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Garrard AT5 replacement cartridge

Posted: 30 Mar 2019 09:08
by m1keC
I'm restoring a Decca SRG707 radiogram which has a Garrard AT6 record player. After cleaning it all works but the Original Deram cartridge is damaged and I want to replace it. It doesn't seem sensible to buy another Deram - I think a MM cartridge would be better and I can add a pre-amp easily enough. However, the headshell has a single screw for attaching the cartridge which seems pretty unique these days. Also the connector on the cartridge is different to any I can find online.
From the cartridge picture you can see that there are also 2 slots in the headshell plastic which look like they could be used for mounting a standard cartridge - except that they don't go through the aluminium top cover of the headshell. If I were to drill through, might this work? And then solder on connecting wires?
Has anyone done this before or can offer advice before I start?

Re: Garrard AT5 replacement cartridge

Posted: 30 Mar 2019 10:20
by Pauw
Just looking at this as someone with not direct experience but taking an empirical view.....I believe the Decca Deram was a ceramic cartridge and I'm guessing that you might be thinking of putting a magnetic cartridge in as a replacement. That would produce a lower voltage than the ceramic and of course the equalisation would be different too. Thus apart from the physical problems to overcome you would have electronic issues too. My thinking would be to explore the ceramic cartridges that are available via the net and look to find a replacement that has a similar profile to the Decca Deram. :D

Re: Garrard AT5 replacement cartridge

Posted: 30 Mar 2019 10:51
by Chiltern
Welcome to vinyl engine.

you will need a bracket like the one pictured on the left. The other one shown home made. The screws for the Garrard item BA thread. You will also have to solder suitable tags if you are going to used a magnetic cartridge. The 2nd pic shows another version of the Garrard bracket (different heights were available) plus an example of a Magnetic cartridge fitted to a slightly later headshell using IIRC a bracket 'borrowed' from a Goldring headshell which allowed some adjustment.

Probably wise to find an alternative to the Deram, replacement styli can be of indifferent quality to the original.

good luck

Alan
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Re: Garrard AT5 replacement cartridge

Posted: 30 Mar 2019 14:04
by DSJR
The Deram was actually quite a good ceramic cartridge as I remember, so maybe worth trawling around to try to locate one? I think the odd one comes up from time to time.

You can get very cheap RIAA phono stages for a magnetic cartridge though, but it'll mean a 'faff' underneath to wire it in and supply it. if you're happy to do this, then the AT91/Rega Carbon family of conical tip cartridges will be a good match with the proviso on the headshell mounting bracket above (I've NEVER thought to use a Lenco sliding mount before - :D but Lenco shells are expensive though these days).

You know, all my Garrard headshell and ceramic cartridge stash has come from eBay, so have a look around (Garrard M7 shell I think is the one, with 'cutaway' skirt) and some of these come with cartridges already fitted. One prized one for me was ex-Hacker record player and had a still fine working Acos GP96 ceramic fitted - a real smoothy in cartridge terms, lacking the 'edge' or 'bite' of other decent ceramics by now. The Sonotone 9TA/HC remains a mid 60's classic but this will need extra mass in the shell to balance out the arm. Garrard used to supply such weights.

Re: Garrard AT5 replacement cartridge

Posted: 31 Mar 2019 20:57
by m1keC
Thanks for the very useful suggestions. I would prefer to change to a magnetic cartridge as I have one that I could use and I'm happy to use a preamp to get a line signal. The brackets look a good option but I don't have the facilities to make one. Is the one on the left available from somewhere? I haven't managed to find one online so would appreciate help in finding one.

Re: Garrard AT5 replacement cartridge

Posted: 06 Apr 2019 00:17
by smee4
m1keC wrote:
31 Mar 2019 20:57
Thanks for the very useful suggestions. I would prefer to change to a magnetic cartridge as I have one that I could use and I'm happy to use a preamp to get a line signal. The brackets look a good option but I don't have the facilities to make one. Is the one on the left available from somewhere? I haven't managed to find one online so would appreciate help in finding one.
I second the notion of a magnetic cartridge. I am using an AT91 on an AT6. The bracket, if I recall correctly, was commonly used to install cartridges like the Sonotone, so you may well be able to find one on eBay or somewhere.

Re: Garrard AT5 replacement cartridge

Posted: 06 Apr 2019 16:06
by DSJR
May cost too much considering, but AT do 'DJ' versions of the AT91 in their 'XP' line. This is the basic version and if the related Rega Carbon is anything to go by, it'll be just fine tracking at 3g and a great replacement for the old Stanton 500A, versions of which I use in my own AT6 and 60mk2.

I also have an Ortofon (500 based) GT, which is a 4g tracker as are the OM pro models which used to be got for around thirty five quid. These track at 4g safely, which is roughly where most better ceramic cartridges used to be... Quite safe on most records but watch the later 'hotter' vinyl cuts for sibilant mistracking.

Re: Garrard AT5 replacement cartridge

Posted: 06 Apr 2019 22:42
by smee4
DSJR wrote:
06 Apr 2019 16:06
May cost too much considering, but AT do 'DJ' versions of the AT91 in their 'XP' line. This is the basic version and if the related Rega Carbon is anything to go by, it'll be just fine tracking at 3g and a great replacement for the old Stanton 500A, versions of which I use in my own AT6 and 60mk2.
Look for the 'L' suffix. An AT91 BL or AT3600L (same thing really) all are fine with 3 grams.

Re: Garrard AT5 replacement cartridge

Posted: 07 Apr 2019 21:08
by DSJR
I should add that the standard AT91 and Carbon (posh version), prefer 1.8g. the higher you go to 3g, the more thick toned they get ;) I couldn't get what the 3600L was all about so thanks for telling me :)

Re: Garrard AT5 replacement cartridge

Posted: 07 Apr 2019 23:01
by A70BBen
The Decca Deram was a very good ceramic cartridge but genuine Decca replacement styli are of Unobtainium, and generic third-party replacements are terrible.