quiet and it sounds great.

For the money you can't really go wrong.

stevoz
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by stevoz » 31 May 2016 03:25

zacster wrote:Now I'm tempted yet again to do something with my F9E. When I tried it about a year ago it sounded soooo good, even with the shaft that is bent downward, not side to side. I still wonder if it could be fixed without replacing. I could try sending it to Soundsmith, but my guess is it would cost as much as a replacement.

I guess the letter to Grace never got a response.


In the meantime I am still more than pleased with my Ortofon Quintet Blue MC.
No, it didn't...... :(

zacster
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by zacster » 02 Jun 2016 17:31

If Grace had committed to make a few more, I'd have put my money down.

awty
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by awty » 06 Jun 2016 05:55

jdjohn wrote:That's great, awty. Can't really go wrong at that price. Please report back your results comparing to the SoundSmith styli. I know the SS will sound worlds better, but it would be helpful to get your side-by-side comparison for reference purposes. I may pop on one of the SS versions one day.

Interestingly, from out of the blue I got a PM from the eBay seller of those conical tips, asking me where I got my stylus from. Is the seller here in the forum???
The pioneer stylus turned up today.
Was a lose fit.
I have 2 x original styluses that are broken. Unglued the back of one and managed to remove the stylus and suspension, leaving the tube and plastic surrounds intact.
Pulled the Pioneer stylus tube off the plastic surround (didnt take much pretty flimsy).
The Pioneer stylus tube slides in perfectly. Just need to glue it in place.

Not sure if the rake is going to be ok, or not.

Will glue it in and give it a whirl over the next few days when I have a chance.
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jdjohn
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jdjohn » 06 Jun 2016 13:57

At least you'll have the OEM 'look' :) I wonder if there are variances in the bodies of F9s, creating different fitment issues. That Pioneer stylus fits nice and snug on mine, but I do recall the person who advised me saying a modification would be necessary, so maybe it depends on manufacture date of the body. I picked up another F9, so will have to see how the Pioneer stylus fits on it as well.

One thing I noticed about my first F9 is that the pins on the back are smaller diameter...I had to squeeze/compress the clips on the lead wires in order to get a tight enough fit.

wualta

Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by wualta » 06 Jun 2016 16:53

This is a fascinating project. I have a Pioneer PC-600 body (probably the same as the PC-400's), and it would be interesting to find out how it differs, if at all, from the Grace F-9 body internally (ie, coil inductance, magnetic circuit design). To me it's obvious that the two cartridges were built by the same manufacturer.

stevoz
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by stevoz » 07 Jun 2016 07:39

I highly doubt that. Grace were not known to outsource their 'expertise' to other brands. They did enter the US market in the 70's under the 'Andante' brand name, and may have supplied Linn with a cart design or two during this era according to my research, but I think the F9's similarities with the Pioneer cart are merely a coincidence. Either that or Pioneer copied the F9, it certainly would not be the other way around!

jdjohn
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jdjohn » 15 Jun 2016 04:58

UPDATE: I have recently managed to procure a second Grace F9, and the two I now own are quite different. One has a 'lower' serial number of 28731 and sports what I call a BLACK CASE, and a GOLD BODY (pictured on the right). The other has a serial number of 87734 and has a SILVER CASE with a BLACK BODY (pictured on the left). Pics are below sans styli; the black-bodied one has painters tape strategically applied for stylus fitment purposes.
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I will call the lower-numbered version with black case and gold body G1 (right), and the higher-numbered one with silver case and black body G2 (left). Regarding the Pioneer PN-400 elliptical stylus, it fits very snugly on the G1 version of the Grace F9. On the G2 version, however, the PN-400 stylus fits a bit loosely as I think @awty experienced. Maybe he could confirm he has a G2 version of the F9??? Anyway, you can see from the pics that I put a few strips of painters tape on the G2 version in order to get a proper fit for the PN-400 stylus. It's one strip on each side, and a two-layered strip on the front.

Compliance is a real issue using the PN-400 on a G2 version of the F9. The cartridge rides very low with that combination, and I had to drop VTF to 1.25g in order to prevent dragging on the vinyl. In the end, though, I got the PN-400 working well on the G2 version with the tape and lower VTF; and that stylus works more out-of-the-box at about 1.75g of VTF on the G1 version.

I hope this helps folks, and might lead to more discussion about differences in the various versions of the F9.

stevoz
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by stevoz » 15 Jun 2016 08:12

The one with the gold body is an F9L (the only F9 with a gold body and black top), and the other one is of course an F9E, because of the original 'bright green' stylus. Black bodied F9's (all with silver top) in order of 'price/prestige', were the F, E, U, P, and D. All have an output of 3.5mV. The 'L' fits in between the 'E' and the 'U', and has an output of 5mV. The other differences between F9 models were in the frequency responses, from the top of the line 'F' with 10 to 60,000Hz down to the 'D' with 20 to 20,000Hz. The F9E obtains 10 to 45,000hz and the 'L', 10 to 40,000hz. Of course these figures are obtained with original Grace stylii. Different stylii may see different frequency responses. All F9 models have a recommended tracking weight of 1.2g, except the 'D', which is 2.5g. I am assuming all black bodied F9's have the same stylus shank size, and the 'L' with it's different body has the differing shank diameter. Good luck with your stylus fitting....

jdjohn
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jdjohn » 15 Jun 2016 15:29

Thanks stevoz. I see now from the database that the F9L stands out with the gold body, but how can you tell that my other one is an F9E? Did you get my post confused with awty who actually has the original bright green stylus in his pics? My black-bodied F9 came with a replacement stylus, so I'm at a loss as to which model it is. Do the serial numbers indicate the model? I couldn't find any references.

I should probably get SoundSmith replacement styli for these and call it a day as far as searching for MM carts. For what I have spent lately chasing down various 'new' cartridges and stylus shapes (mainly older Audio Technica carts and styli), I could have already purchased a SS replacement for both of my F9s :lol:

Alec124c41
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by Alec124c41 » 15 Jun 2016 18:39

The F9 is the cartridge, and the D, E, R, etc. denotes the stylus.

Cheers,
Alec

stevoz
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by stevoz » 16 Jun 2016 07:41

jdjohn wrote:Thanks stevoz. I see now from the database that the F9L stands out with the gold body, but how can you tell that my other one is an F9E? Did you get my post confused with awty who actually has the original bright green stylus in his pics? My black-bodied F9 came with a replacement stylus, so I'm at a loss as to which model it is. Do the serial numbers indicate the model? I couldn't find any references.

I should probably get SoundSmith replacement styli for these and call it a day as far as searching for MM carts. For what I have spent lately chasing down various 'new' cartridges and stylus shapes (mainly older Audio Technica carts and styli), I could have already purchased a SS replacement for both of my F9s :lol:
It seems I did confuse Awty's post with pic's, as yours. When I was writing my post last night, I was thinking the difference in the F9 models may just be the stylii, as Alec above has noted. So it seems you have an F9, and as the stylus determines the model, atm you have an F9 blank! :D By all accounts the Soundsmith stylii for the F9 (they offer four different stylii) are very good, with the base model at $199 supposedly equivalent to the 'E', up to the Ruby at $499!! :shock: ......Good luck.

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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by AudioSoul » 18 Jun 2016 22:35

I am really enjoying my F9E with original stylus. After 50 yrs in this hobby and going through both MM and MC carts. this is the best sounding one to date. Who knew?

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