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Old 31st January 2013, 03:16 PM   #1
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Default Old Audioquest Cartridge data

Need data for old 80's Audioquest Onyx cartridge. All I know is most were built by Scantech in Japan, most MC, but that's all I know? Vinyl Engine does not list it. Need output V, load requirements, tracking weight, MM or MC... but would like the full lowdown if someone has it.
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Old 31st January 2013, 03:32 PM   #2
bbftx is offline bbftx  United States
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Could you post some pictures of the cartridge?
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Old 31st January 2013, 05:27 PM   #3
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I'm considering purchasing this from someone else and waiting on pictures. What he sent me looks like the picture of the AQ B100MH or the AQ B100ML posted on the Vinyl Engine site with ONYX printed on the right side looking at the front of the cartridge. AQ printed on the front. Seller has no paperwork? I'm wondering if it was somehow relabeled for sale in the US? Said it came from Audio Advisor back in the 80's. I've tried to contact them...no luck. Maybe I should try Lyra, I was told they took over Scantech?
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Old 2nd February 2013, 07:39 PM   #4
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Many MC cartridges of this vintage are a risky purchase. I've had good luck with old Ortofon SPU, but the DL-103D I have despite perfect stylus and cantilever seems well past its prime, it dates from sometime in the 1980s.. The rubber in the suspension deteriorates with age and exposure to certain pollutants may accelerate this process.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 11:20 PM   #5
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I was thinking of sending it to SoundSmith for the ruby uprade. Do they replace the suspension (I will ask them, just thought you might know)? The Scantech MC assembly was supposed to be excellent (better than Denon). I have a peice of purple heart wood, that I was going to have machined (at work) to put it in when returned from SoundSmith. I was going to do surgery on a Blue Point I have that is broken.
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Old 3rd February 2013, 02:36 PM   #6
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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You'd need to talk to Soundsmith about whether or not they could replace the suspension, it is likely to add considerably to the cost. There has been a lot of discussion about the effect of the mass of a ruby cantilever on the HF resonance of an MC cartridge lately, you might want to look further into this issue before committing to this route which sounds like it will be complex and expensive.

Note that all of this may be just fine, or not. I'm just expressing my opinion which may be realistic or unduly negative, not sure which..

I'm not sure of the budget you have allocated for this project, but there are some mighty fine MC cartridges from Shelter and Ortofon new or lightly used that might be in the same price range and are a surer bet IMHO..
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Old 4th February 2013, 12:14 AM   #7
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Good advice. I think I will look for something else.
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Old 4th February 2013, 12:27 AM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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What arm and table are you planning to use the new cartridge on?

My recent experience is mostly with Ortofon SPUs of various flavors and vintages, along with a couple of Denon DL-103 variants including the ZU version of the 103 which is a remarkable improvement over a stock DL-103 in the plastic body.
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Old 19th February 2013, 06:56 PM   #9
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I'm thinking of going the Denon DL-103 and putting it in a wood body. I have heard that the heavier (denser) woods sound better. While Ebony seems to be the choice (a tone wood) I wonder what Purple Heart (very dense), or ever petrified wood would sound like? I know on my cello and guitar a bone nut is superior to Ebony...so bone? I think I saw where someone put one in Ivory?
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