Help With Stylus Types

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Rob_Feature, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. mccalljd

    mccalljd Active Member

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  2. revox-b77

    revox-b77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Why yes I do.
     
  3. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

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    I totally understand. Some folks may be totally happy with a Crosley, and others would gladly finance their life away for a full ClearAudio rig--to each their own.

    I am in my late 50's, on the cusp of retirement with no spouse, children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews to worry about. My parents, sister and uncle (basically what's left of my family) are all financially secure, so no obligations there. In high school and college, every spare dime went into my cars, motorcycles and audio gear--then came "the hiatus"--graduated and entered the "real world" of rent, car payments, mortgages, moving cross country (several times) changing jobs, and then eventually founding my own company--in a totally unrelated field from which I started. All of those "hobbies" went on the "back burner" for several decades. Now I have the luxury of time and financial resources to pursue those hobbies again.

    The Shure may very well be the "perfect" cart for you--it is for the many folks that swear by it. It is a very competent cart with a clear upgrade path. I'm not knocking it in any way or your decision to go with it--it is a very "safe" bet. For me, in stock configuration, it is just bland--lacking the detail and "character", that I prefer. I guess my two main points are that people seem to immediately gravitate towards it (due to its proliferation in the marketplace) without considering other carts in the same price class, and that although there are clear upgrade paths for it, they cost money--so if I invest ~$100-200 in upgrades, why didn't I just buy a $200-300 cart in the first place?
     
  4. Rob_Feature

    Rob_Feature Rob Feature

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    Yeah, this is a great perspective. Honestly if I were going to spend the money on an upgrade to the base stylus, I'd probably put that money into something that would make a bigger difference: a new receiver (or maintenance on what I have) or a new set of speakers. Once again, I think that money would probably have higher priorities that would make a bigger audible difference, even within the sound system itself.

    Thanks for the discussion!
     
  5. pdm4606

    pdm4606 Super Member

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    Another point I have found is that an elliptical tip generally gets more music out of an LP that a conical. In other words the music is more enveloping and tends to hide other noise and distortion more.
    This makes for a more musical adventure playing the LP.
    I recently have been reborn and will only listen to cartridges that have elliptical stylus.
    Of course other things being equal like cartridge alignment, vertical angle, and tonearm resonant frequency that all affect the playback.
    Some homework is required to get these other issues under control before just going out and buying a new cart.
     
  6. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

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    Wait until you you hear your first line contact stylus :D
     

     

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  7. pdm4606

    pdm4606 Super Member

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    My interest in elliptical stylus has been something new.
    For that matter my whole phono activities have been aroused due to the new DIY arm I have made. It is the first time I can absolutely say that I can hear a difference in LP playback.
    It took around a year to build the arm taking into consideration all issues as outlined in Vinyl Engine. In part the lower distortion tracking I have now due to the arm length being 18".
    During this development I played various test LP's and these greatly enabled me to keep going in the right direction. First longer is lower distortion. Not by much but enough to be audable.
    One issue I still can't get a handle on is tonearm resonance. I can't find a method of determining if the new arm has low resonance compared to what. Although I use test LP's I have yet to get any rattling as I have had in my past exploits of modifying well known arms. Such as ROK 12". How does one find arm resonance on a DIY arm? The only way to get arm resonance is to weigh the arm and I am not about to do that.
    All I know there is no resonance on this arm no matter what cartridge I use. My corral of carts. is just standard MM, MI like 681 EEE, TM14, some Shure, and a few Pickerings.
    This is the first time I have had an arm be non-resonant.
    My most enjoyment has been the ability of being able to use different carts. and stylus and hear the difference. The differences are very easy to hear.
     
  8. justjed2

    justjed2 Active Member

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    473
    I've been listening to an Ortofon 2M Blue for about 4 years, and like it quite a bit. Recently, just for fun, I bought an LP Gear elliptical stylus for an old Realistic R47XT(rebranded Shure M95, iirc) that I had laying around. After a week or so, I decided that I liked the sound enough to want to experiment a little. It's smoother than the 2M Red, but kind of dull compared to the Blue. So, I bought an LP Gear hyper-elliptical, to see if I thought my rig could get enough out of a cartridge/stylus upgrade to be worth the investment. Thinking maybe a 2M Bronze, or something like that. Yeah, the R47Xt is a budget cartridge, hell, it was only $30 new! But, putting a more advanced stylus on has moved it up another level. It's not perfect, sibilants can be a little bit spitty, hoping this will smooth out as it breaks in the suspension. Only about 8 or 10 hours on it so far, so a lot of room for improvement. But I understand why people like the Shure sound. If I destroy the HE stylus, I might get an M97xE to replace it. I actually think the HE on the Rat Shack cartridge sounds better than the 2M Blue. And I LIKE the Blue....
     
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  9. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

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    This is where it gets tricky--certainly length and diameter of the arm tube are major factors, but so are material of construction. I have arms made of aluminum, titanium, various alloys (including magnesium), chrome plated steel, carbon fibre , and (although I don't own one) there are ones made of wood (of various densities). The material of construction can have as much (or more) to do with the actual resonance of the arm. Then factor in bearing construction in terms of isolation/coupling of the arm to the chassis/subchassis, and you have a whole other bag of variables to address. Good Luck!!!
     
  10. 6DZ7

    6DZ7 Super Member

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    What, no instruction on how to measure resonant frequency or amplitude of it, if any, of someone's tonearm?

    Or maybe we should just assume there is something there coming into the TA and through to the cartridge, that spoils the "sound" and just go ahead and buy, or DIY some stuffing, or wrapping, sleeves, rings, goop... because there HAS to be something there!
     
  11. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

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    There IS "something there". You can take the same deck, headshell and cart/stylus, and change the tonearm and things WILL and DO sound different. This is not mere speculation, but a statement of fact. There are far too many variables in play for me to contemplate in a mathematical analysis, but there are audible differences. I pick what I like--you pick what you like.
     

     

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  12. pdm4606

    pdm4606 Super Member

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    My DIY Arm is made of 22" shower door channel. It has several ounces of soft foam lining the inside of the channel. The bearing is made of .006 fish line twisted. The arm is positioned with a delrin pin 1/4" in diameter that sits inside the 1/4" hex end of a socket head cap screw. The Delrin pin is .250" dia. The hex screw hex size is .254. The counter balance is a 1/2" dia. threaded rod with adjustment made by adjusting a brass threaded sleeve with a small set screw to maintain position. The fish line bearing is hanging in a 2X4 wooden frame with necessary adjustments.
    Wires for signal are located inside the soft foam along the inside of the arm. Pivot wires are 5 strands of computer mouse color coded stranded wires.
    Effective length is 19.017". Offset angle is 10.98 degrees. Overhang is .322. I chose the Lofgren A parameters.
    Measurements are taken with a 24" vernier caliper.
    TT is a ROK N33H on a DIY platen. Suspension is 8 5/8" diameter springs set into counterbores. Motor is a standard Pabst single speed motor mounted in it's own container. TT is from 1955 or so. That's the best date I got from the radio station that sold it to me. Radio station was located in Geneva, Il.
    I had a lot of fun building it.
     
  13. 6DZ7

    6DZ7 Super Member

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    Automatic?... You must have a giant dust cover for that.
     
  14. pdm4606

    pdm4606 Super Member

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    2,943
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    One problem is the constant dust around here being in the desert. A cover would appropriate but it would weigh a ton. Maybe 30" long and 15" deep and 12" tall. Even then dust protection would be minimal as the underside will be open.
    As for automatic, I am putting together a plan for an auto lift at groove minimum. Nothing mechanical. I figure a prox. sensor would do the job. Small motor to lift an inch and maintain position.
    Now I have a ceiling line coming down to lift the arm. My age is getting the better of me and frequently I bump the arm when lifting after a side. The line is contractors line with a very flexible portion of fish line the final 10" down. At the ceiling I have an eye of 1/4" screwed into a ceiling joist. Then it drops down for me to pull and is fastened to the TT table. I could have a motor wind the contractor's line until it lifts the arm.
    Still on the drawing board.
     
  15. 6DZ7

    6DZ7 Super Member

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    Pdm,

    Place a magnet on a rod near where the counterweight of the TA would be when the cartridge end moves into the runout track. If the counterweight had a small steel plate on the bottom side the magnet would grab it and pull the TA down, lifting it, as the plate passes just over it. I've got one of those supermagnets on a telescoping rod that would work to grab from 1/2" to 1" away. Lifting enough for comfort.
     
  16. marcmorin

    marcmorin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Are you asking about arm / cart resonate frequency? a test album with test bands in it will tell you what that is. provided it's between 4 hz and 12 hz, as generally those are the frequencies cut into the albums.
     

     

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  17. pdm4606

    pdm4606 Super Member

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    Yes.....The band where the arm-cart-stylus looses it all and rattles like a #*@&*#. I have had several TT devices. AR old original first edition I bought new when I was a kid in the 60's. It rattled no matter what I did. Don't tell me about ( if the cart and arm don't match it doesn't work) That's pure BS. At a time when stereo was starting and there were no reliable sources for setup info.
    I also had an Empire 598III(I think) It was really bad. Same carts as the AR but same results. Bunch of crap. I used it was an ornament in our living room as it didn't play very well with all I knew about setup. I had it until 2003. Glad to see it go. I also had the real ROK N33-H for years with the same results. Crappy rattling at resonant tracks.
    One time I talked to a HI-FI store when I lived in Chicago and all they said was"Bring it in, we'll try to find the problem" At the rate of $35/hour. No way I said. Just tell me what to do to fix the problem. No way they said. They are in business and will not release any info on anything.
    It's really a shame so many Hi-Fi stores have bit the dust. But....THEY DESERVE IT!!! To them they are always right and the customers are really stupid. This was in the 70's. I never went back to any Hi-Fi store since.
     
  18. Mr Creosote

    Mr Creosote Active Member

    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    Visalia, Calif
    Yes, AT3600. I just recently helped a neighbor resurrect her Sony TT. I sent her down to BB to get the stylus. $29 I believe. Same cartridge, except hers was permanently mounted. No tracking force adjustment etc. Commonly used in entry level TTs. Conical bonded.

    20180313_211807.jpg

    I didn't lecture her about the quality of her TT or cart. I just thought it was so cool she wanted to play her old records. And she can now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  19. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head Staff Member Super Mod

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    You will see the 3600 with a variety of stylus grip colours....White....Yellow....Red are the most common. AT has used two different model number for the same cart too.
     
  20. marcmorin

    marcmorin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    pick up a used shure Era 111 or Era lV test album......there will be frequency bands on it. if you know the compliance of your cart then figuring approximate effective mass of the arm is easy.
     

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