Cartridge and stylus recommendations for a Zero 100

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T68
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Cartridge and stylus recommendations for a Zero 100

Post by T68 » 14 Jul 2019 13:29

Hi!
The Zero 100 I acquired a while ago came with a Shure M75 cartridge and seems to play well with an elliptical aftermarket stylus (may be Jico but that is not confirmed) I could switch in from my other deck.
Is this a good cartridge/stylus for the Zero or should I look for a replacement?
I got a Stanton 680 body without a stylus laying around. Could this work if I get a stylus for it?
Are there any other cartridges that plays well on this deck?
Thanks for any advice!

DSJR
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Re: Cartridge and stylus recommendations for a Zero 100

Post by DSJR » 14 Jul 2019 15:05

I've used my 681EEE in my Zero 100 sans crude brush and it's ok but these days, sounds a bit 'lazy' as it does in my Duals (so a cartridge character more than a turntable thing). My deck is used very well with an Ortofon VMS10E II with new Ortofon stylus. The 20 and 30 being too highly compliant for stable tracing with the Zero 100 arm in my opinion and experience.

Possibilities - Sumiko Pearl (descendant from the Rega R100 and A&R E77) is fine - new models above this but no knowledge as yet. AT95E family perfect but sadly, the new VM95 models and Goldring 'E' derivatives offering a range of styli, fix down from the top, so can't readily be used with the C3 carrier and same with the Ortofon 2M range. The AT520 should be excellent and possibly the 530 and 540 as well, assuming the 2g tracking means lower compliance in the stylus assembly (my AT120E previous model wasn't so happy) - VTA fine tuning in the 540 can be achieved by slightly adjusting tracking force a smidge each way. Ortofon OM10 or OM20 (20 especially) should be great (30 expensive but so sweet) and if you can find one, the more substantial body of the 520mk2 and 510/530 siblings should be great (highs get progressively more refined from 510 to 540 in direct comparison). the now discontinued Shure 97XE with brush in use was a great match and the capacitance in the usual cables loaded it well.

I'm not a fan of current Grado's except the very cheapest one which has a little high frequencies - all others get more and more dull to me and as for Nagaoka's? these are currently priced well outside their ability range, but the MP200 may be worth looking at (I feel the 100 and 110 are totally outclassed in terms of clarity by the AT's, but ymmv here).

Denon DL110 works in almost anything but used to sound a bit too safe and 'samey' a lot of the time - just my vibe though...

Any help?



P.S. In comparison if it's working right, your Dual 601 STARTS with my 'better' cartridge recommendations above and goes upwards from there - so Ortofon 530/540/OM30/Om40/2M Blue, Bronze or Black, AT 530, 540 and 700 models, AT F7/OC9/MC33 family (I've used an OC9 in my 601) MC, Hana MC's and maybe the now expensive Dynavector 10XV as well although it's twice the price I *think* it should be worldwide, so not a UK/Euro thing...

chrissywit
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Re: Cartridge and stylus recommendations for a Zero 100

Post by chrissywit » 14 Jul 2019 16:23

Ortofon recommend the 2M blue for the zero 100. Check out their website, if you input your turntable make it will advise which Ortofon is recommended. The 2M blue is also perfect for my Garrard SL95b played through my Sugden A28 amp and Wharfdale speakers.

T68
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Re: Cartridge and stylus recommendations for a Zero 100

Post by T68 » 14 Jul 2019 19:22

Thanks for great input, guys. Got some interesting options to consider. Will report back if and when I get a new cartridge.

And thanks for heads up regarding the AT-VM95 not being compatible. That was on my radar.

DSJR
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Re: Cartridge and stylus recommendations for a Zero 100

Post by DSJR » 15 Jul 2019 21:07

chrissywit wrote:
14 Jul 2019 16:23
Ortofon recommend the 2M blue for the zero 100. Check out their website, if you input your turntable make it will advise which Ortofon is recommended. The 2M blue is also perfect for my Garrard SL95b played through my Sugden A28 amp and Wharfdale speakers.
So how did you fit the cartridge then?

62vauxhall
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Re: Cartridge and stylus recommendations for a Zero 100

Post by 62vauxhall » 17 Jul 2019 18:07

Unless you just wanted to try something different, an M75 is a good choice.

I saw a friends brand new Zero 100 just after he bought it, whenever that was, and it came from the dealer, or maybe the factory, with an M91 ED.

I've kept one of the Zero 100's I resurrected and am quite happy with the M93 I stuck on it. It's one of those "fuzzy" green ones with the EZ Mount clip.

A perfect match in my opinion but several Shure's (M75 included) would be quite happy there. M75's or a version thereof was factory equipment on a number of turntables.

For a time, I did have a 681 EE installed and it worked well. As a material of fact, a generic stylus on that cartridge was sibilant on a conventional tonearm but sounded good on the Zero 100's arm.

Despite that, I removed it in favour of the M93. I had 78 styli for the 681 but since a Zero 100 does not spin at that speed, it was a bit of a waste.

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Re: Cartridge and stylus recommendations for a Zero 100

Post by DSJR » 18 Jul 2019 10:57

The issue with the 93E and the sibling 'EJ' models is the falling high frequency response which to me these days, sounds muffled rather than 'laid back' as the 'ED' and Stanton 681EEE are in comparison. I like a bit of 'life' from my vinyl (within reason), so am happy with the VMS10e fitted (it's somewhere between the OM10 and OM20 in sonics and offers much clearer up top tracing than the F/FF15E/VMS5E to me).

If you want a vintage 'beefy' tone from this deck, I'd suggest a Sumiko Pearl, the basic design of which having roots going back to the 70's and maybe further in Japan.

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