Model 380 Stanton Cartridge, info needed.

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Zodia, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Zodia

    Zodia Super Member

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    Hey folks, i need help/info.
    I got this cart with a Thorens TD150AB, it was mounted on it, but i never got to use it because the stylus condition was, well...it didn't look so great to me and i didn't want to chance damaging my records, so i replaced it.
    I've been trying to find some info on this cart, and the only info i found was at the vinylengine, so now i know it is an MI,and that the frequency response is 20 HZ.
    Does any one have any info on the tracking force, and a good replacement stylus for this cart? I may reinstall it back on the Thorens.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thanks.
     
  2. empirelvr

    empirelvr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That is one of Pickering's first magnetic stereo cartridges, introduced about 1959/1960. It's confusing, since it's called a Model 380 Stanton, but it's really a Pickering.

    I'm intimately familiar with this cartridge as it was the model used in my Uncle's Empire 298 that I grew up listening to. I even have one now, mostly for sentimental reasons.

    It's a low-compliance cartiridge, and depending on what stylus you get for it has a tracking range of either 2~5 grams, or 3~7.

    Original Pickering replacement styli were color-coded as to stylus type and tracking force requirements. All came with a diamond conical tip.

    Red = 4 to 7 grams, for automatic record changers
    Gold = 2 to 5 grams, for manual turntables
    Black = 3 to 7 grams, 1 mil diamond stylus for mono microgroove records
    Yellow = 3 to 7 grams, for 78 RPM discs

    (I may have the black and yellow specs mixed up...I don't have access to my files handy right now) There was also a "blue" stylus but I can't remember what that was. (A sapphire tip maybe?)

    Most styli available today tend to be the red type, though an original gold does pop up from time to time on ebay and other places. As for where to get styli, Ebay is your best bet. True replacements haven't been made for decades, and the examples on Ebay are usually OEM NOS examples. Even styli branded as Astatic, Phansteil, or Walco are more than likely to be true Pickering manufactured styli (and adhere to the color code.) They're cheap enough so play around. Other replacements of dubious origin don't adhere to the color code though, so assume they are equivalent to the "red" model, even if they are yellow, orange, or whatever.

    You'd want to track no lighter than 3 grams with either the gold stylus, or 5 with the red stylus though. Heavier for each would be even better, even though my uncle used to track his red stylus 380 about 99% of the time successfully at *one gram.* (That's just asking for trouble though.)

    You can also see here: http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/catalogs/1960/ (go to page 74-75)

    It's a really "BIG" sounding cartridge, smooth, mellow and very romantic sounding with a very 3D soundstage, though a poor tracker by today's standards. It has something of a cult following (like the similar Shure M3D.) If you play nothing too demanding, it is a very beguiling cartridge. If things get too demanding though, the soundstage collapses and can get very hard and muddy sounding. High frequency transients can give it fits if they are too loud or difficult to track. No Telarcs here, please!!

    It's best used in high to very high mass arms. It's a very heavy cartridge and will not balance or mount properly in most modern arms. (Spacers are almost mandatory to mount in most headshells due to how it's designed.)

    I'd say it's a poor match for the Thorens. The arm on that model looks a little too light for this beast. It'd be perfect on an original AR or Empire 98/980 arm though.

    In the Stanton/Pickering family tree, it's a direct forefather of the 680/681 series.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
  3. whell

    whell AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    What a terrific post, empirelvr! Thanks for some great info.
     
  4. Stanton681EEES

    Stanton681EEES Addicted Member

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    Ok admit it ya use to work for Stanton? Great info for those of who like the Stanton's.:thmbsp:
     
  5. Zodia

    Zodia Super Member

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    WOW, that is certainly more info than i expected.
    Thank you so much, very informative. :thmbsp:
     
  6. empirelvr

    empirelvr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I wish! LOL...I'm far too young for that. I just have a soft spot for the equipment that helped mold my hi-fi sensibilities, my Uncle's system in particular.

    I do admit a partiality to Stanton's and Shures. In my life I've owned too many Stanton/Pickering's in particular. Very underrated cartridges in my opinion.
     
  7. Stanton681EEES

    Stanton681EEES Addicted Member

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    Well by my name you know I like em.................:banana:
     
  8. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  9. marloubow

    marloubow Best Day Ever

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    Just scored a Garrard Lab Series Type A MarkII that had this same stylus/cart.
    Needs a little work (prayer).
    Great info Empirelvr...thanks
    Martin
     
  10. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    This cartridge was manufactured until 1963, then was replaced by the Stanton 500. A classic which has been continually available in some form ever since. I love the 380 with the Gold stylus installed. One of the all time early Stereo classic cartridges.
     
  11. marloubow

    marloubow Best Day Ever

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    I have an old RCA 67V1 radio/tt console that I'm going to see if it will fit in.
     
  12. jusbe

    jusbe New Member

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    Gold stylus for the 380

    Been trying to find some of those gold styli for the 380 for a while. Do you have a source? :headscrat:headscrat

    Tx.
     
  13. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    There aren't any easy sources. Long out of production. Not made in decades. Obsoleted by the Pickering V 15/Stanton 500 line in 1963.
     
  14. audiomagnate

    audiomagnate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Is it confirmed that the yellow stylus is for 78's?
     

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