Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

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brightpavilions
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Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by brightpavilions » 18 May 2019 20:01

Hello,

I’m looking for a recommendation to replace a Nagaoka MP-110.

I’m not doing this because I dislike the sound. Quite the opposite. Sonically, its a good match in my setup and with a variety of musical styles. I like it’s mellow highs, good bass reproduction and output gain.

However, I’m dealing with some resonance and feedback issues and I’m told the Nagaoka and my tone arm aren’t compliant. There are conflicting reports of my tonearm mass but I believe it to be somewhere around 9.5-10 grams.

It’s a Pro-Ject arm that was factory standard on a Music Hall MMF 2.2.

In short, I’m looking for something similar in sound to the Nagaoka but to match the effective tonearm mass and dynamic compliance.

My setup:

Music Hall MMF-2.2
Klipsch Heresy I
Harman/Kardon 330 C


Thanks!

patient_ot
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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by patient_ot » 18 May 2019 22:01

Feedback is usually the result of poor turntable isolation or speakers being too close to the turntable. What does your setup look like? Pics? It might not be the cartridge that is the problem.

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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by brightpavilions » 18 May 2019 22:16

I have nailed most of it down to subsonic feedback and a KAB RF-1 has helped massively. Placement is what it is as my place is pretty set. If you’re a glutton for punishment you can read the thread I started on Audio Karma. 😂

https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php ... ble.867413

But I’m still interested in compliance and how it could affect my setup.

Like I said I really like the sound of the Nagaoka, although I do think it’s more susceptible to feedback or picking up noise. Wondering if a change might benefit me.

For example, I put an Ortofon om5e that I had around on the Music Hall. I hate the sound of it, but it does seem quieter and to track well.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

patient_ot
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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by patient_ot » 18 May 2019 22:49

You need to get a test record, or record some music on a needledrop so we can see what the actual resonance is between the Nag and your tonearm in an audio editor/analyzer program. The problem with converting specs from 100hz Japanese standard to 10hz Western standard is that it's an iffy proposition at best. There is another thread on AK right now where a guy bought a cart and the resonance turned out to be lower than expected because of these iffy conversions. IIRC the actual western compliance of Nagaoka cartridges is higher than people think, more like 20cu or a little higher. What matters is not guesstimate conversions but the ACTUAL resonance between your cart and tonearm.

FWIW a lot of newer turntables built on a slab of MDF and an off-the-shelf motor have poor isolation. That is why people build DIY isolation platforms for them or stack them on something heavy.

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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by brightpavilions » 18 May 2019 23:53

Interesting!

First things first I need to be sure of my tonearm’s mass. I’ll be damned if I can find something definitive but I’ve reached out to Music Hall for the answer.

But say the 9.5-10 grams is accurate, you’re saying theoretically the Nagaoka is within the compatible range?

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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by patient_ot » 19 May 2019 04:01

brightpavilions wrote:
18 May 2019 23:53
Interesting!

First things first I need to be sure of my tonearm’s mass. I’ll be damned if I can find something definitive but I’ve reached out to Music Hall for the answer.

But say the 9.5-10 grams is accurate, you’re saying theoretically the Nagaoka is within the compatible range?
You don't need to know the mass of the arm for what I'm talking about since you have the cartridge. You need to to measure the resonance with the cartridge on the arm as described above. That is all that matters. You can start with a needledrop of an actual song and measure the resonance in Audacity. If you want more accurate results, you need a test record with vertical and lateral resonance tests. If you need help measuring your results send your needledrop track to me and I will take a look. Make sure the subsonic filter on your phono preamp (if it has one) is switched off.

chiz
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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by chiz » 19 May 2019 15:53

patient_ot wrote:
18 May 2019 22:49
You need to get a test record, or record some music on a needledrop so we can see what the actual resonance is between the Nag and your tonearm in an audio editor/analyzer program. The problem with converting specs from 100hz Japanese standard to 10hz Western standard is that it's an iffy proposition at best. There is another thread on AK right now where a guy bought a cart and the resonance turned out to be lower than expected because of these iffy conversions. IIRC the actual western compliance of Nagaoka cartridges is higher than people think, more like 20cu or a little higher. What matters is not guesstimate conversions but the ACTUAL resonance between your cart and tonearm.
Agreed.
Some real world compliance measurements of Nagaoka cartridges were shared here:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=107555

patient_ot
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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by patient_ot » 19 May 2019 16:26

chiz wrote:
19 May 2019 15:53
patient_ot wrote:
18 May 2019 22:49
You need to get a test record, or record some music on a needledrop so we can see what the actual resonance is between the Nag and your tonearm in an audio editor/analyzer program. The problem with converting specs from 100hz Japanese standard to 10hz Western standard is that it's an iffy proposition at best. There is another thread on AK right now where a guy bought a cart and the resonance turned out to be lower than expected because of these iffy conversions. IIRC the actual western compliance of Nagaoka cartridges is higher than people think, more like 20cu or a little higher. What matters is not guesstimate conversions but the ACTUAL resonance between your cart and tonearm.
Agreed.
Some real world compliance measurements of Nagaoka cartridges were shared here:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=107555

26cu is fairly high compliance by today's standards. A cart like that needs a lightweight arm.

OP really needs to just get on with measuring his actual resonance on his turntable.

brightpavilions
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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by brightpavilions » 19 May 2019 18:24

Hey, I’m moving as quick as I can! 😏

I have to put the Nagaoka back on the TT since I swapped it with the Ortofon to see if it would affect the speaker pulsating I was having. From there, I’ll try he needle drop and analysis.

Thanks for the discourse.

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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by DeepEnd » 20 May 2019 07:34

Did changing to the Ortofon help with the pulsing?

If the pulsing is very low frequency it may be structural feedback (through the walls, floor etc.) and may not be affected by a change of cartridge.

As the poster of the topic noted above I don’t think there is a big difference between the actual MP110 stylus compliance (on the one I tested) and the stated one for the OM series.

From my tests the Nag should be a good fit with your slightly lighter arm!!.

Interested in seeing your results from a test.

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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by cafe latte » 20 May 2019 09:03

Are you playing music with the turntable lid up?
Chris

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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by brightpavilions » 20 May 2019 20:02

DeepEnd wrote:
20 May 2019 07:34
Did changing to the Ortofon help with the pulsing?

If the pulsing is very low frequency it may be structural feedback (through the walls, floor etc.) and may not be affected by a change of cartridge.

As the poster of the topic noted above I don’t think there is a big difference between the actual MP110 stylus compliance (on the one I tested) and the stated one for the OM series.

From my tests the Nag should be a good fit with your slightly lighter arm!!.

Interested in seeing your results from a test.
Right on. Thanks for the note.

The Ortofon made no difference so it's something to with subsonic feedback that is "atmospheric" in nature. Vibrations coming from the street, the speakers to the deck, a house built in the 20's that is now multi-unit etc. Ya know, a ghost in the machine!

The KAB RF-1 has taken care of it. Now, I'm just curious if meeting compliance would be additionally beneficial. However, it sounds like maybe I'm already there.

Yes, I know ... we must analyze the waveform. :D

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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by brightpavilions » 20 May 2019 20:02

cafe latte wrote:
20 May 2019 09:03
Are you playing music with the turntable lid up?
Chris
Nope! I take the whole lid off to get rid of that resonance.

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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by fudgemaster » 20 May 2019 20:28

I have just replaced my MP110 stylus with a J-NP200, bought from Japan, and am still getting the Nagaoka "sound", but with greater clarity and detail. As yet I haven't made any adjustments, just swapped the styli over, but will try raising the arm a bit, and checking alignment, but at the moment I'm just enjoying the new sound.
Laying the two on their backs, the needle of the 200 is slightly higher than the 110, and the 200 cantilever seems a mm or so longer.
I decided on this move as I couldn't afford an MP200 cartridge, but wanted the sound. Someone said this gave around 80% of the MP 200 sound.

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Re: Nagaoka replacement recommendation?

Post by Geof777 » 23 May 2019 00:13

I don't know that arm really - but when I got my MP200, in my Techno arm, it was a bit 'jumpy' and susceptible to disturbances - I added some mass at the headshell using Blue tac and Hey Presto it stabilised it no end (obviously I had to re balance the arm then re apply the right weight etc)
As a quick experiment you could tear off a bit of Blue Tac and pop it on top of the headshell - re balance and try - if it works? tidy it up and do it again so it looks less awful.
Worth a try!
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