What am I hearing in conicals?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by DavidTT, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. guiller

    guiller Toscaninichus Australis

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    Buenos Aires (Argentina)
    I like to use conical stylii (Denon D103) on older LPs from the 50's and early 60's. I use more resolving profiles for newer recordings. I find this sort of "period correct" approach to be rewarding, to me at least!
     
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  2. DavidTT

    DavidTT Active Member

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    When it comes to the heads used to cut grooves in the master, did their shapes evolve as "reading" stylus cuts were evolving? Assuming that the system of vinyl playback was originally engineered with particular parameters, it would seem logical that cutting head shapes and stylus tip shapes would have been engineered/spec'd together to produce predictable results. Did cutting head shapes change over time then to accommodate changes made on the playback technology side?
     
  3. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    The elliptical /bi radial tip was introduced first, to deal with "pinch effect" and other tracking/ tracing problems, then came the discreet quadraphonic disc recording process and everything changed for the better for more accurate groove tracing.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatible_Discrete_4
     
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  4. tnsilver

    tnsilver AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The recording/mastering technology dictates the playback, not vise versa. I'm no expert on cutting heads, but that seems like the tail is chasing the dog. The grooves are spec'd up and to achieve the specs a "V" shaped cutting head is required. It may have evolved to better meet the specs, but it's pretty much limited to a chisel contour. Also, the vast majority of cutting heads on a mastering lathe move laterally along the radius of the master disk. This inherently branches the evolution of tangential mastering cutting heads and arc playback styli.
     
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  5. vwestlife

    vwestlife Well-Known Member

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    609
    Playing a new record with a heavier-tracking conical stylus a few times can actually improve its sound, by polishing/deburring the groove walls. Decca specifically recommended this, and Telarc also recommends to increase your tracking force to the manufacturer's maximum for the first few times you play their records, for the same reason.

    From http://www.just-hifi.com/TURNTABLE-...hread-ASK-YOUR-QUESTION-HERE_10352257-20.html

     
  6. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    3,209
    Shure's manuals sometimes include graphs about distortion caused by different tip shapes. For example, a spherical stylus had 6.4% 2nd harmonic distortion while a hyperelliptical had 2.5%. One article I read said that 2nd harmonic distortion could sound pleasant, and in a way that echoes your post:

    "A 2nd-order harmonic is double the original frequency, so for a 440 Hz tone it's 880 Hz. That doesn't necessarily sound all that bad, because it's exactly one octave up and it thickens the sound in a way that can be pleasing." https://gizmodo.com/5826651/what-is-distortion

    Now that the M97xE has been discontinued, I'll be mounting something else up soon. Most likely it will be a cartridge with a conical stylus, and I'm leaning toward the Sumiko Oyster since it's available at my local shop (and $39 for a replacement stylus sounds like a good deal, too). I've had Oysters in the past and liked them, but haven't listened to one long-term recently (my last Oyster was basically a loaner I used for a week or so while waiting for a Rega Bias 2 to come in, and while I soon moved on to the M97xE, I remember liking the Oyster better than the Bias).
     
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  7. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    Interesting how old posts never die. I had originally posted that experience 14 years ago in a thread at the Vinyl Asylum, and for the purpose of seeing if anyone had some old Decca cartridge literature hanging around to check my memory of what it said. My original post ended, "Anyway, I was just wondering if any of you have some old Decca literature hanging around and could tell me if the record-burnishing idea was one of their marketing strategies, or if my memory is just deceiving me." No one responding there had any, though some added their own experience of records sounding better with repeated plays. Maybe someone in this forum has some Decca literature to share.
     
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  8. jmchrislip

    jmchrislip Super Member

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    1,206
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    My main cartridge is my DL-103. However, I was recently blown away by the Shure M35x. Tracking at 2.3 grams, it sounds amazing. Loves me some conicals.
     
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  9. SoundsAlike

    SoundsAlike Super Member

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    That Sumiko Oyster cart is one of the only carts that I recommend no one ever buys

    Get an AT5625 or 3006 before the sumiko, trust me
     
  10. beat_truck

    beat_truck Super Member

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    3006?
    Did you mean AT3600?
     
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  11. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You may want to look into the Ortofon Omega. Heck of a cartridge, heck of a price and elliptical. I’ve got an Oyster but I haven’t hooked it up yet.
     
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  12. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    I did a search of this site to see if you had at some point given an explanation for your dislike of the Oyster, but I couldn't find one.

    I do like the AT CN5625AL, but I've also liked the Oyster in the past. It was more successful when mounted to an LP12/Ittok combination than when I tried it in the inexpensive Denon DP-300f, but my short time with it in my current Rega RP3 had me thinking the Rega arm controlled it very well. If it turns out to not be pleasing long-term, it's easy enough to remove it and try something else.
     
  13. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Except for CD-4 Quad, and a select few audiophile discs, I am all conical, or all .3 x .7 elliptical all the time. I like broadcast flat and accurate.
     
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  14. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    3,209
    I'm going with conical for my next cartridge. It will be interesting to hear what you think of the Oyster once you try it.
     
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  15. Cosmo-D

    Cosmo-D AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    180
    There are some arm alignments that apparently compensate for IGD somewhat (Stevenson?). I have one record which appeared to have IGD on the last track when played with the roughly 10" arm on my Dual 1225. What I am pretty sure was distortion was absent when the same record was played back on my linear-tracking PS-X800. Though the cartridges were not the same they were both .3 elliptical profile styli. So I do think arm alignment is factor to some degree when it comes to IGD.
     
  16. Cosmo-D

    Cosmo-D AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    In order to get some answers we'd need to do some ABX testing, or a DBT with the same type of cartridge on the same type of turntable with same arm, but with two (or more) different stylus profiles. There are way too many variables otherwise. Anyone got some styli and the ability to capture audio? MM cartridges have replaceable tips, so this shouldn't be impossible. By just swapping the tips stuff like hardware and alignment will remain constant.
     

     

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  17. malden

    malden Addicted Member

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    Not all conicals are created equally. I use two basic types. For stereo records, I use a .6 mil that tracks at 1.25 grams and a .7 mil that tracks at 4.5 grams for older mono records and 45's.
     
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  18. jamie123

    jamie123 Active Member

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    410
    Location:
    brighton uk.
    im using a denon 103sa and love it,its the first cartridge ive owned that i honestly enjoy using,in the past ive had a cadenza black,2m black,decca c4e and all had me tweeking the sra angle and vtf every 5 minutes,i dont miss any of them,also a good cartridge is not defined by the stylus tip profile.
     
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  19. psemeraro

    psemeraro New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Here is a link to a folder of recordings using Stanton 680, Stanton 981, Pickering EP HiFi and Shure V15VxMR with various styli. No conicals in this folder but Stereohedron 1, Stereohedron 2, Jico SAS, and various ellipticals.

    https://1drv.ms/f/s!AifPgmX0tWO8iFFbq9oFnr2L4gEJ


    This folder has conical, elliptical and line contact styli, same song.
    https://1drv.ms/f/s!AifPgmX0tWO8iG8ZT4GmCtrvd1FC

    Please note these were tracked into a Dell M4700 laptop via the 1/8" onboard audio input, so the recordings are hardly amazing... (3d image is mostly collapsed, space and air is gone, etc.) but the variables are constant so it is possible to make some comparisons. Its hard to miss the timbre differences between 680 and 981 and its also interesting to me that one of Stanton's cheapest styli (n890e) is one of the most vibrant and layered sounding if you're willing to give it the 3.5 grams of tracking force it requires.

    Cheers, Pat
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  20. psemeraro

    psemeraro New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Done... see post above.
    Pat
     

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