Reminder: Metal headshells/tonearms and Stanton and Pickering cartridges

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by needlestein, May 19, 2017.

  1. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Just a reminder. For those who use or are going to use a Stanton or Pickering cartridge that is going to mount to a metal headshell or tonearm, you must electrically isolate the cartridge from the headshell or tonearm in some way. You can use the elastomer isolation blocks that come with each Stanton and Pickering cartridge if you have them. These are excellent.

    Some people prefer a more ridged mount, for whatever reason, and so they want to use nuts and screws. That's fine. I'm not going to opine on this practice other than to say that if you're going to go this route, then you have to remove the ground strap from the pin. I have read that you can simply slip this off of the pin, but in practice I have had to carefully and painstakingly walk them off. The section that is under the cartridge body will slide out. I have only walked these off to make repairs to the cartridge and then I put them right back.

    Stanton and Pickering's advice is to cut the ground strap, but I just use nylon nuts and screws if I don't have elastomer isolation blocks. However, nylon hardware might not hold firmly enough to satisfy those who demand super rigid installation, in which case cutting or removing the ground strap is the only way to go.

    The only reason I'm bringing this up is because I have grabbed a few cartridges on ebay that were mounted to metal headshells using metal hardware. I tried them as they were and they hummed. Perhaps, if the owners knew better, they'd have kept the cartridges and changed the hardware, used the blocks or snipped the ground strap.
     

     

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  2. bang4buck

    bang4buck Well-Known Member

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    I love those blocks, if nothing else, they sure make installation easier. Almost like threaded mounting holes.

    Anybody know of a source for replacements? Or a DIY version? I have one pair that I'm guarding but I've certainly lost my share of mounting hardware over the years.
     
  3. ripblade

    ripblade Super Member

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    Strange....I didn't have to remove the strap when I fitted the XLZ-7500 to the Mission arm. It's grounded but only through the external shield and not the signal return.

    When I was modding the R47xt I removed the strap. No hum there either except when I touched the arm to cue it up.

    Hmmmm....:idea:
     
  4. lini

    lini just me...

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    Joseph: I think one should add that isolated mounting or removing the ground strap is foremost relevant in case turntables with separate grounds as grounding scheme. Whereas in case of turntables with combined ground(s) it may be unnecessary - which may also depend on where exactly the grounds are combined (the closer to the cart & headshell, the smaller the ground loop and hence the smaller also the chance of different potentials...).

    Greetings from Munich!

    Manfred / lini
     
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  5. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Good points. It must be that not all Pickering and Stanton cartridges mounted this way hum, so it must be turntable dependent. The hum with my SL-1200 was faint but bothersome enough to notice. It didn't even occur to me to check the cartridge mounting at first. When I saw the absence of the blocks, I recalled the instructions and tips in the user manual.
     
  6. Eric Lloyd

    Eric Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a bunch for this thread. I just bought a Kenwood deck last weekend with a Stanton 680EE on it. I did notice an excessive hum when there is no music playing. Sure enough, now that I look, the ground strip is still in place and intact. I'll be taking care of that forthwith.
     

     

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  7. nkorah

    nkorah Active Member

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    On my TD-160, After modifying quite a bit, I've discovered that the best grounding scheme, in context of my system, is to ground the arm and sub-platter to the mains.
    With this grounding scheme in place, it was better to mount the 881s directly (with no isolation) to the headshell, and keep the grounding of the cart body to the pins in place - which had me a bit puzzled.

    So - generally speaking, you're right. but there is always TT and system context, and some experimentation is a good thing.
     
  8. oldman54

    oldman54 Member

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    This is why I'm working my way through these old posts. I have 2 v15s and haven' had a hum problem. I bought a Stanton headshell recently and the blocks were included. I installed one in another hs and used the blocks for convenience, good to know they serve another purpose. Btw, if you read this needlestien, maybe you could explain why coils measure 900 on one and 250 on the other.
     
  9. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    250? You mean one has 900 on each side while the other has 250 on each side?

    No idea. The spec is 535 ohms, so one is really high and the other is really low.
     
  10. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

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    I never knew what those blocks were for!
     
  11. Empireman

    Empireman Active Member

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  12. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

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    None of the Stanterings I have had the blocks when I got them. I got absolutely no hum on my Technics 'table running through my Technics integrated amp. I tried a different 'table and got a major hum. Luckily, I ran across information about removing the grounding tags (probably on AK), so I didn't have to tear my hair out trying to find the issue.:D
     
  13. 911s55

    911s55 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    My issue with a Pickering XV-15/625e is channel loss in a Yamaha YP-800 table. Same headshell and cart in my Kenwood table works fine.

    My Empire 2000eIII which also is metal exhibits similar dropped channel symptoms. I think my Yamaha is fussy.
     
  14. AJD1964

    AJD1964 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You mean these - the black blocks??

    [​IMG]
     
  15. empirelvr

    empirelvr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The picture above, aside from showing the blocks (or black nylon captive nuts as I would describe them) also shows a possible clue for why some Pickerings/Stanton metal body carts don't hum in metal headshells...the body of the cartridge is painted! That alone would give enough of a barrier (as long as there is no flaking/peeling of the paint) to prevent hum.
     
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  16. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Preferably, to this cartridge add a stylus with a cantilever and a diamond tip so as to greatly increase your listening enjoyment.
     
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  17. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

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    FWIW I’ve run into this same problem with Empire carts like the 2000EIII and it’s variations. Isolate the mounting clip and the screws with nylon washers and problem solved. I always use nylon washers under the screws anyway to prevent scratching up the headshell but the metal fastening clip needs to be isolated where it meets the bottom of the headshell too or they tend to hum on one channel.
     
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  18. illinoisteve

    illinoisteve Super Member

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    3,035
    Picky, picky, picky!
     
  19. oldman54

    oldman54 Member

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    Yes, coils on both +/-1%..
     
  20. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Got photos of the cartridges?
     

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