This Stanton 500 cartridge - any good?

the thin end of the wedge
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hanfrac
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This Stanton 500 cartridge - any good?

Post by hanfrac » 12 Oct 2015 05:00

I recently picked up a turntable with this cartridge/stylus mounted on it. I've done a bunch of searches on Stanton 500's and can't seem to figure out which one is which. It sounds like there were many versions across many years. I just want to know if it's in the league of my other back-up cartridges - M75ED Type 2, Me95ED (both Realistic-branded) and whether it's worth investing in a stylus. And if so, which one.

Thanks in advance for any guidance.
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circularvibes
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Re: This Stanton 500 cartridge - any good?

Post by circularvibes » 12 Oct 2015 06:58

I like this cartridge. It isn't the most accurate but somewhat forgiving to worn records. In situations where cuing or heavier tracking are desired, it is a good choice. It is suitable for disc jockeying and for playing mono records and 78's(with the right stylus). I use mine on a Dual 1009 changer to pleasing results. Your other cartridges are also decent, with different styli available for different applications. I am using the last incarnation, the markIII version. These have been used by radio stations for decades. You will have a hard time finding genuine Stanton replacements and I have never needed to try replacements. I am using a Pfanstiehl 78 tip with good results. As to whether it is better than what you have, it depends on your situation. It will take rough handling if you have children around, or if you play rough records.

bauzace50
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Re: This Stanton 500 cartridge - any good?

Post by bauzace50 » 12 Oct 2015 07:07

The Stanton 500 and its Pickering alternatives were introduced around 1963. Many worthy versions were produced to cover application in broadcast, DJ, domestic, and audiophile scenarios. It was a versatile basic design with variations in the characteristics of tips, cantilevers, magnet size, and suspensions for the various applications. All versions were excellent for the intended user.

But the manufacturer seems to have stopped support for many of their models.

Imitation styli are available but seem to be mediocre at best.

JICO replacements would appear to be good, but I have tried none. In the meantime, I am very happy to use occasionally one "500 EE MK II" modified with a Paratrace tip from Expert Stylus.

If you try the JICO Stylus, please report your results. Good luck.
bauzace50

hanfrac
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Re: This Stanton 500 cartridge - any good?

Post by hanfrac » 12 Oct 2015 18:48

Thanks. I'm only interested in getting this thing going for a relatively higher-end application. I'm not interested in high tracking forces or playing beater records. It looks like some recommend a D71EE or D71 2E stylus for this body. JICO could work as well.

If I spend $40-50 on a good stylus, I'd hope that it could perform at least on par with a $75 new cartridge/stylus.

stijnkraft

Re: This Stanton 500 cartridge - any good?

Post by stijnkraft » 12 Oct 2015 20:34

I think it's pretty bad, but the M75 is better. I'd prefer the M95ED.
I do wonder why you ask though, it's your ears that should eventually do the judging :)

hanfrac
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Re: This Stanton 500 cartridge - any good?

Post by hanfrac » 12 Oct 2015 21:55

stijnkraft wrote:I think it's pretty bad, but the M75 is better. I'd prefer the M95ED.
I do wonder why you ask though, it's your ears that should eventually do the judging :)
It's pretty simple. I ask because I don't know much about this cartridge, it needs a new stylus, and before investing in a stylus, I thought it would be helpful to get opinions from people who may have owned this thing and who can either encourage me to spend the money or as the Humongous says in Road Warrior, "Just Walk Away!"

I own M75ED and Me95ED bodies with cheaper aftermarket styli - the M75ED has a $17 EVG and the Me95ED has what I think is a $30 JICO. I could spend more money on those bodies and end up with better sound vs. bringing the 500 back to life.

tubeactive

Re: This Stanton 500 cartridge - any good?

Post by tubeactive » 17 Oct 2015 22:09

Of course, the 500 is a good classic ! Transcription studios that do a lot of business and turn profits transferring analog to digital rely on the Stanton 500. It is versatile and might excite you more than the Shures. Like the Shures, the styli are key to enjoyment factor. If you simply buy an aftermarket stylus, you might not be giving any cartridge it's due chance. This is analagous to buying an old (tube or ss) amp and not replacing the capacitors before making a judgement call. There are "working styli" with bonded tips and exceptional styli with nude mounted tips. My M95ED sounds sweet with a nude tip; just OK with a bonded tip. My M91ED sounds very lacking with a simple bonded tip; very endearing with its' nude tip.

The Stanton 500 can take the same styli as the Pickering V-15. V-15 styli are less expensive. There was an older aftermarket V-15 type with orange, later red stylus grip with a larger than usual magnetic slug at the rear of the plug-in; yielding very high output. They also had a P/AC model with a high output stylus. These bonded tip styli were the choice; as were the Stanton 500 "DJ" stylus for conicals. Finding nude conicals or ellipticals that fit the 500 will not be easy. The genuine Stanton 500E elliptical might better your current Shures...only you will be the decider...Enjoy !

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