AT3600L - who is producing them?

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Vinylfreak86
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AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 28 Aug 2017 21:22

AT3600L is a cartridge which looks the same and has similar specifications like Audio-technika AT91. But it is made in China instead in Japan and if you buy it individually it is much cheaper like AT91, sometimes you can get it also mounted in a headshell and is still cheaper like original. It tracks heavier (from 2.5-3.5 grams). Primarily it is intended only for turntable manufacturers, they are buying the whole containers of them and then mount them on the turntables which they sell. That is the reason why it is the most widespread cartridge at the moment. Maybe Audio-technika produces them in China or one chinese company produces them as a licence product or it is 100% chinese product?

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by Boltman92124 » 29 Aug 2017 17:12

I recommend the LP Gear CF3600LE with the .3x.7 elliptical/AT body. $35. Sounds darn good for anything under $100.Some users reviews like it more than their AT120e's.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by Slavikcc » 29 Aug 2017 19:37

Vinylfreak86 wrote:AT3600L is a cartridge which looks the same and has similar specifications like Audio-technika AT91. But it is made in China instead in Japan and if you buy it individually it is much cheaper like AT91, sometimes you can get it also mounted in a headshell and is still cheaper like original. It tracks heavier (from 2.5-3.5 grams). Primarily it is intended only for turntable manufacturers, they are buying the whole containers of them and then mount them on the turntables which they sell. That is the reason why it is the most widespread cartridge at the moment. Maybe Audio-technika produces them in China or one chinese company produces them as a licence product or it is 100% chinese product?
They're definitely made in China since some of the awful low-end Crosley players built at Skywin OEM or some other factory will have the AT3600L installed.

I'm definitely not a fan of the AT91/AT3600L with respect to sound quality.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by BMRR » 29 Aug 2017 20:28

I've never seen one that appeared to be made in China. I had an AT3600L made in 2015 and it still said Japan on the cartridge body.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by BMRR » 29 Aug 2017 22:35

BMRR wrote:I've never seen one that appeared to be made in China.
I take that back. I just saw on on eBay that says Made in China on the top. Interesting. Has anyone compared a Chinese 3600 to a Japanese 3600 to see if there are any physical differences, or listened for any audio quality differences? I wonder if the styli are also being made in China or if those are still being made in Japan.

The Chuo Denshi MG09 cartridge is still made in Japan — if anyone needs a low-cost MM cartridge and doesn't want one made in China — but it's also worth noting that the AT3600 has a better upgrade path with hyperelliptical and Shibata styli available, whereas the MG09 only has spherical and elliptical styli available.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 30 Aug 2017 11:28

BMRR wrote:
I take that back. I just saw on on eBay that says Made in China on the top. Interesting. Has anyone compared a Chinese 3600 to a Japanese 3600 to see if there are any physical differences, or listened for any audio quality differences?
For my previous Sony turntable, I bought original AT91 cartridge and on the package you could read "Made in China", but I never looked at the cartridge body. Some people say, that AT91/AT3600 sounds better than AT3600L, which tracks heavier. But when I compared AT3600L on my friends turntable with AT91 on mine, I couldn`t find the difference in sound and performance. Both tables were direct-drive, but made in different periods by different manufacturers.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 30 Aug 2017 11:35

Slavikcc wrote:
I'm definitely not a fan of the AT91/AT3600L with respect to sound quality.
With the money invested you cannot go wrong. It is not an audiophile one, but you would hardly find another carrtidge which sounds so good for this price. Also AT3600L is adequate for old heavy mass tonearms, where majority of new cartridges will make problems.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by Vanni » 30 Aug 2017 17:57

Agree with Slavik, as I'm also not a fan of the AT91. To these ears, the difference between the stock AT91 and the stock AT95 is very clear and I don't know why some people opt for the 91 when the 95 is only something like 5 euros more over here in Europe, although I don't know how much these two go for in North America. The only explanation I can come up with is that these guys have got a lot of well played records and only want a conical to limit surface noise.



I read on another thread that Vinylfreak is not a fan of the AT95 as it was scratching his records. If that's the case then he simply must have got a defective stylus. Bear in mind the AT91 and the AT95, and loads of other entry level carts from other manufacturers are all mass produced, so the chances of getting a bad one are high.

I'm intrigued by this 'made in China' thing as I haven't yet seen one such example, and like BMRR, am most interested in reading about any differences that might exist between the Japanese produced one and the Chinese.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by BMRR » 30 Aug 2017 18:05

Here are some pictures of the Chinese 3600 I found on eBay:
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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by BMRR » 30 Aug 2017 18:17

Vanni wrote:...I don't know why some people opt for the 91 when the 95 is only something like 5 euros more over here in Europe, although I don't know how much these two go for in North America.
Many vendors in North America are raising the prices on their AT95Es. When I bought my first AT95E three years ago, I paid $39 for it. Amazon still sells it at that price, although they frequently run out of stock and other vendors who sell on Amazon charge between $45 and $50. Needle Doctor recently raised their price to $75. LPGear sells them for $39 but charges $9 for shipping.

The AT3600L typically sells for $15 to $25, usually with free or very inexpensive shipping. So the price difference over here is more significant than it is in Europe.

Nevertheless, I would absolutely agree that the AT95E is worth the extra money, even if it means paying double or triple the price of the AT3600L. That's not to say that I hate the 3600, but rather, I find the 95E to be a much more refined, interesting, and musical performer.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by Vanni » 30 Aug 2017 18:44

$75? :roll: :lol: But disregarding ND's r.p., it seems that the AT95 goes for roughly double the cost price of the AT91, so yes that is quite the difference and I can understand now why people on a budget will be tempted by the cheaper AT91.

I've just remembered an American friend of mine on FB asking me if he should go for the AT95 or for an Ortofon cart like the Omega or the OM10 as all three were roughly the same price on the bay at the time. I recall being surprised at this as you could get two AT95's for the price of one Ortofon on ebay uk at the time.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by Slavikcc » 30 Aug 2017 18:47

Practically all Audio Technica products here in Canada are marked up massively. For example, the notorious LP60 cost about $160-$250 CAD and the LP120 goes for about $500 CAD.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by BMRR » 30 Aug 2017 18:55

Good grief! #-o

In the past I've paid as little as $28 for an Ortofon Omega (using the "make an offer" feature that some eBay sellers utilize)... but I had to go through THREE Ortofon Omegas before I finally got one that wasn't defective. AT's defect rate isn't nearly that high, even with their entry-level offerings such as the 3600, 90C, 92E, etc. I also bought an ION iCT04 (rebadged Chuo Denshi MG09) for $14 and it arrived without any defects. This is actually a pretty good cartridge despite its appearance and reputation, and it's still made in Japan.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by chiz » 30 Aug 2017 19:09

In the UK I can currently buy AT91 for £17.50 or AT95E for £25 including delivery.

I have an AT91 here that says made in Japan on the packaging but made in China on the cartridge body.

Perhaps the stylus assembly is still made in Japan?

All the individually packaged 91 and 91R styli I've seen are marked made in Japan.

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Re: AT3600L - who is producing them?

Post by Vanni » 30 Aug 2017 19:14

We aren't any different in Malta. The ATLP60 is currently on discount at €139(CAD208/USD165) down from €173(CAD260/USD205). Others like the Teac TN100 go for €199 (CAD299/USD237) ;)

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