Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3

    Cartridge Advice.....

    Hello Everyone.

    I am new to this message board. I am what I guess is considered a "lurker", so I have obtained tons of useful info from message boards in the past, but this is my first post. My post is prompted by information overload.

    I am fairly new to vinyl, but I am also mildly obsessed with it. I have a Music Hall MMF 2.1 which I love, and thus far has needed no improvement or maintenance, but I recently acquired a second TT, a Technics SL-D3. The Technics is a craigslist score. It's in fine condition and sounds pretty good as is, but has a needle in need of replacement (from what I can tell).

    Once I started researching the installed cartridge, I realized that it is not the original. The cartridge on the table is an Audio-Technica AT964XEa. I have been unable to obtain much info on this cartridge. A new stylus (oem) is about 70 bucks, a generic is about 15 bones.

    So to my question:

    Is it worthwhile to replace the stylus on the original cartridge with an oem or aftermarket replacement vs purchasing a new budget phono cartridge? I have narrowed my new choices down to the Shure M97XE and the Audio Technica AT95E.

    Whew. Any insight would be appreciated - at the rate I am going it will take me a year to make a decision......

  2. #2
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,908
    The AT stylus would be nice. The generic would be a risk and likely not worth having. The M97XE is a nice choice, as is the AT95E. Also consider the MP-11 for similar money or the AT95HE.

    http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merc...de=NAGAOKACART

    http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merc...Code=LPGAT95HE

  3. #3
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    I have no knowledge of your cart, but for the stylus to cost $70 says enough. I'm sure it's a reasonable cart at least equivelant with your other choices. To give you some idea, a new stylus for an Ortofon 2M Red is roughly $70.

  4. #4
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,275
    Hey Greg,

    Welcome to AR.com.
    Shure M97XE sounds "ok" to my ears, but others seem to like it very much.
    If you want further information overload, click below link for stylus info.

    http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=22894

    For the price of the Shure, I would rather experiement with an original stylus replacement with Shibata stylus.

    JRA

  5. #5
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for the input. The more I think about it, the more I think I might just do both. Now I just have to figure out which to do first and weigh my options for the new cart. I have read that grado cartridges don't do well with Technics DD TT's, so I have avoided them, but i hadn't previously considered the Nagaoka. After reading some reviews, its in the running......

  6. #6
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    Indeed, get the replacement stylus and spend some time with it. During this time, do some research and try to get out and hear some different cartridges.

    My local dealer sells Nagaoka and I have heard both the MP 100 and 110. They are wonderful. These are in line with the Shure you are considering.

    I presently have the M97xe on a Technics SL-Q2. It's a great comination which is outstanding for ripping also.

    The Shure was a departure for me sonically, and took some getting used to. It doesn't take long to realise that it's differences are what make it a fantastic budget value, thus it's legendary status among analog lovers. If you listen to alot of vocal based music, it's a must.

    Secondly, I find that tenor saxophone is unmatched using the Shure. Perfect tone, so sexy.

    I'm curious about the rest of your gear. Particularily your analog chain. What are you using for a phono stage? Quite often consideration of the phono stage is overlooked, but this can make or break certain cartridges.

  7. #7
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3
    [QUOTE=
    I'm curious about the rest of your gear. Particularily your analog chain. What are you using for a phono stage? Quite often consideration of the phono stage is overlooked, but this can make or break certain cartridges.[/QUOTE]

    My systems that I have set up right now are simple.

    The rig with the Music Hall runs into a Onkyo TX 3000 receiver (which I think has a wonderful sounding phono stage). I run 2.1 setups for speakers, paradigm atoms paired with a velodyne 8" powered sub, I dont know the model number off hand since I am at work.

    The rig I have the Technics running into an older (early 90's) Denon stereo receiver. I don't recall what the exact model is, but it is about 40 wpc as I recall. That one has Infinity Primus speakers and an Acoustech h100 sub hooked up.

    I have a few other receivers - my wife's grandad's MCS receiver from the 70's that I spent a pile of money to have repaired, luckily it sounds better than I thought it would. That one is in the kitchen hooked up to some vintage ARs. I have never tried its phono section. I have an older technics receiver and a technics integrated as well and a closet full of other stuff. I have old Pioneers and a Nikko integrated (which I hate the sound of).

    I don't own a dedicated phono stage at this point, but it is under consideration.....

  8. #8
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    Quote Originally Posted by gregorius2010
    I don't own a dedicated phono stage at this point, but it is under consideration.....
    Sounds great, you have some nice gear. Indeed if you want to take your tables to the next level, an external stage would be a great consideration. The problem is, with your current gear, you will have to spend at least a couple hundred to upgrade, IMO.

    I have owned many budget stages, not so many high quality. Right now I am using a Creek OBH-18. It would technically be considered a budget piece, but I think it competes beyond it's price. It's most certainly the "blackest" I have ever owned, this is in part to the DC power it uses. I have furthered this advantage by setting up a battery power supply for it. Detail with complex phrasing is wonderful. It really allows the cart to shine, but beware....junk in junk out.

    There are many stages available and I would say audition as many as you can to understand the differences and advantages.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cartridge Advice.....-dsc03010.jpg  

  9. #9
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    sylmar, ca. in beautiful so cal earthquake country
    Posts
    1,442

    LESS than $70

    try this:

    http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merc...y_Code=LPGCART

    it has been well spoken of as other low priced AT carts have been.
    ...regards...tr

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •