Bonded vs Nude?

the thin end of the wedge
glrickaby
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Bonded vs Nude?

Post by glrickaby » 23 Sep 2010 05:40

I just traded a nude NOS ADC PSX-30 for a mint Bic 960 Turntable. The
other party had a high end Technics Linear Track table that we tried
various cartridges out on. All elliptical, all .003 x .007 diamonds, the
Audio Technica and the Grado were bonded and the ADC was a tapered
shaft nude mount. On his nice Kef speakers, it was obvious the nude
PSX-30 had more detail, air and dynamics. The Grado Blue was
warmer with nice bass and midrange, but couldn't match the highs
or air of the ADC. The AT was nice but lacked the air and detail.
I realize this is perhaps an inperfect test and comparison and
other details of a cartridge also come into play like the windings,
quality of the diamond etc., He called the Nude explanation I
gave him, "press fit" which is perhaps apt. Other nude mounts
like the AT120 for instance, perform well above their price level.
I guess the reality is that nude mounting may make an elliptical
stylus superior to a line contact or Shibata bonded diamond?
In experimenting with various styli for the AT 95 for instance ,
(on a separate thread) a transplanted AT120 sounds better
then a AT 95HE or Shibata- both bonded! Allowing
for other obvious differences, are there any thoughts
on this?

Whitneyville
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Post by Whitneyville » 23 Sep 2010 06:19

I don't think it's as simple as "Nude vs: Bonded". At one time, a bonded stylus usually didn't sound as good as a "nude" stylus, but with improved mounting adheasives, the line is becoming quite blurred in some cases. An imperfectly mounted nude diamond (more likely with "crush" mounting) may not sound as good as a perfectly mounted bonded stylus. Now if your definition of "bonded" means the diamond is mounted on a piece of material on the cantilever, then "nude" wins everytime, for now. I just purchased a "generic" nude Shibata stylus for my oooold AT-14Sa cart. Under my microscope, it's plainly obvious there is something on the tip-end of the cantilever, which I suspect is adheasive. Compared to about a 200 hour OEM ATH-14Sa I've been using, there is very little difference in sound, other than what I'd expect from a new stylus vs: one "broken-in". Beryllium and boron cartilevers have had the diamond "bonded" in many cases for years and are praised to the heavens. As long as the diamond is firmly and directly attached to the cantilever, that's what's important. As manufacturing techniques progress and new and better adheasives are delevoped, we may WANT "bonded" stylii over "crush" mounting in the very near future, in some cases. But there's no hard and fast rule, and the carts/stylii you meantion, on that table, I'd agree the nude mounting is FAR superior. Clear as mud, isn't it? You'd need to try the AT-150ML for a good comparision, I think.

lini
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Post by lini » 23 Sep 2010 10:03

Wv: When talking about phono needles, I'd suggest to use the term "bonded" only for real composite tips, regardless whether the tip is glued to the cantilever or not, in order to avoid confusion. I.e. "nude" = tip is one single piece of gemstone (usually diamond), "bonded" = tip consists of gemstone (usually diamond) bonded to shank/bushing of different material (usually brass or stainless steel for the cheaper bondings, titanium or sapphire for the more expensive, higher quality ones...).

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

Guest

Post by Guest » 23 Sep 2010 17:54

Hi,

The AT120E/T cantilever is very different to the AT95E and and
and I presume the AT95E bonded HE and Shibata versions.
Its not just the tips that count.

rgds, sreten.

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Post by ChairSpud » 23 Sep 2010 22:37

Neobp, have you heard of the Sapphire bond Lini just mentioned?

ADC had the "Diasa" a diamond bonded to a Sapphire and that in turn was nude mounted to the cantilever. The Sapphire being shaped and ground to the exact size and shape of the diamond shank so looks to the eye and performs as well as a nude mounting. Some even thought the dissimilar materials actually improved the sonics with the "Diasa".

Whitneyville
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Post by Whitneyville » 23 Sep 2010 22:40

I have to agree with that , for now. I think we need a new name for adheasive attached diamonds to cantilevers. The process of using adheasives makes correct placement of the stylus tip possibly more accurate, and gives the possiblity of less tip mass, and the use of exotic materials for cantilevers we haven't dreamed of yet.

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Post by lini » 23 Sep 2010 23:17

Wv: Why not call these glued? Would make sense to me, especially as to my knowledge bonded tips aren't really glued together, but rather soldered using some sort of active solder.

CS: Yup, the diamond on sapphire bonded tips really are pretty good, and titanium bondings aren't bad either. In their GP400III/Super MIII family Philips used stainless steel bonded tips on the entry level GP400III (spherical) and GP401III (elliptical), btw, while the two higher class ellipticals of the GP406III and GP412III were titanium and sapphire bonded (and more thoroughly polished, too). And the top model GP422III had a nude diamond with SST tip shape.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

Bebé Tonto

Post by Bebé Tonto » 23 Sep 2010 23:45

The key to great sound quality is "Low effective moving mass at the stylus tip". For this, the stylus mounting (nude vs sapphire-bushed vs metal-bushed) plays an important part, but the cantilever also contributes a great deal to the effective moving mass.

We had a thread on moving mass versus cantilever dimensions. Ask ld.

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Post by lini » 24 Sep 2010 00:01

neo: Sapphire actually isn't lighter, but heavier than diamond (ca. 4 g/cm³ vs. 3.5 g/cm³). And titanium is another 0.5 g/cm³ heavier than sapphire, btw.

Alu would be lighter (~ 2.7 g/cm³), but iirc for some reason bonding diamond to alumnium didn't work...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

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Post by ChairSpud » 24 Sep 2010 00:16

Spuds,
That's interesting, but AFAIK it's unavailable now and I doubt if anyone is doing it. Bonding is usually on a metal platform that adds mass. I guess you could make something that would be lighter than a nude diamond, but the cost would be prohibitive. Really good carts are so expensive today I don't think anyone is going there. Maybe there is some sonic advantage to a sapphire platform, I don't know. But how much lighter is sapphire than diamond? How about micro tips so small you can barely see them unaided. Eff tip mass can be as low as .2mg now, and that includes whatever else goes into that calculation. "And the top model GP422III had a nude diamond with SST tip shape."
neo
Yes you're right, bonding is more often considered bad for the extra weight. The "Diasa" is actually not hard to find new old stock, most don't even know when they've bought one but AFAIK no longer produced by anyone else. Benz holds the patent for the Sapphire bond and I've read some of their current models stylus are side bonded. If you're interested have pasted text on the subject from a Benz dealer Analogue Seduction.


"Ernst Benz was an engineer working and developing delicate instrumentation (such as accelerometers) for CalTech in the '60's, and later managed an industrial jewel company in Switzerland manufacturing timepiece and industrial jewels as well as sapphire phonograph needles. He formed his own company in the early '70's, with the desire to produce a superior diamond phonograph stylus. To further facilitate this, he developed a high temperature vacuum furnace for bonding diamond to sapphire (for which he was awarded a patent). Throughout the '70's, Benz Micro became one of the largest suppliers of diamond styli in the world, providing support for such companies as Ortofon, Philips, Pickering, ADC, Audio Technica, and Empire (which was later acquired by Benz)."

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Post by lini » 24 Sep 2010 03:53

Just for the record: Sorry, the top model of the Super MIIIs was the GP420III - while it had been the GP422II for the MIIs and GP422 for the first Super M generation. Got it the wrong way round in my memory...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

Guest

Post by Guest » 24 Sep 2010 23:02

When I looked into polishing methods, one thing emerged that I didn't realise, but seems obviius afterwards. That bonding is done before grinding and polishing. The conical is formed and eliptical flats polished, plus base polish and finishing once the diamond is mounted on the bush. The bush is also ground and polished.

I don't know why nude stylii often outperform bonded. In my experience nude seems to offer lower friction coefficient. Perhaps this is either polish standard, or grain orientation, or just quality of the overall diamond that is higher in nude stylus.

I'm not convinced at all that stylus mass alone is necessarily significantly different, but lower physical mass stylii tend to be nude. Cantilever design is probably a bigger influence, and again perhaps more attention is paid to cantilever performance with nude stylus.

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Post by Rap » 25 Sep 2010 00:47

ld wrote:
I'm not convinced at all that stylus mass alone is necessarily significantly different, but lower physical mass stylii tend to be nude. Cantilever design is probably a bigger influence, and again perhaps more attention is paid to cantilever performance with nude stylus.
Good point, though I suspect that mechanical impedance between the different materials is the culprit. Speed of sound (or vibrations in this case) is not the same in the different materials and an extra interface ,as with a bonded stylus, would cause a reflection point of the energy transmission from the stylus.

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Post by Whitneyville » 26 Sep 2010 03:43

'Rap, the speed of sound is different through a diamond than though any cantilever material. :? I know from playing with defective ones, some cheap stylii are ground then mounted to the cantilevers, and I thought I remembered reading in some ancient Audio-Technica literature that they made their less exspensive stylii that way, "using Space-Age technology to position them preciesly", as I recall. But I've slept since the late 70's, and may remember it wrong. :wink:

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Post by lynnot » 26 Sep 2010 09:56

http://forums.klipsch.com/forums/storag ... phono7.jpg

A picture from another forum: transmission speed of various cantilever materials.

Rgds, L.

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