anyone else running vintage Empire carts?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by gadget73, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. ARJohn

    ARJohn Super Member

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    In case anyone is interested here is a pic with my new toy , cheap USB microscope thingy , LP gear Vivid Line stylus for the Empire 2000E III , it was the best of the non OEM I tried .

    LP Gear vivd line.jpg
     
  2. bimasta

    bimasta Well-Known Member

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    Nice pic. Which "cheap USB microscope thingy" did you use? I need one. Good rez. Is that the max magnification? Any info appreciated!
     
  3. ARJohn

    ARJohn Super Member

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  4. Luckyorleans

    Luckyorleans AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Appreciate any info on what the E and E/X designations mean after Empire stylus numbers. E for elliptical would make sense, the /X?
     
  5. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    An Empire model name ending in /X originally indicated a significantly different version of an established model. In the case of the early-'70s Empires (1000ZE becomes 1000ZE/X, for example) improvement was explicitly claimed. But later on, in the socalled Blob On A Clip era, Empire scattered Xs and Qs and Zs around like pepper. E still indicated elliptical, but as the private-label madness tightened its grip, the rest of a given model name might be nothing more than random characters. Did you have a specific example in mind?
     
  6. Luckyorleans

    Luckyorleans AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes, looking at the 909EX and 906E .

    I have a couple of 4000 XL III bodies, which the exact replacement would be the 912E but I have not seen an genuine Empire of those, let alone the price.
     
  7. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    This is the 909E/X, a member of the 1972 lineup that was topped by the 1000ZE/X. Pretty much the same body.
    Empire 909E-X-a .jpg

    I don't have a 906E cartridge in my archives. "906E" suggests the S906E stylus for the next generation (blob-on-clip) models that are clones of the 66 series, and the 4000XL models are part of that group. If I'm missing the boat here, let me know.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  8. Luckyorleans

    Luckyorleans AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks, I should have had an S before the model. From you description I checked S909EX & S906E pictures against an EVG replacement I have for the S912E and I think you have it correct. The S909EX has a rounded cantilever shaft and the S906E and S912E have a diamond shape as shown in the pictures. The S912E is a picture of my cart. So for options for the 4000XL III body, the 906E would be a go.

    S909EX

    S909EX.jpg

    S906E

    S906E.jpg
    S912E Replacement
    S912E.jpg
     
  9. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    Yes, the black S906E would work properly in your 4000XL III.
    boreas has been playing with some new-old-stock S906Es he's picked up recently and he reports good sound and good tracking at 2.0g.
     
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  10. boreas

    boreas Lunatic Member

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    Yes, good tracking but not great. The resonance frequency in a medium-light arm is about 8Hz. They like around 2g VTF. As wualta says, I've got more than one, one NOS example of the later type with stylus guard and a "pignose" one that's used, came all the way from Israel just to make me happy. It was even free, complete with body, tossed in with a couple of other cartridges that I'd bought, as a bonus. The diamond was thoroughly encrusted in some sort of brown crystalline crud but about 6 or 8 trips through my ultrasonic jewelry cleaned removed almost all of it and revealed an essentially unworn diamond. An application of my patented Fish Oil Treatment TM firmed up the suspension and it was off to the races.

    There are differences between these two styli beyond the grip. The pignose has short thick, rather Stantering-like cantilever while the other has a slenderer and longer cantilever. Surprisingly, I like the pignose better by a narrow margin. Neither is particularly detailed but they, especially the pignose, are very punchy and sort of in your face with good tonal balance tending toward the bass.

    Best of all, these seem to be available, something that can't be said for the more elevated ellipticals, though I did manage to score a NOS S912E pignose recently. So don't give up on finding a good NOS elliptical for your orphaned blobs.

    John

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  11. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    And the auction for that S912E (aka S66QE/X) pignose mislabeled it as an "Empire 2000 E/III Genuine Nude Eliptical stylus" Gotta keep our minds prepared ("diced") for chance's favors.
     
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  12. boreas

    boreas Lunatic Member

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    That's right. I'd forgotten that. Vigilance!

    John
     
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  13. Luckyorleans

    Luckyorleans AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Was it the purple stylus?

    I really liked the 4000XL III with the EVG Jico (supposedly) and am patiently looking for an original. Thoughts on how a genuine S906E would compare to a genuine S912E?

    From what I have read the 4000XL line (I,II,III) is very similar to the 2000 E line with similar performance, which both derive from the 66/x. Not much info around on the 4000XL, so it is fair to apply 2000E info to the 4000SLs?

    I did read one post that the 4000XL was based on the 4000D (quad) body so there was some difference electrically from the 2000 E. It seems that this is more of an info point vs. making a performance difference between the 4000XLs and 2000Es.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  14. boreas

    boreas Lunatic Member

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    Yes, but not translucent.

    John

    [​IMG]
     
  15. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    S912E: Lower playing weight ("VTF") for the same or better tracking ability (helped by having lower effective tip mass, "ETM"); more refined/smooth treble & lower record wear, because of lower ETM; more purple
    S906E: Easier to acquire; less expensive when found; more suitable for medium-mass arms; good sound for money spent

    Not "based on", but similar to. The 4000D and 66-clone bodies are quite close, though not strictly identical. The 2000Es have higher-inductance bodies, different enough from the 66 clones and the 4000Ds to be partially incompatible with respect to frequency response.

    I wouldn't recommend that, because, as you read, the bodies are electrically different.

    It depends on how picky you are about flat response. If you can deal with a boosted or suppressed treble, you'll still get good low-distortion sound. But what we mainly get for spending extra money on a stylus or cartridge is smoother, flatter treble response. In some systems, some rooms, some ears, the differences will be minor, because the midrange isn't affected. So can you put a 2000E/III stylus in a 4000D body? Certainly. Will the highs above 5kHz be boosted and will the overall level drop? Certainly. Will this matter, especially if you spend big money on a stylus? That depends.
     
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  16. Luckyorleans

    Luckyorleans AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for the great info. Like a lot of people I got an Empire as part of an old table, in that case a moldy roached out Dual 1019 and I got a cheap EVG to try it and I really liked it.

    Regarding the 2000E to the 4000 comparison I was thinking of the 2 4000XL not the quad 4000Ds. The 4000XL III shipped with the purple S912E as I have read the 2000E IV also did.
     
  17. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    The 2000E/IV is indeed one of those why-did-they-name-it-that models, completely unrelated to the original 2000E series. This is a good example of why people on audio forums appear to throw up their hands and tear out fistfuls of hair over the confusion wrought by Empire's marketing people as the company hurtled toward madness and bankruptcy.

    Likewise, the 4000XLs have nothing to do with the 4000Ds, strictly speaking. They're just named in a way as to suggest a connection where none exists.
     
  18. ashtraysmoke

    ashtraysmoke New Member

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    Hey everybody (by which I chiefly mean wualta)... Ever heard of the Empire 980LT? I have had one for a while that looks exactly like a 1080LT, but for the model number. The plastic on the stylus is black, and it has a fine tie wire running horizontally under and back from the cantilever (perhaps what wualta meant in post #226) -- but I can't really tell whether it looks or ever looked to be gold-plated. Any info appreciated.
    -- Nick
     
  19. ashtraysmoke

    ashtraysmoke New Member

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    P.S. I meant that the wire might be what wualta referred to (in post 226) as a "filament" on the high-end styli for this line...not the vertical wire described earlier in the same paragraph of that post. Also, I've looked in the standard places -- vinylengine, here -- and found nothing on this model. If only that German site still had its Empire catalog pages, I might find something...you know the one I mean...don't know why those pages were taken down.
     
  20. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    Looks like it's time to re-post the specs for the LTD line and post the specs for the 980 LT "AfterChunky" p-mount model:
    early LTD series spec sheet- crop-E.jpg specs- a.jpg
    The spec sheet says that the 980 LT, even though it isn't called a GT, is supposed to have a Gold-Touched cantilever. Do I think it makes a whole lotta difference if it does or doesn't? Nah. But the lack of it might mean a given stylus isn't an original-genuine-Empire though still a who-knows-who-made-it-genuine-Empire.

    If it's not original-genuine, it's not the end of the world, because if it sounds good, it is good.

    In my photo archives, which even #%@* Photobucket cannot destroy, I have only very small lousy photos of the 980 LT. Lousy because they don't show whether or not the original stylus had a gold "LT" on top or whether it had the fine "safety filament"-- and yes, your description matches what I've seen on these styli. This same design feature shows up better (as a black line) on the S22E in the handy gif posted by turntableneedles.com:
    Empire S22E, 242-DE.gif
    Hmm.. I think we need to guilt-trip anyone who actually has an S980LT stylus into posting some closeups of its aforementioned features..
     

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