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post #661 of 2842
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

@ analogsurviver: I would like to know what evidence you have that the 2M Red causes record wear. It's an elliptical stylus.  It should do no such thing.

 

@ caracara08: I had a TLC-60LC, nice little phono pre.

Physics laws are what they are. I stated that 2M Red causes more record wear than 2M Blue - in the treble, despite both having the same elliptical srtylus tip profile.

 

F = m x a   or Force equals mass multiplied by the acceleration. Mass of a bushed or shank mounted stylus IS bigger than nude mounted one - by at least 50 % or so.The stylus tip profile is for both the same - elliptical as per Ortofon specs. It does cause no difference in the low(er)  frequency range. 

 

Trouble in analog, and what you really are paying for in cartridge/stylus, are high frequencies. Do you know what are accelerations in the record groove at the high frequencies , say above 5 kHz and usually peaking at around 10 kHz ? No ? Try 2000 G, or two thousand times the acceleration of earth's gravity !!!

 

That 2000 G is admittedly extreme, corresponding to approx 100 cm/sec velocity in the groove, achieved by state of the art recordings. But even if you cut that in half for normal recordings, a nude mounted lighter stylus with the same profile will track highs better than chubbier shank mounted stylus of the same profile. Do not have no 2Ms handy to make photos of real styli like I did for Shure, but the difference, although less severe, is still in similar ballpark.

 

It is glaringly obvious to the naked eye when observing the performance of carts when tracking test signals on the oscilloscope - the lower mass version, if not defective for any reason, will ALWAYS win. 

 

There are many ways to graphically present this - Shure had Trackability Curve, Technics Mechanical Impedance, etc, etc - yet all are basically telling you the same thing. You have given maximum Force F ( usually that VTF of say 1 or 2 grams or 10 or 20 mN to be exact ) - and if the acceleration in the groove exceeds the value under which your stylus with effective mass of so and so much mass can still maintain contact with the groove, mistracking ( gross distortion and guaranteed permanent demage to vinyl ) will occur. Physics shows no mercy for our wallets - period. Older Shure brochures had SEM ( Scanning Electron Microscope ) images of portions of the groove with hot high frequency  signals, usually made first after playing with some top Shure (showing no demage) and then after a single play with a lesser trackability competitor's cartridge - no pretty sight, let alone listen. Definitely have to get my scanner up and running !

 

Above is a simplification of the real state of affairs. It assumes vinyl groove rigidity/elasticity to be infinite - which of course is not the case in real life. The objective is to place  the resonant frequency at which effective mass of the stylus resonates against yielding of the vinyl groove as high as possible - which of course again favours lower mass and higher contact areas ( better tip profiles). You basically can not retrieve frequencies much above  this inherent mechanical resonance from the vinyl groove - and only by lowering of the effective tip mass to unheard of 0.055 mg was possible to place this resonance above 70 kHz and still having reasonable flat response to 120 kHz. This measure gets you ruler flat response anywhere in the audio band so to speak for free ( and, believe me, they did ascertain that electrical part of the cartridge was capable of transducing that formidable mechanical response intact into an electrical signal ). 

 

Since you do own quite a formidable cartridge collection - get an inexpensive LP, preferably new, of some music that you could not care less about, and find a track with pretty hot recorded treble (cymbals, trumpet, percussion, sibilants, etc ). Play it with LP S MR.  Play it say 5 times with 2M Red. Re listen with LP S MR. Play it again for say 20 times with 2M Red. Re-listen with LP S MR. If that survives kinda still acceptable (due to the MR stylus which does find virgin portions of the grrove  and still sounds acceptable ), re listen with DL-304, which has something approaching hyper elliptical stylus tip profile IIRC - and can not avoid demaged portion of the groove. Any elliptical or conical would be much worse still.

 

Now imagine you did that to your ENTIRE VINYL COLLECTION - and ask yourself whether it was worth saving those $ 100 ( difference red blue ) as opposed to $ ?000 worth of your vinyl.

 

Once upon a time, many full moons ago, when test records still were readily available ( at cost ), every test record at Benz's carried an Bruel & Kjaer printout - recorded with a reference cartridge. First was new - over that taped another after so and so many measurements of every cart on the production line. Believe me, the last one visible on the top is nothing you would want to show the digital camp - and that using top quality nude mounted low effective mass styli of about 0.2 mg effective mass with VdH/ Fritz Gyger  or Micro Ridge profile. Then check specs for 2M Red. And repeat - holly horror - with OM3e. Still elliptical.

 

You will notice there is NO effective mass specification in current Ortofon specification sheets - despite each and every other aspect defining cartridge performance is properly specified.

 

No prizes for guessing why this is so.

post #662 of 2842
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACKENEDPLAGUE View Post

 

I did edit the post, but I get excited because mmmmmmmmm SL-1200mk2. Okay so above all, screw the new cartridge and just get the Jico stylus? Would it sound better than the grado/orto? Still need a new preamp... poo

Download some files from the links I have posted - and hear for yourself. As you already have m97xe, getting Jico SAS wiuth boron cantilever would be the most rational/cost effective  decision.

 

Micro Ridge ( Micro Reach, Micro Line, SAS = for all practical purposes same thing ) stylus has the advantage of the least distortion in the inner grooves - which recorded samples might not reveal, as they usually strive to present things in best light possible - and generally such recordings are made using outer groove tracks.

 

 HOWEVER - and that is a BIG however - top styli require absolute precise alignment. If your arm has no VTA adjustment - forget it. Lesser stylus may well work better with your setup.Not familiar with SL 1500, but if at least allows arm height to be adjusted by screwdriver/hexwrench approach, it should be possible to achieve good alignment.

 

I tend to agree SL 1200 is the cheapest way to get user friendly well executed VTA adjustment. It is not stellar, but gets the job done well and easily enough.

 

In phono, get basics right first - phono preamp is important, but what good can it do if it has to propagate bad signal from inferiour styli/arms/tables ? 

post #663 of 2842
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

Download some files from the links I have posted - and hear for yourself. As you already have m97xe, getting Jico SAS wiuth boron cantilever would be the most rational/cost effective  decision.

 

Micro Ridge ( Micro Reach, Micro Line, SAS = for all practical purposes same thing ) stylus has the advantage of the least distortion in the inner grooves - which recorded samples might not reveal, as they usually strive to present things in best light possible - and generally such recordings are made using outer groove tracks.

 

 HOWEVER - and that is a BIG however - top styli require absolute precise alignment. If your arm has no VTA adjustment - forget it. Lesser stylus may well work better with your setup.Not familiar with SL 1500, but if at least allows arm height to be adjusted by screwdriver/hexwrench approach, it should be possible to achieve good alignment.

 

I tend to agree SL 1200 is the cheapest way to get user friendly well executed VTA adjustment. It is not stellar, but gets the job done well and easily enough.

 

In phono, get basics right first - phono preamp is important, but what good can it do if it has to propagate bad signal from inferiour styli/arms/tables ? 

 

Yeah, there is no VTA adjustment. As for the preamp I'd say my set-up is pretty good and I can at the very least a slightly more decent stage than some $40 thing that has okay specs and limits frequency. If possible I might take the money I would otherwise use to buy a better turntable, to turn this very respectable one into a monster! Dynamat-damped plinth, we-wired RCA, damped platter, the works


Edited by BLACKENEDPLAGUE - 2/1/13 at 5:48am
post #664 of 2842

So - assume you decided to go with a vintage turntable.

 

What hurdles you will most likely have to overcome prior to getting listening to vinyl ?

 

Assume everything is shipshape with your TT - nothing broken, main bearing works, arm bearings have no free play/are not too tight ( that one is the most critical in any, let alone vintage/used table), speeed is correct/constant, either due to new belt or serviced/adjusted speed on Direct drive decks. Rosy glasses scenario, but assume this perfect case.

 

ARM GEOMETRY  - or lack thereof

 

Based on decades of experience, I would REALLY like to know what iis so appealing to Japanese in number 15 or 51 to specify for pick up arm of ANY lenght from couple of cm to couple of km overhang of 15 mm ? On (almost) any Japanese deck, including Technics SL 1200/1210, arm geometry is simply wrong. If any of the 2 point alignments is attempted, you will notice that it is impossible to get good geometry as per manufacturer's instructions. I use (always, even for linear/tangential trackers ) plastic mirrored protractor seen in photos below, availably with innumerable rebrandings by even more sellers - get the one you can at the best price.

 

You will generally find out that :

 

1. Cartridge has to be pushed away from the arm bearing, making effective lenght longer

2. Tilting the cartridge in headshell from parallel towards inside - it can appear quite crooked to "innocent onlooker", but IT IS RIGHT to mount it so.

 

 

This is CORRECT alignment at the outer null point if 120.9 mm

 

 

 

This is CORRECT for the inner diameter of 66.0 mm. Please note it is cantilever of the stylus/cartridge that has to be paralel/perpendicular, NOT the cart being parallel to headshell, which would cause havoc with sound on this table. Technics SL 1200/1210 is the same, only a bit less extreme.

 

This deviation cartridge from being parallel to the headshell  IS CORRECT.

 

With some cartridges that have large mounting surfaces and are square ( Grado and particularly Denon 103, to name only the most popular ) might be impossible to adjust for correct geometry using headshell that is similar to one pictured above. You will need a headshell that does not have a "rim" around its circumference around actual mounting platform  - below two examples, one from Technics and another from Wega (Sony) :

 

 

 

Sorry for the bad quality of photos, but I am not and do not intend to become a photographer. It could become another bottomless pit for the money - and would cerainly spark another analog/digital dilemma. No - thank you.

 

Those with more keen observation might have spotted that on photos above headshell/cartridge is NOT parallel/perendicular relative to the platter/record surface. That is called azimuth. It is VERY common to see it crooked like this, as it is next to impossible to assemble the 4 pin connector in the arm tube that does not deviate slightly to either side. Currently, the cheapest headshell in regular production that does allow for azimuth adjustment ( EXTREMELY important for PRECISE adjustment of cartridge performance, which is even more rarely correct at exactly 90 degrees/parallel ) is this, sold under various re branding:

 

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Sumiko-HS-12-Universal-Replacement-Headshell-With-Tags-/290852235727?pt=Turntable_Parts_Accessories&hash=item43b824e9cf

 

Please note exactly this design under different brands can be bought for less, I posted this link just to show what to look for, regardless of brand/seller/price . NOT recommended for high compliance carts, as it is quite heavy.

 

It should come as no surprise to find high end headshells in three figure $ price brackets - and vintage ones, particularly light ones, and particularly light ones with adjustable azimuth, can command really silly money. But basic clone of Technics can be had really dirt cheap:

 

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Turntable-Record-Player-Phono-Cartridge-Headshell-Head-Shell-SME-SONY-S-arm-Type-/271098031075?pt=US_Record_Player_Turntable_Parts&hash=item3f1eb3abe3#ht_3375wt_1542

 

DO NOT FORGET to replace wiring on vintage headshells - it can cause untold amount of trouble. You can drive it to extreme in quality/price, but this set will get you trouble free performance at friendly price ( NO affiliation with the seller, just posted the best price for something that looks to be of acceptable quality ):

 

http://www.ebay.de/itm/PHONO-TURNTABLE-CARTRIDGE-TONEARM-HEADSHELL-WIRES-4-colour-coded-OFC-copper-/270985376903?pt=US_Record_Player_Turntable_Parts&hash=item3f17fcb487#ht_2746wt_1462


Edited by analogsurviver - 2/1/13 at 7:01am
post #665 of 2842
Thread Starter 

Yes, I have found that such an angling inward of the cartridge is required on some vintage Japanese TT arms in order to get the alignment to be correct.

 

However, as for the discussion about the 2M Red...while I won't disagree specifically with the details of what you are saying, I still think you are overstating the issue, and it concerns me that it would turn off a newbie from getting into vinyl by thinking that they must spend more that they can afford to get into it.

 

i have long been a believer that a disproportionate amount of money should be spent on the cartridge.  That's why I have a LP-S MR on my ScoutMaster.  And I completely agree that the Ortofon 2M Bronze is much better than the Red (I've played both on my PL-570).  But I wouldn't discourage someone from setting up an inexpensive rig using the 2M Red, and if using it, I wouldn't lose sleep over record wear.

post #666 of 2842
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

Yes, I have found that such an angling inward of the cartridge is required on some vintage Japanese TT arms in order to get the alignment to be correct.

 

However, as for the discussion about the 2M Red...while I won't disagree specifically with the details of what you are saying, I still think you are overstating the issue, and it concerns me that it would turn off a newbie from getting into vinyl by thinking that they must spend more that they can afford to get into it.

 

i have long been a believer that a disproportionate amount of money should be spent on the cartridge.  That's why I have a LP-S MR on my ScoutMaster.  And I completely agree that the Ortofon 2M Bronze is much better than the Red (I've played both on my PL-570).  But I wouldn't discourage someone from setting up an inexpensive rig using the 2M Red, and if using it, I wouldn't lose sleep over record wear.

I basically agree with you. You can learn the first steps with ANY cartridge - trouble is, your records will remember, and usually not in good memory.

 

But - if we stay with current production carts, I still believe 2M Blue to be far safer choice than Red. I will try persuade a friend who works at representative for Pro-Ject to lend me a sample of Red and Blue for a quick test/measurement and styli photos.

 

Let's take your LP S MR. When I first saw a MR from Benz under the microscope, I startred bitching  how sloppy they have become with glueing the diamond stylus to the boron rod cantilever.

Then I compared the previous version with Fritz Gyger best stylus, the FGS. WOW - the new dimond was at least three times ( up to anything like five ) smaller (= lighter) than previous !!! It is miracle they are capable of glueing so small stylus at all, no wonder the glue job can not appear so minuscule relative to the size of the stone - and overall, there is apreciably less glue (= lower mass still ) than before.

 

To put this into real perspective - FGS equipped LP S is OK to about 10 kHz, MR equipped to 40 kHz for approx same distortion. No wonder listeners report improved high frequency range.after

diamond change. LP S MR is a formidable cartridge worth every cent of its hefty $ 5000 price tag.

 

Red/Blue difference should start MUCH earlier than 10 kHz, and should lie in the region when such improvements bring most dividends. It is most likely similar in magnitude as with difference between Audio Technica ATN51E and ATN55XE stylus as seen here : http://www.ps-f5.com/accessories-spares/styli But there is no improvement in tip profile when going from Red to Blue as is with 51 to 55 ( 0.4 vs 0.3 mil smaller radius in elliptical stylus ).

 

I did mention it is still possible to get Digitrac 300SE. EUR 100 + shipping, which translates to roughly 150 $ ( + import duties, if any ). This one is directly comparable to 2M Bronze as far as stylus/wear (and most of the sound)  is concerned. And definitely not something one could be loosing sleep about using it regarding record wear. 50 bucks it costs over 2M Red is the price of two-three  new average priced LPs - it is precisely in this segment/range a couple of well informed  bucks produce by far the greatest bang. But I have to warn again it is a high compliance p-mount design and would not mate well with a heavy arm.

post #667 of 2842

Continuing analogsurviver's post up there about cart aligning relative to the tonearm and headshell alignment, my tonearm is an exception. Sorry for the bad quality, I only have a Blackberry 8520.

 

 

 

 

 

Although it's painfully obvious that my protractor is a hand drawn one, nonetheless it is a reference to the printable .PDF protractors available plenty on the internet.

 

As you can see. the cartridge is instead pushed almost all the way back (save a millimeter or two) and is almost perfectly aligned to the headshell. On the contrary, in analogsurviver's pictures, the carts are obviously tweaked to the left (or is it right?) for alignment and pushed almost all the way forward to meet the 15mm overhang requirement.

 

My turntable model is Marlux MX-86, also known as the AKAI AM 2499 with all stock components except for the cart. And I do understand this is a rare occurrence. A great tip to aid aligning is to tape a pencil lead on the flat part of the cart like the following. http://www.tnt-audio.com/accessories/schon_e.html

 

 

 

Notice how the cart is also pushed almost all the way back on the headshell?

 

You can download the user manual and datasheet for my turntable here; http://www.vinylengine.com/library/marlux/mx-86.shtml

post #668 of 2842
Quote:
Originally Posted by penmarker View Post

Continuing analogsurviver's post up there about cart aligning relative to the tonearm and headshell alignment, my tonearm is an exception. Sorry for the bad quality, I only have a Blackberry 8520.

 

 

 

 

 

Although it's painfully obvious that my protractor is a hand drawn one, nonetheless it is a reference to the printable .PDF protractors available plenty on the internet.

 

As you can see. the cartridge is instead pushed almost all the way back (save a millimeter or two) and is almost perfectly aligned to the headshell. On the contrary, in analogsurviver's pictures, the carts are obviously tweaked to the left (or is it right?) for alignment and pushed almost all the way forward to meet the 15mm overhang requirement.

 

My turntable model is Marlux MX-86, also known as the AKAI AM 2499 with all stock components except for the cart. And I do understand this is a rare occurrence. A great tip to aid aligning is to tape a pencil lead on the flat part of the cart like the following. http://www.tnt-audio.com/accessories/schon_e.html

 

 

 

Notice how the cart is also pushed almost all the way back on the headshell?

 

You can download the user manual and datasheet for my turntable here; http://www.vinylengine.com/library/marlux/mx-86.sht

It really is high time for me to get my scanner going - to upload the geometries of various lenghts for tonearms. Only one lenght calls for overhang of 15 mm, and it is pretty longer than usual 9" arms found on vintage TTs. These require overhang of approx 18 mm+ ; hard to verify in most cases, as arms are usually limited in moving range and do not allow for positioning over record spindle for direct measurement.

  

Nice try - but did not work. The last pic is a Grado Woody on SL1200MK2, not on your table - and that one also requires alignment very similar to my pics from above post. You could get it aligned at one null point as depicted - but never at both. 

 

You can be happy that your Marlux actually does work with cart parallel to the headshell. This means an integrated cartridge/headshell can be used and still allow for proper alignment in both null points - something that is not possible in cases similar to one described above.

 

A pencil tip used for aligning is a great one - thanks. Works with carts that have flat surface(s) on the nose.

 

Using a needle for easier alignment like this is also handy - but please do not try to use it with moving coil carts. These can have enormously strong magnets - and if the magnet menages to displace the steel (magnetic) needle from its place where it is held only with sellotape, you have only one guess where it will land and what it will demage in the process.- because magnet field will always be focused to the generator, and that is on the other end of the cantilever. Because of this, either use non magnetic screwdrivers/hexwrenchs and tweezers with MCs - or hold the tool FIRMLY so the magnet will not slam it directly where it will hurt your wallet most. I learned that one the hard way - totally new borrowed Ortofon MC 20, about 1979. 


Edited by analogsurviver - 2/1/13 at 11:58am
post #669 of 2842

Yep, can never get it to align at both lines. I primarily focused on aligning it to the inner groove as to minimize IGD, that doesn't help much however with a cart of this caliber. I need to get a better one at least. You can see that the alignment for the outer line is a little bit skewed, by almost 1 degree or so. My tonearm however is also able to move over onto the spindle so I can estimate on the overhang distance. But these qualities alone can't judge a turntable's quality.

 

The Grado cart picture is from the website I've quoted regarding the pencil tip trick. That's one nice cart he got there. Wheww.

 

I've downloaded a bunch of protractors from vinylengine too, you guys should totally check this out to those who haven't.

http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge-alignment-protractors.shtml

 

How can I measure the tonearm length? From the pivot point to the end of the tonearm without the headshell? Or with the headshell?

post #670 of 2842

I actually traveled and paid a professional to do the calibrating on my turntable, and will do so again. My hands shake to high hell even at my calmest and I do not trust myself with this type of thing. I'll try DIY audio but the hand shaking problem will most likely inhibit that from going anywhere.

 

Before you ask hell no I never place the tonearm on the record directly, the cue lifter is ALWAYS used.

post #671 of 2842

So the guy sold the AT96E that was supposed to come with the Kenwood KD-3070.  He wants to sell the TT for $80 now, but I'm hoping to get him down to $70 so I can buy another cart.  What cart can I get to replace it that is around the same "level" in terms of performance and price?  Would the Ortofon Omega play well with the Kenwood?

post #672 of 2842

The AT95e might be a better option if it has a relatively high-mass tonearm.

post #673 of 2842
Quote:
Originally Posted by penmarker View Post

Yep, can never get it to align at both lines. I primarily focused on aligning it to the inner groove as to minimize IGD, that doesn't help much however with a cart of this caliber. I need to get a better one at least. You can see that the alignment for the outer line is a little bit skewed, by almost 1 degree or so. My tonearm however is also able to move over onto the spindle so I can estimate on the overhang distance. But these qualities alone can't judge a turntable's quality.

 

The Grado cart picture is from the website I've quoted regarding the pencil tip trick. That's one nice cart he got there. Wheww.

 

I've downloaded a bunch of protractors from vinylengine too, you guys should totally check this out to those who haven't.

http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge-alignment-protractors.shtml

 

How can I measure the tonearm length? From the pivot point to the end of the tonearm without the headshell? Or with the headshell?

Effective tonearm lenght = distance from pivot ( rotational point at the bearing ) to the stylus tip. You can impovise and use various rulers and metering devices to get approx dimension, really good tools for the job are because of the precision required justifiably quite costly.http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/feickertprotractor_e.html  For a non pro use that mirrored protractor and a tonearm geometry list should do.There is no such thing as definite list, as one can give more importance to some aspect(s) than another, but the general scope of the problem is well represented here : http://www7a.biglobe.ne.jp/~yosh/armdata.htm  Paper and thin plastic protractors should be avoided like pleague - because they are far thinner than records,  give distorted results due to their inevitable desire to bend one way or another and a fairly likely chance of demaging the (expensive) stylus because of their bouncing/springy nature of supporting the stylus. If you are stuck with tonearm mounting position ( no way to bring tonearm closer or further away from the main TT bearing/record spindle , as in most decks that come with tonearm already installed ) , it boils down to how much it is possible to compensate for the errors at the headshell side.You should always give priority for the exact alignment at the inner grooves if it proves that in your case there is no way to get it right at both inner and outer null points. Newer decks tend to be better in this regard than vintage - as it should have been with quarter of a century time to bring things in order.


Edited by analogsurviver - 2/2/13 at 1:27am
post #674 of 2842

Not too bad.  My receiver hasnt come yet so I havent fired it up but its original everything, including original box and packaging.  Even the box was heavy, I thought there was more in there but it was all packaging stuff. 

 

 

post #675 of 2842
Thread Starter 

Looks good! If you care, you can use Meguiar's Rubber cleaner/protectant to freshen up the platter mat.

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