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Old 5th November 2007, 11:45 PM   #1
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Default Headshell Rewire Trouble!

Hello all you fellow Vinyl fans,

I have an old Technics SL-220 TT. It isn't bad, it isn't great but with a few dollars and a little work, it will give something to compare my CD Player Mods to all while enjoying Vinyl again!

So I have a new Shure Cartridge and it is mounted in the Headshell but the wires are old and cheap. So I ordered new Cardas Tonearm wire and Audioquest Headshell Leads along with new cables to replace the existing cables.

The Headshell leads fit nice on the cartridge but fall off the headshell pins. I see that very few manufacturers make leads with 1.0 mm connectors for the headshell side and 1.2 mm connectors for the cartridge side. Is this typical or a rare occurrance?

Any suggestions? Should I just get a new Headshell with 1.2 mm pins? If so, what would you all recommend for this TT without spending too much! I already spent $60.00 USD to replace all the wire from the headshell to and including the RCA plugs for the preamp end!

Thanks!

Regards//Keith
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Old 6th November 2007, 05:34 PM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Just pinch the ends that go to the headshell with a pair of needle nose pliers. This is a common problem which I had with these headshell wires and my SME headshell. Be very careful not to pull on the leads as the soldering can be a bit dodgy.. (Don't ask me how I know.)
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Old 6th November 2007, 06:36 PM   #3
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Hi Kevin,

It sounds like asking you to revisit that experience would be like using hypnosis to have you remember a UFO/Alien Abduction experience! FRIGHTENING!

I also got 2 feet of Cardas 33ga tonearm wire to install. That installation with wire stripping and soldering, sounds like we will have a lot to commiserate about!

Do most quality 1/2 inch mount Headshells come with the 1.2 mm pins? if so, why don't these headshell lead companies anticipate this and sell them with two different ends properly sized? My head hurts!

The barrel on the connector is perfectly round with no space in between the ends where they meet. I don't like the idea of making them snug by squeezing or crimping.

I think I will look into a fairly priced Headshell with gold contacts and pins (like I have from my Technics) but with the right sized pins! I was so happy to recieve these and then I got caught in a snare trap!

Anybody Know Where To Get One? Thanks!

Regards//Keith
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Old 6th November 2007, 09:18 PM   #4
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Hi Keith,
The dirty little secret you'll probably discover as I did is that all commonly available headshells have 1mm pins, and the wires (other than those crappy oem wires) have 1.2mm contacts. Just remove the audioquest wires and pinch the contacts gently (otherwise they'll be too tight) and reinstall.. Good headshells are quite expensive and depending on the arrangement of your arm may make overhang adjustments hard to perform.. (Also despite standardized mountings sometimes they don't fit as snuggly as the original, particularly with relatively inexpensive Japanese tables.)

You'll get used to the "tinkering" required to get this stuff to work. It's half the fun actually. I remember more than 30yrs ago having exactly the same problem with my brand new Garrard SP25 MKIV turntable. These sorts of issues are ageless..
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Old 6th November 2007, 11:12 PM   #5
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Hi Kevin,

Thank you for saving me endless hours of search time. Sometimes I am convinced "IT" is out there and it's not and I don't know when to stop! looking

This is a dirty little secret allright, and it has been around too long. I am a firm believer of doing what is necessary to get results.

Therefore the industry has given me no choice! Someone needs to be taken out back and be shot.

Then this will finally be addressed to satisfy the consumer' needs (the ones with the money).

Where should I satrt, with the headshell manufacturers or the leads manufacturers? Ahhh such decisions!

Thanks again!

Regards//keith
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Old 8th November 2007, 06:47 AM   #6
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If anyone needs a new set of headshell wires try MCM Electronics.

The headshell is about $5. The shell isn't much, but it has a good set of wires. It has a new rubber damping washer too.

the product number is 39-130

http://www.mcminone.com/product.asp?...me=MCMProducts
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Old 8th November 2007, 06:59 PM   #7
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Default Headshell Re-wire Problem

Hi

A tip re headshell connector clips. If you need to crimp them to fit skinny cart pins, insert a toothpick first. This prevents them from being squashed flat.

If I need to re-solder them, I use the same toothpick trick. The other end of the toothpick being held by a small mini-vice or one of those articulated thingamabobs with the croc clips and magnifier.

If you want to prevent hot solder from running where it shouldn't, paint the area with Tippex. This works for hardsoldering too.

Disclaimer: I have absolutely no commercial connection with Tippex.

bulgin
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Old 13th November 2007, 07:57 PM   #8
tubenut is offline tubenut  South Africa
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Hi Bulgin

You beat me to it re the toothpicks!

I have crushed a few clips in my day but none since the toothpick trick!

SME leads have the 1 mm one side and 1.2 mm on the other. Seriously dear though.
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Old 13th November 2007, 08:53 PM   #9
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Hi Guys,

I was reaally annoyed that the lower cost ones that I bought, the Audioquest HL-5 for $20 USD would have you do this to make them work when they know that no headshell has 1.2 mm pins. Why spend anything more than $4 if you aren't going to get excellent contact at each end? Why waste the money on the Gold plating and the Litz wire to have to warp the barrel of the connector to an oval shape to get SOME contact.

I sent Audioquest an email challenging them to remedy this. No response whatsoever! Not the kind of company I will ever do business with again.

The retailer I bought these from, The Cable Company, which is an Internet online retailer here in the US has been bending over backwards to help me! They sent me a special pair of pliers that are supposed to crimp a crease the long way down the barrel. I tried with a 1 mm drill bit (like the toothpick trick) and it still crushed it. The barrel on the connector is too thick to achieve this. Hence, it crushed and upon trying to bend it back to something usable, it snapped off. Now they will attempt to fit one end with new clips. I recommend them highly! John Pharo (my contact) is a DIY guy too!

Van den Hul (like the SME) also makes a nice set of Headshell Link Wires with the appropriate ends (gold plated and 1.0 mm at one end and 1.2 mm at the other). These are silver and dear too, like $60 USD, too much for my old Technics TT.

For you guys out there that want/need to upgrade your headshell leads and want to keep it very reasonable and proper, there is an answer that I recommend. Look for Headshell Leads from Unity Audio from Canada. I think they went out of business but the price is right on eBay at $7.99 for a set. Quality wire with tulip connectors that fit 1.0 to 1.2 mm pins. These are the best value out unless you desire the quality at the $60 range or higher. Cardas also has some budget ones at $30 to $40 too.

I still can't believe this is like the dead body in the room that nobody talks about (although we all trip over it and it smells) at the manufacturer and retailer end! Hopefully if you are in the market for these, you will see this post before you do anything! One way to see what you need is remove the leads from your headshell and cartridge and try turning them around. If they only work one way then you need what I am describing. Don't buy anything unless they fit at both ends perfectly or IMO it is a waste of money. If we only buy the proper sized ones, the clueless manufacturers will get the hint (hopefully).

Thanks for all your help and suggestions guys!

Regards//Keith
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Old 14th November 2007, 01:06 AM   #10
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Default Headshell Re-wire Problem

Hi tubenut

Toothpicks are the most wondrous audio aids. I bought a stash of sme h/shell leads which were expensive but nicely made. For multiple swopping of carts however, I find they crack along the length of the connector after very few crimpings. After that, they're only good for hardsoldering and limited, one-time use.

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