• 03-20-2009, 04:34 AM
    emaidel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JayTea
    emaildel:

    About the use of these Stanton cartridges with the brush, I have heard many people say that one (1) additional gram must be added to the desired tracking weight when use with the brush (ie. if the desired tracking force is 1.5gr, then install the brush, balance the tonearm and then dial in 2.5gr.) Is this correct?

    The reason I asked is that I have a new 681 EEE MKIII, and its user manual says nothing about this. Also by observation, the brush is pivoted and it looks like the bristle support the whole brush itself.

    What's your take on this?

    Thank you very much, again.
    BTW, I bought the Shibata stylus for the 681 and it sounds very smooth!

    I've posted this many, many times before. If you want to track at 1 1/2 grams, and are using the brush, set the tracking force to 2 1/2 grams, and the anti-skating also at 2 1/2 grams after first balancing the tonearm. The brush is self supporting, but needs the additional force applied to offset its weight (whch happens to be 1 gram).

    The Stanton "Longhair" and Pickering "Dustamatic" brushes were probably the most misunderstood, and therefore, maligned features of Stanton and Pickering cartridges ever. Instructions initially called for the application of an additional gram to offset the weight of the brush, but rarely said anything about the anti-skating setting. Competitors, since the brushes were patented, ridiculed them, and to the everlasting fault of both companies, neither PIckering nor Stanton did anything to combat the ridicule until many, many years later, long after substantial damage was done.

    You won't hear any difference whether using the brush or not, but the brush does a terrific job of "dynamically stabilizing" the tonearm, which aids tremendously in the playing of warped records.
  • 03-20-2009, 05:39 AM
    JayTea
    I just saw this on Ebay:
    "
    Here's a rare unused n.o.s. Stanton D74S Stereohedron stylus! It will fit the Stanton 680/681 and Universal (P mount) cartridges but also the Pickering XV 15 and DTL series.
    Specs are:

    * Tracking force 0,75 gr to 1,5 gr.
    * Stereohedron .3X2.8(8X71)
    * Frequency range 10-25K

    It has the exactly the same specs as the Stanton 681EEE MkII-S! (but the fingergrip is clear and it has no brush)"

    I thought the replacement for the 681 series were the D6800 only?
    Is this worth considered???
  • 03-20-2009, 07:21 AM
    emaidel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JayTea
    I just saw this on Ebay:
    "
    Here's a rare unused n.o.s. Stanton D74S Stereohedron stylus! It will fit the Stanton 680/681 and Universal (P mount) cartridges but also the Pickering XV 15 and DTL series.
    Specs are:

    * Tracking force 0,75 gr to 1,5 gr.
    * Stereohedron .3X2.8(8X71)
    * Frequency range 10-25K

    It has the exactly the same specs as the Stanton 681EEE MkII-S! (but the fingergrip is clear and it has no brush)"

    I thought the replacement for the 681 series were the D6800 only?
    Is this worth considered???


    That's for one of the several "P"-mount cartridges Stanton (and others) made during the 80's. P-mount tonearms were all standardized so that P-mount cartridges simply plugged in, were secured with a single screw, and no other adjustments had to be made. As one couldn't adjust tracking force or anti-skating (it was all pre-set according to the universal P-mount standards), the Longhair brush couldn't be used. Stay away from it.
  • 03-31-2009, 11:28 AM
    daveobieone
    'Bout fell-over!
    I found this thread today by accident, and about fell-over.

    I can't believe I'm in contact with some so close to the "horses mouth" (Walter Stanton)!

    As someone who has purchased hundreds of Stanton cartridges for broadcast use (and for my home stereo's), I'm SO glad emaidel is here! I have so much respect for those great products.

    I could probably ask you questions for hours...till your ears fell off (or eyes fell out). I joined this group just so I could ask you questions.

    This is so amazing!

    I guess I should consider myself blessed to have a new, in the box 881s.

    Dave O.
  • 03-31-2009, 01:58 PM
    emaidel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by daveobieone
    I found this thread today by accident, and about fell-over.

    I can't believe I'm in contact with some so close to the "horses mouth" (Walter Stanton)!

    As someone who has purchased hundreds of Stanton cartridges for broadcast use (and for my home stereo's), I'm SO glad emaidel is here! I have so much respect for those great products.

    I could probably ask you questions for hours...till your ears fell off (or eyes fell out). I joined this group just so I could ask you questions.

    This is so amazing!

    I guess I should consider myself blessed to have a new, in the box 881s.

    Dave O.


    My, that's quite some praise! And so, I thank you. You are but one of a few who feel that way about me (I seem to rattle members' cages more than I intend to with my posts).

    While I have over 30 years experience in the industry with two of those years with PIckering in the late 70's, and 7 of them in the 90's with Stanton, other than that making me somewhat of an "authority" on products from those comopanies, I am by no means any more a voice of authority on these pages than anyone else. I post my opinions for others to read, and hopefully benefit from, and enjoy reading posts from other members who do likewise.

    And I too have a new, in the box 881-S MKII. I'm hanging onto it in the event the W.O.S. 100 Collector's Series cartridge I'm using somehow fails me in the future.
  • 04-01-2009, 06:00 PM
    daveobieone
    Series II? - Empire?
    Unfortunately (I guess) Mine isn't the series II.

    What was the improvement there? Anything really noticeable?

    BTW, I just bought another new/old Pickering...an NOS 345-03d for my Seeburg jukebox.

    I had asked in one of the other threads about the differences between moving magnet, and moving iron. (some folks had a good time answering me)

    It amazes me that the 881, and the 681 look so similar, but really were so different.

    Does anyone know what every happened to Empire? I used to use some of their cartridges as well...for home audio only. The suspension always gave out on them pretty quickly as I recall.

    Dave O.
  • 04-02-2009, 03:56 AM
    emaidel
    As I recall, the 881-S used a bonded Stereohedron tip, and the MKII used a nude diamond on a narrower cantilever.

    Empire was one of the first cartridge companies to go belly-up with the introduction of the CD. They were never noted for anything particularly special, and their sales focus was almost exclusively on "private-label" cartridges, and not on top quality models.

    Shure continued to manufacture "hi-fi" cartridges for a while after the CD, and then, after realizing Stanton's enormous success in the DJ business, made several DJ models which captured the attention and admiration of a group of "scratching" DJ's and sold very well. Shure still makes a few "hi-fi" cartridges, but its TOTL unit, the V/15 Type V mxr is history, just like many others.
  • 04-02-2009, 04:52 PM
    daveobieone
    V15 Vmxr
    I bought one of the last V15s. The first one I got was defective...wouldn't track at all. The second one was really very good. I also bought 3 spare styli...some of the last ones that were available there too. I think it's a very good cartridge...just slightly boring. I get more enjoyment out of my Stantons, or my Denon 301 (which is VERY bright!) on dull sounding records.

    Dave O.
  • 04-04-2009, 12:39 PM
    Reticuli
    The 500 low-effective-mass cantilever tips were great. I wish the thin needled EL, AL (broadcast), and Emk2 would be brought back. The ALII is just too high massed and for scratch people. Such a neutral sounding cartridge, though. Emk2 is bright, but I've got my modded TCCs back with 100pF capacitance to try and see if they become tamed. The OM5E is soooo rolled off at 100pF on the TCC. Yikes. Have to crank the treble up.

    On the Shure V15, I've heard if you lower the capacitance and/or increase the input resistance you can really improve the sound from its dull standard. The 97 also suffers from that.
  • 04-08-2009, 10:58 AM
    daveobieone
    M97 vs V15 Vmr etc
    I have new versions of both (last version of the V15), and the M97 sounds much more rolled-off at the high frequencies than the V15 does. I still wouldn't call the V15 bright however. Especially not compared to the Stantons, Grados and Denon MC I have.

    The M97 does track pretty well however...pretty close to the V15 in that respect, and a little better than the Grado Gold I have. When I need to track something cut at stupid-hot levels, I go for the Shure...especially if I can EQ the high end afterwards.

    Most of the time, I prefer the sound of the Stantons (even the lowly 500 series) to just about all the others I have (and I like the the 681s even more). I know that might make no sense to some folks...even to me sometimes, and especially not to the high-end audio press, but it's just what I like. I also have a very nice Denon moving coil, and the Denon trasnsformer to match, but on most of my records, the Denon is just too bright. The Stantons are a very good balance...at least with my systems. I'd call them neutral, and well balanced.

    Someone with very bright sounding speakers might easilly prefer the M97 over all these I've mentioned. It all depends on how the system all sounds together.

    Dave O.
  • 04-10-2009, 04:30 PM
    Reticuli
    The 500Emk2 has too much bass on the TCC too at 100pF. I'm thinking the RIAA equalization got screwed up changing the caps out, since it's a discrete design. The treble is about right to maybe a bit dull at times, but sounds oddly crunchy when it is at all bright. Not delicate. Possibly a sonic result of the mids being recessed, now...well, they're always a bit recessed on the Emk2 compared to the ALII, but not by too much. I'm thinking maybe 150pF might be nice to try next. Or just get my tech to put the 220pF's back in and use shorter cables. Maybe that's smarter. I'd hate to spend money a third time having him put them in finally again if the 150pF is also no good.

    Are the 15 and 97 tips interchangeable? I'm wondering if the 97 tips can also fit on the Whitelabels, which are the last version of the 15 internally. Anyone have a 97 and a Whitelabel dj cart? Or if anyone has a really old 97 tip that still works (can't be busted) they could send me, I could give it a go. Seems like a waste of those high grade insides with a mid-tip-mass cantilever and spherical diamond. The tubes look identical.
  • 04-12-2009, 06:13 AM
    Ed_in_Tx
    Hi folks! My First post here. Found this site and thread looking for info about two Stanton cartridges I have, more specifically the "NOS" 881S-II with a spare stylus I picked up several years ago. I bought a new 881S in 1979 and it became my primary cartridge. Then while looking for a spare stylus 7 or 8 years ago, I found the 881S-II. Have read that some later 881S-IIs do not have the Stereohedron stylus. So without a microscope to look, is there a way to tell? The box the "II" came in is identical to the old 881S box from 1979. Also it has a folded sheet in the box extolling the benefits of the Stereohedron stylus. So maybe it's a first generation "II"?

    Also I wonder if the stylus from a Pickering XUV/4500-Q would work properly in an 881S body. Reason is, I have an XUV/4500-Q but I can't load it properly any more since I retired the amplifier (Pioneer SA-9800) that has cartridge load settings. It sounds bright and harsh with the standard loading of my Creek phono preamp. So.. thinking the 881S body would be more appropriately matched to the standard 47k-250pF or so load, I could use the near-new Quadrahedral stylus in the 881S body and get away from the exaggerated treble the 4500Q produces. Comments? Warnings? THANKS!
  • 04-12-2009, 04:31 PM
    daveobieone
    V15 and the M97
    The V15 and M97 styli are interchangeable.

    However, putting a V15 stylus in an M97 will not make the M97 sound like a V15. The tracking ability will be that of a V15, but the sound of the V15 cartridge and stylus is still clearly better.

    I'm not sure exactly what's different inside of the two cartridge bodies...they look very similar from the outside, but there is clearly something different going on inside.

    I don't know what the Whitelabel cartridge or styli you refer to are.?. Do you mean aftermarket?

    I have had good results with my Stanton 500 cartridge bodies with two different styli...the Pickering DJ stylus that KAB has sold (but are now out of), and the Stanton D71ee. They have quite different purposes. The DJ stylus is (was) a nearly exact replacement for the long unavailable 500a (.0007, conical, 2-5grams tracking). The D71ee is a nice sounding eliptical that tracks very well at about 1.6grams. The 500 cartridge body will sound quite different with those two different styli. The D71ee is much brighter sounding. Not harsh, just brighter. The Pickering DJ stylus sounds much heavier at that low end, and softer at the high end. Not muddy, just a little less high end.

    The DJ stylus tracks pretty well at about 2.5 grams...unlike the older 500AL stylus, which needs about 3.5 grams to clean up the tracking distortion...which is a little too heavy, especially for styrene 45's. I was really looking for the ideal replacement for the 500A stylus (D5107a). Since KAB is now out of the Pickering DJ stylus, I guess next time I need some, I'll need to keep looking.

    I've been told the later 500AL stylus was supposed to replace the 500A...and that it would track 2-5grams like the old 500A, but I have not been able to confirm this. I can tell you that the aftermarket 500AL from Phanstiehl requires more than 3 grams to clean up. The web-based supplier I bought some from recently had them advertized as tracking from 2-5grams, but they sound pretty bad below 3 grams, and the package clearly says 3-7grams.

    Dave O.
  • 04-14-2009, 01:25 PM
    emaidel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ed_in_Tx

    Also I wonder if the stylus from a Pickering XUV/4500-Q would work properly in an 881S body.
    THANKS!

    The stylus for the XUV-4500Q should work just fine in the 881-S body, as the two bodies are very, very similar. With proper capacitive loading, the XUV/4500Q sounds pretty good, and quite close to the Stanton 881-S. The "MK II" model has a nude (as opposed to bonded) Stereohedron stylus, and most "MK II" models were packaged in grey/silver jewelry boxes, instead of the clear plastic ones for the original 881-S models. There is no way you can tell the difference in any of these stylus tips without a microscope.

    The XUV/4500Q is, in my opinion, the finest cartridge made by anyone for the playback of CD-4 quadraphonic records. Most such cartridges from either Pickering, Stanton or Audio Technica prior to the 4500 sounded downright lousy, and all tracked rather heavily, though as the stylus pressure was spread across a far larger portion of the groove wall (that which is described as the "scanning radius") it didn't really matter, many people hated the idea of setting their tonearms as high as was necessary for these cartridges.

    The 4500Q was the first CD-4 cartrdige that not only tracked well at only 1 gram, but also sounded very, very good as a stereo-only cartridge - something none of its predecessors did. Unfortunately, it was introduced practically at the very moment the quadraphonic industry came to a crashing halt. The XSV-3000 (actually identical to the original Stanton 881-S models) was the result of using the engineering and stylus design that went into the 4500Q, but without the ability to properly playback CD-4 records, as almost no one cared. Instead of the sales flop the 4500 was, the 3000 was a huge success.
  • 04-14-2009, 05:00 PM
    Reticuli
    Well, I had my sub turned up, which is why the TCCs sounded so bassy. Heheh. Oops. I still don't like the highs on the TCC preamp with ceramic caps (too crunchy when it's not too tame) and the KSA blue poly caps my tech put on the other sound way too phasey. I think the Ortofon OM5E probably works best at 250pF total, the Shure V15/Whitelabel at 225pF (though Shure claims to voice everything at 250pF/47kohm), and the Stanton 500/400 at 200pF total (though Stanton claims to voice at 275pF/47kohm).

    An old Numark 100pF phono pre with a very midrangey sound actually mates well with the 500E mk2 and shortened cable. A little bright, but much tighter and deeper low end than the OM5E, not to mention better detail and extension up top clear out to 18khz. Scary synergy that a $35 cartridge mated to a $50 preamp sounds better than $100+ carts with varous mixers and outboard pres, including modded ones.

    The Shure Whitelabel is a DJing cartridge in an integrated headshell that uses the V15xMR (whatever) as the innerds of it. The tubes of the 15 and 97 tips have identical shapes, and I don't like the 97's increased inductance over the 15. So was thinking of trying the 97 elliptical on the WL, but don't really want to spend $100 on a pair just to try on my djing carts. If anyone has a used, worn-out 97 stylus then I'll pay the shipping to be able to see if it fits. I don't know why anyone would want to waste a primo V15 stylus on an M97 body; I essentially want to try the reverse.

    The D71EE is the same diamond and suspension as the old 500EE mk2, not the 500E mk2. However, I can't tell if the cantilever is the same thickness as the single-E or thicker from the pics. The stylus housing itself is a weird shape that only looks like it'd work with the newer 500 & 400 bodies (without the triangle on top) and the P/universal adapter 720EE (what it comes mounted on). Do you have first hand experience successfully getting a D71EE tip on an old 500 body? Is it a thin cantilever like the E?

    The difference between the E and EE is the .4 diamond to the .3 elliptical and only 1.5 units of compliance difference with 14.5 on the E and 16 on the EE...both a pretty good sweetspot, in my opinion. I didn't really need more squishyness, though, as I think the Emk2 is already very compliant at 1.75 grams. The 1.6 gram you cite for the EE sounds like it must be the thinner cantilever. Yes?

    The original A and AL 500's were also the thinner cantilevers, I believe, which is why they didn't need so much downforce as the record killing ALII and V3 sphericals with overbuilt shafts. Interestingly, on the 680 front, the original EL was thicker and needed 3 grams while all subsequent DJ models have used thinner aluminum shafts that were great at 2 grams. I really think thick-cantilevered DJing tips and scratch-tards have really screwed up the phono cart scene, though ironically perhaps helped keep it alive.
  • 04-15-2009, 06:24 AM
    Ed_in_Tx
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by emaidel
    The stylus for the XUV-4500Q should work just fine in the 881-S body, as the two bodies are very, very similar.

    The "MK II" model has a nude (as opposed to bonded) Stereohedron stylus, and most "MK II" models were packaged in grey/silver jewelry boxes, instead of the clear plastic ones for the original 881-S models. There is no way you can tell the difference in any of these stylus tips without a microscope.

    The XUV/4500Q is, in my opinion, the finest cartridge made by anyone for the playback of CD-4 quadraphonic records.

    MUCH Thanks for the reply! I will try the 4500 stylus in the 881 body now. Just needed a little reassurance that I wouldn't damage something internally in the cartridge body.

    CD-4 and the low tracking force are originally why I bought the XUV/4500Q, and why it didn't see much use too. I kept it preserved and unused all these years just in case I wanted to hook up the CD-4 demodulator and spin some of the 30 or so CD-4 records I have. Plus, my old hi-fi guru, Dean Henson who sold audio gear here in Dallas in the '60s and '70s (at Crabtree's as well as his store Dean's Audio) was a big Pickering proponent, brush and all!

    I have included a picture I took with my "Eyeclops" magnifier of my original 1979 vintage 881S stylus. It looks like a solid diamond to me, not tipped or bonded. Comments?

    http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p...nclopava-2.jpg
  • 04-15-2009, 09:08 AM
    Ed_in_Tx
    OK now playing the 4500Q stylus in the 881S body. Highs sound smoother, less harsh and bright. Only problem, the actual fit of the 4500Q stylus into the 881S body is very loose when it's pressed up against the cartridge body. Reasonably snug all the way up to that point where it needs to be secure, then it has maybe a half-mm of loose play in-out. Any suggestions to snug up the fit?
  • 04-15-2009, 01:24 PM
    emaidel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ed_in_Tx
    OK now playing the 4500Q stylus in the 881S body. Highs sound smoother, less harsh and bright. Only problem, the actual fit of the 4500Q stylus into the 881S body is very loose when it's pressed up against the cartridge body. Reasonably snug all the way up to that point where it needs to be secure, then it has maybe a half-mm of loose play in-out. Any suggestions to snug up the fit?

    'Fraid not, my friend. Every once in a while, the stylus tube didn't line up with the innards of the cartridge body, resulting in what you're experiencing. I'm using the Stanton W.O.S. Collector's Series 100 cartridge in my system, and have a spare just in case I damage the stylus assembly and need to replace it. It's a good thing the cartridge body doesn't wear out, as the stylus assembly fits just as poorly in my replacement cartridge as yours does, though it fits fine in the cartridge body of the unit I'm using. As long as it doesn't fall out, or wobble though, I wouldn't worry much about it. Glad you like what you hear.

    Insofar as your photo, it sure does look like a nude stylus tip, but far greater magnification would be necessary to show the cuts on the very tip that designate it as a "Stereohedron."

    And, your dealer/friend is right about the brush: use it! Just remember to balance the tonearm, and then add an additional gram of tracking force to the tonearm setting, as well as to the anti-skate setting to offset the added weight of the brush. You'll be amazed at how much better the cartridge will play warped records with the brush in place.
  • 04-15-2009, 01:51 PM
    Ed_in_Tx
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by emaidel
    'Fraid not, my friend. Every once in a while, the stylus tube didn't line up with the innards of the cartridge body, resulting in what you're experiencing.

    Insofar as your photo, it sure does look like a nude stylus tip, but far greater magnification would be necessary to show the cuts on the very tip that designate it as a "Stereohedron."

    Thanks again for your information! I have an idea to secure it better and will post it, if it works.

    Here are 3 other images I managed to get from the same 881S. They appear to show the stereohedron shape and cuts. I was trying to see if there was any wear. This is the most used stylus I have, the original D81 from '79. Probably has 1,000 hrs use at least. Looks good to me. But then again I might not have enough magnification to see the wear spots. I will try to get some pics of the 4500Q and the 881S-II I have. I have to take many attempts to get a decent picture with the toy "Eyeclops" I have.


    http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p...tonclops-2.jpg

    http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p...tonclops-3.jpg

    http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p...tonclops-4.jpg
  • 04-16-2009, 01:15 PM
    daveobieone
    "Do you have first hand experience successfully getting a D71EE tip on an old 500 body? Is it a thin cantilever like the E?"

    Yes...I now have two turntables running the 500 body / D71ee stylus combination, and I'm quite pleased with it in both cases. Two very different arms too. I don't have an old 500e or 500ee to compare the catilever on them.

    If it fits loose, I've heard putting a tiny piece of "blue tack" inside of the stylus grip will hold it firmly to the cartridge body. I've used something similar...some kind of an art eraser my wife came up with. Just be careful not to get either into the hole in the cartridge body.

    I did some exparamenting with the tracking of the D71ee, and have found that it tracks just about everything I can throw at it at about 1.6g. At 2g, it will track the most stupid-hot stuff I've got quite well. This is hi-fi stuff however, not 12 inch 45's, which (as I recall) could be cut even hotter.

    I did some further tests of it for record wear at 2 grams, and find that it's actually pretty easy on the records up there. I do a test on styrene 45's (which once the wear starts, it goes downhill really fast)...and the D71ee can play the locked groove over 100 times and still I don't hear any wear starting to develope. These tests were run with the two "Hi-Fi" D71ee's I got recently from KAB. They are genuine Stanton. I can't speak for any aftermarket offerings that are out there...which I've generally had less than great luck with.

    Dave O.
  • 04-16-2009, 01:18 PM
    daveobieone
    BTW, those are amazing pictures Ed!
    How did you get that good a look at the stylus?
    Dave O.
  • 04-17-2009, 08:47 PM
    Ed_in_Tx
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by daveobieone
    BTW, those are amazing pictures Ed!
    How did you get that good a look at the stylus?
    Dave O.

    With GREAT patience and many many trys! I used one of these Eyeclops toy magnifiers. Several problems with it; poor built-in lighting and you have to get so close it's hard to get external illumination where it needs to be, the shutter button is on the unit so it's impossible to hold steady when you press it, poor depth of field, probably took at least 100 shots few good ones.

    I've suceeded securing the Pickering 4500Q stylus to the 881S body with a couple of tiny pieces of double-sided cellophane tape applied to the body of the cartridge. So far so good.This won't work with a Stanton stylus though since it doesn't wrap around the sides.

    http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p...00-881-2-f.jpg

    Also checked the output with a Stereo Review test record I have, and this combination has about 1.5 dB more output than with the stock D81 stylus. Freq response peaks about 2dB at 9-10kHz, resonably flat elsewhere.
  • 04-18-2009, 03:53 AM
    emaidel
    Those are truly remarkable photos. I'm glad you found a way to secure the stylus into the cartridge body, and that you're enjoying the benefits of the two designs.

    When I first started to work for Pickering in 1976, the company had a scanning electron beam microscope at the time, and they took quite a few photos of actual styli in record grooves, and used the microscope extensively in their research. You're bringing back many fond memories my friend.
  • 04-18-2009, 08:04 AM
    daveobieone
    Tracking distortion vs VTF for groove damage?
    Whoa...I wish there was some way to see some of those photos!

    I've always been interested in the amout of deformation of the groove walls by the stylus. Especially with different shapes, VTF, etc.

    Does anyone have an opinion about which is more destructive to the groove wall...
    Tracking distortion, or tracking heavier?

    Seems to me that having the stylus bouncing around in the groove (which I guess is what's really happening with tracking distortion) would be more destructive than tracking a little heavier...but that's just a guess on my part.

    I usually tend to error on the side of tracking a little heavier...just heavy enough to keep the tracking distorion under control. I also listen closely to what's going on in the out of phase part of the signal. This would be the unwanted vertical movement of the stylus...when it should just be moving horizontally. Clean, Mono records work nicely for this, with an inverting RCA cable...then pushing the mono button on the pre-amp.

    Also, listening to the dead channel on test tones (or other music) recorded on the other channel. There are some test disks that are required for this. Just turning the balance control to the dead channel only can show some pretty amazing things going on. There will always be some cross-channel crosstalk, but what it sounds like can give away some interesting cues to what's going on in the grooves.
  • 04-18-2009, 12:29 PM
    Reticuli
    Tracking distortion is the most destructive, but any additional downforce will obviously also add more wear if the former is unchanging. If you're stuck choosing between FIM distortion or more downforce that will reduce the distortion, choose the latter. But optimally you should be choosing cart/tips that have low micro tracking distortion AND downforce...but still enough compliance & downforce for your arm swing-mass to macro-track records well that's aren't 100% perfect. The primary cause of FIM distortion (assuming good arm matching, alignment, antiskating, and sufficient downforce) is too much cantilever effect-tip-mass for your record’s loud, fast treble. Nude diamond mounts can help a little, but the big thing is cantilever material, shape, and whether it's hollow or not. Hence the use of tapering, hollow aluminum tubes, even lighter beryllium, and even carbon fiber...though it's hard to make that last one hollow. Bucky-tubes? Heh heh. You want rigidity, low mass, and ability to last over time. I think the 440ML series has uses a nude diamond with a beryllium cantilever coated in gold to prevent corrosion, right? It's important to point out,though, that the lower the downforce you use, the more extended, faster, and potentially more delicate your high frequency transients...assuming most of your records are not distorting. Also, if you overweight the suspension you can wear out the cantilever quicker. It's give and take.