anyone else running vintage Empire carts?

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

  1. ashtraysmoke

    ashtraysmoke New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Bethesda, MD
    Thank you very, very much! I'm fairly sure it's the original stylus (and am quite certain that it is SOME original Empire stylus), though the cantilever may be dirty or corroded somehow. Good to know that the 980 in principle should have that Midas "touch"...
    Gratefully,
    Nick
     
  2. ashtraysmoke

    ashtraysmoke New Member

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    Location:
    Bethesda, MD
    ...not a LAC, though. I can't say that surprises me, as it doesn't sound quite as good as a LAC should.
     
  3. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    Sadly, the 980 LT lacks a LAC, but assuming a clean, unworn record, it should still sound pretty darn good. The LAC's scanning radius is actually slightly fatter than the 980's elliptical (6 microns vs 5, or 0.24 mil vs 0.2). We can't assume all other factors are equal, but if they were, the sound of the two diamonds would be, should be, very similar, again assuming that hypothetical clean unworn record.
    Does the 980 track S sounds well? I ask because I suspect that the moving system of the 980 is the same as the one in the 1080, which means the effective tip mass is about the same as the 2000Z's. I wish the spec sheet mentioned this so I could be certain. Note that the compliance is the same for the top three, as befits p-mounts, and the uniformity of their frequency-response specs. The 580 LT used the 800 UFR stylus. The only oddball was the cheapie 480 LT, which used what looks very much like a standard TC 400 stylus. It's still suitable for p-mount duty.
    afterchunky p-mounts with a golden touch .jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
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  4. ashtraysmoke

    ashtraysmoke New Member

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    43
    Location:
    Bethesda, MD
    Having mounted the 980 and tried it out on a few records so far, I think it's been tracking very well at around 1g. No excessive sibilance noted, though I haven't specifically listened for that yet. I'll try some vocals that are good for critical S listening and get back to you.

    Generally the sound of the 980 is neutral, full, and detailed through my system (not the one in my signature, but an all-SS system) -- not too unlike the Empire 1000ZE/X which I had mounted just before it, also with original stylus and also at around 1g.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  5. ashtraysmoke

    ashtraysmoke New Member

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    43
    Location:
    Bethesda, MD
    Yes, the 480 LT advertised an "0.2 x 0.7 mil Nude Mounted Elliptical Diamond", which corresponds to the TC400...but that's no slouch now, is it?
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-NOS-EMPIRE-480LT-Stylus-Needle-Cartridge-In-Box-NR-/142495513616
    (Without getting this post moved to $ and Sense, I think I'm allowed to note that someone seems to have lucked out there.)
     
  6. ashtraysmoke

    ashtraysmoke New Member

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    43
    Location:
    Bethesda, MD
    Interesting to note, by the way, that the TC400 stylus actually has higher compliance than the LAC...the comparison chart shows a VTF range for the TC400 that goes down to 3/4 gram (as opposed to 1g for the LAC).
     
  7. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    Nope, nothing wrong with the 400 TC. It doesn't have a Golden Touch stylus, but is a very worthy item.
     
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  8. mhjmhjones

    mhjmhjones Active Member

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    193
    Location:
    Delaware, USA
    My new Dual 1229 came with an Empire TC40. So far, it's a definite improvement from my AT LS400 I was using on my 1226.

    This will be a big read getting though this whole thread!
     
  9. Doug G.

    Doug G. Addicted Member

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    Hehe, it's worth it, though.

    Doug
     
  10. Doug G.

    Doug G. Addicted Member

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    Location:
    Rochester, Minnesota
    That's fer sure. That's fer dang sure!

    Doug
     
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  11. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    It's LP-lickin' good! Don't let it's lesser-looking specs put you off. It sounds better than it looks on paper. So if you can't get a 1080 LT or 980 LT, don't fret.

    Edit: the TC 40's stylus, the S44E...
    Empire TC-40  (4).JPG
    ...is the smoky-green twin of the red S400TC. Same cartridge and stylus under the different cosmetics.
    Empire 400 TC-b.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  12. Blackburn

    Blackburn New Member

    Messages:
    13
    My '61 208 is all original with the 108 cart. I just replaced what I think is the original needle. Luckily I found one in white and the last one apparently. The arm tracks a tad poorly with both needles on some newer records on the first track and usually ceases after that. I think I'm tracking at 3 grams right now. Any tips?
     
  13. Luckyorleans

    Luckyorleans AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    324
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I read that the 915E stylus for the 2000Z, while it has a square shank, it is a smaller dimension than the 66/E or 2000E styluses such as the 916E or 906E. Physically they look to be the same blob on clip.
    Can anyone confirm if this is true or not?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  14. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    Location:
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    It's true. The 2000Z looks like the other Blobs, but is different-- unique-- inside. Inductance is very high (for a '70s Empire), and the pole pieces are laminated, like a V15 III's.

    I know very little about the early-stereo-era Empires like the 108 and have minimal experience with the 208 turntable. Can anyone help Blackburn with his question?
     
  15. empirelvr

    empirelvr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You have to be more specific about what arm you are using, if possible. (Pictures would be great.) The 208 designation was for the turntable only, sans arm. You could have one of two different Empire arms on it or another makers arm entirely. Let us know.
     
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  16. empirelvr

    empirelvr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Also please remember the 108 was a very early stereo cartridge. Even though it is probably mated to an ideal arm, it will most likely have issues with modern, loudly cut records. Plus, NOS styli are rare, and if you do have an NOS one, there's no way for us to tell if the rubber is in good shape. And aftermarket styli can be such a crapshoot quality wise.
     
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  17. By-Tor

    By-Tor Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Tulare County, California
    Speaking of the Empire - - 80lt series, a seller on eBay has a small stock of NOS 280lt cartridges for $30 shipped. I know this was a lesser model with likely a much lesser styli, but i went ahead and grabbed one as the price seems great to me. I was thinking this cart may be a decent candidate to try out Jico's 1000gt shibata replacement. I think he's got about 9 more if anyone is interested.

    For the past few months i have been enjoying an Empire 999ve/x i picked up at an old thrift warehouse in the middle of nowhere. I'm not certain but it looks and sounds like it was brand new. It came packaged in a nice looking wooden box which i thought was pretty cool as i have only seen the jewelry style boxes. Should I be concerned of the suspension/rubber being stiff or dried out? It doesn't sound harsh. Here is a recording i made of it if anyone want's a tease. (I know, I know, Youtube doesn't do it justice but i was careful about letting youtube convert a lossless .wav file so there should be less degredation)


     
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  18. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

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    Location:
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    That is a good deal for folks who use p-mount cartridges. The 280 LT (one I don't own myself) may be "lesser", but it's special nonetheless-- where else are you going to find a light-tracking 4x7 elliptical?
    Empire 280LT specs.JPG
    I like the strategy of having a p-mount body that will accept some of the better "Chunky" styli. The 400 TC and S44E styli mentioned above will do p-mount duty, as will the aftermarket 4241-DID we've been recommending. If you should be fortunate enough to own, say, an 800 UFR cartridge, but you'd like to hear what it would sound like on, say, a Technics SL-7 with its lightweight damped arm, getting something like the 280 LT would let you do that.
     
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  19. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I grabbed one of those 280LT's a couple days ago. Still waiting on it. Couldn't resist.
     
  20. wualta

    wualta < Spike Milligan, 1961

    Messages:
    6,718
    Location:
    West Michigan USA
    ..Aaaand they're gone. That didn't take long..
     

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