Stanton 681EEE New Cartridge Equivalents

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by mccalljd, Dec 25, 2017.

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  1. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So, there's a tradeoff that I always hear across the board, whether the cartridge is MM, MI, LOMC, HOMC, (and others) and that is that the lighter and finer you track the more agile the cartridge becomes at the high end, but it also loses bass authority and dynamics. Dynamics seem to be emulated in a different way, but punch is lost. This could be an arm matching phenomenon. Perhaps featherweight arms like the Infinity Black Widow or the Mayware may help in this regard. I've never heard one of these, but I hear the same situation with P Mount, too, which also involves a light arm and compliant tracking. Might not be a fair comparison, though. I've also got the very light arm that's stock on my Philips 312 and I notice the same thing, but again, probably not a fair comparison to an IBW or a Mayware.

    When you install a DJ cartridge, the high end response definitely diminishes, but dynamics and bass improve so much that it's easy not to care about the loss of shimmery high end. The high end is good enough and dynamics are astounding, as in earth-moving. Speed is also drastically increased. Light tracking, high compliance cartridges can sound a bit sleepy in comparison.

    However, I do think the D6800EEE-IIS is a great match for modern jazz. With that kind of music it is lively, lithe and articulate and silky smooth--probably the silkiest I've heard across the board and with more dynamics than a comparable Shure.
     

     

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  2. sgleich

    sgleich AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well, I will say that the D6800EEE-IIS / 681 combination is the best I have heard on any system I have ever owned. My Stanton fixation started when trying to find out why a JVC JL A-40 sounded so good. The basically new stylus and cart on it was a Stanton 600EE that had punch, clarity and a nice high end. Then I did a search on AK and that was that.

    So now, I carry my D6800EEE-IIS back and forth from our showroom PL-610 to my home Yamaha YP D-71 like I am smuggling jewels. ( I guess I am actually, one jewel) I suppose the goal is to find the perfect match for my home TT and leave it there whether it is the 681 / D6800EEE-IIS or something else. I would say right now the D6800EEE-IIS sounds better on the PL-610 in the showroom system for low end but that could be speakers and amp. I am not too educated about arm matching etc. I could go with one of the low output carts also since I have preamps with MC inputs.

    I do have both 681 carts aligned well finally aside from perhaps best tonearm height if that matters at all. Arms are level now.
     
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  3. illinoisteve

    illinoisteve Super Member

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    A couple years ago a bunch of the XL-33U with DTL2S combos were available on ebay, and I seem to recall that a number of us bought them, if for no other reason than to get the DTL2S stylus. But my question to @needlestein is whether these XL-3_U P-mount cartridges are internally more like XV-15/680/681 series carts or more like XSV_000/880/881 series carts? If they weren't P-mounts, in other words, which of those families would they be part of --- and presumably share styli with?
     
  4. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    XV-15
     
  5. Brian Tambe

    Brian Tambe Active Member

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    I know this thread started on Christmas day , however , I am new to this forum and thought I would give my opinion since I once used to own the Stanton 681 EEE 38 years ago , WOW , how time flies by. Great cartridge and the sound was and is amazing and the tracking was very good. I just recently spent at least 1 full month researching today's modern cartridges to replace a 30 plus year old ADC Series 1 cartridge and after boggling my brain with information from various brands , features , specs , price , etc. I decided on Audio Technica's new VM line of MM cartridges. I chose the VM 740 ML cartridge with the " Micro line " stylus and at a price of $329 , was by far the best cartridge under $500 due to it's Aluminum Alloy cantilever and body allowing less distortion and much better performance. The Micro line stylus tracks superbly and the sound is amazing with crisp ( not too bright ) high's and deep rich smooth and warm bass. Since Stanton doesn't produce cartridges anymore ( I checked before purchasing ) I read reviews on the Shure , Ortofon , Denon ( they specialize in Moving Coil only ) , Sumiko Pearl , Grado just to let you know that I researched all the current name brands and found the Audio technical line to offer the most value and best sound and build quality under the $500-$600 price point. My Denon AVR 3300 A/V Receiver has a Moving Magnet phono input and so I was somewhat limited to the brands that I already mentioned. I would have tried perhaps the Denon or Dynavector line , however , they specialize in only Moving Coil. The 700 series from Audio Technica is their premium line of MM cartridges and there are 3 in this line up. 1. The VM 740 ML ( the one I chose ) with the Micro Line stylus and Aluminum Alloy cantilever and housing , $329 price tag 2. The VM 750 SH with the Shibata Stylus and Aluminum Alloy Cantilever and housing , $399 price tag 3. The VM 760 SLC with the Special Line Contact Stylus and Aluminum Alloy cantilever and housing , price tag $639. I hope this comment helps for those in the same predicament that I was in to get a high quality and great sounding cartridge without breaking the bank and causing a " Divorce " . BTW: These 700 Series Cartridges have interchangeable Stylus' and I find that to be a really valuable feature if you want to try another type of quality styli. Thanks for reading.
     
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