New Grado Black2

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Jeff K, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,720
    Location:
    Lexington, Massachusetts
    Aw poop, the Black2 I just received has a dead right channel, as confirmed with a multimeter. :mad:
    FWIW, the date code is February 2018.

    Back it goes, and a replacement has been ordered...
     

     

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  2. bluemooze

    bluemooze Active Member

    Messages:
    425
    Can't believe they're still shipping these defective cartridges. They've had since late last year to fix the problem. :thumbsdown:
     
  3. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

    Messages:
    3,209
    It is hard to believe that Grado would ship a non-working cartridge. Their website says:

    HAND-BUILT IN USA WITH 100% QUALITY CONTROL
    Each individual cartridge manufactured by Grado is hand assembled and tested for frequency response, channel output, channel balance, phase linearity, inductance and resistance.

    I have to believe that they are somehow being damaged in the shipment and handling they go through as they arrive at a retailer and then are moved on to a customer. There have certainly been enough videos on the internet showing that not all carriers handle packages with care.
     
  4. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,720
    Location:
    Lexington, Massachusetts
    So I sent the defective cart back to Grado, which they received on Friday, and today (Wednesday) the replacement arrived - that’s fast! The coils both measure 675 ohms, spot on.

    I just got it mounted on the BIC 960 that I bought it for, and I’m about halfway through the first LP side, so any evaluations are premature.

    At this early stage, I’m definitely hearing a very meaty midrange, suppressed but not dull treble, and tight, punchy bass.

    Stay tuned...
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
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  5. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,720
    Location:
    Lexington, Massachusetts
    It definitely has a warmer character than the Signature 8 carts I have, but the difference is not unpleasant. It’s very lush.
     
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  6. johnjhazel

    johnjhazel Active Member

    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have owned a few Grado cartridges over the years. I am glad they are still around. Glad they offer products at a very reasonable price. Now with Shure out of the cartridge business, I guess that just leaves Grado for USA mainstream cartridges. I consider SoundSmith more esoteric than mainstream.
     
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  7. marcmorin

    marcmorin AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,902
    How about I send you a NIB Black-1 to compare it to? maybe some clips of the two?
     
  8. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,720
    Location:
    Lexington, Massachusetts
    Sure, I can do that... if a BIC 960 is OK for the carrier. :)
     
  9. DavidTT

    DavidTT Active Member

    Messages:
    368
    Slightly on topic here, I removed a Shure cart from my main turntable, due unmanaged DIY-itis (ordered a paradox pulse for a Shure sc35c), and re-mounted a Grado blue that I previously potted with epoxy and longhorned, with a retipped .2X.7 stylus from Needestein. What a nice sounding cartridge. Voices really come to the forefront and that Grado warmth and sweetness make themselves known.

    I'm into the Shure house sound of late, but it sure is nice that Grado is still here making these great and economical carts for us. I'm happily spinning records today with this Grado.
     
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  10. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,720
    Location:
    Lexington, Massachusetts
    Coincidentally, I had been enjoying a Shure M91ED with a cheap-but-excellent EVG stylus, and really enjoyed that as well. The presentation is different vs. the Grado, but both are very nice. Fortunately I have a BIC headshell for each, and can swap them with ease.
     
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  11. Straker62

    Straker62 Member

    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    Italy
    Dear Beatcomber are you thinking to fit the black 2-body with the 8MZ stylus that you are using on the Signature 8? It should be a very interesting comparison.
     
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  12. bobins08

    bobins08 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,595
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    @beatcomber , I would also like to hear your comparison.

    What I think I am reading here is the Prestige-2 sounds more like the older, and dare I say better, Grado's then the current Prestige -1 line.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  13. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,720
    Location:
    Lexington, Massachusetts
    Well, I suppose I could do that for the sake of comparison...
     
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  14. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,720
    Location:
    Lexington, Massachusetts
    I have practically no experience with the Prestige1 series, so I can't offer any comparisons there.

    My benchmarks are the early '80s Signature models, which are extraordinary. I presently own a Signature MCZ, 8M, and 8MR, and Marc has let me play with a few other top-tier Grados from the late '70s-early '80s. I also own a ZC+ (= Green) that I bought new in the early '90s, and while I haven't spent much time with it in years, I recall it sounded pretty dark.

    I've been listening exclusively to the Black2 on the BIC for the past few days, and the sound is becoming more balanced as it breaks in. The top end is suppressed by not especially rolled off, so it sounds buttery. Bass is deep/full, but a little loose, although I don't know how much the BIC is influencing this. The mids are its real strong suit, and the midrange bloom and lushness is what makes this such an enjoyable cartridge.

    Imaging is starting to come into focus as it breaks in.

    I haven't experienced any tracking issues, even on the inner grooves, and it does not hum on the BIC.
     
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  15. bobins08

    bobins08 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,595
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I know what you have and read your posts all the time.

    I have a Signature 8MX with MCZ stylus. Also have a GF-1+ and it is excellent. I have heard the Prestige Black-1 w/ 8MZ stylus and I prefer the vintage Grado bodies (ok, I admit the Black is entry level but the stylus is not).
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  16. marcmorin

    marcmorin AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,902

    cartridge is shipping out today.
     
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  17. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,720
    Location:
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    Marc, if you can also send a spare AR headshell, I can make this even more interesting! :beatnik:
     
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  18. marcmorin

    marcmorin AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,902

    sure, please use the mounting screws as supplied.
     
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  19. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,720
    Location:
    Lexington, Massachusetts
    You betcha. Thanks!

    People of AK, would you like me to post samples of the Black1 vs. Black2, with both the stock and 8MZ styli, and maybe some other Grados for comparison?
     
  20. bobins08

    bobins08 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,595
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    yes!
     

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