Any Stanton Fans Here?

the thin end of the wedge
chevelosm
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Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by chevelosm » 08 Dec 2016 01:35

Hi all,

I'm currently restoring a Technics SL-1700MKII and was reading good things about Stanton carts / stylus.

Thinking of getting a used cart and buying a new stylus.

My question is, what models would be a nice match for the Technics and sound quite good compared to buying a new cart for the same price range?

I currently have in use on my other deck an AT440mlb.

Poinzy
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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by Poinzy » 08 Dec 2016 02:10

The problem with Stanton carts these days is that you are almost compelled to pair them with inferior aftermarket styli, if you want new styli. You might get something that sounds OK, but, to me, it isn't really a Stanton cartridge.

needlewhine

Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by needlewhine » 08 Dec 2016 02:28

But there are plenty of very good to excellent aftermarket styli available for fair prices. The cartridges are so inexpensive second hand that you can afford to spend on the stylus. I picked up an XV-15 with no stylus (but in a headshell that I can probably resell for $20) for $5 today.

The XV-15 is a Pickering. Pickering and Stanton were sibling companies that released virtually the same products with different names and finishes, all else pretty much the same. If you get an XV-15 body, there is an excellent aftermarket stylus called the EVG PM4052DE. These are available for less than $20 new. For a brand new retail cartridge that sounds this good, you'd have to spend maybe $100 to $150. The XV-15 is a classic for a reason. This is the same moving iron cart as the Stanton 680 or 681 and that same stylus will fit.

Of course you can spend $150 or so and get a Jico Shibata. This stylus will blow you away.

Nevertheless, the finest styli are OEM and one of the few ways to get a nude mounted tip anymore. And they do show up. I picked up a D1200 stylus new in the box for $70 last week. That's the finest nude elliptical Pickering made and it sounds absolutely incredible. Pair that with my $5 XV-15 and subtract $20 for the original Technics headshell that I'll sell and I've walked away with one of the finest elliptical moving iron carts ever made for about $55. Not too shabby.

This cart will have all the detail and high frequency extension as the AT you've got but also mellow the sound a bit so it's not bright, yet very rich and excellent midrange and bass.

mamakasou
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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by mamakasou » 08 Dec 2016 03:06

Hello Chevelosm,

I have never owned an AT440mlb but, I have listened to it (and various other Audio Technicas) from needle-drop comparisons here and there. Also, I own an Audio Technica AT91 and i have to confess: for its price it sounds and tracks fantastic. Very dynamic and detailed sound.

Yet, my own perception is that the type of sound of Audio Technicas in general and AT440mlb in particular, is quite distinct from that of the average Stanton/Pickering.

I am just guessing here, but after getting used to the sound of your AT440mlb, you are most likely going to notice that difference.

Best thing to do would be to go for an inexpensive second-hand cartridge as Needlestien has suggested and hunt down a cheap original needle for it, so you can try it out for yourself.

Or you could make a .flac recording of a record track that we both have and i will make an identical recording with one of my Stanton/Pickering pickups and post it here, so you can listen to it and make a draft comparison.

I know it sounds elaborate and nerdy, but i am used to it. :)
I do that for my own pickup comparisons quite a lot.

Greetings,
Nick, Athens.

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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by jfrace » 08 Dec 2016 03:22

I have/had Stanton 681 (680), 881S, Pickering XLZ-7500S, Pickering XSV-3000, Pickering XV-15 and have used OEM and aftermarket stylus on them. You can find OEM stylus,and even if they are worn, retip them. This way it keeps the suspension and cantilever as they were intended.

I just did that on one of my Pickering XLZ cartridges. I've also used the same ones needlewhine recommends,as well as a 4822-DEE (which would fit the 681,XV-15 and even the 881 and XLZ-7500).They are all excellent cartridges and if you don't go OEM and want to make them sing and have the funds, shibata is the way to go. You'll get a slightly different sound from the MM and MI versions,and an even more different sound from the LOMM XLZ series or the 980 Stanton version in LOMM.

I also use the brushes with mine. Some do but a bunch on here don't.

I'm personally not an AT fan, and have tried about 6 to 7 different ones, but they just didn't do it for me.

chevelosm
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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by chevelosm » 08 Dec 2016 03:31

Thanks all for your comments.

I'm looking for around $60 - $100 for a cart so what would be the best choice for that price?

The AT cart sounds wonderful through my vintage setup and it's not bright at all, very detailed, full body, nice sound stage but could do with a bit more bottom end. Just can't believe how quite it is when tracking.
Can I say it sounds better than a CD haha,
Last edited by chevelosm on 08 Dec 2016 03:37, edited 2 times in total.

jfrace
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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by jfrace » 08 Dec 2016 03:34

Most likely a 680,681,or XV-15 body and if you go XV-15 you may get lucky with a stylus. The XV-15's seem to sell at about half the price as the 680 and 681.

You may get lucky and find an 881 OR xsv-3000 body as well.

chevelosm
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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by chevelosm » 08 Dec 2016 03:40

Cheers for that.

When I purchased the Technics TT the owner told me the cart / stylus had been purchased in early 80's (mid price range) but there's no markings on it. I will take the cart of the shell to see maybe if it has any marking on the top. Will post a picture later to see if anyone knows what it is.
Last edited by chevelosm on 08 Dec 2016 03:47, edited 2 times in total.

jfrace
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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by jfrace » 08 Dec 2016 03:43

that's the best thing to do with it.

macnoob
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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by macnoob » 08 Dec 2016 04:08

Yes sir, could be you have a gem there just waiting to be identified.

needlewhine

Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by needlewhine » 08 Dec 2016 04:13

I don't see why you'd have to take the cart off the shell in order to take a couple ID photos.

chevelosm
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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by chevelosm » 08 Dec 2016 04:29

needlewhine wrote:I don't see why you'd have to take the cart off the shell in order to take a couple ID photos.
I will take a couple of photos with it on the shell. I thought maybe there could be marking on the top of the cartridge and that's why may need to remove it from the head shell.

chevelosm
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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by chevelosm » 08 Dec 2016 06:12

Photo of the cart.
20161208_165736-1-1-1-1.jpg
(830.6900000000001 KiB) Downloaded 331 times

EdAInWestOC
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Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by EdAInWestOC » 08 Dec 2016 14:14

You don't see too many responses for a reason and you should take this to heart. Stanton and Pickering cartridges were never great performers. They were middle of the road cartridge manufacturers that made a handful of better cartridges but nothing to get excited about.

Many years ago I owned an XV-15, a 881 and a 681 (don't ask the exact models...too many years and beers ago). None of the Stanton or Pickering cartridges that I owned distinguished themselves. They were adequate performers and from a sonic performance standpoint they were disappointing.

I ended up taking them off my tonearm and throwing them in a cigar box where they spent their last years before they made their way to a land fill here in Maryland, USA. All of the Stantons and Pickerings that I tried were eclipsed by Shure V15s or ADC XLMs. I also love the Grace F-9 series but I never had the opportunity to own one.

I too, do not care for AT cartridges. Each one that I tried turned out to be to strident sounding and ended up in the same cigar box and, I suppose, the same landfill. There were other MM or MI cartridges back in the day also (I vaguely remember an AKG, and a few others) but none were noteworthy enough to make an impression in my memory.

To be totally honest I went through a lot of MM/MI cartridges (they were inexpensive enough and I made a pretty good living at the time). I visited a few different dealers and picked up what was supposed to be the latest and greatest performer. Most of those turned out to be duds with the exception of the ADC XLMs and the Shure V-15III. I also owned the Shure V-15IV but it was not as good as the V-15III, so the V-15IV found its way into that cigar box.

All of that ended when a dealer convinced me to try a Denon DL-103D somewhere around 1979 or 1980. All of the MM/MI cartridges ended up in the same cigar box and that box ended up at a friends house. The last of the cartridges/stylii got thrown away about 10 years ago.

I hope you do not take this post as a rap on Stanton or Pickering. They are not terrible cartridges but neither are they stellar performers. You can do a lot better for your money.

Ed

needlewhine

Re: Any Stanton Fans Here??

Post by needlewhine » 08 Dec 2016 14:48

Yes, well everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Thanks for yours, Ed. So, what kind of superior cartridge do you think the OP can get for the $100 he said he is willing to spend?

OP: Everyone has different opinions on cartridges and even types of cartridges. There are those who feel that most/all MM/MI or anything that is not LOMC is garbage. These posters have something in common: sharing stories of gathering them up into a drawer or a box and throwing them away as worthless.

A simple search on ebay will show just how valuable these items are, so those kinds of comments to me are easily counterpointed. Compare these MM/MI cartridges to the legions of LOMC cartridges on ebay that get nothing because they need retips or have a channel out. Many of them have perfect diamond tips, but a dead channel. This seems to be a thing with Dynavectors especially. Go ahead and have a look.

And I simply wonder why someone would spend hundreds of dollars at a time or even thousands of dollars in the aggregate back in the day when cartridges were able to be heard and auditioned at a stereo dealer. It's not like today, after all, where you pretty much have to buy it and then hear it. I mean, I assume that Ed heard these cartridges before he decided to plunk money down on them, bring them home, set them up, align them, listen to them, spend plenty of time and money and effort on them, only to then remove them, throw them into a cigar box, and throw them away as worthless.

For me, I would wonder why I would take this person's advice. The pretty much tell you that they make poor observations and bad decisions, and since the OP said they want to spend $100, it appears to me that someone like this doesn't pay attention very well, either or even really try to help.

They pretty much simply take the opportunity to name a bunch of expensive cartridges that sound excellent (don't take my word for it) and that people really enjoy, value and regard highly, say that they assembled these cartridges into a cigar box, kind of like a little casket, and then buried them in a landfill.

Why would someone do that? And why would they then surreptitiously brag about it? Maybe even take pleasure in the written demonstration of the wholly subjective perceived worthlessness of these items in a forum thread where no one is asking to have their opinions insulted in such a juvenile manner?

Thanks, Ed. Very helpful. Now, was this dealer who sold you the DL-103D the same dealer who first sold you a nearly endless string of expensive cartridges presumably at full retail price including hefty dealer mark up that you paid for, brought home, installed, listened to, and finally despised one after the other? Did he pocket all those profits since you couldn't be bothered return any of them? And how long did he have to wait for you to show up again with your wallet open to buy another expensive cartridge from him? Is this the guy who finally sold you the Denon DL-103D?

If so, it sounds to me like he was a pretty clever person and saw you coming for miles. Perhaps he was hoping that you wouldn't like the DL-103 and throw that away too without asking for a refund so that he can keep the profit. Maybe the next thing he had in line for was a Dynavector, but one of the lower models, thinking he could string you along until he got you to plunk thousands down on a Koetsu.

Ed, seems to me that you're the last person to recommend what someone should do with their money, or their time, or their efforts for that matter. At least with anything having to do with stereo equipment and specifically cartridges.

Just my opinion.
Last edited by needlewhine on 08 Dec 2016 15:01, edited 1 time in total.

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