Author Topic: Cartridge change?  (Read 21632 times)

lcrim

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Cartridge change?
« on: January 19, 2007, 04:27:30 AM »
I have been breaking in a mostly new system in the livingroom.  I'm guessing I've got about 175 hours on the Hemps and the 13EM7 amp and maybe 75 hours on the Speltz Anticables.  So these things are still changing and maybe the final character will be somewhat different.  
I had Kevin Barrett (KAB) rewire the tonearm and back on my Technics 1200 MKII as well.  The cartridge I use, the Audio Technica OC9ML MKII has a reputation of sounding "zingy" or "ringy" in some systems.  The detail retrieval and crisp imaging with this system is about as good as I've heard, BTW.  
Sometimes analog playback takes on this zingy character, especially on well recorded rock.  Or maybe its just me and its not an issue.  I talked to several people about it and was told to give things more time to break-in but I also heard that the cart does have that character.
I swapped the "Groovemaster" MM in for a while last night as a check but went back to the OC9 because the "magic" was missing.  Kevin has made available at cost a NOS cart that he thinks would be more nearly neutral.
If it doesn't clear up, any LOMC suggestions for reasonable dough that would be a better match?  The Denon DL-103 has a VTF that is so high it makes me worry about what it may do to my vinyl's surface.   Reasonable dough means $350 give or take.
TIA

Offline Carlman

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2007, 06:06:47 AM »
Hm... Does it have to be LO?  The Dynavector 10X5 is fairly neutral but still has the detail/resolution to create great imaging and soundstage.

I think mine was 350, can't remember exactly.  It's really mid-output at 2.5mV... I've only heard great things about the LO 20XL but it's much more money I think.

Best of luck,
Carl
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline Woodsyi

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2007, 06:34:49 AM »
Larry,

Have you listened through all the LPs?  I have a used Benz Micro Ruby2 that I got as a trade-in bate.  You want to try it for a while?  Don't worry about the usage since I am going to trade it in for a Ruby3.  I also have a metal body Benz MC3 which was one of their best over 15 years ago that I got thrown in with an arm that's just sitting here.  You can try that too.  In fact, you can even have it.  It's about the same as a glider.  I am stuck on Koetzu sound and keeping that set up which is testing out the new SWLP phono section.
I am a nut.

lcrim

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2007, 08:00:14 AM »
Rim:
I have a small pile left to listen to, I have been cleaning about ten at a time and then listening.  Again thanks for your generosity.  The Resphigi selections in particular were big hits. :lol:
I would love to listen to either cart as this is still a learning experience.  Thanks are due again.  I would be happy to pay you back for any shipping expenses.

Offline Woodsyi

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2007, 08:29:35 AM »
Larry,

I still have your work address.  You want things shipped there. Right?
I am a nut.

lcrim

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2007, 09:13:42 AM »
Rim:
You have a PM

Offline allenzachary

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2007, 07:55:16 PM »
Did the mod to the SL1200MkII involve changing the tonearm?  

While that table is a classic and a lot of fun, subtlety is not among its attributes.  Saying that you are not terribly impressed with a cartridge's performance on Technics SL1200MkII is roughly akin to complaining about your new tires' handling at high speed on your load laden Mack dump truck. A Mack dump truck is perhaps the finest machine for hauling earth from place to place, but it is not designed for performance.  If you want performance, get a BMW, Corvette, or Lexus or even a Honda Civic EX.  (Please don't carry dirt in them).

The Technics, like the Mack truck, is an industrial product, built for the rigors of heavy duty use.  It was made for DJs and radio stations; designed for 24/7 use.  It comes up to speed nearly instantly and has a very accurate speed control that can be used to match beats or shorten top-40 songs. It can take abuse.  It can be back-cued. It can be transported easily.  It weighs a ton.  It's arm is built to take abuse and handle cartridges that are massive and unresponsive.  It does not skip, ever....but it also does not sound good under any circumstances.

You have a Dual CS5000 in your other system.  Have you tried swapping the tables?  While I'm not much of a fan of the CS5000 either, it certainly is designed for better quality sound reproduction than a Technics 1200.  Perhaps if you tried those phono cartridges on the Dual that Larry is offering , you'd get a better grasp of what they offer.

Don't worry about the Denon DL-103 damaging your vinyl.  The arm on the 1200 is a much bigger hazard than a Moving Coil cartridge will ever be.  The DL103 is a good sounding cartridge...and the AT is indeed "zingy."

Sorry to make my first post a downer, but I am all too familiar with both of those tables, having spent the 80's slaving in upper-mid-fi shops.  Nothing says "mid-fi" louder than Dual.

You have chosen the other elements of your hifi so carefully and deliberately, it seems out of place that your analog is so...(I'm trying to find the right word here), mundane.  (I'm not sure I found it).

Good luck on your quest.  Keep in mind that the thrill is in the chase.

Offline Carlman

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2007, 08:01:13 PM »
Allen, the 1200 in stock form is as you described... but KABUSA does hella-mods to it that apparently make it a world-class table.  
I haven't personally witnessed this but there are many that sing the praises of the KAB-modified unit...

BTW, glad to see you here... ;)
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline Woodsyi

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2007, 08:10:37 AM »
That reminds me.  Is the modified arm heavy or light?  Does it mate with high or low compliance cartridge?
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lcrim

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2007, 09:35:55 AM »
Rim:
The Technics SL 1200 MK II tonearm mass is listed @ 12 gms, and then there is the mass of the cartridge. There don't seem to be any agreed upon limits as to what constitutes heavy, medium or light.  Mine has the KAB TD-1200 damping tray installed and as a result it can use a wide range of cartridges w/ differing compliances effectively.  The Denon DL-103, which I mentioned as it is a favored combination w/ many over on the AA vinyl board, would be seen by most as a lower compliance/higher mass albeit reasonably priced alternative.  
As a matter of fact, a recent favorable review-
http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/technics_sl1200_e.html
made use of an older Benz Micro MC Sheu, and the reviewer states that "an SL-1200 Mk2 plus one of Benz's second-generation ACE L, M or H cartridges yields an unbeatable 1000 euro record playing system!"
Another recent review
http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/technics_sl1200_2_e.html
adds some info re: KAB and the addons available.  This writer was also quite positive in his assesment.

Offline Woodsyi

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2007, 05:23:35 AM »
Larry,

I met a gentleman at last weekend's MAAC gathering who used to be TT and Tape Deck repair person for a midfi/hifi shop in the 80's.  He is coming over later to take a look at a couple of things that I need done -- tone arm rewiring and a scratch on a bearing case.  I need the Ruby Cart for the demo but I will send it and the MC3 cart afterwards for you to check out.
I am a nut.

Offline Rocket

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2007, 11:30:09 AM »
Hi Icrim,

What phonostage are you using in your system?  I've discovered a good quality phonostage is very important to the sound of my vinyl.  I used the following phonostages and have now settled on a bluenote de medici phonostage and it mates well with my bluenote piccolo turntable;

musical fidelity xlps
perreaux sxv1
hagtech bugle (carl i gave it to a friend who frequents AC)
hagtech cornet (in its stock form it doesn't sound anywhere near as good as what i was lead to believe it would sound)

Regards

Rod

lcrim

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Cartridge change?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2007, 03:14:39 PM »
Rod:
The phono section is an Eastern Electric Minimax (check my signature, its linked.)

Rim:
There is absolutely no hurry.  I found a new, unused but no longer manufactured Ortofon MC20 Super MKII which has been mounted since Monday night and is sounding nicely balanced.  I've been listening mostly to stuff I know pretty well and I've been very satisfied with its more nearly neutral performance.