Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

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Bob Dillon
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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by Bob Dillon » 01 Jun 2019 01:04

Sunwire wrote:
31 May 2019 21:50


The Shure SC35C is probably my least favorite cartridge of about 30 or so I own. Just nothing to recommend it, at all.
Some people have a very opposite opinion of that cart. So maybe it's your pickup arm or something that is the trouble.

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by raphaelmabo » 01 Jun 2019 07:41

Sumiko is available in the UK, but many retailers seems to offer only a limited range. But I found the Black Pearl here:
https://www.musonic.co.uk/index.php?mai ... Path=4_415

It has a conical .6 not .5. This is according to the swedish distributor. I remember that it used to have a smaller stylus than the Oyster, but now it has the same. The Black Oearl is a Pearl body with the Oyster stylus and cantilever. And from reviews I’ve read it has a warmer and more forgiving sound, it lacks the openess of the Pearl.

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by cafe latte » 01 Jun 2019 09:52

johnnywalker wrote:
30 May 2019 14:37
I have a CN5625AL, which is a variant of the AT3600L (aluminum cantilever), and honestly, it loses out to other beater cartridges, like the SC35C body with an N35X stylus (fuller sound) or the AT-VM95C (more detail and better highs). Is the AT3600L really better than the CN5625AL?
I prefer my at3600lnto my atvm95c, with the l.p. gear eliptical it is even better. IMO the carbon cantilever is part if what makes it great. Not long ago bought l.p. gears c.f. cantilever at95 way better than the old at95e

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by johnnywalker » 01 Jun 2019 12:26

I prefer my at3600lnto my atvm95c, with the l.p. gear eliptical it is even better. IMO the carbon cantilever is part if what makes it great. Not long ago bought l.p. gears c.f. cantilever at95 way better than the old at95e
My impression was that cf cantilevers were used only on lower-echelon cartridges (after all, if cf cantilevers are so great, why aren't they used on more expensive cartridges?), but I have ordered an AT3600l, and look forward to comparing it to the CN5625AL. Thanks for your recommendation!

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by goatbreath » 01 Jun 2019 17:52

I like the AT91 much more than the AT VM 95 C too.
If it means anything the AT91 clears track 3 on the Hifi News disc easily.
The ATVM 95 C doesn't clear it.
The ATVM 95 ML does clear it.
The AT95 E clears it..

I run the 91 and 95 at 2.3 grams..
I run the VM models at 2.14 grams

The AT 91 sounds way better than the VM 95 C in my set ups.

My AT 95 E cartridges and styli are the 4x7 model..

I agree about the Carbon Cantilever,the AT91 sounds very uncoloured compared to the old stylu AT95 E to me..

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by goatbreath » 01 Jun 2019 18:13

raphaelmabo wrote:
01 Jun 2019 07:41
Sumiko is available in the UK, but many retailers seems to offer only a limited range. But I found the Black Pearl here:
https://www.musonic.co.uk/index.php?mai ... Path=4_415

It has a conical .6 not .5. This is according to the swedish distributor. I remember that it used to have a smaller stylus than the Oyster, but now it has the same. The Black Oearl is a Pearl body with the Oyster stylus and cantilever. And from reviews I’ve read it has a warmer and more forgiving sound, it lacks the openess of the Pearl.
This is good info to know.. Thanks :D

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by Sunwire » 01 Jun 2019 18:39

Bob Dillon wrote:
01 Jun 2019 01:04
Sunwire wrote:
31 May 2019 21:50


The Shure SC35C is probably my least favorite cartridge of about 30 or so I own. Just nothing to recommend it, at all.
Some people have a very opposite opinion of that cart. So maybe it's your pickup arm or something that is the trouble.
I used the SC35C (two copies of the cartridge) in a Jelco SA-750E tonearm with oil damping on a Technics SP-10Mkii in "obsidian" plinth.
I added mass to the headshell to produce a resonance close to 10 Hz. Aligned very precisely with an arc template.
Other cartridges, including Denon DL-103, sound very good on this arm, so I see no reason to think there's a problem with arm matching.

It was simply a very boring sound with nothing to recommend it over any of my other cartridges.

Have you listened to an SC35C?
It has very flimsy construction with a poorly designed plastic mounting, it requires high tracking force, and it is now out of production. There are many reports of poor quality control during the last 10-20 years of Shure production. What is there to recommend it?
I'd be interested in hearing an SC35C with the older nude stylus. That might sound good. But the bonded stylus was disappointing to me.

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by Sunwire » 01 Jun 2019 18:46

goatbreath wrote:
31 May 2019 22:12
Sunwire wrote:
31 May 2019 21:50
I tried for a while to find a 5 mil stylus to see if it would help with worn records. The only one I succeeded in finding was a Pioneer PC-110. I'm not sure the 5 mil stylus helped at all.
Quite a few Pioneer cartridges used 5 mil styli, but I don't think I'll be searching for more.

The Shure SC35C is probably my least favorite cartridge of about 30 or so I own. Just nothing to recommend it, at all. Perhaps the earlier version with nude stylus was better. I have two with Shure bonded styli. I'd rather listen using anything else.
Interesting info that someone has tested the theory of the point 5 tip..
I think you run a Denon DL 103 so you probably have an arm very capable of dealing with the SC35c and it's compliance..
Plus you are OK with Conical Styli..
I think Conical Styli definitely have their place and can sound great..
I am of an age that I was brainwashed against them..
So when I actually tried the AT91 ,I was stunned that it not only wasn't awful,but sounded really good..

What did you think of the Pioneer PC-110 cartridge sound wise ..?
I've not heard one..

I have been having a look around,it seems the Black Pearl at least did have a point 5 spherical tip,
but the Oyster has/had a point 6 tip..
I did not spend a lot of time listening to the Pioneer PC-110. Compared to my other cartridges, it sounded fairly boring. I will give it more of a try at some point, but nothing about the sound made me think I'd want to use it in place of my other cartridges. My favorites are Audio Technica AT-120 with ATN-155LC stylus and Technics EPC-205Mk3 with 0.2 x 0.7 mil elliptical needles or Jico SAS. But the AT-120 with a 0.6 mil conical sounds better than the PC-110.

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by Bob Dillon » 01 Jun 2019 19:10

Sunwire wrote:
01 Jun 2019 18:39

Have you listened to an SC35C?
It has very flimsy construction with a poorly designed plastic mounting, it requires high tracking force, and it is now out of production. There are many reports of poor quality control during the last 10-20 years of Shure production. What is there to recommend it?
I'd be interested in hearing an SC35C with the older nude stylus. That might sound good. But the bonded stylus was disappointing to me.
Nah. I've just been considering trying one due to the happy campers who have posted about it. Seems like you need a broadcast arm to get the best out of it though. Maybe I won't bother.

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by simonineaston » 01 Jun 2019 19:45

johnnywalker wrote:
29 May 2019 18:28
A question for those who can change cartridges easily:
Do you mean that you're considering changing cartridges just for when playing records that aren't in great condition? When I began to buy second-hand vinyl from charity shops, I pondered this issue and concluded that swapping out cartridges expressly to play less-than-perfect LPs was not what I wanted to do, thus I have more-than-one turntable and the trial turntable that gets to play the new-to-me vinyl, after they've taken a whizz round the cleaner, is fitted with the cartridge that I have most styii for, which at the mo' is a Shure SC35. Maybe I'v been lucky, but I haven't lost a tip yet, although there was close shave recently when I failed to spot the small chip missing from the edge of a copy of Eno's Discrete Music - if I'd miscued the arm onto that, it would have neatly chopped the tip off, no doubt!
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johnnywalker
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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by johnnywalker » 02 Jun 2019 00:31

Wow! That's pretty startling!

I only have two turntables, one set up for MM, and one set up for MC. So when I play beater records - and there are a few that have a valued place in my collection, because the music is treasured - I usually change to a beater cartridge, so that the record's surface imperfections are not displayed like an x-ray by a good cartridge. But I still want to hear the music itself, so it's a compromise between reducing surface noise and retaining decent quality sound. And sometimes the sound can be improved by using a cartridge with a different stylus profile than the one I assume created the groove wear.

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by cafe latte » 02 Jun 2019 00:38

johnnywalker wrote:
01 Jun 2019 12:26
I prefer my at3600lnto my atvm95c, with the l.p. gear eliptical it is even better. IMO the carbon cantilever is part if what makes it great. Not long ago bought l.p. gears c.f. cantilever at95 way better than the old at95e
My impression was that cf cantilevers were used only on lower-echelon cartridges (after all, if cf cantilevers are so great, why aren't they used on more expensive cartridges?), but I have ordered an AT3600l, and look forward to comparing it to the CN5625AL. Thanks for your recommendation!
They are, I have a Madrigal Carnie with a carbon fiber cantilever

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by Roberto C2H3 » 02 Jun 2019 01:10

Unless your budget does not allow for an un scheduled stylus replacement, of late I have come to the conclusion to recommend just using your main cartridge(s) for any record you want to listen to. How many lives do we have? :?:

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by circularvibes » 02 Jun 2019 03:06

Roberto C2H3 wrote:
02 Jun 2019 01:10
Unless your budget does not allow for an un scheduled stylus replacement, of late I have come to the conclusion to recommend just using your main cartridge(s) for any record you want to listen to. How many lives do we have? :?:
I have to agree for two reasons. First, all my used discs get thoroughly wet cleaned. Second, it is dirt, not scratches that harm the diamond. My MicroLine tip is almost 3 years old and still plays CD4 records accurately. If a disc is badly warped enough to cause jumping, it won't go on that table, maybe a ceramic cartridge on a changer though.

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Re: Favorite cartridge for "beater" records?

Post by Sunwire » 02 Jun 2019 03:41

I haven't made any kind of "final" decision about this, but as of right now I think your best cartridge makes EVERY record sound its best. Even if the record is a beater. Just clean it as best you can before you play it.
I haven't found any magic cartridge that makes worn records sound better than using my best cartridge/stylus combination.

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