Well, dang. Grado Black + 8mz revelation

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by onwardjames, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    Hello, folks!

    Last night, while spinning Zoot Sims on my Sony PS-X60 tt with Grado Black + 8mz stylus, I figured I'd turn the anti-skate to zero (which I've read from many threads that Grado said to do).


    I've never noticed much difference with antiskate either way on any cart/needle combo, sound difference minimal to my tired ears. Occasionally better tracking, but that's about it.

    However....

    While standing up and dialing it to nearly zero, BEFORE I EVEN GOT TO MY SEAT the blanket came off, and the highs stood up and poured out!

    Never heard this dramatic a difference.

    So, those with a Grado Black, or other Grado carts, might give it a spin. As for my other stuff, I'll keep antiskate where it is recommended, but this Grado cart won't be getting any.

    Carry on!
     
    Fishead, bluemooze, ranch 22b and 2 others like this.
  2. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    I have a Grado Black... I'll try it when I get home. I must live under a rock, never heard this... Cool Thanks!
     
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  3. mprince

    mprince AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have a Green with 8MZ,have always zeroed out the anti-skate and never been disappointed.
     
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  4. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    biscuithead, it defies logic, but damn if it didn't really open up the high end. It was as stark a difference as turning on a high frequency "cut" button you sometimes see on old receivers. Pretty damned drastic.
     
  5. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    Cool man... I put a Grado black in a drawer recently , I still favor Stantons. But, if I'm doing it wrong, it should change my opinion. I always look forward to these discoveries.
     
  6. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    For anyone else who is interested in running Grado cartridges with better success, the information I have gleaned is this:

    1. A bit of negative SRA is required, so tail down;
    2. 0 antiskate;
    3. 1.6g VTF;
    4. If you're running it on an SL-1200, the KAB fluid damper brings Grados to the next level of clarity by damping high frequency resonance;
    5. if you are bothered by the "Grado Dance," try a long-horn mod;
    6. Hum is present with direct-drive tables--all of them, but it's a matter of degrees. I can definitely without a doubt hear it with my SL-1200, a turntable that has been entered onto unofficial Grado the "no hum" list for years. If you want to hear it, put on your headphones and sweep the arm. You will hear what sounds like a faint charging capacitor as the arm moves toward the spindle--the quicker, the more noticeable. Whether this is enough to bother someone during play is up to each individual person.

    There it is all in one place, as far as I know.

    I would also speculate that given that the KAB fluid damper makes such a profound improvement for these cartridges, perhaps a better high quality headshell--or even an "inexpensive" wooden headshell would also help quite a bit.
     
  7. mprince

    mprince AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Forgot to mention that I am using an LPGear Zupreme headshell (12g) with my Grado. I pretty much follow all of needlestein's guidelines above with the exception of the Longhorn mod. Have not noticed any hum with my SL-1200MK2 (with an external power supply, perhaps this is a contributor), but I also am not a headphones listener as my preamp has no headphone jack.
     
  8. Duane

    Duane AK Member Subscriber

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    Wish I had heard of this before. I had the same combo at one time a couple of years ago and was really disappointed with the sound. The highs were rolled off.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  9. majick47

    majick47 Addicted Member

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    Onwardjames re the 0 antiskate recommendation I'v been doing that with my Grados with excellent results since I called Grado in NY and spoke with them re my tonearm and settings.
     
  10. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    It was a pretty noticeable difference.

    I wonder if there is a technical reason for this?

    Needlestein, thanks for the additional tips. I don't notice any hum on my Sony, but maybe I shouldn't poke that sleeping dog, lol.

    All I know is that I feel I'm getting my money's worth with the 8mz. Before, not so sure.
     
  11. marcmorin

    marcmorin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    yes........the skating forces are neither pure, nor constant, even during the same note from attack, to sustain, to decay. However the antiskate forces you employ are rather constant. the suspension donut in the lateral plane is what is taking the antiskate you've added. making the cantilever move easier in one direction in the lateral, than the other
     
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  12. WaynerN

    WaynerN Super Member

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    Of course, no one knows the operating condition of your tables's AS control, nor is it known of the relationship between the dial numbers and how that translates to actual, correct AS settings. We have supplied the Grado Gold1 Longhorn modded with the 8MZ-V stylus to a few of our customers who are very happy with its tracking ability. I run them for a short time on one of my SL12XX tables using AS and it tracks like any other cartridge/stylus that I have.

    The 8MZ-V is a superior stylus over the stock one at least to my ears.
     
  13. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    WaynerN, I haven't seen a need for a longhorn mod yet. This baby tracks most anything I throw at it. And I agree, 8mz is a fantastic stylus.
     
  14. danj

    danj modern primitive

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    Have a Silver. When I get home I'm gonna try the zero anti-skate bit. The worst that can happen is that I won't notice a difference.

    Are the 8MZ styli still available? Didn't find it on Grado's website. Would it be a big improvement over a stock Silver?
     
  15. tnmike1

    tnmike1 AK Member Subscriber

    Check Needle Doctor . They have the stylus
     
  16. Bigboi33

    Bigboi33 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No Anti-Skate worked wonders for me.
    I was getting my linear tracker going and popped in my old Grado Silver to test things out.
    When I confirmed everything was up and working correctly, I transferred it to my main rig and was met with a huge surprise.
    The Grado sounded nothing like it did before on my other turntables. I couldn't believe it for a while.
    I ended up becoming a Grado fan and while picking up a new replacement stylus my dealer mentioned how Grado's should be used without Anti-Skate.
    A light bulb lit in my head and I tried to test it out on a pivot arm turntable. I ended up with the same results as the onwardjames. Made all the sense when I realized the linear turntable has no anti-skate and that's why it possibly sounded so good.
    The Grado Silver is now my daily driver. When that wears out I have an 8MZ waiting in a box.
     
  17. Celt

    Celt Super Maude Super Mod Subscriber

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    I have an Audio Technica 140LC (line contact) that I run with the auntie-bias set at 0....I've found it's best that way too.
     
  18. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    A note, I installed a Grado ZF3E+ in a Audio-Technica magnesium headshell on my Audio-Technica ATP 16-T transcription arm, I'm using it with my Technics SP-25 and custom plinth. This is a very musical, engaging cartridge which is not overbright, and sounds non fatiguing to listen to. Perfect for vocalists, I can hear Frank Sinatra's inflections, phrasing, and vocal tone to a higher level (a demanding midrange test). I favor MI cartridges, and musicality over detail extremes. Grado's got my attention and my number. Can't wait to feed the Grado some Ella Fitzgerald and some Tony Bennett.
     
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  19. marcmorin

    marcmorin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    what are ya gonna do when you buy a "real" stylus for it? ;)

    I personally like the Z bodies more so than the prestige bodies :thumbsup:
     
  20. 8xlaxx

    8xlaxx Super Member

    Thanks for reviving the thread.
    I have a Black and 8mz combo. Will give this a try as well.
    Thanks for the tip. :thumbsup:
     
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