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Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges?

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Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges?

Postby rnshwa16 » 23 Oct 2017 04:44

It's just my/our luck that Audio Technica seems not to make replacement styluses for any but their current run cartridges. That poses problems for those with some of the decent cartridges of the past. That certainly applies even more to owners of Signet-labeled cartridges.

Me, I recently acquired two older series cartridges - an AT13E2 that came with a Pioneer headshell, and an even higher end AT15Sa that came with a Technics turntable. I think the former has more life left, but what are the options for replacement without suffering a major drop in sound quality? Both are nude-mounted to respectable cantilevers, the latter I understand includes a Shibata stylus. Relying on a no-name bonded stylus of questionable quality seems a poor option. So short of looking out for the odd NOS stylus showing on eBay, what are people installing on such cartridges? Or are they simply tossing them aside?
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby gregor » 23 Oct 2017 14:39

curious about this too, i have an old 13eax knocking about, it would be a shame to bin it it.
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby BMRR » 23 Oct 2017 17:32

rnshwa16 wrote:It's just my/our luck that Audio Technica seems not to make replacement styluses for any but their current run cartridges.
. . .
Me, I recently acquired two older series cartridges - an AT13E2 that came with a Pioneer headshell, and an even higher end AT15Sa that came with a Technics turntable.


That's the risk one takes when buying cartridges that were discontinued decades ago. AT certainly isn't the only cartridge manufacturer to stop making styli for long-discontinued cartridges, although I think they deserve credit for continuing to make styli for the 100-series cartridge line which was first introduced nearly 40 years ago!


rnshwa16 wrote: I think the former has more life left, but what are the options for replacement without suffering a major drop in sound quality? Both are nude-mounted to respectable cantilevers, the latter I understand includes a Shibata stylus. Relying on a no-name bonded stylus of questionable quality seems a poor option. So short of looking out for the odd NOS stylus showing on eBay, what are people installing on such cartridges? Or are they simply tossing them aside?


NOS styli can be found if you search carefully, and/or set up an automatic search on eBay and you'll receive an email notification as soon as someone puts on up for sale/bid.

Alternatively, you could have your existing styli retipped by someone like Expert Stylus or SoundSmith. They can use the original cantilever if it's still in good shape, or they can install a new cantilever which might be as good or even better than the original.
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby MikeyB456 » 23 Oct 2017 21:51

I have an AT95 with a Paratrace stylus from Expert Stylus Co. As it beds in, I'm finding that it's getting steadily better. Now after maybe 100 hours it's really, really good. With every record I play, I'm discovering new instrumental details, deciphering lyrics never previously heard, and just generally enjoying the music more.
AR EB101, AT95P, Project Phono DS, NAD D3020, REL Q150E, Q Acoustics 3020
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby denvertrakker » 23 Oct 2017 23:46

With regard to the AT15Sa, there are OEM styli available, but your options are limited. I have seen styli for the AT15E and the AT15XE, both nude square shank, but of course ellipticals and not Shibata. Both will work well, although neither is tuned for the lower inductance of the Sa stylus (or the SS, for that matter).

Still, the 15 body is a superior cart, and that's what's out there.

Cheers,
Larry B.
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby rnshwa16 » 24 Oct 2017 00:10

Where would I find such an OEM stylus for the AT15? I can live with a decent elliptical. Heck, I’ve been considering the AT7V, which is also elliptical, as a potential new cart to replace this one.
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby BMRR » 24 Oct 2017 00:40

If you aren't totally opposed to a bonded diamond, the replacement styli from JICO are really quite good. Even Pfanstiehl's styli for AT carts are better than you might expect. For example, here's a Pfanstiehl .2x.7mil elliptical for the AT13Ea and it should also fit the AT15Sa:

http://thevoiceofmusic.com/catalog/part ... ategories=

For only 13 bucks, you almost can't afford not to try it! :lol:

Here's the JICO elliptical:

https://www.jico-stylus.com/product_inf ... cts_id=124

JICO also makes a Shibata version, which is bonded (same as the elliptical) but still very very good:

https://www.jico-stylus.com/product_inf ... cts_id=107

The price of that JICO Shibata might seem high, but when you consider what a new nude Shibata would cost — the stylus for Audio-Technica's current Shibata-equipped cartridge is $280, and the Shibata stylus for Ortofon's 2M Black is $575 — the price of JICO's bonded Shibata suddenly seems quite reasonable.
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby denvertrakker » 24 Oct 2017 01:02

To the best of my knowledge, a 13 series stylus will not fit a 15.

Also, I'd stay away from Pfanstiehl (Swiss) styli in general. Jico (Japan), no problem. I'd agree a decent bonded stylus is acceptable, too.

Cheers,
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby AlwaysAirborne » 24 Oct 2017 02:34

I believe that the AT13Ea,AT14Sa,and AT15Sa carts had interchangeable stylus. Some AT20 carts may also be interchangeable. Maybe Lini will jump in to confirm and expand the list. If I'm correct the LP Gear ATN14 line contact stylus might be a good choice.
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby jdjohn » 24 Oct 2017 03:17

OP has an AT13E2, which is like the 13E or 13EX. The AT13Ea is different. The AT13E can share styli with the AT14E. The 13Ea and 14Sa can share. I don't think the 15 can share with any of the above.
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby BMRR » 24 Oct 2017 03:18

My apologies; I misread the original post.
What do dance clubs and classical radio stations have in common? Technics Direct Drive.™
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby Sunwire » 24 Oct 2017 04:35

This is the best place I know about for original AT needles.
http://stereoneedles.com/audio-technica.html
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby solvin_dk » 24 Oct 2017 15:11

Sunwire wrote:This is the best place I know about for original AT needles.
http://stereoneedles.com/audio-technica.html


Hi Sunwire

Can I be sure to get a replacement stylus from stereoneedles, if I order from Denmark? I'll would like to buy a genius Audio-Technica ATN140LC. But will it fit my current Audio-Technica AT 120E. I have upgraded it with a 130E genius replacement. The sound is wonderful, but with the ATN140LC it could, the top of sound. :D

Sorry for my bad English. :( But it is many years since I went out of school.

Best regards,

Torben Pedersen

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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby BMRR » 24 Oct 2017 15:27

Yes, the 140LC stylus will fit the 120E cartridge.
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Re: Anyone found decent 3rd party styluses for AT cartridges

Postby Sunwire » 24 Oct 2017 15:45

Sorry, I know nothing about shipping or import duties between U.S. and Denmark. I'm sure steteoneedles could tell you.
I have purchased from them several times.
All the group K and L needles will fit your cartridge.
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