Reminder: Metal headshells/tonearms and Stanton and Pickering cartridges

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

  1. needlestein

    needlestein Super Member

    Messages:
    4,717
    Location:
    West Hartford, CT
    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 Active Member

    Messages:
    281
    Location:
    New England
    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

    Messages:
    2,081
    Location:
    Toronto
    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...

    Messages:
    5,087
    Location:
    Munich, Bavaria
    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 Super Member

    Messages:
    4,717
    Location:
    West Hartford, CT
    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 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    624
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    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.
     
  7. nkorah

    nkorah Active Member

    Messages:
    269
    Location:
    Tel-Aviv
    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.
     

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