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Best Audiophile needle, and best DJ mixing needles?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just bought some new technics 1200SL M3Ds.

they didn't come with needles though, and i am wondering what ones i should get.

I want one needle that gives very good sound quality, not neccesarily for DJing with, but just to rip my brand new records to high quality WAV files.

i don't want to spend an exorbitant amount of money for some gold plated special edition or somthing, but i'm willing to shell out a couple hundred bucks for a really nice one if i have to. what would you reccommend?

I hear people on this forum talking about grado, would these be good? which ones?

then, i also want a matched set of needles for mixing with. these will be for trance, they need to track pretty good, and not slip out of the groove.

they don't have to be super sticky though, i won't be scratching or backspinning with them, just gently backcueing to mix.

I would prefer the concorde or lady finger style ones, as they are easier to see where you are on the record.

what would you reccomend for these?

i was thinking about ortofon concordes, but i have heard that ortofons can corrode your connectors on your tone arm? is that true?

they are also really expensive, would stanton or shure be better value for my money?

thanks, i appreciate any help you can give me.
post #2 of 11
For your .wav ripping, I have no clue; I have no experience with vinyl for listening. I like stanton cartridges for mixing and scratching, though. Good deal for the money.

Oh yeah, those are some rockin' turntables for those of us who like to abuse our vinyl. What made you choose them over the vestax?
post #3 of 11
I use the Ortofon Nightclub S Concorde with my 1210's, and I really like the sound quality of those. They go for about $130 each with 2 stylii. You can also replace the Spherical stylus with the Elliptical version which gives you better sound quality at the risk of faster record wear (not a lot though). They are really good cartriges, the whole thing fits right into the tomearm, no cartridge alignment necessary.
You can only corrode the contacts if you lick them before inserting (really). A lot of DJ's do this to get better contact, but it is such a bad thing to do.
The concorde contact pins don't match up with the tonearm contacts 100%, so if you plan to take them with you on gigs, I'd recommend the OM series which fit in a standard technics headshell and use the same stylii. If you plan on leaving them in your home setup, you should have no problems at all with the concordes.
post #4 of 11
A nice cartridge round the 200 dollar mark is the Dynavector 10X4 (at least, that's how much it costs round here). I don't know how it would work with your Technics decks though, you could try asking at the vinyl asylum at www.audioasylum.com
You might be better off spending a bit less on a cartridge for ripping to wav files, you're going to lose out a lot unless you have a half-decent phono stage and a good sound card.
post #5 of 11
I second the recommendation for stanton cartridges for DJing, they can really take a beating, and keep on trackin'

For home listening, I'm quite happy with my Grado Green. Its sort of at the bottom of Grado's line (the SR80 of cartridges? ), but its a great performer for the money (around 100$, i think), and was pretty easy to setup. With its high output, and tolerance to capacitive loads, it works well with most phono stages also.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys.

I ended up getting a pair of Stanton Scrach Masters

similar to these ones.


They seem to be working pretty good!

i decided not to get one for ripping my records. why bother, i want them to sound the same when they are ripped, as when i play them right?

as for phono stage, i have a DJ mixer i go through, then into my Kenwood home stereo, out the headphone amp, and into my minidisc.

I know it's better to go straight to computer, but my computer has a really crappy soundcard so there is no point.

I was thinking about buying a dedicated phono preamp, just for this, with a digital out would be nice. do they make those?

and for the guy above who asked why i bought techics?

because they are the best, and the standard used by DJs worldwide. I already knew this and i love my decks.

but, if i needed any more confirmation, when i unpacked my new stanton needles, it told exactly how to set them up for the technics 1200s. it didn't even mention their own line of turntables! now, that is brand domination, when even your competition lists you in their instruction manual.

anyway, thanks again people..

I'll be enjoying my stantons.
post #7 of 11
I don't want to 'start anything' about turntables, because its a bit of a touchy subject to some, but uh, i'm going to anyway.

The technics are great turntables. No doubt about that. But I'm i don't like that they are regarded as the only option in turntables. Many people will sneer at anything that isn't a technic, without even trying the other deck. I'm not accusing you of that position, you may just prefer the technics, which is fine. Their austere simplicity and standardized design is very effective. But i don't think you should overlook some of the high end offerings of vestax and numark. Vestax's straight arm tables are quite nice, and for many purposes, especially scratching and battle mixing, i feel are superior to the technics due to their straightarm design.

anyway, i'm sure you are happy with your technics, they really are great, but be sure not to sneer at other high-end decks!

As far as phono preamps with a digital out.. I'm not sure what offerings there are like that.. Perhaps denon has such a product. I know they offer a turntable with a builting phono preamp and digital out, so they might have that preamp/a-to-d unit as a seperate device for other turntables. Other than that you could get an outboard phono preamp and a seperate A-to-D. But most of the good phono preamps are reasonably delicate hi-fi components, and not suitable for any sort of portable/dj application. For instance, i wouldn't want to take a tubed preamp on the road or into a loud banging club.

Which mixer do you have? depending on the brand, it may already have nice phono preamps in it. Rane has awesome preamps in their equipment (actually, all their DJ equipment is awesome in quality). They may offer outboard phono preamps or a-to-ds.. I'll look around and tell you if I find anything


edit*** Here is rane's external phono preamp http://www.rane.com/ps1.html it looks like its built like a tank (like all rane stuff) and has selectable capacitor loading for different kinds of cartridges. Its probably overkill for you unless your mixer has *terrible* preamps.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
To tell you the honest truth, i have never used a vestax table. i am sure they are very good.

but they aren't the standard for DJing.

I don't scratch or "battle mix" so i don't need a straight tone arm, it wears out your records faster too.

technics are simply the worldwide standard for DJing, so that is what i bought.

i could have spent less, and got more features, but.. then i wouldn't have what was in the clubs, and at the raves, so i would be unprepared.

now, i know i am prepared.

for the record, if i get a 3rd turntable, it will prolly be a numark TTX1.

as for phono stage.. i am getting a vestax mixer, i assume it has a pretty good phono preamp?

would it be best not to go through the mixer at all, and just go through the phono input on my stereo?
post #9 of 11
Its hard to say.. I'd be inclined to believe that the phono stage in the mixer is probably better, because its probably had more development, being that its in a unit designed specifically for turntables. Also, if you used the phono amp in your stereo, you'd have to run more interconnects, which would be a hassle, as well as having longer cable runs.

What do you spin, by the way? I like goa/psytrance, and a little trip-hop/downtempo stuff too.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
i spin trance. Paul Van Dyk, DJ Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, Oliver Lieb, that kind of stuff.

i like goa and downtempo too, but i don't spin it.

as for my setup, well, actually running the turntable straight into the phono on my stereo would actually be LESS interconnects, it would go turntable -> stereo -> MD

or i could go turntable -> mixer -> stereo -> MD

this is all assuming i would record out the headphone jack of my stereo.

i suppose i could use the recording outs on the mixer if i wanted to, that would probably be best, is that what you meant?
post #11 of 11
Well, for recording purposes, you'd probably prefer to go out the record-outs on the mixer. Headphone outs work for recording, but there is amplification there that you don't need, that will impair the sound quality. Going turntable -> mixer -> MD is your best and most direct route for recording.

Trance is nice I've got a few trance records, not enough to make a set out of, but they are good to listen to.

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